All the project partners together with stakeholders visited the Northern Netherlands to kick off a European interregional project that focuses on the use and production of renewable energy by businesses, communities and households on October 29 to 31 2019. Partners will work together the next four years to share their knowledge, experience and best practices. What can European regions learn from each other?

SHREC partners and stakeholders in Groningen

SHifting towards Renewable Energy for Transition to Low Carbon Energy

The SHREC (SHifting towards Renewable Energy for Transition to Low Carbon Energy) project addresses the challenge of transition to a low carbon economy, in relation with renewable energy use of business and households facilitating them to invest in low-carbon, renewable energy measures reducing CO2 producing activities and shifting to activities with low CO2 footprint.

The project overall objective is to improve regional and national policies increasing the share of energy from renewable sources in the overall energy mix and encouraging and facilitating the production and use of renewables by businesses, communities and households aiming at a less carbon intensive energy future.

Successful start of SHREC

During a three day kick off meeting the project partners and stakeholders were introducing best practice examples from their regions, working in groups and exploring the best examples of energy transition in the northern Netherlands, such as Energy Port Eemshaven, Solar park of Grunneger Powerin Hoogkerk, Wind Zon Winsum by Winsum Duurzaam and other local energy cooperatives.


SHREC partners and stakeholders in Energy Port Eemshaven

During the visit in Energy Port Eemshaven Mr. Cas Konig, CEO of Groningen Seaports presented “Harbour Vision 2030” which sparked a lot of ideas to bring home and reflect. Also, the partners were discussing the New Energy Coalition: ‘Hydrogen Valley’. The Northern Netherlands is the first region to receive a subsidy for their so-called Hydrogen Valley. The subsidy is intended for the development of a fully functioning green hydrogen chain in the Northern Netherlands.


New Energy Coalition: ‘Hydrogen Valley’ presented by projectmanager Gerben Andringa 

A great example of local energy cooperatives in the Netherlands is Wind Zon Winsum by Winsum Duurzaam. Partners visited and discussed on site how this example could be applied in their countries and how eventually the local cooperatives can bring the revolution in energy transition in Europe. 

Partners explored the solar park of Grunneger Power in Hoogkerk. The solar panel park is made up of 7,777 solar panels, providing energy for around 587 households. The solar panel park is the largest in the Netherlands, providing about 6% of the total electricity supply in the city.

During the last day partners participated in the interregional workshop Centre of Expertise Energy of Hanze UAS (EnTranCe) to explore European and North Netherlands regional renewable energy policies, initiatives and identify advanced solutions for policy improvement. The regional situation, renewable energy policy and policy instruments were presented and discussed. Experts were invited to share their knowledge and support SHREC learning process.


SHREC partners and stakeholders on a site visit at EnTranCe of the Centre of Expertise Energy in Groningen

The future of SHREC

In the next 4 years the good examples of other partner countries and regions shall be explored: Lithuania, Slovakia, South Muntenia in Romania, Piemonte region in Italy, Mondragon in Spain, Auvergne Rhône Alpes in France and Mellersta Norrland region of Sweden. SHREC partners shall take part in the following activities for the exchange of experience: interregional site visits, interregional thematic seminars and workshops, joint thematic survey / analysis, meetings with the stakeholder groups, joint development of action plans, participation in the Interreg Europe Policy Learning Platform activities.

Partners will jointly work aiming at encouraging business investments into renewable energy and new innovative technologies and increasing involvement of energy consumers as active players. To achieve the project goals partners will look at possibilities to encourage technological development in renewable energy (support for business, industry to develop new technologies) as well as to use of social innovation concept to involve consumers (households, communities, industry, business representatives, public authorities) in the transition process shifting towards renewable energy production and consumption. The result of the 4-year project will be the comprehensive action plans for regional policy makers to contribute to a less carbon-intensive energy future.

The following partner meeting will be hosted by Slovak Innovation and Energy Agency in Bratislava from March 17 to March 19.