The Expert Mission was delivered from the 15th to 17th May with KSSENA - the Energy Agency of Savinjska, Šaleška and Koroška region. KSSENA has been established since 2008 with the support of the Intelligent Energy Europe programme and for 11 years, KSSENA has been successfully working in areas of efficient use of energy, renewable energy sources, sustainable development and environmental protection. The main objective of the Agency is to support the local communities in the region (namely Velenje, Slovenj-Gradec, Celje and few others) in the energy transition, to acquire funds for the implementation of concrete project solutions and help to accelerate the development and implementation of conceptual and applicative projects. They participate in several EU programs, such as Interreg Central Europe, Interreg Danube, Interreg Alpine Space and Interreg Mediterranean. KSSENA is the largest energy agency in Slovenia, currently employing 14 members of staff and looking for 2-3 new employees. The Agency director, Mr Bostjan Krajnc is renewed expert who built a successful cooperation network within Slovenia but also abroad with international organisations (e.g. GIZ) and in various countries in South-East and Eastern Europe (Ukraine, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia…). KSSENA already facilitated well over 20 million EUR of investments in energy refurbishment and has an extensive experience in preinvestment analysis and feasibility studies as well as a good records in acquiring co-financing from structural funds and by means of alternative investment mechanisms (EPC, ESC).
The intensive expert mission (3 days) was delivered by Dr Julije Domac from REGEA and the main aim was to help KSSENA to build their capacity in designing and aggregating large scale investment projects but also to develop new activities in sustainable energy area.
The mission consisted in the following activities:
- A meeting between the expert and Mr Bostjan Krajnc. The meeting focused on KSSENA structure and service portfolio, new plans and prejects were discussed – e.g. introducing hydrogen in transport (public fleets), use of EPC financing in streetlighting reconstruction and building retrofit.
- Dr Julije Domac gave a 1 hour lecture to KSSENA staff and a group of international visitors on the role of energy agencies as drivers and delivery agents of the energy transition in Croatia and beyond. In his lecture, Julije presented several ongoing and already concluded project like NEWLIGHT and Investment platform which REGEA is developing together with SAP.
- A meeting and short discussion with several mayors and stakeholders (e. g. the Mayor of Celje, the Mayor of Slovenj-Gradec etc.) to discuss the interaction between an energy agency and the outside world.
- Discussion and vision making exercises with the KSSENA staff – this included brainstorming about possible new projects and cooperation.
Some of the most important recommendations given by the vising experts to the host agency:
- KSSENA is well positioned with a broad political support from founding authorities, they maintain a close cooperation with other Slovenian agencies and a wide network of supporting organisations in Slovenia and abroad. Further linkage with national authorities is advised.
- Future activities should be focused on aggregation of energy efficiency projects (street lightning, public buildings and e-mobility) at the level of several municipalities. It may be interesting to explore options for large-scale investment projects with partners from Slovenia and neighbouring countries.
- The Agency team is very capable, and it was good to see a high level of ambition. Maintaining existing good cooperation with other Slovenian agencies is advised.