In order to reach 2020, 2030 and 2050 EU climate targets, and adjust to the ever-increasing risk of a global climate crisis, Europe is currently undergoing a major energy transition, swapping out carbon intensive energy technologies for renewable and sustainable alternatives. Meanwhile, although small and medium enterprises (SMEs) form the backbone of our European economy, their potential for energy efficiency and renewable energy use remains untapped. The large number of SMEs operating across the EU means that a change in their energy behaviour is essential to the transition to a low carbon economy. The Interreg Europe project SME POWER (SMEs powering a low carbon future) ensures that public policy for the low carbon economy is better adapted to the needs of non-energy intensive SMEs, thus enabling non-energy intensive SMEs—a silent majority that does not yet recognise the benefits of committing to this shift—to be key drivers in the low carbon shift at a European level.
The overall objective of SME POWER is to ensure that public policy for the low carbon economy is better adapted to the needs of non-energy intensive SMEs, thus enabling them to be a key driver in the low carbon shift at the European level. The four-year EU-funded project helps design public policy that shall guide EU non-energy intensive SMEs through the investment steps necessary for improving energy efficiency in their processes, buildings and products and for increasing their share of renewable energy. In other words, SME POWER will support SMEs’ in the move towards a synergic approach to a low carbon transition that considers all measures in which they can invest, including energy audits and monitoring, refurbishment of buildings, improved processes, innovative energy efficient products and capacity building.
As European policymakers approach the complex world of support for low carbon SMEs from different angles, interregional cooperation is key to identifying good practices that can be integrated, merged and adapted. Policy support must be designed with a synergic approach, promoting measures that target all the drivers for change. Thus, SME POWER groups seven policy partners to gather complementary experiences and build on a shared vision, improving five ERDF policy instruments and one national instrument. Thanks to the design and implementation of an Action Plan for policy improvement, SME POWER will achieve reduced carbon emissions and increased use of renewables in non-energy intensive SMEs.
SME POWER places itself at the centre of support to a low carbon private sector, much focus hitherto has been primarily public sector. If supported by effective policies, as encouraged by SME POWER, SMEs can become a driver to reaching the ambitious EU 2030 energy targets.
Eligible Budget (supported by ERDF): 1,460,238.00-€
ERDF Funding: 1,224,471.30-€
Funding Quote: 75%
Provincial Agency for Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development
European Institute for Innovation – Technology e.V.
Local Energy Agency Spodnje Podravje
Durham County Council
Regional Public Energy Entity of Castilla y León
Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland
Innovation & Management Centre CLG T/A WestBIC
Interreg Europe Programme
For more information visit the project website.
Improve energy conditions in their buildings and processes.
Act as a multiplier for developing more energy efficient products.
Set positive examples set for workers when investing in capacity building measures.