The workshop in Athens focused on smart financing mechanisms for supporting sustainable energy actions at the local and regional level. In the context of the current economic crisis, local and regional energy actors explored the possibilities of developing their projects with the participation of citizens as well as the private sector.
Training and capacity building was offered by two foreign experts:
In addition to the knowledge-transfer from abroad, examples of Greek projects were analysed in depth to explain how funding instruments, such as the ERDF and the ELENA facility, can be utilised within the Greek context.
Participants were divided into two working groups, dedicated to specific topics: (1) Development of energy cooperatives and public private partnerships and (2) Access to financing and funding tools. Participants had the opportunity to ask questions to the experts and to their peers, exchange experiences and ideas, present their specific needs and seek answers. A set of conclusions and recommendations was prepared by each working group.
A plenary session at the end of the day helped to gather all recommendations, wrap up the workshop and connect the presentations and the training of the morning with the specific financial and technical issues raised in the afternoon.
"I would like to congratulate you for the initiative and the content of the workshop. It was indeed very insightful …"
Panagiota Ntina, Deputy Mayor, Municipality of Kalamata
"The workshop provided very good experience exchange in energy management at the local but also the national level. Organisational models and collaboration schemes were developed, through which both environmental and economic benefits can be obtained. Furthermore, the crucial role of local communities in green growth has been highlighted."
Stamatis Martinos, Technical associate, Municipality of Kythnos
"The outcomes of the workshop can only be assessed as positive. The presentations by Mr Gensel and Mr Costa were highly interesting, as they provided knowledge transfer from projects and actions that could be realised in Greece with the participation of private sector capital. Experience exchange has also been the key benefit. Finally, very concrete conclusions were drawn from the working groups …"
Constantinos Lyberopoulos, Energy Manager, Municipality of Samothraki
"The workshop was very useful and insightful, as success stories were presented of citizens' participation in local energy investments, while the local authorities’ potential was highlighted in exploiting available financial resources and tools. Given the limited opportunities for financing and investments in Greece due to the current situation, energy investments represent a huge opportunity for local authorities."
Georgia Varela, Energy team coordinator, Municipality of Syros/Ermoupolis
"My participation in the workshop offered significant insight into what is going on in other Greek municipalities, such as those of the Aegean islands, where administrative barriers are often more complex. Meeting with people and making use of their expertise has been important. The experience of the foreign experts has been of particular interest."
Evgenia Nigdeli, Technical services, Municipality of Keratsini
The representative from the Greek Centre for Renewable Energy Sources and Saving demonstrated how local-scale sustainable energy initiatives can be developed through structural funds
The Mayor of Viana do Castello and the city's energy manager explained how his city mobilised local energy investments by closely collaborating with the private sector
Mr Gensel provided training on the development of cooperative schemes in sustainable energy with the participation of citizens
The participants of the morning session had the opportunity to discuss, present their challenges and exchange ideas
The director of the Aegean Energy Agency presented how funding from the ELENA facility is used for the development of smart grids in Greece
Participants could register for the afternoon working groups and pick up ManagEnergy, Covenant of Mayors and BUILD UP publications
The working group on cooperative schemes and public-private partnerships benefited from the knowledge transfer of the Mayor from Portugal and the cooperatives project developer from Germany
The working group on financing facilities analysed current funding opportunities at the EU, national and regional level
The workshop breaks and networking lunch gave the opportunity for one-to-one contacts