Smolyan is about to sign the contract for project “Partnership for Adaptation to Climate Change” which has been approved by the Environment Protection and Climate Change Programme of the EEA Financial Mechanism. In this project Smolyan has formed a partnership with 3 other Bulgarian municipalities – Asenovgrad, Svilengrad and Krushari, the Pleiades Bulgaria Ltd – a company working as a strategic engineering consultant in various areas where energy efficiency occupies a leading place in the activities and a partner from the donor state – NTNU, the University for Science and Technology in Trondheim, Norway, with the Faculty for Architecture and Design.
The project addresses the requirement for continuous training, improvement and increase of the capacity of the local authorities to develop and implement plans and programs for adaptation to climate change and to introduce specific measures, leading to direct reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, as a direct link to EU targets for Climate Neutral Europe and for climate-adapted cities and communities. Sustainable municipal energy planning and management is undoubtedly the most adequate approach that local authorities can take in order to make optimal use of available resources, attract private funding and avoid common mistakes, thus supporting the effective implementation of European policies and engaging local communities in active energy and climate action. The project will provide for the full understanding of the functions and roles of municipalities in relation to energy: the municipality as an energy consumer, as a producer and supplier of energy, as a regulator and investor in the local energy sector, as a motivator.
Smolyan is the lead partner and has included two demonstration buildings (preselected in Demonstration Areas of the +CityxChange project) for installing additional renewable energy units for production of electricity, located on the roof of the building of the city Sports Hall and combined installation for production of electricity and heat from renewable energy unit (PVt), on the roof of the building of the city Swimming Pool. The produced energy will be used at the place of production (for own needs), which will reduce the energy consumption of the specific building, thus increasing its energy independence. Alongside these installations, a pilot intelligent energy-monitoring system will be introduced. The Smart Center for intelligent energy monitoring and management will combine individual management modules in a complex Web-based environment.
For the city of Smolyan this project provides for progressing towards its aim to achieve innovation at the building level, leading to the energy transformation with the innovative Positive Energy Districts concept. The knowledge and skills needed for planning and design, implementation and monitoring, as well as the replication and integration of positive energy regions are increasing and the local authorities play a key role in this process. The partnership with NTNU, with its exceptional knowledge and contribution to the initiative and the concept of creating Positive Energy Areas in Europe, will help for spreading the knowledge and good practice among the Bulgarian partners in this project, to get acquainted with the concept of PED and what is needed to achieve this goal.
The project also brings together two Bulgarian Municipalities that are follower cities in two different Horizon 2020, SCC projects – Smolyan in the +CityxChange project and Asenovgrad in the SmartEnCity project. Smolyan has also become a member of the city-based network established under SmartEnCity project (smartencitynetwork.eu) which comprises of more than 60 cities all around Europe which are conscious about their sustainability and work together towards carbon neutrality in the long run.