of Sustainable Energy Successes in Central & Eastern Europe", Denmark,
Gunnar Boye Olesen
Throughout Central and Eastern
Europe, a large number of sustainable-energy projects are contributing
to the energy supply and to a
better environment as well as to the social and economic well-being of their
users. The projects are not as visible as their Western European counterparts,
but they are important locally, and many of them can be important models for
a future, large-scale development of sustainable energy in the region.
In this publication, we describe more than 20
sustainable-energy projects, most of which have been selected for inclusion
here to represent a number of such efforts. Several were initiated by
citizens' organisations while some are supported by Western funds, but they
are all viable projects with long-lasting solutions. They are recorded by NGOs
from the INFORSE-network (International Network for Sustainable Energy). In
general, they have the support of local sustainable-energy organisations.
Popular Involvement, Key to Success
Many of these
success stories demonstrate the important roles that the civil sector and
citizens' organisations can play in project development and implementation.
increasing numbers of environmental citizens' organisations (ECOs) combine the
struggle to stop polluters with activities for clean solutions involving
energy efficiency and renewable energy.
In many cases, such organisations are more effective than the
traditional players in the energy field. They are more motivated, less
bureaucratic, and often in a better position to build confidence among small
users of energy: households, small businesses. These same users must be
involved if decentralised solutions in energy efficiency and renewable energy
are to succeed.
Production of this
publication is part of the NGO (nongovernmental organisation) activities that
follow the Pan-European Energy Conservation Initiative. The latter
official activity within the "Environment for Europe" process before the
Pan-European Environmental Ministers' Meeting, Arhus, June 1998.
This publication is a counterpart to the report on Best
Practices in Energy Concervation, which was developed by the International
Energy Agency (IEA) as part of its contribution to the Task Force of the
Energy Conservation Initiative. It also answers the call of NGOs at a meeting
of INFORSE-Europe that was held in Slovakia in June, 1997, for a compilation
of success stories in sustainable energy from Central and Eastern Europe.
This publication is accompanied by a poster series that
showcases selected projects and a database containing records of a larger
number of projects.
The other NGO contribution to the governmental Pan-European
Energy Conservation Initiative has been participation in the development of
the Pan-European Energy Conservation Guideline. The involved NGOs
formed the energy- and climate-issue group of the European ECO-Forum,
coordinated by INFORSE-Europe in cooperation with the Social - Ecological
Union in Russia and with the Bankwatch Network CEE (Central and Eastern
Europe). These activities included development of a NGO vision of an
Energy-Conservation Strategy for Europe and of a number of more detailed
position papers. The NGO vision is available from INFORSE-Europe.
The activities just described
above were supported by the Danish Environmental Support Fund for Central
and Eastern Europe and by the
European Union Commission DG11.