Project Details

Title: Cooperating 2 Foster Renewables and Energy Efficiency
Priority: 2: Environment and risk prevention
Theme: Energy and sustainable transport

Type of intervention

Type of intervention: 2: Capitalisation Project
Fast track: Yes
Duration: 1st Oct 2010 - 31st Dec 2012


Total budget: €1,645,549.36
ERDF contribution: €1,254,385.51

Lead partner

European Regions Network for the Application of Communications Technology
Unit 150, CoLab, LYIT, Port Road
n/a, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal

  • Click for contact details
    • Contact Person: Ms Caitriona Strain
      Phone: +353 74 9168212
      Fax: +353 74 9168215

Project summary

CO2FREE stems from the need identified by the partner regions to address the problem of climate change and the dependency on fossil fuels, and to seek ICT-based solutions for energy challenges and new approaches to make transport more sustainable; the partners have decided to tackle these issues through the exchange of good practices and their transfer into their Regional Operational Programmes. The partnership has emerged from the ERNACT network, which has an established track record in developing and implementing Knowlegde Economy solutions in a regional context, and 5 of the CO2FREE partners (ERNACT EEIG, Donegal, Derry, ALAV and ARDI) had successfully implemented a previous Capitalisation project -PIKE-. The remaining 5 partners (San Sebastián, North Karelia, Carinthia, West Romania and Avila) all have important good practices to share in the energy efficiency and sustainable transport themes and have previously worked with some of the ERNACT and/or CO2FREE partners.

The aim of CO2FREE is to give the regional and local authorities specific instruments to address the challenge of energy efficiency and sustainable transport, by jointly developing Action Plans in close cooperation with regional stakeholders, to be implemented by making use of mainstream Obj. 1 and 2 Structural Funds (SF) available in each participating region.

Sub-objectives are:

1. To translate the best practices mastered by the CO2FREE partnership into regional Action Plans (APs) to be implemented under the Operational Programmes (OPs) of the EU SF (Obj 1 and 2 OPs) in each region 2. To have political commitment that regional APs will be actually implemented, both from the regional stakeholders and the Managing Authorities of the OP. 3. To involve regional and local stakeholders in the preparation of regional APs 4. To disseminate information about the project, its objectives, the approach, results and lessons learned to a large audience at local, regional, national and EU level

Each participating region will develop an AP to transfer the GPs into their mainstream SF programmes.Main activities will consist of Selection of the GPs (GP Transfer Pack, GP Transfer Workshop) ; Adaptation of GPs (Study visits, GP transfer roadmaps, Thematic seminars) and Commitment to implement the GPs (Local meetings with MA, presentations to regional OP Monitoring Committees, AP development and regional AP launches)

OUTPUTS: Brochure, 4 newsletters; launch conference; closing conference; 500 GP Packs; GP Transfer workshop; 27 Local meetings; 3 Thematic seminars; 9 GPs made available;18 participants in study visits; 9 regional Action Plan launches; Project presented at OPs Monitoring Committee meetings. RESULTS: 9 APs developed; 2 APs developed by "Obj Convergence" regions further to the lessons learnt from "Obj Competitiveness" regions; €4.5 M mainstream SF dedicated to implementation of 9 APs; 9 regional/local energy and sutainable transport policies and instruments improved

Project achievements

CO2FREE has given the regional and local authorities specific instruments to address the challenge of energy efficiency and sustainable transport, by jointly developing Action Plans in close cooperation with regional stakeholders, to be implemented by making use of mainstream Objective 1 and 2 Structural Funds available in each participating region.


The main results are:

• 10 Best Practices, across 4 topics, identified and documented

• 12 Regional Action Plans, worth €8,374,074 developed

• 9 Applications for funding, worth €4,869,152 submitted for funding

• Of these, 6 Applications, worth €2,449,152 have been approved

• The project has provided a major stimulus to the introduction of eMobility and vehicles powered by alternative energy into new regions

• It has also stimulated regions to introduce measures to improve energy efficiency in public buildings

• The project has contributed to awareness of the concept of the Smart City within 1 region (City of Derry, Northern Ireland)

• It has also made a strong contribution to the strengthening of energy partnerships in the project regions, with 1 region putting in place a 3-year sustainable development partnership

• It has strongly contributed to plans (in at least 3 of the project’s regions) to improve innovation and job creation in the green economy

• General awareness regarding Renewable Energies and Energy Efficiency has been heightened within the project regions, with policy changes made in 4 of the regions

• It has stimulated the regions to participate in other EU energy-related programmes. In addition to the direct investment secured/planned as a result of the Action Plans, some regions have also prepared plans to submit project proposals to the EU Intelligent Energy Europe (IEE) programme. These are related directly to the Action Plans developed and, in many cases, involve other CO2FREE regions.

• 3 proposals were submitted to the May 2013 IEE call, 1 to the Romanian Operational Programme for Economic Competitiveness and 1 to the ERDF Structural Funds.


The 12 Action Plans identified and developed are:-


(1) Ireland - Donegal Co. Council - Monitoring & Targeting System

(2) UK – Derry City Council - Action Plan for the development of a Smart Energy Pilot in Derry/Londonderry

(3) Sweden – Association of Local Authorities in Västernorrland (ALAV) - Development of the Green Economy – Sustainable development project

(4) Bulgaria – Agency for Regional Development and Innovations (ARDI) - eMobility in Burgas Municipality

(5) Spain - Fomento San Sebastian - Sustainable Strategies Model

(6) Finland - Regional Council of North Karelia (RCNK) - Energy Efficiency at the office of Regional Council of North Karelia

(7) Finland - RCNK - e-Mobility in North Karelia 2014-2016

(8) Finland - RCNK - Centre of Forest Bioeconomy.

(9) Austria - Institute for Technology and Alternative Mobility (IAM)- Energy Measuring - Monitoring - Control - Visualizing

(10) Romania - WRDA - Forest Biomass for Bio Energy in West Region Romania

(11) Romania - WRDA - Energy efficiency in buildings in West Region Romania.

(12) Spain – Avila County Council - Electric Mobility


The main benefit has been the impetus to develop Action Plans, worth €8,374,074 of new investment in the Green Agenda, across the project regions and cities. This has been as a result of the opportunity for inter-regional cooperation to exchange knowledge on ICT, environment, best practice and related matters. The project has also resulted in the identification of new ideas and further opportunities for collaboration and cooperation, including Smart Cities/Regions, green jobs, e-cars and energy efficiency in traditional sectors (such as tourism).



Institution, Town Country Region Contact details
European Regions Network for the Application of Communications Technology, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal IRELAND Border, Midland and Western +353 74 9168212
Donegal County Council, Lifford, Co. Donegal IRELAND Border, Midland and Western +353 74 91 72322
Derry City Council, Derry, Northern Ireland UNITED KINGDOM Northern Ireland 00 44 28 7137 6506
Association of Local Authorities in Västernorrland County, ALAV, Härnösand SWEDEN Mellersta Norrland 0611 55 78 56
Fomento de San Sebastian, Donostia / San Sebastian SPAIN País Vasco +34 943 482800
Regional Council of North Karelia, Joensuu FINLAND Itä-Suomi +258 13 267 400
The Institute for Technology and Alternative Mobility, Klagenfurt am Wörthersee AUSTRIA Kärnten +43 (0) 50 536-30701
Regional Development Agency West Region, Timisoara ROMANIA Vest +40 256 491981
European Affairs Area - APEA- / Avila County Council, AVILA SPAIN Castilla y León +34 920 206 230 /
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