Background and Aim
Based on the key message “Rich marine energy potentials form the basis for energy partnerships in the North Sea Region and beyond”, MAP-MEP aimed at establishing a respective awareness marketing campaign on energy potentials in the North Sea Region.
If provided with a joint energy potential platform and common knowledge framework via the MAP-MEP project, ultimately, energy partnerships in the North Sea Region were able to set up their consortia ambitions and work packages more efficiently.
The energy challenge was a priority topic of the 2007 - 2013 North Sea Region Programme. Fossil fuels in the form of oil and gas played a major role in this, particularly for Norway, the Netherlands, Denmark and the UK, but increasing use of natural resources such as the use of hydro plants, biomass, wind and wave energy also played their part throughout the whole North Sea Region. Both in the fossil and the renewables sector, regional hot spots in the North Sea Region were at the forefront of technological development in many of these sectors.
At the same time, Europe is shaping a new energy landscape and the North Sea's energy markets are becoming more interconnected. These aspects together with promoting greater awareness among the society represent an important challenge to achieve sustainable communities in the long-term.
Several individual energy-related projects and two cluster projects (namely LOWCAP and Energy Vision North Sea Region) operated under the 2007-2013 North Sea Region programme. These individual and cluster projects were analysed and evaluated through the ESPON-funded ‘North Sea STAR. Spreading transnational results’ - targeted action project (2012-2014).
On the basis of the comprehensive evaluation, inferences on the projects’ impact, successes and weaknesses were drawn. The evaluation findings were translated into three main recommendations:
- Firstly, a more systematic approach to dissemination and communication of energy project results in the region and beyond had been lacking in previous project endeavours and ought to be provided.
- Secondly, any partnership consortium should be able to share perspectives and common ground knowledge on the topic. Only then the partners would possess equal capacities to develop common project methodologies and be capable to subdivide tasks and responsibilities effectively. The architecture and dynamics of energy partnerships were among the most decisive factors steering and determining the course of energy transition pathways.
- Therefore, thirdly, energy-related data in the North Sea Region should be harmonised transnationally, and ideally include both, thematic and subnational information across all energy sectors.
The ‘Mapping and communicating marine energy potentials (MAP-MEP)’ project explicitly built on and responded to the experiences made and the lessons learnt by targeting the identified needs, gaps and recommendations.
The MAP-MEP consortium was built on own involvements in several projects of the INTERREG IVB chain of energy projects from individual projects via clusters to an overall evaluation and synopsis.
MAP-MEP´s lead beneficiary was partner of the POWER and POWER-cluster projects in the wind sector, led enercoast focussing transnational bioenergy solutions and participated in the ESPON North Sea STAR evaluation exercise. The Energy Valley foundation was lead beneficiary of the cluster project Energy Vision North Sea Regions and the FP7 project ´European North Sea Energy Alliance - ensea´.