In 2022, Romania continued its eea activities thanks to the H2020 project EXCITE and the support of the Swiss Ambassador to Romania. As the country recovered from COVID and interest in decarbonising its cities grew substantially, Romania was able to accelerate its efforts. Two communities – Cluj-Napoca and Turda – achieved certification. Cluj-Napoca is Romania’s second largest city and a hub of economic activity and innovation, thanks to a large IT community. Cluj-Napoca is also one of 100 cities selected by the European Commission to become zero-carbon, smart cities by 2030. Additionally, a delegation from Romania participated in the Luxembourg eea summit held in November 2022.
The Serbian Ministry of Mines and Energy awarded the international European Energy Award certificate to the first cities in Serbia, recognising their commitment to a holistic approach to municipal energy management.
At the conference: SWISS SUPPORT FOR ENERGY MANAGEMENT IN MUNICIPALITIES - MANAGING ENERGY CRISIS, organised within the framework of the Swiss-funded MUNICIPAL ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND MANAGEMENT PROJECT, the first eea municipalities in Serbia were awarded.
Municipal energy management in Serbia is one of the key instruments for achieving national energy efficiency goals. Within the framework of the "Municipal Energy Efficiency and Management Project", which is carried out within the bilateral Swiss-Serbian cooperation, the experiences and approaches of the international quality management system for energy management, European Energy Award, were tested in Serbia. At the same time, the project provided a grant for the renovation of 14 public buildings to improve energy efficiency and comfort.
After five years of capacity building and advisory services, the award ceremony for the first Serbian municipalities to receive the European Energy Award took place today. After an international audit, the international association eea approved the award for the City of Uzice, the City of Krusevac and the Municipality of Paracin, while the Municipality of Vrbas received the national recognition eea Serbia pioneer. The project confirmed that the European Energy Award is fully compatible with the Serbian EMS and supports compliance with national legislation. In addition, the holistic approach of the eea provides added value to the EMS when planning local actions.
In Tunisia, the eea has been fully embedded in the National « Municipal Alliance for Energy Transition » (ACTE) Programme led by the National Agency for Energy Management (ANME). Based on a call for applications in 2019, 7 partner cities have been selected to benefit from financial support and technical assistance. Over the last three years, four additional cities and the municipalities of Djerba have taken up the challenge and joined the programme. 9 out of the 14 local authorities involved in the programme were awarded the ACTE-MEA label in July 2022 (« MEA » stands for Middle East & Africa Energy Award, developed on the basis of the eea). A variety of pilot projects have been supported, ranging from energy-efficient public lighting and public buildings, a bicycle lane and intermodal mobility platform, to the development of an « eco-neighborhood » and the mainstreaming of energy criteria in urban regulation, to power generation from solar-rooftops - to mention a few examples.
The unprovoked invasion of Ukraine by Russia on 24 February 2022 has had significant impacts on the country’s institutional and political frameworks as well as the priorities for all stakeholders. The war has also caused significant damage to municipal, transport and residential infrastructure, resulting not only in billions of financial losses but also in large-scale migration within Ukraine and to neighbouring countries.
Despite the difficult situation in the country, almost all eea municipalities that joined the eea in 2021 completed the initial review and developed specific eea action plans in 2022. The eea National Office has supported these municipalities in their efforts. In addition, the family of accredited eea consultants and auditors has grown by one eea consultant and one eea auditor.
In the framework of the SECO-funded eea project, the city of Trostyanets received support for the implementation of a demonstration project. Specifically, a rooftop solar PV power plant with a nominal capacity of 45 kW and backup power storage for the Trostyanets central hospital was installed. The national eea team also completed the first edition of the eea assessment guidance and submitted it for final review and approval by the Association.