In an effort to promote sustainable development, the Municipality of Alba Iulia has implemented the project “supportinG incReasEd knowlEdge oN rEnewable eneRgy and energy efficiency in Alba Iulia” – GREENER. This project, carried out in collaboration with the Local Energy Agency, Norsk Energi (Norway) and the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, ran from February 2023 to January 2024 and was funded by EEA and Norwegian Grants 2014-2021, through the Energy Programme in Romania, Call SGS-4: Increasing Knowledge on Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency – Public Awareness and Training.
The main objective of the GREENER project was to contribute to the sustainable development of Alba Iulia by improving the knowledge of renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy security in the local community. Thus, the aim was to support the local community to strengthen knowledge in the current fields of renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy security through a series of planned activities and events.
- Key project activities designed to achieve the proposed objectives included:
- Organise training sessions for public sector representatives, SMEs and the local community on the key issues addressed by the project.
- Organise Green Demo Day, an event dedicated to SMEs, encouraging them to propose innovative actions for the city.
- Running an extensive information and awareness raising campaign aimed at informing and raising the awareness of the general public on the key issues addressed by the project.
- The development of key expert studies on the extent of local energy poverty and on local energy communities.
Through the implementation of these activities, the GREENER project has achieved significant results, including the organisation of 3 training sessions in Alba Iulia, bringing together 70 participants from the public sector, the private sector and citizens. Experts in the fields of interest of the project have supported the training sessions. The participants came from public institutions in Alba county, governmental organisations, “1 Decembrie 1918” University of Alba Iulia, SMEs and other entities interested in renewable energy, energy efficiency and security. The trainees had the opportunity to learn about the latest technologies and innovations in the field, presented by experts from Norway and Romania, representatives of the project partners: Norsk Energi, Technical University of Cluj-Napoca and Alba Local Energy Agency. They also discussed the application of these solutions in public and residential buildings. Participants received certificates attesting the development of specific skills in the field, including the number of hours of training.
The Mayor of Alba Iulia, Gabriel Pleșa, who actively supported the development of these sessions said that “this series of courses in Alba Iulia is extremely necessary, because improving knowledge about renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy security will have a direct impact on our community. We are concerned not only with saving energy, through the retrofitting of residential or public buildings, but also with green energy production through systems installed on the buildings we manage, green public transport through the use of electric buses and the list goes on. It is important to realise, as a community, that education in this area is about the present and the future and concerns us all.”
Within the framework of the project, an awareness campaign – the APULUM Caravan – was organised in Alba Iulia and in the vicinity, which managed to attract over 300 participants from schools and universities in the area. In October 2023, the Municipality of Alba Iulia, in collaboration with the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, carried out the awareness campaign Caravana Apulum with the aim of raising awareness on renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy security in Alba Iulia and the surrounding areas. During two days, the Caravan visited the most prestigious pre-university educational establishments in Aiud, Sebeș, and Cugir as well as the “1 Decembrie 1918” University of Alba Iulia, gathering more than 300 interested people, including pupils, teachers, students, university professors, building and energy efficiency experts and energy efficiency enthusiasts. Guest speakers Marius Șoflete and Vlad Ciobanu, engineers specialising in passive and nZEB buildings, addressed practical topics, providing answers to questions about achieving energy efficiency in buildings and its influence in protecting the environment.
The Energy Poverty Study, a detailed analysis of the current local energy poverty situation provided relevant conclusions for public, private and non-governmental entities interested in the energy sector, and the Local Energy Communities study were also developed. UTCN has developed a study to assess the potential of local communities to manage and operate energy efficiently.
The GREENER project also saw the organisation of the Green Demo Day ideas competition and the study visit to Oslo. The competition addressed to SMEs participating in the training sessions was organised in Alba Iulia during 2 months at the end of 2023. Through it, SMEs from Alba Iulia were invited to propose innovative and sustainable ideas and projects to support the “smart city” concept in energy efficiency. The project proposals approached the issue in an integrative way, taking into account all actors involved in the life of the city, including residents, companies, public authorities and utility providers. Representatives of the companies with the two most attractive proposals participated in a study visit to Oslo, Norway, focusing on energy efficiency. The winners of the visit had the opportunity to learn from Norwegian success stories in renewable energy and energy efficiency.
Through these results, the GREENER project has managed to create a significant impact on public and private actors but also on the local community of Alba Iulia, strengthening knowledge and promoting sustainable initiatives in the field of renewable energy and energy efficiency.