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The CLEEN Project and Its Successes

The CLEEN Project, driven by WECF and 3 other local co-applicant organizations, strives to implement energy-efficient policies into local communities in 4 eastern European countries which are Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia and Armenia

13.03.2018 |

The CLEEN Project, which stands for Civil Society Local Energy Efficiency Network, driven by WECF and 3 other local co-organizations, strives to implement energy-efficient policies into local communities in 4 eastern European countries (Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia and Armenia). The CLEEN network does so by working with more than 30 civil society organizations, relying on and prompting the participation of civil society members. As such, it promotes the development of a regional partnerships between those organizations, and offers training on energy efficiency, energy-saving possibilities, renewable energies and political work such as public participation. Through such successful partnership, the CLEEN network ensures that local requirements are not overlooked and that a good organization and content cooperation is in effect. Finally, the training offers civil society organizations the tools they need to initiate and implement their own projects. For the past several years, the CLEEN Project has been very active and has had numerous successes and key achievements.

In the course of 2015, CLEEN has gotten more than 70 applications across the 4 countries, from which 30 Civil Society Organizations (CSO) were selected by an international committee to participate in the Mentoring Program as well as to receive funding. As a result of this, 28 CSOs in the regions improved energy efficiency in the 4 countries through small-scale initiatives to encourage reforms and raise public accountability. In addition to this, CSOs have interacted with more than a dozen local authorities to sign memorandums and establish cooperation for the years to come. Finally, in the year 2015, 10.000 local citizens benefitted from improved public participation and from the public services created by the CSO activities, and more than a million people were reached by the media. Among the CSOs in question is the Georgian Students for Energy Efficiency NGO, which organized a bicycle race promoting the slogan ‘I choose energy-efficient vehicles’ printed on t-shirts of the CLEEN Project.

In 2016, the efforts continued as trainees completed their training exam online, and as sub grantee NGOs started to implement projects for energy efficiency in their communities. For example, in Moldova, Renastera Rurala and NPO Crio Inform worked together in 3 districts, at both district and municipal levels to implement an energy management system, as well as to raise awareness and conduct training. Both organizations successfully implemented energy monitoring and management in more than 20 institutions (schools, hospitals, etc.). To top this off, the Parliamentary Commission for Energy Security and the Ministry of Environmental Protection agreed to support the further implementation and development of the project. As a result of the sub grantees’ work in the 4 countries, 4 energy cooperatives have been established, and 4 local authorities have re-allocated funds to support energy efficiency. Moreover, a network of energy managers has been established in both Moldova and Ukraine. Overall, in the course of 2016, the number of beneficiaries increased to 40.000, as a result of the same public participation and public services promoted and implemented by CSOs.

Finally, 2017 was CLEEN’s best year yet: this was a year filled with agreements with local authorities. Decisions were taken, memorandums were signed, all in favor of supporting energy efficiency whether it was regarding utilizing public funds to finance energy efficiency (EE) measures in buildings, establishing specific departments, or creating working groups on EE, etc. In a nutshell, concrete actions were taken by local authorities to strengthen their performance in EE including capacity-building activities. At the same time, in Armenia, an energy cooperative was established, enabling civil society to transition towards renewable energy through the construction of wind, solar and bioenergy power stations, as well as through the democratic business model of energy cooperatives.

CLEEN is thus active in many countries and at the head of many projects, which all have the aim of energy efficiency. For example, in Ukraine, it leads the Energy Efficient City project in Khmelnytskyi, which is an opportunity to integrate energy efficiency practices in the city. Indeed, this CLEEN initiative has resulted in successful initiatives, which include: the annual participation in the Days of Sustainable Energy, participating in the development of strategic documents in the field of energy efficiency, conducting the School of Energy Management and introducing energy-efficient events at the local level in public institutions, introducing an informal course on energy education, signing a memorandum on energy independence for the city, etc. Overall, this has created a favorable climate for the development of energy-efficient startups with local businessmen and developers.

This article is simply an overview of what CLEEN has achieved so far, as we are just beginning to witness the progress in the energy fields of Eastern European countries brought on by this network. We can expect much more in the upcoming years and WECF is certainly very happy and proud to see all these positive results, and to be a co-applicant of such a wonderful and purposeful initiative.

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