Duration: 06/2012 – 05/2013
Supported by: German Federal Ministry of Education and Research

The practical implementation of greenhouse gas emission reductions targeted at both national and European levels, which must take place primarily at the regional and local levels, represents a significant challenge. Greater exploitation of renewable domestic resources could help drive reductions in energy imports, strengthening the regional value chain and helping drive progress towards reaching these goals. In this context, the increasing integration of holistic energy concepts in the formal and informal instruments of city and regional development plays a critical role. This also touches on spatial conditions, with regard to changes in land-use in the urban-regional context; additionally, action-guiding questions about how societies react to these issues and develop solutions to the related conflicts will arise.

Against this background, energy partnerships between cities and their surrounding regions are a very promising, though still barely explored concept. The central project goal of the project partners from Germany, Poland, Latvia, and Norway is, therefore, to identify the most important factors contributing to the success of the development and implementation of such partnerships as well as any major challenges. These will be explored as part of a feasibility study for urban-rural energy partnerships and then reflected onto the previous approaches and experiences of the participating regions. As part of a workshop in Latvia, the main results of the study will be made public. Finally, an online platform, as well as two planning workshops held in early 2013 will support continued work towards an EU project.

RURBAN Energy is based on the project R&D Network Regional Energy Concepts in the Baltic Sea Region.

Project partners

Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics IBP, Department Energy Systems, Kassel

Competence Network Distributed Energy Technologies e.V. (deENet), Kassel

Competence Center Hessen for Cooperation in Research and Higher Education with Central and Eastern Europe (OWWZ), Kassel

Leibniz Center for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF), Müncheberg

Association of Economic Consultants Pro-Akademia, Łódż

Norway Inland Energy Agency (INEA), Gjøvik

Baltic Environmental Forum Latvia (BEF), Riga