The Ecosystemic Transition Unit (ETU)
A roadmap for the energy transition in islands, villages and towns across the Mediterranean
The Ecosystemic Transition Unit (ETU) is a multilevel governance model developed by the Interreg MED Renewable Energy Community. It works as roadmap for islands, villages, and even cities to join the green energy transition based on social innovation. Rural and island communities are particularly vulnerable to climate change, as many of their livelihoods depend on the environment. Building resilience and promoting renewable energy in these areas requires a particular approach, integrating rural development with the energy transition.
Based on the outcomes of 6 pilot projects that ran between 2016 to 2019, we created a set of tools as an open source for citizens and communities to accelerate the energy transition in their region: the ETU toolbox.
The ETU tools are divided into the following four pillars:
Responding to the social component of the ETU model, this pillar gathers the tools that are useful for community building and management, especially in the case of consumers producing and sharing renewable energy at the local level.
Representing the technological part of the ETU model, the tools within this pillar support the design, deployment and management of the energy facilities and equipment required to create a local renewable energy community based on innovative, smart and green solutions.
This pillar is linked to the territorial component of the toolbox, bringing together tools that support energy technicians, engineers, and urban planners in the development of their energy plans.
The final pillar of the ETU toolbox concerns the political and legal components of the energy transition. The tools within this pillar offer policy recommendations at local level that encourage the multilevel coordination for a green local economy. This pillar will need to adapt to the regulatory framework of the country and region allocated.
The ETU Manifesto
The ETU model is based on five principles that shape our manifesto
1. Ecological response to the climate crisis
The ETU initiative supports climate change mitigation and proposes adaptation solutions using an ecosystemic approach.
2. Territorial equity
The ETU initiative proposes to boost energy cooperation between rural and urban areas.
3. Social innovation
The ETU initiative promotes an alternative governance model that empowers communities.
4. Green economy
The ETU initiative aims to catalyse the revitalisation of rural and island areas, taking the energy transition as a starting point to create alternative livelihood sources.
5. Cooperation and commitment
The ETU initiative promotes multilevel governance in order to help territories to identify their own potential.