Energy Sustainability for Adriatic Small Communities

Priority and Measure
Measure 2.3 – Energy Saving and Renewable Energy Resources
Priority 2 - Natural and cultural resources and risk prevention
EUSAIR Pillars
Sustainable tourism, environmental quality
Type of Project
Claudio Polignano
Interviewee role
Project responsible for Puglia Region
Puglia Region
+39 080.540.6552
Project website
Budget in euros


Role Name City Country Contact person Email / website
Lead Partner Puglia Region   Bari  Italy Claudio Polignano
Partner 1 Abruzzo Region Pescara Italy Diana Melfi
Partner 2 Centre For Renewable Energy Sources And Saving (C.R.E.S.) Pikermi Greece Markos Damasiotis
Partner 3 Regional Development Agency of Dubrovnik and Neretva County – D.U.N.E.A. Dubrovnik Croatia Luko Srhoj
Partner 4 Emilia Romagna Region   Bologna Italy Lara Facca
Partner 5 Epirus Region Ioannina Greece Ntina Mpakola /
Partner 6 Friuli Venezia Giulia Region Trieste Italy Silvia Stefanelli /
Partner 7 Goriška Local Energy Agency, Nova Gorica - GOLEA Nova Gorica Slovenia Vanja Cencič /
Partner 8 Region of Istria Pula Croatia Patrizia Bosich /
Partner 9 Marche Region Ancona Italy Lucia Catalani /
Partner 10 Ministry of Energy  and Industry of Albania (M.E.I.) Tirana Albania Alfred Bundo Artan Leskoviku
Partner 11 Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations (Mo.FTER) Sarajevo Bosnia and Herzegovina Biljana Trivanovic
Partner 12 Molise Region Campobasso  Italy Massimo Pilarella
Partner 13 Municipality of Kotor Kotor Montenegro Nadja Miranovic / /
Partner 14 Primorje-Gorski Kotar County (P.G.K.C.) Rijeka Croatia Darko Jardas /
Partner 15 Ministry of Mining and Energy (MoMe) Belgrade Serbia Petar Bevegna /
Partner 16 Split and Dalmatia County Split Croatia Ranko Vujcic /
Partner 17 Veneto Agricoltura Legnaro Italy Federico Correale Santacroce

Project Description


Project description

With a total budget of 12,5 million Euro ALTERENERGY was the new energy sustainability challenge which promoted energy efficiency and renewable energy production across the Adriatic area, in support of the climate and energy “20-20-20” targets of the European Union. The project aimed to promote sustainable energy in small Adriatic municipalities in order to improve their capacity to plan and manage integrated actions of energy saving and the production of energy from renewable resources. ALTERENERGY focused on 63 municipalities with less than 10.000 inhabitants, selected in eight Adriatic countries. Consultations and a participatory approach were the methodologies used to involve public administrations, citizens, entrepreneurs, universities, research institutes, energy agencies and media.

What has been done during the project in order to achieve its main goal(s)?

ALTERENERGY was launched in September 2011, and since then triggered a virtuous circle. To achieve its goal, the project took an integrated approach towards energy efficiency rather than simply promoting the use of one single technology. The idea was to utilise resources that are available in each community, creating a collaborative environment and forming partnerships. The long-term goal was to develop sustainable models for energy savings and development that could be replicated.

Planning tools for future energy projects, signed agreements on sustainable energy action plans, and feasibility studies for the realisation of specific energy efficiency initiatives are just a few of the concrete examples from the project. More specifically, project partners carried out both tangible investments in the RES and RUE sectors  – 2 large pilot projects and 7 demonstrative actions, with technological innovations such as sustainable mobility interventions, infrastructure works in public schools or historic buildings, efficient heating, etc. – and intangible investments combining social, cultural, tourism, educational, commercial and technological aspects to increase awareness about renewable energy.

All this led to the definition of the “ALTERENERGY MODEL”, a replicable model of sustainable management of energy resources, which was tested in all the involved communities. It included awareness raising activities addressed to local stakeholders and citizens, didactic theatre programmes and environmental itineraries for students, skills transfer workshops for actors, training opportunities and territorial promotion for target communities, capacity-building activities for public administrations, Business to Business meetings for entrepreneurs and traders.

Which are the project main results/impacts?


ALTERENERGY project set up an integrated and participatory approach creating a concrete model of intervention, focused on small communities, integrated technologies and sectors, enforced local SMEs systems. Therefore, capacity building processes, awareness raising activities, local energy planning, feasibility studies, pilot interventions and financial plans were linked together in a circular vision for energy sustainability in the Adriatic area.


Implementation of 2 pilot projects and 7 demonstrative actions in 6 countries (Albania, Italy, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Slovenia), becoming a model with a high replicability potential in the whole Adriatic area. A total of 19 municipalities were involved for an overall value of 30 interventions, including investments on energy efficiency , renewable energies and sustainable transport.


The project multi-target approach included the setting up of an Adriatic internationalization process, concretely supporting  108 SMEs, summarized in the ALTERENERGY SMEs Catalogue. Context desk analysis, capacity building actions, Adriatic conventions among intermediary organizations, two  BtoB sessions in Belgrade and Bari and a business scouting service available on line,  gave concrete support to the economic system strengthening the ongoing relationships and developing new ones, and building at the same time strategic systems for acting on a common market.


Public communication and awareness raising initiatives about energy saving and renewable energy sources were implemented through ITC tools, the organization of international events, meetings and workshops, participation in fairs and remarkable production of newsletter, articles and press releases. A strategic role was played by creative awareness raising campaigns, among which an interesting experience using the theatre-learning approach to innovate audience development. Workshops and theatre shows called “Alternative Odyssey” were  organized in 5 areas in Italy, Slovenia and Albania. A quiz-game offering  a multimedia experience and an interactive path for children and teens was produced; events  focusing on climate change and carbon footprint emissions were organized.


A common platform of shared knowledge, integrated in a set of studies and surveys on RES and RUE sector, target communities energy planning results, Energy Sustainability Planning Recommendation and Guidelines Report, was produced for the benefit of national and regional policy makers and administrators of the whole Adriatic area. The documents were printed and distributed locally and can be downloaded from the project website