Balkan Solar Roofs
Engaging city administrations and citizens in Croatia, Serbia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina in solar community energy.
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia
08/21 - 11/23
Civil Society, Private sector, Public sector, Cities, towns and municipalities
- Regional Education and Information Centre for Sustainable Development in South East Europe (REIC)
There is still a widespread belief in the Western Balkans that communities and citizens are only final energy consumers. This leads to a very low interest in community energy from both municipal decision makers and citizens. While previous efforts have partly managed to change this attitude in small municipalities, larger cities, such as the ones targeted by the project, still lack political and societal support for community energy concepts.
The project’s target group consists of the city administrations of three large cities: Kragujevac (Serbia), Poreč (Croatia), and Mostar (BiH). Several activities aim at enabling these cities to foster participative urban solar power and heat. First, the three city groups – multi-disciplinary groups of municipal employees – take part in an e-collaboration lab where they learn about the different forms and benefits of urban solar community energy. Furthermore, they determine which persons and institutions they need to involve for successful promotion of solar community energy concepts. On this basis, they develop a local community energy roadmap. This map is meant to guide the municipality, community energy groups, small and medium enterprises, and citizens through the necessary actions for developing and installing new community solar projects over the next two years. In a subsequent communication workshop, group members learn how to efficiently communicate benefits of urban solar community energy.
Additionally, the project team and the cities roll out a campaign to mobilise citizens and SMEs for the production of community-owned energy. This will include posters and wide outreach in social and other media starting at city level in Kragujevac, Mostar, and Poreč . Lastly, the project team ensures that experiences will be shared beyond pilot city borders by engaging cities to follow the example and reaching out to policy makers to make sure national frameworks are supportive of citizen energy.