At the beginning of July, the POTEnT group gathered in Lorient (France) for the project's kick-off meeting, which has been very important to have a picture of the work ahead and give the partners an opportunity to interact and present the energy situations in their cities.

ALOEN (Energy and climate local agency of South Brittany), Lead Partner, welcomed under the French sun the 8 partners of the POTEnT project: City of Parma (Italy), City of Pamplona (Spain), City of Milton Keynes (UK), City of Ostrava (Czeck Republic), Energy Agency for Southeast Sweden (Sweden), Tartu Regional Energy Agency (Estonia),Ettlingen Municipal Services Agency (Germany) and UPT (the Erasmus Centre for Urban, Port and Transport Economics BV – the Netherlands).

It is in a warm and hardworking atmosphere that the partners got to know each other: during the two-days meeting, they discussed their objectives through this project and defined an action plan for the consortium. ALOEN, the City of Parma and UPT-Erasmus University, the partners responsible for management, communication and exchange of experience, presented the procedures and main outcomes for the first 12 months.

Much space was devoted to sharing goals and methodologies for the work ahead: drawn from diverse geographical contexts, socioeconomic conditions and energy transition strategies and cultures, POTEnT consortium members are united in their desire to achieve progress towards carbon reduction through the improved provision of energy services by public authorities, and to strengthen international knowledge sharing in the field. These common goals should help POTEnT achieve its ambitious aims, which include developing or improving public Energy Services Company (ESCo), increasing investment in low carbon projects and empowering local decision-makers and communities to achieve more carbon reduction through better knowledge, quicker payback and a circular energy economy. 

Everyone now has to do some homework before meeting in Pamplona for the first thematic event in November, and for the next 4 years!

POTEnT is set to run until July 2022, followed by 12 months of monitoring of the results. The project is co-funded by Interreg Europe, a programme helping regional and local governments across Europe to develop and deliver better policy: by creating an environment and opportunities for sharing solutions, the programme aims to ensure that government investment, innovation and implementation efforts all lead to integrated and sustainable impact for people and place.