10 energy agencies have been chosen to host an Expert Mission in 2018. They will visit selected agencies for 3 days to provide tailor-made support on developing new services or boosting existing ones. The first one took place on 11-13 June 2018 in Alba Iulia. Vlasta Krmelj, the director of the energy agency of Podravje (SI) visited the Alba Local Energy Agency (ALEA) to increase their know-how in sustainable energy financing. More precisely, the aim of the mission was to:
- bring support in developing efficiency services related to sustainable energy investments;
- strengthen the agency’s role and link to local/regional stakeholders, mobilise and motivate stakeholders;
- work on a common understanding of different funding instruments within the agency and stakeholders;
- prepare the financing of large-scale investment projects and programmes, i.e. street lighting refurbishment projects, building renovation;
- share the agency’s own experience and increase its profile and visibility in its region/city and in Europe.
On the 11th, the event started with a training session dedicated to ALEA staff. They discussed the investment and financing framework in the region, as well as available financial resources. The expert presented in the details the energy performance contracting model to finance street lighting and building renovation. The technical, legal and financial aspects were presented. Other good practices from different projects were presented and discussed.
On the 12th, ALEA organised a stakeholders' workshop in Alba Iulia, in which regional/local stakeholders shared ideas on overcoming barriers in relation to sustainable energy investments. The expert presented the role of the energy agencies and the benefits they could bring to local and regional authorities and areas. Important issues related to the implementation of sustainable energy policies in Alba County were presented. Financing possibilities for the implementation of sustainable energy-related measures were discussed and one of the highlights was the presentation on how the Romanian Energy Efficiency Fund supports the investments in energy efficiency works.
On the third and last day of the expert mission, the agency staff and the expert discussed potential solutions and new services for the agency. The important point highlighted was about marketing of the agency's activities. The mission ended with a brainstorming on potential projects for the future and how cooperation with other EU agencies could be fostered. Both the agency staff and the expert Vlasta Krmelj were pleased with the conduct of the mission and expressed interested in renewing the experience through a visit of ALEA in Maribor, Slovenia.
The next Expert Mission will take place in August 2018.