Central European countries need support in developing local and regional energy strategies and action plans, since they are lagging in their implementation and thereby threatening regional competitiveness. Local authorities face many challenges in implementing the plans including lack of financing, being understaffed and missing local acceptance.
Creating a functional low carbon economy plan requires the support of citizens, but municipalities in central Europe often apply a top-down approach to local energy governance. Energy planning strategies are developed with low public involvement and citizen input.
The ENES-CE project addresses this challenge through improving the adoption and quality of energy plans with a bottom-up quadruple helix approach, in which citizens play a pivotal role. This will lead to sustainable regional development and the efficacy of the intervention will be directly linked to the development of energy cooperatives and other forms of citizen energy groups. The aim of these groups will be to help public bodies implement their strategies in a more efficient and bottom-up approach. In doing so the partners will increase the acceptance of low carbon investments and ease the achievement of existing low carbon economy plans and other local low carbon development strategies and energy plan actions.