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Brussels, 18 January 2011

44 new projects on course to receive € 58 million under the Intelligent Energy –Europe programme

Negotiations have begun for the 44 projects that were shortlisted to receive a share of the nearly € 58 million available under the 2010 call for project proposals of the Intelligent Energy - Europe programme. These new projects are set to contribute to the wider use of renewable energy sources and increased levels of energy efficiency across Europe.

The 44 projects were shortlisted out of 349 proposals submitted by the call closing date last June. The proposals were tabled by some 3 000 organisations based in the 27 EU Member States as well as in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Croatia. Nearly half of the applicants were small and medium sized enterprises, followed by a substantial number of public authorities and non-governmental organisations. For the second year in a row, the number of projects in the field of transport has considerably increased.

The negotiations for the 44 new projects will continue until March, when the first projects are expected to kick-off.

Examples of projects selected for funding under the 2010 call

1. The generation of renewable electricity from ocean waves and tidal streams has been researched for decades, but it is only in the last few years that full-sized generators have been connected to the electricity grid and demonstrated at a larger scale. Last year the European ocean energy industry published its first roadmap for the period 2010-2050. This roadmap provides a starting point for the EUROCEIN project, which brings together public and private sector stakeholders from six countries that aim to develop a better understanding of the market potential for ocean energy. The project's goal is to address key issues of grid integration, environmental impacts, licensing, spatial planning, economics, investment financing and public acceptance, with a view to building greater confidence amongst potential stakeholders in this emerging sector.

2. In pursuit of EU 2020 agenda, reaching out to more cities is vital, as they are one of the key actors able to implement the Union's energy policies. To strengthen this EU-local relationship, the CASCADE project will mobilise a core of 18 major cities, including Milan, Amsterdam and Warsaw, and more than 10 million citizens in 11 EU Member States. Offering peer-to-peer programmes and developing exchanges between local authorities, CASCADE will train more than 300 local staff and officials. It will also organise networking events at national level in the area of transport, renewable energy in urban planning and energy-efficient refurbishment, thus leveraging the potential of cities as transfer agents in their countries.

3. According to European Commission’s forecasts, biomass including (bio)waste will contribute by at least 50% to reaching the EU’s 20% renewable energy target by 2020. The UrbanBiogas project brings together five European cities that help realise the untapped potential of organic urban waste by using sustainable waste management systems to produce biomethane. This renewable fuel will then be fed into the natural gas grids or used in the transport sector – keeping the cities cleaner and greener. The five partners expect to stimulate investments of € 17 million in waste-to-biomethane projects and hope to inspire other European cities to follow their example.

4. With so many products available in the market these days, it is often hard for consumers to pick the most energy-efficient ones. With strong endorsement from WWF, the EurotoptenMax project aims to provide independent and reliable information on selected energy-using products and services, based on continuously updated market surveys. EurotoptenMax’s end goal is to create and maintain 19 national top ten websites (covering 90% of Europe's population), while highlighting top runners and championing best available technology. These actions are expected to raise awareness for the benefits of top runner products and thus increase their market share. The project is expected to encourage manufacturers and retailers to make best performing products available across Europe, yielding energy savings of up to 200 GWh/year.

5. Led by a group of co-operative, municipal and social housing companies which jointly look after the dwellings of over 500 000 European citizens, the AFTER project will reduce the day-to-day energy consumption – and environmental impact – of those homes. These companies will investigate the best ways to provide affordable housing fit for the 21st century by examining buildings of all ages, from the oldest which are highly in need of renovation to the most energy-efficient which have been constructed over the last few years. Pilot applications will be carried out in some 2 500 homes before being rolled out to the entire building stock. The energy savings are expected to rise to 3.000 toe/yr by the end of the project.

6. Increasing congestion and energy consumption as well as serious environmental pollution caused by unsustainable urban transport are major threats to our cities. The C-LIEGE project addresses these threats by improving freight transport operations in urban areas, particularly the “last mile” transport within city centres. Seven pilot areas will serve as best practice examples of how cities can achieve greater energy efficiencies. The project partners aim to reduce the energy consumption in freight transport by at least 20%. This involves decreasing the number of kilometres travelled by heavy freight vehicles in urban areas and using environmental-friendly engines for the “last mile”.

Annex - List of projects shortlisted to receive funding under the 2010 Call for project proposals of the Intelligent Energy - Europe programme

About the IEE programme

With € 730 million funds available between 2007 and 2013, the Intelligent Energy – Europe (IEE) programme reinforces EU’s efforts to meet its 2020 energy targets to ensure a secure and cost competitive supply of energy while fighting climate change. The programme runs annual calls for proposals and its funding covers up to 75% of the eligible project costs. To date, nearly 450 projects have been co-financed by the programme. []

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