This week we speak with our project partner Ainara Amundarain from Fomento San Sebastian (Spain) to discuss the progress of their Regional Action Plan and the objectives they would like to achieve.

What is the full name of your Action Plan? Action Plan for the Energy Efficiency improvement through ICT in Donostia / San Sebastian city, Basque Country (Spain).  

What is the aim? This action plan is part of the transition process which is taking place in the city of Donostia – San Sebastian aiming to transform it in a smart city reference following sustainable parameters. This transition is led and fostered by Fomento San Sebastian (FSS).  

And, what will be the main output? Through CLEAN  project many different solutions and implementations has been analysed, discussed and presented which have already been put in place and validated in different countries across Europe that are facing same challenges related to meet energy efficiency targets and city transformation towards a sustainable city. The principal output of this Action Plan has been to select and define the initiatives that will be implemented in the city of Donostia / San Sebastian. The analysis for this selection has considered social, economic, geographic, environmental context of each initiative, key players that need to be involved, technical and economic feasibility of the actions and timeframe required. All these parameters have been aligned with the strategy and implementations that are already considered in the Donostia / San Sebastián Smart City Plan, which also tackles the policy instrument strategies for the energy efficiency improvement.  

What is the name of the policy instrument or instruments addressed? Basque Country ERDF Regional Operational Programme 2014-2020 and the Donostia / San Sebastian Smar City Plan 2016-2020.

What would you highlight from the policy framework? This policy instrument aims to boost sustainable economic growth in the Basque region by creating quality jobs especially in activities with high added value sectors, and improving the competitiveness of the regional economy through 'smart' and innovative growth initiatives. Almost 90% of the resources are targeted at investments in Thematic Objectives research, innovation, SMEs, ICT, and low carbon economy, in line with the priorities set by the Europe 2020 Strategy.   

CLEAN project is concerned with Thematic Objective 4, "supporting the shift towards a low carbon economy in all sectors" through investment in the following Investment Priorities.   

Particularly, the Action Plan is directed to address with energy efficiency thematic (4b) and measures envisaged include: improve energy efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions in the construction of public infrastructure, public buildings and housing stock.  

The objective of the actions envisaged in this plan are to set innovative mechanisms to stimulate uptake of the measure among home owners, business or public infrastructure including financial instruments and community focus pilots.  

Could you tell us a little bit about the background of your action? The CLEAN project has allowed Fomento San Sebastian to know the experiences put in place in various European cities and regions committed to improve energy efficiency. Different initiatives of best practices have been visited across Europe in order to learn in deep the benefits and results obtained, but also to learn how to tackle multiple issues related to the implementation, finance and engagement of citizens and stakeholders involved in the environment.  

Particularly, Fomento San Sebastian has analysed and identified best practices that are more feasible to replicate in San Sebastian city environment, considering socioeconomic and technological context, environmental resources available, etc. In this sense, Normandy region in France has been visited twice during 1st phase of CLEAN project to learn in deep about their initiatives, since similar context and strategic lines were detected.  

Good practices developed by CLEAN project partners that have served to elaborate own initiatives for San Sebastian in the Action Plan framework, with the aim to improve energy efficiency and reduce energy demand aligned with the Basque Country ERDF Operational Programme 2014-2020: 

Some of the good practices developed by CLEAN project partners have served as an inspiration for the following Actions developed by Fomento San Sebastián:

  • Smart public lighting in Sancho el Sabio Street .
  • Improving Energy Efficiency for families and commerces .
  • Building retrofitting Guidance and ICT inclusion in a residential building for the Energy Efficiency improvement.

Read the whole Regional Action Plan here.