Women for market uptake of renewable heating and cooling

W4RES, a new Horizon 2020 project, has just kicked off and will run until October 2023 by an international consortium of 12 partners coming from 8 European countries: Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Italy, Norway, Slovakia. A balanced union joining forces and expertise on renewable energy sources research & advocacy, innovative business lines development and women advocacy.

The Heating and Cooling market represents 50% of the total energy consumed in Europe per year for either domestic, or industrial purposes. Based on Heating and Cooling market’s high dependence on fossil fuels, W4RES market-oriented action plan tackles the need of replacing fossil fuels by renewable energy sources (RES) in a gender-responsive scenario.

W4RES project aims on scaling-up the involvement of women in the market deployment and uptake of Renewable Heating and Cooling (RHC) solutions via replicable support measures tested and validated across the 8 respective countries. The basic project concept stems from the recognition that women hold great promise as agents of change, helping us progress faster towards our climate and energy targets for 2030.

The project outcomes RHC Market Uptake Reports W4RES reports geographical scope is Europe with focus on 8 diverse yet representative markets within the heating and cooling sector: Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Italy, Norway, and Slovakia. These reports will focus on: current European conditions hindering or favouring the uptake of RES in heating and cooling; challenges and recommendations for the beforementioned countries; and, on how women can tackle market uptake barriers and drive the deployment of RHC solutions.

W4RES Observatory and Regional Hubs A global online hub showcasing national RHC networking initiatives, relevant RHC networks, findings, good practices and co-creation activities to define new measures to boost the RHC market uptake. Concurrently Regional Hubs will be established to engage regional stakeholders and, to facilitate the delivery of RHC market uptake support measures.

Support schemes for promising women-lead RHC projects W4RES will select 50 European RHC projects led by women who will benefit from W4RES’ hands-on market uptake support services adapted to their challenges. W4RES support measures will include: technical assistance & consultancy to help women to set-up and deploy gender responsive RHC solutions; and business & innovation support services to facilitate and accelerate RHC market uptake.

RHC national campaigns The consortium will coordinate national campaigns oriented towards Civil Society, Market Actors, Academia, Authorities and Policy Makers to raise awareness about the particular uptake challenges of each region through social media, seminars, webinars and networking & matchmaking events.

W4RES learning toolkit: hackathons, training workshops and the W4Res guide In order to share the findings and best practices of the project, W4RES consortium will organise a series of hackathons and training. Finally, an exclusive guide will be created to show how policy makers can replicate W4RES’ support measures, including actionable recommendations for more informed and gender responsive RHC policy, market support and financial frameworks.

W4RES kick off meeting took place on the 12th and 13th November 2020. The European Association of Renewable Energy Research Centres – EUREC leads the communications of the project. To stay informed about the project news subscribe to the project newsletter and, follow the hashtag #Women4RES on social media. The project website will be launched in February 2021.

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W4RES is looking to support women-led projects that focus on the renewable heating and cooling (RHC) sector.

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The first Innovation Fund call for small-scale projects is open until 10 March 2021 at 17:00 CET, Brussels. The call is open since the 1st December 2020 and will close on the 10th March 2021.