Part-financed by The European Union
European Regional Development Fund and European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument
On October 18th, the Baltic Sea Region Programme project "Bioenergy Promotion 2", organized the international bioenergy conference "From strategies to activities – Good practice examples of regional bioenergy promotion". The conference took place in relation to the international fair "Environment and Energy 2013 "in Riga, Latvia. The conference was organised by the Latvian project partner "Latvian Environmental Investment Fund" and there were in total more than 100 participants attending.
The conference opening remarks were made by Alda Ozola, Deputy State Secretary of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development in Latvia. "I really appreciate such projects like "Bioenergy Promotion 2" which demonstrates multiple benefits of the use and production of local bioenergy. There is a need to promote bioenergy production in a sustainable way and find ways how we can build on synergies between social and economic development at the local level while preserving environment" says Alda Ozola.
Aino Martikainen, the project leader of "Bioenergy Promotion 2", presented the results of the project which promotes sustainable production and use of bioenergy in the Baltic Sea Region. She was very pleased with the outcomes of the project: “We have achieved a lot as well on regional, on national as on transnational level. These here during the conference presented bioenergy strategies in the demo regions and good practice examples show ways to support and increase the sustainable production and use of bioenergy in the Baltic Sea Region.”
Director of the Latvian Fund for Nature Ģirts Strazdiņš states: “Sustainability questions were a major topic of the conference. I am happy that the industry representatives here also agreed that sustainability is crucial for getting vast public support for renewable energy production”.
In 2012 altogether 13 partners received two additional years for policy development, demonstration and transfer of activities strengthening the final results. The objective of the project activities is to extend the strategic outputs of the main stage project into the Baltic Sea Region and national political arenas and also into the daily grind of utility companies and local and regional administration.
The project consortium consists of 13 former Bioenergy Promotion partners and several associated partners (i. a. “Baltic 21”, national ministries and demo regions in each participating country) and is led by the German Agency for Renewable Resources (FNR). The Extension Stage project started immediately after “Bioenergy Promotion” and will run for two years until January 2014.
To increase the impact of the developed strategies for deployment of sustainable bioenergy, the Extension Stage triggers action on various levels: public procurement, corporate strategies of utility companies, proposing incentives within the reviewed Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), Rural Development Policy and Regional, Structural and Cohesion Funds.
Furthermore, the project strives to be available to Baltic Sea Region relevant transnational forums such as the “Baltic 21”and the Nordic Council of Ministers. The strategic outputs on sustainable deployment of bioenergy are provided in close cooperation with the responsible actors for strategic and political discussion focusing on the Baltic Sea Region Strategy and Action Plan.
On a more practical level, the Extension Stage activities will also provide direct support to seven demo regions implementing "Strategic Management Plans". These plans have been developed during the main stage project phase and include the “Bioenergy Promotion” sustainability criteria and are integrated concepts to increase the use of bioenergy within a region but without harming the environment or posing a threat to food security. The project will give practical advice and training on how to mobilise local people, create acceptance for modern bioenergy applications and on general coordinating activities necessary to start the implementation process.
The implementation will be accompanied within the demo regions and a “lessons-learnt- catalogue” will be compiled to be distributed to other interested regions and/or municipalities across the Baltic Sea Region. This information will be kept available after the project ends. The concepts tested within the extension stage will be advertised in workshops and information events in order to recruit follower regions that copy the concepts. Thus the Strategic Management Plans will be transferred to further regions and a multiplying effect will be triggered.