The European Policies Research Centre (EPRC) participated in the Kick-off Meeting of a new three-year project, TRACER, which is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme for research and innovation. The TRACER project is coordinated by WIP Renewable Energies in Munich and the Kick-off Meeting was organised by FIB, the Research Institute for Remediation of Mining Sites of the Lusatia region. The project aims to support a number of coal-intensive regions in their design of research and innovation strategies that lead to a transition to sustainable energy.
Each of the project partners presented their different responsibilities during the first day of the Kick-off Meeting. On the second day, the partners were joined by stakeholders from the local Lusatia region. The stakeholders presented the coal mining and energy history of the region and addressed current strategies to phase out coal mining and future economic development plans. On both days, EPRC facilitated knowledge exchange workshops, designed to create connections between the partners and to showcase potential approaches to stakeholder engagement in the regions. EPRC’s Dr Sara Davies led the workshops together with Dr Wilbert den Hoed and Rona Michie.
The conference concluded with a project visit to several sites related to ‘new’ and ‘old’ energy. Two of the sites were viewpoints that oversee the large opencast lignite mines, which have a large history in Lusatia. The tour concluded with a visit to a test site for externally fired gas turbines and a floating houses project in a residual lake.
TRACER focuses on nine European regions. Seven are located in EU Member States: South East Bulgaria, North West Bohemia (CZ), Lusatian Lignite District (DE), West Macedonia (GR), Upper Silesia (PL), Jiu Valley (RO) and South Wales (UK). The other two regions are located outside the EU: Kolubara in Serbia and Donetsk Region in Ukraine. EPRC is looking forward to working with the partner regions over the next three years!