The overall objective is to develop an integrated transnational approach for assessing, mapping and promoting the local potential of new hybrid systems combining RES, storage devices and distributed generation in MED islands (Misl), in view of increasing the share of RES, thus contributing to sustainable development and inclusive growth in the Programme area. The achievement of the project objective will facilitate a shift from the current energy model - strongly centralized and characterized by the use of fossil fuels - to a new energy pattern based on the distributed generation from RES and focused on territorial resources and local communities. Project expected results can be summarized as follows:
- Increased knowledge on the local renewable energy potential is essential basic information needed for both policy makers and public/private investors to achieve EU 2020 goals in RES. PRISMI project will create a toolkit to assess and map local RES in Mediterranean islands. Additionally, the toolkit will provide a systemic overview of the main methodological approaches used for assessing and mapping RES and will harmonize, synthesize and optimize them for MED islands. Hence, the toolkit will offer user-friendly information and guidance on RES to decision-makers.
- Improved capacity on sustainable energy planning and RES management of MED islands Municipalities: Energy planning is a key factor in local sustainable development. Indeed, the strategic planning processes can be used by policy-makers and public administrations, at the local level, to redesign the energy system and encourage RES development and environmental conservation. The planning and management of cost-effective sustainable development is based on a complex relationship between energy demand and supply, economy and environment, democracy and its institutions. Today, most decision-makers cannot handle and correlate that wide range of variables to be evaluated in different ways: this delays or even blocks the spread of RES in the energy mix of MED islands. PRISMI toolkit, based on a multi criteria analysis and a transnational approach (considering economic, technical and environmental parameters), allows to diagnose current problems and sketch future actions for contributing to MED islands’ sustainable development. By using the toolkit, energy needs and local restrictions will be identified for each case study. Then, energy scenarios simulations will be performed and optimized according to different objective functions. Obtained results will outline the sustainable actions that local authorities could implement, adopting public/private investment strategies and dedicated incentive schemes, and facilitating removal of market barriers.
- Increased transnational cooperation and dialogue among MED islands Municipalities on RES importance: Active participation of the stakeholders of the energy system and integration of their interests are essential to sustain cooperation and commitment for RES increase in MED islands’ energy mix. Nowadays, local authorities are becoming the key actors in finding solutions related to energy and climate issues. Besides, an actual transition towards a low carbon economy based on sustainability targets (considering both societal consensus and compliance with environmental criteria) requires the support of local communities. These, in most cases, are not aware of the importance of such topics. In fact, RES acceptance is one of the main factors to be tackled in order not to turn into a lock-in situation. PRISMI, through the establishment of a Network beyond the project consortium, and involving relevant institutional and scientific stakeholders, will act on key causes of the current low RES share in MED islands. The Network will: 1) foster the exchange of best practices and international experiences/expertise; 2) provide a space for local authorities to consult on how to achieve more sustainable energy planning while maintaining consensus in a multi-actor setting; 3) raise awareness within the local communities and promote citizens’ acceptance of RES.