In December 1993, within the framework of implementing regional energy policy and in pursuit of establishing Crete as preferential area for extensive applications of Renewable Energy Sources in Europe and in Mediterranean, the Region of Crete has founded the Regional Energy Agency.
The main idea was that the island of Crete disposing a large variety of social and economic activities, with well defined “borders” and with high potential of energy saving and of Renewable Energy Sources, is suitable place for the implementation of new energy policies and technologies and of course of energy innovation. Currently, Crete disposes nearly all kind of renewable energy sources and technologies: 25 wind farms (179 MW), 450.000m2 of Solar Thermal Systems, Photovoltaics (64 MW), Solar (shallow) geothermal systems, biomass (thermal energy of the olive kernel) etc. Recently, many new SMES created dealing with photovoltaics, saving energy in buildings and industry, new insulation techniques, energy innovation and technology transfer, energy planning for local authorities etc.
The areas of excellence of the Agency are: Energy, Environment – Climate Change, Renewable Energy Sources, Energy Saving and Rational Use of Energy, Energy Innovation and European and International Co-operation.
The objectives of REAC are to:
- Contribute to the development of the Regional Energy Policy, in close co-operation with all the responsible bodies at local and regional level and in accordance with the National and European Energy and Climate Policy
- Participate in European and National energy programs and networks
- Promote European, Mediterranean and international co-operation
- Provide neutral consultancy services to interested bodies.
- Promote (through information, dissemination, awareness) projects, technologies, good practices and related applications.
- Organize training programmes, seminars, technical visits, conferences and to raise awareness of citizens, consumers and energy users.
- Coordinate the energy programmes and activities of several regional and local bodies ("Covenant of Mayors"), to combine them with other Community or National programmes (Research and Technology, Environment, Tourism, etc).
Policy and planning
- An energy policy and programming for the Region of Crete has been elaborated and promoted (adopted unanimously by the Regional Council) - continuous support and cooperation developed with local authorities for the "Covenant of Mayors" initiative.
- An Action and Implementation Plan for the Large-scale Deployment of Renewable Energy Sources in the energy system of Crete has been elaborated and promoted.
Programmes and Projects
- More than 50 European competitive projects have been launched in all related fields.
- Active participation in National programmes has also been achieved.
In parallel, the Regional Energy Agency of Crete participates actively in National and European networks:ISLENET, ELFORES, The European Sustainable Cities and Towns Campaign, etc. The Agency has access to several databases.
- REAC is an official territorial coordinator for the Region of Crete for the "Covenant of Mayors" initiative.
- The Agency has developed very rich and diversified activities in organising various events: conferences, workshops, working meetings, seminars-technical visits, for various RES and RUE technologies, for energy planning in Crete for the "Covenant of Mayors" initiative, for Action and Implementation plans, for legal and institutional issues etc. The Agency has also participated in many regional, national European and international conferences, workshops, exhibitions etc.
- A great number of special leaflets and videos have been produced and distributed to schools, citizens, «target groups» etc., realizing public campaigns. Several editions have been realised (proceedings of workshops etc.).
- Systematic information campaign is realized in schools of all Educational levels. Students, teachers, but also parents are informed about RES, RUE, Energy Saving, Environment. Energy-Educational projects have been elaborated in cooperation with Educational Authorities and schools.
- There have also been given active involvement in training courses for not employed scientists and engineers etc.
- Energy and environment plans, studies at regional level, databases for energy data, energy balances, energy audits for buildings and enterprises, are some for the «products» which are developed and could be used by the local actors.
- Energy Agency of Crete is an official European partner of the Sustainable Energy Europe Campaign.
In 2001, the Region of Crete and its Energy Agency has been honored by the European Commission with the first award for the Best Regional Renewable Energy Partnership (in the framework of 2001 Campaign for Take-off Awards).
REAC is a point of reference for energy innovation and new energy technologies for the island of Crete.
The Regional Energy Agency of Crete has participated in the following programs: Regional Energy Agency of Crete European projects.