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For three years now, European cities and towns have been taking part in the RES Champions League, a stimulating competition ranking local authorities of all sizes according to solar and wood energy installations. To mark this milestone and disseminate a collection of good practices and success stories, the league has just published a colourful 64-page report.
The RES Champions League is the European network of national renewable energy leagues, the first of which, dubbed “Solarbundesliga”, was created in Germany in 2001. In February 2009, an additional three joined the movement, in the framework of the EU Sustainable Energy Week and in parallel to the first Covenant of Mayors ceremony. Two months later, the RES Champions League was officially launched during the Gala dinner of the joint annual rendezvous of Energy-Cities and Climate Alliance, two Covenant of Mayors Supporters.
“[…] your drive and the fun factor both increase if you compare yourself to others”. This quote, extracted from the final report, embodies the spirit behind the creation of the League, which makes a popular analogy to the football world. National leagues have already been established in Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland.
As a climax to each season of the League, European champions are awarded during championship celebrations. The first two took place in Dunkirk (France) in 2010 and Prague (Czech Republic) in 2011. The next celebration will take place in Rome (Italy) on July, 5th. Covenant Signatories such as Bolzano (Italy), Bydgoszcz (Poland), Chambéry and Grenoble (France), which are all urban cities, were crowned in past championships.
However, the RES Champions League has also highlighted the strong commitment of rural towns towards sustainable energy. This observation led to the preparation of the “100% RES Communities” project, which will set the stage for the future developments of the League, from a rural perspective. The project, set to encourage rural towns to join the Covenant and develop Sustainable Energy Action Plans, is expected to start in April 2012.
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