26 November 2020 – W4RES, a new Horizon 2020 project, has just kicked off and will run until October 2023 by an international consortium of 12 partners coming from 8 European countries: Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Italy, Norway and Slovakia. A balanced union joining forces and expertise on renewable energy sources research & advocacy, innovative business lines development and women advocacy.

The Heating and Cooling market represents 50% of the total energy consumed in Europe per year for either domestic, or industrial purposes. Based on Heating and Cooling market’s high dependence on fossil fuels, W4RES market-oriented action plan tackles the need of replacing fossil fuels by renewable energy sources (RES) in a gender-responsive scenario.

W4RES project aims to scale-up the involvement of women in the market deployment and uptake of Renewable Heating and Cooling (RHC) solutions via replicable support measures tested and validated across the 8 respective countries. The basic project concept stems from the recognition that women hold great promise as agents of change, helping us progress faster towards our climate and energy targets for 2030.

The Project Outcomes

RHC Market Uptake Reports

W4RES reports geographical scope is Europe with focus on 8 diverse yet representative markets within the heating and cooling sector: Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Italy, Norway, and Slovakia. These reports will focus on: current European conditions hindering or favouring the uptake of RES in heating and cooling; challenges and recommendations for the beforementioned countries; and, on how women can tackle market uptake barriers and drive the deployment of RHC solutions.

The W4RES Observatory and Regional Hubs

A global online hub showcasing national RHC networking initiatives, relevant RHC networks, findings, good practices and co-creation activities to define new measures to boost the RHC market uptake. Concurrently Regional Hubs will be established to engage regional stakeholders and, to facilitate the delivery of RHC market uptake support measures.

Support Schemes for Promising Women-lead RHC Projects

W4RES will select 50 European RHC projects led by women who will benefit from W4RES’ hands-on market uptake support services adapted to their challenges. W4RES support measures will include: technical assistance & consultancy to help women to set-up and deploy gender responsive RHC solutions; and business & innovation support services to facilitate and accelerate RHC market uptake.

RHC National Campaigns

The consortium will coordinate national campaigns oriented towards Civil Society, Market Actors, Academia, Authorities and Policy Makers to raise awareness about the particular uptake challenges of each region through social media, seminars, webinars and networking & matchmaking events.

The W4RES learning toolkit: hackathons, training workshops and the W4RES guide

In order to share the findings and best practices of the project, W4RES consortium will organise a series of hackathons and training. Finally, an exclusive guide will be created to show how policy makers can replicate W4RES’ support measures, including actionable recommendations for more informed and gender responsive RHC policy, market support and financial frameworks.

W4RES kick off meeting took place on the 12th and 13th November 2020. The European Association of Renewable Energy Research Centres – EUREC leads the communications of the project. To stay informed about the project news subscribe to the project newsletter and, follow the hashtag #Women4RES on social media. The project website will be launched in February 2021.

For more information

Communications contacts: Nathalie Richet, richet@eurec.be , Lourdes Laín, lain@eurec.be

Project Coordinator contact: Ioannis Konstas, konstas@qplan-intl.gr

W4RES partners

Q-PLAN INTERNATIONAL ADVISORS PC, THESSALONIKI, Greece (W4RES Coordinator) – An innovation consulting company actively involved in the European R&I landscape, providing business and innovation support services to private and public organizations across several industries and market sectors. For more information visit: https://qplan-intl.com/

AGENZIA PER LA PROMOZIONE DELLA RICERCA EUROPEA, Italy – A non-profit research organization to meet the growing demand for information on European Framework Programmes for R&I of the European Commission  by providing information, training, and assistance to stakeholders. More information at: https://www.apre.it/

CIVIESCO SRL, Italy – The Energy Service Company of Civibank. CiviESCo promotes urban regeneration, smart city projects and energy efficiency in the public and private sectors, being active in the urban, energy and fintech sectors all while gaining significant experience in building and financing ‘green’ operations and projects. More at: https://www.civiesco.it/

STEINBEIS 2I GMBH, Germany – Steinbeis 2i GmbH (S2i) has its main expertise in building innovation capacities in SMEs, supporting cross-border research and technology transfer as well as providing professional training and development. The company promotes internationalisation and facilitates the path to European research funding for companies and research organisation in Baden-Württemberg and Europe. More information at: https://www.steinbeis-europa.de/en/

WOMEN ENGAGE FOR A COMMON FUTURE EV, Germany – A non-governmental and non-profit organization and member of an international network of health and environmental organizations advancing women’s rights and sustainable development in multiple health & environmental areas. More at: https://www.wecf.org/

HOCHSCHULE FUR TECHNIK STUTTGART, Germany – One of Germany’s oldest Universities of Applied Sciences with its main research focusing on energy-efficient buildings and sustainable urban development, as well as technologies for spatial data and simulation while developing and coordinating successful national and international research projects in 9 interdisciplinary competence centres. Please visit at: https://www.hft-stuttgart.de/

EUREC EESV, Belgium – A leading association of research centres and university departments in the renewable energy sector. EUREC promotes and supports the development of innovative technologies, transition to more sustainable energy systems and, education and training in the field of renewable energy technologies. For more information please visit: https://eurec.be/

WHITE RESEARCH SPRL, Belgium – A social research consulting firm, specializing in consumer behaviour, market analysis and innovation. It mines and interprets hard-to-grasp consumer and user insights through a combination of modern analytics, marketing research, collective intelligence and evaluation methods to design efficient actions that put the end-user at the centre of the decision-making process. More information at: www.white-research.eu

PEDAL CONSULTING SRO, Slovakia – An innovation and management consulting company that focuses its activities on provision of business and innovation support services, and also, design, management and implementation of European R&I projects, in various environmental sectors. Please visit at: https://www.pedal-consulting.eu/

ENERGY AGENCY OF PLOVDIV ASSOCIATION, Bulgaria – An agency devoted to promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy sources on regional and local levels. Regarding its agenda, EAP carries out feasibility studies, energy analyses, and energy project identification, development and management. More at: https://www.eap-save.eu/

EUROPEAN GREEN CITIES APS, Denmark – A non-profit network, participating actively in EU proposals and projects that are mainly relevant to the development of green cities and buildings, while offering expertise in the urban planning, energy & ICT sectors. For more information: http://greencities.eu/

EUROPEAN CENTRE FOR WOMEN AND TECHNOLOGY (ECWT), Norway – A European non-profit organization focusing on promoting women’s STEM & ICT uptake and also, leading and participating in large scale EU research projects. For more information please visit: http://www.ecwt.eu/