IHS is taking part in PROSPECT or Peer Powered Cities and Regions, a three-year project funded by the European Commission – Horizon 2020 programme. PROSPECT aims to enable peer to peer learning in regional and local authorities in order to finance and implement their sustainable energy plans. The learning will empower them to make use of best practices in developing financing for these plans, which have been implemented successfully in other cities and regions in the European Union.
Public authorities have varying levels of knowledge, skills, and capacity for sustainable energy solutions. As such, it is important to meet diverse needs of different public authorities and to strengthen collaboration and engagement among them. Beyond benchmarking their performances and sharing of best practices, engagement between public authorities will enable them to take possible advantage of ‘synergies’ and ‘economies of scale’, especially through bundling or aggregating projects to reduce transaction costs, increase bankability of projects and develop business cases.
The strategic objectives of PROSPECT are to build capacity of public authorities in financing sustainable energy plans through peer-to-peer learning activities; to help public authorities and their agencies use the rich experience available, which is yet difficult to appropriate solely on their own, and to link public authorities at the regional and local levels and their respective associations along with energy policy makers, associations of planners, technical experts, financing bodies on sustainable energy, and local actors in an intra-European network through an innovative peer-to-peer leaning experience on financing sustainable energy projects and measures.
IHS leads the development and implementation of a complete and easily replicable peer to peer learning program. First, IHS will research, document, and develop learning content from successful innovative financing schemes for sustainable energy projects - from both regional and local levels - in Europe – which will be fed into the development of learning content, strengthened by key informant interviews and surveys to fill possible information gaps.
Furthermore, IHS will evaluate existing peer-to-peer learning tools and methods and develop the structure of the peer learning program. The design of the learning program will be made in a way to facilitate, where possible, the launching of pilot business models and financing partnerships for implementing sustainable energy policies and strategies that are not based on limited EU or national funds.
IHS is also responsible for creating a sustainability strategy for a coherent and effective action plan for further exploitation of the project’s main outcomes and for keeping alive the communication channels between the city-network members. IHS also serves as the legal and financial coordinator of the project.
PRSOPECT is composed of nine European partners. Aside from IHS, these are the Institute for European Energy and Climate Policy Stichting (IEECP), ENERGY CITIES, European Federation of Agencies and Regions for Energy and the Environment (FEDARENE), EUROCITIES, the University of Piraeus Research Center, CLIMATE KIC, O.oe. Energiesparverband (ESV), S. Energia, and the Municipality of Trnava.
The project officially started in June 2017; the kick off meeting was conducted last July 5 and 6, 2017 in Brussels, Belgium.