Croatia – 1st regional workshop

On June 13th, IRENA and CEI have organized 1st regional workshop in Hotel Lone in Rovinj. Workshop was related to improvement of coordination of energy policies instruments and to more efficient use of potential models for energy efficiency measures and use of energy from renewable sources use financing.

Special focus of this introductory workshop was placed on defining possibilities for development of common actions plans for smaller communities and to promotion of models of their cooperation that are required in order for them to remove the obstacles related to lack of resources, both in term of financial and human potentials.

Workshop was opened by Mr. Valerio Drandić, trustee of prefect of Istrian region. Aside IRENA and CEI, presentations were given by the Ministry of construction and physical planning which is responsible for policy instrument targeted in Croatia, Ministry of Environment and Energy, APN (national agency for legal and real estate mediation). Presenters have given the detailed layout of future calls for funding of energy efficiency and renewable energy use measures on broad specter of buildings that are subjected to energy action plans developed by units of regional and local self-government.

IRENA also presented Interreg MED project ENERJ which focuses use of innovative financing instruments for energy rehabilitation of public buildings and is perfectly compatible with project SUPPORT.

Workshop with more than 30 participants was primarily intended for units of regional and local self-government, more specifically, for employees of those entities primarily responsible for development of energy strategies and energy related strategic documents such as Action plans of energy efficiency measures.

There are 10 cities and 31 municipalities in Istrian Region. When preparing the long-term concept of workshops that are to be organized throughout the duration of project SUPPORT, it was decided that the best way to proceed in development of regional action plan would be to involve all units of local self-government in order to define, in cooperation with them, a common methodology for development of local action plans that can be transformed, both in sense of methodology and data acquired on local level, in regional action plan. In order to keep an optimal working group size, but also due to limitations faced by smaller communities, it was decided to involve cities directly and municipalities as logical geographical groups through LAGs that act on their behalf.

Representatives of all 10 cities and of LAG of eastern Istria were present on 1st regional workshop in Rovinj. IRENA and CEI have presented the draft version of regional background analysis. Examples of good local practices were presented with each city representatives also presenting the main difficulties they are dealing with while trying to fund the projects related to energy efficiency and use of energy from renewable sources. Several obstacles common to all local communities were identified:

• lack of information an transparency related to calls for funding

• general lack or significant delays of calls for funding

• misalignment of calls for funding and actual needs identified in most communities

• inadequate evaluation procedures

• lack of staff that can successfully carry out these activities in units of local self-government

• need for bodies that could provide technical support to local governments

• fragmentation of resources caused by large number of small sized units of local self-government

• need for cooperation between neighboring communities in applying for large scale projects

These findings will be used in defining methodology for development of regional action plan that will be based on voluntary involvement of local authorities provided through development of their own plans. It was agreed that IRENA will act as technical support for units of local self-government in order to create methodologically compatible documents that reflect real on field issues and that can be realistically used for fostering implementation of new projects.

Problems of individual stakeholders will be analyzed in detail on the basis of questionaries’ sent to them and will act as starting point for new set of activities planned for next couple of months and for 1st international stakeholder meeting that will be held in September, also in Rovinj.