Study Visit to Berlin for the Romanian Pilot Cities involved in the MENERGERS project
In November 2023, representatives of the Romanian MENERGERS pilot cities, together with the OER team, participated in a study visit to Berlin to learn about how Municipal Energy Management is carried out in Germany.
Participants from Alba Iulia, Sfântu Gheorghe and Zalău learned on the first day about the energy transition processes, how the legislation is evolving, the premises of the decision-making path, the impact of the economic sphere, the involvement of citizens and the benefits of the so-called „energy villages“.
The case study analysed was that of the village of Feldheim – an energy independent village through local private heating and electricity networks. Read more here. This project owes its success to the partnership between the municipality of Treuenbrietzen, the inhabitants of Feldheim and the project developer, Energiequelle GmbH. The Feldheim concept involves separate networks for the supply of heat and electricity, through which locally produced heat and electricity are delivered directly to consumers. This saves costs and achieves independence from the networks of conventional service providers. The biogas plant is operated by the local agricultural cooperative, the direct supplier for the materials that feed the plant.
The visit continued with a meeting with experts from LENA/German State Energy Agency on State Energy Management, regarding the Municipal Energy Management and Federal/State Standards for Energy Management. LENA comprises 230 municipalities in total, with a population of approximately 2 million citizens. The agency aims to achieve climate neutrality in 2045. Also, KOM EMS – the municipal energy planning system – was presented. There is a professional qualification for energy manager accessible through a state training centre, and after graduation, the trainee becomes responsible for the energy management of the municipality.
The last day focused on meeting with representatives from Birkenwerder City Hall to discuss the local Energy Transition process. For 10 years they have been discussing what projects can be implemented for climate protection. In 2009 they prepared a concept, in 2011 they applied for funds for the planned measures, and in 2014 the 19 councillors of the town hall decided to make an active action scenario for climate protection. Thus, 70% of the personnel costs were financed from these funds and they managed to hire a climate protection manager in the city hall. They have a working group/ council on climate change, with expert people from the city who, together with the manager, draw the directions and make decisions.
In the second part of the day, the Romanian MENERGERS group attended the seminar on „Energy Management“, held by our partners from UfU/ Unabhängiges Institut für Umweltfragen e.V. (UfU), which discussed standards and procedures, legal regulations, qualifications, areas of activity and funding measures.
MENERGERS aims to develop organisational capacity in Bulgaria and Romania to have efficient municipal energy managers, thus contributing to the achievement of national climate and energy targets. The project is funded by the European Climate Initiative / EUKI – European Climate Initiative of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action / Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Klimaschutz.