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Good Practice

GOMS ENERGY REGION

Alpmobil-Goms.jpg (electric vehicle for tourism use), © UnternehmenGoms

The Goms energy region is initiating renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in order to support regional sustainable development. Various beacon projects show the potential of local and regional initiatives.

I Description of the measure

Title in original language: Energieregion Goms

Location of CNA: Switzerland

Municipality / regional entity: Goms (Canton of Wallis/Valais))

Category of the experience: Strategy
Type(s) of CNA:

Principal nomination: Other type

Thematic field(s):

Principal field: Energy 
Secondary field(s): Buildings & construction, Land use, Tourism, Industry & services

Spatial scale: Regional (small scale)
Time & duration:

Start date: 2007
Duration: ongoing

Key word(s): Energy region, sustainable regional development

Objectives:

Overall objective is sustainable regional development. The production of renewable energies and the efficient use of these energies are very important. "Energy autonomy", however, is no longer an official goal. First of all, the association "unternehmenGoms" is a networking organization. Key are local knowledge and partnerships for regional sustainable development.

Activities:

1) Development & Planning of Projects (from the first idea to the final execution) 2) Project Support & Monitoring (knowledge transfer, consulting, coaching etc.) 3) Fundraising 4) Public Relations and Awareness-Raising

Results:

1) Publication of a regional energy concept as a central tool for decision making 2) Several beacon projects are up and running. There are three categories of projects: energy production, energy efficiency and awareness-raising with corresponding programs. In the energy production category, for example, there are solar energy, wood for energy, wind and hydropower programs. In the energy efficiency category, there are numerous activities focusing on energy efficient buildings, appliances and vehicles (e.g. "alpmobil"). For detailed project descriptions go to www.unternehmengoms.ch.

II Assessment criteria

Mitigation effects: Very high

There are various projects focusing on renewable energy production and energy efficiency. Some projects are up and running. Others are about to be implemented, and a third category of projects is still in planning stages. Apart from estimations, there is hardly an evaluation of the existing projects. Many projects will contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions - to what extent, however, remains mostly unclear. Additional information on selected projects can be found on www.unternehmengoms.ch

Impacts on adaptation: Very positive

The Goms energy region is not explicitly focusing on climate change adaptation. Regional sustainable development, however, should help to increase the region's adaptive capacity.

Impacts on environment:


- Landscape: Neutral
- Alpine ecosystems / biodiversity: Neutral
- Water / soil / air: Neutral
- "Other": None

The Goms energy region is initiating renewable energy production. The stated motivation of the corresponding actions is "sustainability". However, when it comes to the concrete implementation - as it is often the case in politics and business - it is the economic considerations that prevail ("economic sustainability"), with ecological aspects often tending to be relegated to second place. This problem becomes particularly obvious when specific energy projects are about to be implemented and - as happens quite frequently - conflicts of aims between energy policy and nature protection emerge. These discusssions take place in the Goms region - it is an exemplary case of how society deals with such conflicts.

Impacts on society:


- Social justice: Positive
- Regional / cultural identity: Positive
- "Other": None

Basically, the project is focusing on the sustainable future of the valley. Regional development and energy policy (and climate protection) make up a convincing combination of motives for taking action and encourage desired transformation. The corresponding actions can only take place if there is a broad consensus of opinion. Commitment to a common cause has a bonding effect and strengthens social networks and regional identity.

Impacts on economy:


- Employment / job creation: Positive
- Added value / income: Positive
- Know how / competitiveness: Positive
- "Other": None

Local/regional businesses are strongly involved. It is therefore very reasonable to assume that they (will) benefit from the various activities focusing on energy efficiency and production.

Public relations impact and awareness-raising: Very high

"unternehmenGoms" is widely accepted among the local population, and the Goms energy region is well known in the Canton of Wallis/Valais and in Switzerland. There is a lot of coverage in regional and national media (for details see the media section of www.unternehmengoms.ch) Awareness-raising is one of the three pillars of the energy region's strategy. Activities include energy days in schools, competitions, volunteering etc.

Transferability: Very high

Vision, concept and processes are easily transferable to other (mountain) areas.

Cross sectoral and integrative approach: Very high

"unternehmenGoms" is pursuing a cross-sectoral and integrative approach aiming at sustainable regional development. Renewable energies and energy efficiency are important parts of the overall strategy - energy autonomy and carbon neutrality, however, are not (no longer) declared goals of the Goms energy region.

Good governance: Very high

"unternehmenGoms" is co-operating with political authorities (in particular with the 13 municipalities of the Goms valley), regional businesses and the local people.

III Executive body and contact information

Executive body: Administration, Organizations of civil society

Association ("unternehmenGoms") in co-operation with political authorities (e.g. municipalities), businesses and the people of the Goms valley

Contact person(s):

Name: Dionys Hallenbarter
Institution: Goms Energy Region
Address: 3985 Münster-Geschinen
Phone: +41 79 434 34 79
Email: dionyshallenbarter@hotmail.com

Online information: www.unternehmengoms.ch

 

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