Minister of Economic Affairs, Ilse Aigner, hands over the grant notification
These funds will be used to draw up a regional energy concept. With a grant of up to Euro 400, 000, the Free State of Bavaria will be bearing 75 percent of the costs eligible for grants. Together with a Bavarian consortium, bifa Umweltinstitut was awarded three of four lots as the result of a Europe-wide call for tenders.
Following handover of the grant notification, at the end of July the starting signal was given for the project lasting two years in total. Two tenderers were awarded grants for drawing up the concept: Lots two to four covering the topics of hydropower, biomass/biogas/waste and residual materials and geothermal energy respectively were awarded to an implementation-orientated collaborative team headed by the bifa Umweltinstitut in Augsburg. The three other team members are the engineering consultancy Steinbacher Consult in Neusäß and Munich's Green City Energy and Erdwerk. Lot one, which focuses on solar energy, wind power and combined heat and power generation, as well as the project coordination, was awarded to a consortium dominated by regional universities.
Multi-regional point of view
Planning region 18 includes the rural districts (Landkreise) of Altötting, Berchtesgadener Land, Mühldorf, Rosenheim and Traunstein and the so-called "kreisfreie Stadt" (unitary authority) of Rosenheim. All members of the planning association and many municipalities in the Southeast Bavarian region have already examined intensively the turn of energy policies. Some have drawn up extensive and detailed energy concepts. However, energy policy is not only limited to a local community, municipality, a rural district (Landkreis) or a region, but requires looking at from a multi-regional or national point of view, in order to agree and coordinate planning at the different levels and with the different funders and investors. This is especially important for macro-level issues, such as grid development or energy storage, because modern energy supply can only work efficiently in an integrated system. Regional, national and international borders have no role to play here. Due to its topographical situation, it is therefore indispensable for the Southeast Bavarian Region to take a look at its neighbouring planning regions (e.g. Landshut, Donau-Wald, Oberland) and the Austrian states of Tyrol, Salzburg and Upper Austria.
The first application for funding to draw up a regional energy concept was submitted in 2013. The intermunicipal energy concept should provide a sound and specific implementation plan covering areas in which concerted action is vital: energy generation, energy distribution, energy saving and increase in energy efficiency as well as energy storage.
This involves a comprehensive and complex concept. The need to expand and modify the energy infrastructure must also be assessed.
The importance of the specialist areas of hydropower, biomass/biogas/waste and residual materials as well as geothermal energy in the planning region required differentiation in the funding lots and individual awards. Specific measures, targets and objectives and a realistic implementation strategy for the whole region must be developed. The implementation expertise of the bidding team was a decisive factor that led to it being awarded three of four funding lots.