How Križevci’s residents created Croatia’s first crowdfunded solar power plant

The Croatian city of Križevci is becoming a national pioneer in the fight for clean energy and against energy poverty. Located not far from the capital Zagreb in central Croatia, the municipality is home to about 21,000 people, half of whom live in the city itself and half in the surrounding rural areas. Križevci is the first Croatian city to implement a crowdfunded renewable energy project, an endeavour that has made it a beacon in the country, with many others now looking at how to replicate the success story. 

Nottingham’s plan to win the race to carbon-neutrality

Nottingham is a historic English city in the East Midlands region with about 331,000 inhabitants and a wide range of sporting and cultural venues. The city and its Council have made headlines in recent years for leadership and innovation around the low-carbon and energy agendas. Building on recent successes, the City Council declared a climate and ecological emergency, and set a nationally leading target to reach sustainable carbon neutrality by 2028, 22 years before the nation-wide goal.[1] To reach this ambitious target, the Council has been taking bold steps: it introduced a levy on workplace parking spaces to help fund the expansion of a low-carbon tram network, continues to engage citizens in a year of carbon neutral thinking and the ongoing development of their 2028 Carbon Neutral Action Plan, and is committed to planting 50,000 new trees.

Public-public partnerships and deep energy retrofits: The case of Porto Region

The metropolitan area of Porto consists of 17 municipalities in northern Portugal which are home to 1.7 million people. Its Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP) from 2012, drawn up as part of its membership of the Covenant of Mayors initiative, defines its goals as follows: compared to the 2005 baseline, CO2 emissions will be reduced by 25% in 2020, while energy efficiency is expected to increase by 20%. Additionally, renewable energy sources are anticipated to grow by 30%.[i] Like many other local SEAPs, these targets go way beyond the targets set by the European Commission. In order to reach them, the 17 municipalities work together with local agencies to initiate an energy transition steered by public institutions.

Komotini’s plans for a climate-friendly future

Komotini is a municipality in north-eastern Greece with just under 60,000 inhabitants. Still recovering from the effects of the financial crisis of 2008 and dealing with the resulting financial restrictions, the municipality is now planning to take its energy supply into its own hands. With an impressive track record of active citizenship and a fruitful cooperation between the administration and residents, there are high chances that these plans will soon be put into practice.

Litoměřice: Two decades of working towards a just transition in the Czech Republic

The city of Litoměřice has for a long time been a frontrunner in the Czech energy transition. A former port town not far from Prague, which has now become a commerce and service centre, the city of some 25,000 inhabitants began its energy transition in 2000 with a subsidy scheme for solar water heaters in private homes. 20 years later, Litoměřice is becoming a climate-friendly role model for the Czech Republic and the Central European region.

Barcelona Energía: public power to tackle energy poverty and achieve energy sovereignty

The Barcelona Energy Agency (AEB) is a public consortium that consists of a number of authorities that are directly involved in managing energy and the environment: Barcelona City Council, Barcelona Metropolitan Area, the Catalan Energy Institute, the Autonomous University of Barcelona and the Polytechnic University of Catalonia. AEB aims to boost the city’s reputation as a benchmark city in terms of promoting energy saving and energy efficiency, and enhancing knowledge about and the use of renewable energy.

The ‘smart’ transformation of a Black Sea metropolis

Burgas has recently been named the ‘Best city to live in Bulgaria’[1] – which ­may just have something to do with its strategy of transforming itself into a climate-friendly city without leaving any of its residents behind. The implementation of the municipality’s action plan 2014-2020, designed to set Burgas on a path towards becoming an inclusive ‘smart’ metropolis, has already changed the face of the city’s residential buildings and upgraded its transport system.