Pannon EGTC

Our Interreg Danube Region Program REHEATEAST project has kicked off

The project's opening conference took place on April 9-10, 2024 in Zagreb, Croatia
Our Interreg Danube Region Program REHEATEAST project has kicked off

The project was created by the need to develop answers to similar problems of district heating and district cooling (DHC) systems in the Eastern Danube region.

We have to face many challenges to make these systems financially and environmentally sustainable. District heating and cooling systems and district-heated buildings in the East Danube region are often outdated, old, inefficient and use (mainly imported) fossil fuels. Their demand for energy poverty and state support for fossil fuel consumption is very high. This requires modernization on both the supply and demand side to reduce energy demand and fossil fuel consumption.

The aim of REHEATEAST is to reduce the fossil energy demand of heating and cooling systems and to integrate renewable energy sources or even waste heat into the system. It encourages multi-stakeholder, cross-sector and public-private cooperation. It investigates the possibility of developing, testing, promoting and disseminating applicable solutions (process, technical and nature-based), catalysing and supporting the implementation of large-scale building and system rehabilitation programs and the implementation of climate change adaptation measures.

Transnational cooperation enables the adaptation of existing best practices in similar contexts, as well as the joint development of adaptive cooperation and optimization models focused on the integration of digitization, standardization, certification and green procurement opportunities, all relevant stakeholders (including authorities, consumers, financial institutions, utility providers, media, technology suppliers and construction companies). The developed models are tested in the framework of experimental measures. REHEATEAST also formulates policy recommendations to address the common challenges of DHC systems in the Eastern Danube region.

Among the partners, many professional organizations from Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia and Bulgaria participate in the development of the goals.

Due to the hybrid nature of the meeting in early April, our partners joined the attendees online and actively contributed to the successful implementation of the conference.

The so-called only the project partners participated on the first day of the kick-off meeting. Pannon ETT, as a leading partner, presented the project's implementation schedule, communication plan, and administration-related obligations. During the morning, on behalf of the Joint Secretariat of the Interreg Danube Region, Horst Schindler, the project manager of ReHeatEast, presented the administrative guidelines related to the implementation. On April 10, with an increased number of staff, together with the strategic partners of the project, we studied the content of the project's special goals, the possible implementation scenarios and the participation opportunities of the strategic partners.

The one-and-a-half-day event proved to be a successful project launch, the results of the first obligations to be fulfilled will soon take a recognizable form.

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