Cesena Sustainable Energy Action Plan - planning and administrative tools to promote environmental innovation in SMEs
Topic of the practice
Support to environmental and energy innovation of SMEs
Good Practice Information
Since becoming a signatory to the Covenant of Mayors in November 2009 the city council has made a commitment to achieve a larger reduction in CO₂ emissions than the EU target of 20%. To achieve this and meet obligations under the Covenant, the city has recently developed a Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP) which provides pragmatic tools to foster environmental innovation in local SMEs. A relevant part of interventions planned in Cesena SEAP are targeted to industrial sector because of its significant impact in term of CO₂ emissions and energy consumption at local level.
he interventions in favor of environmental innovation of SMEs are:
- reviewing administrative procedures for giving companies permission to construct and operate plants for the production of electricity, heating and cooling or transport fuels from renewable energy sources. Thanks to a better coordination with other public authorities (District Authority and Region) the administrative approval procedures are streamlined with transparent timetables for installations using energy from renewable sources. Planning rules and guidelines will be adapted to take into consideration cost-effective and environmentally beneficial renewable heating and cooling and electricity equipment. The political instrument of “the Public conference for services” will be reinforced to accelerate administrative procedures under jurisdiction of the local authority. Moreover city council will finalize the on-line sharing of authorizing procedures to facilitate communication with enterprises and the construction of micro renewable energy plants to face companies energy needs;
- reinforcing the city council energy desk which provides information on administrative procedures to construct and operate energy plants and on financial incentives for use of renewable and energy efficiency. The help-desk will be directly managed by the in-house company for energy services of Cesena municip
Main aims of Cesena SEAP are: • implementing innovative governance tools and methods for a more sustainable local development;
• promoting the reduction of the environmental footprint of local SMEs by fostering environmental innovation;
• promoting environmental innovation in local SMEs by providing free consultancy services and incentives;
• streamlining administrative procedures addressed to companies to facilitate the use of renewable and to promote energy efficiency;
• reinforcing a public-private governance model to reduce environmental footprint of industrial sector by promoting environmental innovation;
• increasing companies awareness of achievable investments to reduce energy consumption and to innovate their production.
Evidence of success
The SEAP of the municipality of Cesena represents an innovative design of a sustainability strategy at local level. In Italy policy tools aimed at sustainability and energy efficiency are on the rise at regional and local level. Municipalities have been encouraged to embark on the development of local climate action plans. For all the municipalities in the region Emilia Romagna, for example, the challenge of energy efficiency is a crucial step towards climate change adaptation and “green” development. Collective forms of local governance and local private-public agreements for financial incentives weigh in considerably in the successful implementation of energy efficiency programs. A crucial question is therefore how to tailor economic and non-economic mechanisms for the successful achievement of CO2 abatement aims. Another important issue concerns the evaluation process for abatement goals. Mechanisms may vary according to the institutional setting and the abatement goals, but it is nonetheless important to compare the different mechanisms, even in a cross country perspective, to understand what kind of best practice can be adopted.
The SEAP may be considered a pilot case run by Cesena (about 100.000 inhabitants in the region Emilia Romagna) which is member of International cities’ associations as a Eurocities and the EU Covenant of Mayors. The region Emilia Romagna is looking to this pilot project with an interest to further integrate its regional climate action plan through a new set of incentives for municipalities.
Direct cross-country comparison is a powerful source of understanding of how strategies are formed and shaped in the realm of urban policy.
SMEs and large enterprises have gained advantages in term of: time and costs saving from simplification of administrative procedures to construct and opearte energy plants; time and costs saving from accessing to on-line administrative procedures; free access to energy consultancy services; free access to information on incentives for the use of renewable. SMEs and large enterprises will register in next years advantages in term of energy supply from renewable sources thanks to public and private investements in heating and cooling district networks. Local companies have been involved in 2009 and 2010 in designing the Cesena SEAP and local energy interventions.This approach to energy policies has facilitated the dialogue between the local public authority and stakeholders from industrial sector with advantages in term of balance between public and private needs.
Concrete results foreseen in Cesena SEAP from promoting the renovation of electric machineries in local SMEs are:
• Percentage of energy cutting within 2020: 6%;
• Total energy saved within 2020: 7.91 GWh;
• CO2 emissions cut within 2020: 3.82 ktCO2.
Contact details to obtain further information on the practice
Gianni Gregorio - Executive director of Department for environmental services
Municipality of Cesena
Annex completed on: 05-06-2011