The Energy Agency of Rheinland-Pfalz (https://www.energieagentur.rlp.de) has been established since 2012. With a staff of approximately 55, it covers a region with an extensive Municipality network (approximately 2000), which is supported through 8 regional offices.
The intensive 3 day expert mission delivered by our trainer Seamus Hoyne (Limerick institute of Technology, IE) was designed to enable the Agency to plan for the future and ensure that its services and programmes were designed to meet the needs of the region. The first day involved the full management team of the Agency including the CEO & Deputy CEO, the team who work with Municipalities, the Enterprise team, Communications experts and other relevant staff. A highly interactive day was spent focusing on visioning exercises and the application of the ManagEnergy Stakeholder mapping exercise. Feedback from this exercise was positive and raised a number of issues which were discussed in detail with the team.
During the 2nd Day, there was the opportunity for the Expert to meet with representatives from the Ministry (who provides funding to the Agency) and representatives from the agency's main target groups (Municipalities and Enterprises). There was a thorough discussion on how Energy Agencies can support the Energy Transition while also remaining “market neutral”. Models and examples from the Tipperary Energy Agency, and other energy agencies across Europe, were debated. The challenges of engaging SMEs/Enterprises in the Energy Transition were deliberated on in detail.
The final day of the Expert Mission allowed a smaller team to focus on a number of critical issues including Vision Setting, Impact Analysis and Alternative Financing solutions. There are opportunities for the the Energy Agency of Rheinland-Pfalz. to utilise its expertise and position to become a data hub for the region, with the ability to showcase the impact of various energy projects and programmes. Exploring how EU funds such as ELENA (or similar models) can be utilised was also considered.
The ambition of the agency and its staff to increase its impact and contribution to the Energy Transition is evident. Developing new services and influencing new or existing supporting programmes is now firmly identified as priority areas, as well as opportunities to explore further EU cooperation beyond their existing networks.