EUSALP, a model region for smart energy transition: setting the baseline
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Nowadays energy transition is a recurring topic, which describes the process of an energy system moving from fossil-based sources towards renewables. The transition can unfold at different levels, from the single initiative of a local community to a complex cross-border agreement. The latter type is well represented by EUSALP, the European macro-regional strategy for the Alpine region. One of its aims is to transform its territory into a model region for energy efficiency and renewable energy. To support a well-informed decision making process, this study provides the first insight about the status quo of energy balances in EUSALP, at local as well as aggregated level. Moreover, it offers an overview on the various energy targets defined by the territorial units that constitute the EUSALP region. Data has been retrieved via a bottom-up quality-oriented process consisting of (i) a survey targeted at responsible person in local energy departments; and (ii) data control and harmonization. We found that the EUSALP region is actually a model region only in clean power production, whereas starting point as well as energy targets of territories are highly heterogeneous. We also identified the need of more harmonized data collection methodologies. We conclude that this bottom-up process can support and legitimate policy makers in cross-border cooperation activities under a smart macro-regional energy strategy, which pursues an increment in energy savings, renewable energy production and a broad engagement of relevant stakeholders.