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Sustainable Energy Successees

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General Information



"Collection of Sustainable Energy Successes in Central & Eastern Europe", Denmark, June 1998, Gunnar Boye Olesen

Throughout Central and Eastern Europe, a large number of sustainable-energy projects are contributing to the energy supply and to a better environment as well as to the social and economic well-being of their users. The projects are not as visible as their Western European counterparts, but they are important locally, and many of them can be important models for a future, large-scale development of sustainable energy in the region.

In this publication, we describe more than 20 sustainable-energy projects, most of which have been selected for inclusion here to represent a number of such efforts. Several were initiated by citizens' organisations while some are supported by Western funds, but they are all viable projects with long-lasting solutions. They are recorded by NGOs from the INFORSE-network (International Network for Sustainable Energy). In general, they have the support of local sustainable-energy organisations.

Popular Involvement, Key to Success
Many of these success stories demonstrate the important roles that the civil sector and citizens' organisations can play in project development and implementation. increasing numbers of environmental citizens' organisations (ECOs) combine the struggle to stop polluters with activities for clean solutions involving energy efficiency and renewable energy.

In many cases, such organisations are more effective than the traditional players in the energy field. They are more motivated, less bureaucratic, and often in a better position to build confidence among small users of energy: households, small businesses. These same users must be involved if decentralised solutions in energy efficiency and renewable energy are to succeed.

Pan-European Framework
Production of this publication is part of the NGO (nongovernmental organisation) activities that follow the Pan-European Energy Conservation Initiative. The latter is an official activity within the "Environment for Europe" process before the Pan-European Environmental Ministers' Meeting, Arhus, June 1998.

This publication is a counterpart to the report on Best Practices in Energy Concervation, which was developed by the International Energy Agency (IEA) as part of its contribution to the Task Force of the Energy Conservation Initiative. It also answers the call of NGOs at a meeting of INFORSE-Europe that was held in Slovakia in June, 1997, for a compilation of success stories in sustainable energy from Central and Eastern Europe.

This publication is accompanied by a poster series that showcases selected projects and a database containing records of a larger number of projects.

The other NGO contribution to the governmental Pan-European Energy Conservation Initiative has been participation in the development of the Pan-European Energy Conservation Guideline. The involved NGOs formed the energy- and climate-issue group of the European ECO-Forum, coordinated by INFORSE-Europe in cooperation with the Social - Ecological Union in Russia and with the Bankwatch Network CEE (Central and Eastern Europe). These activities included development of a NGO vision of an Energy-Conservation Strategy for Europe and of a number of more detailed position papers. The NGO vision is available from INFORSE-Europe.

The activities just described above were supported by the Danish Environmental Support Fund for Central and Eastern Europe and by the European Union Commission DG11.