Low Carbon South East Europe

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Good practice examples > Austria > Climate and Energy Model Region (Klima- und Energie-Modellregion)
Climate and Energy Model Region (Klima- und Energie-Modellregion)
July 23, 2013
Name of GP initiative Klima- und Energie-Modellregion (Climate and Energy Model Region)
Number of GP initiative AT8
Region/country Austria
Author/Email Daniel Steiner/daniel.steiner@joanneum.at
Claudia Fruhmann
Institution JOANNEUM RESEARCH
Year of implementation: 2009
Time horizon of initiative/map/etc.: Based on call for applications

General description:

The Climate and Energy Model Region initiative was launched by the Austrian Climate and Energy Fund (established in 2007). The initiative supports regions that are aiming to become independent from fossil fuels. In order to achieve this, within one year at least the same quantity of energy should be produced (by renewables) as is used in the region.
Already 106 climate and energy model regions have been established (as of February 2013), comprising 1,113 municipalities and 2.5 million inhabitants.

Steps in creating the initiative/roadmap/strategy:

The initiative comprises three process phases:

Phase 1: A concept is developed for implementing energy-related measures in the region subject to minimum quality requirements and including regional stakeholders.

Phase 2: A regional manager is partially financially supported for two years. The manager receives training to improve know-how and is in charge of realising the projects as planned in the concept as well as for awareness raising in the region.

Phases 1 and 2 are funded to a maximum of EUR 100,000 for three years. Co-financing from the region is obligatory (40 percent). Expansion is possible if the success of the model region can be monitored.

Phase 3: The Climate and Energy Fund supports climate and energy model regions by exclusive subsidies for renewable energy and energy efficiency investments.

Suppport: Regional managers get together at least twice a year for training, networking and know-how exchange. Every region has to calculate energy performance indicators (energy demand and energy generation). This ensures greater awareness and the monitorability of success.

Targets and target determination:

Regional contribution to the general target to be free from fossil fuels by 2050.

Success factors/barriers:

Factors contributing to the success of the initiative:

  • Concept for implementing energy-related measures: Analysis of the current energy status, definition of targets and mid-term goals, identification of potential, and definition of concrete measures to be implemented.
  • A main person in charge: The success of the model region depends in many cases on the engagement of one individual, who promotes the projects foreseen in the concept. This individual is also the main contact person for regional stakeholders. Without this main person, concepts for implementing energy-related measures often remain without value.
  • Inclusion of regional stakeholders: Through the inclusion of regional stakeholders, representatives of the regional economy and policy makers, awareness is raised of climate protection issues and of the need for low-carbon regional development.
  • Co-financing: An important success factor is the obligation on the municipality to co-finance activities (e.g. the regional manager), since municipalities that spend money will want to see successful results.
  • Maximum size of model region: To ensure the manageability of the model region, a critical size has been defined: one climate and energy model region must not include more than 60,000 inhabitants.
  • Using the region's strengths: The region is free to decide how to achieve its target of becoming independent from fossil energy sources. By focusing on the strengths of the region, a greater contribution from the inhabitants can be achieved.

Responsibility for application:

Specific climate and energy model regions are responsible for implementing measures according to the concept. The regional manager is the driving force for implementing measures.

Implementation costs:

For the last call for applications (which closed in October 2012), EUR 6.5 million were provided by the Federal Government. The maximum amount of funding per climate and energy model region is limited to EUR 100,000 for two years. Municipalities are obliged to co-fund at least 40 percent of costs.

Economic effects (GDP, employment):

Not analysed

European Union SEE Regional Policy Network collaboration area (members only) Regional Policy Network