The Ecosystemic Transition Unit (ETU)

A roadmap for islands, villages and towns across the Mediterranean to join the energy transition


The Ecosystemic Transition Unit (ETU) is a multilevel governance model developed by the Interreg MED Renewable Energy community, acting as a roadmap for municipalities in rural and island areas 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 (such as agriculture) depend on the environment. Building resilience and promoting renewable energy in these areas requires a particular approach, using the energy transition as a way to generate jobs and revitalise rural areas. Learn more about our story and discover more about the origin of the ETU Initiative.

The ETU Toolbox

Policy that supports the energy transition is closely linked to land management and territorial governance. As such, the ETU is a model for municipalities to integrate territorial planning, environmental regulations, social policies, and frameworks for the energy transition as part of a wider regional development plan. The ETU Handbook brings together tools from the first phase of the Renewable Energy project, serving as a manual for municipalities that aspire to join the energy transition.

The Four Pillars of the ETU

Energy Governance

The ETU Toolbox includes the political and legal components of the energy transition. The Toolbox offers a set of policy recommendations for local governments that encourage multilevel coordination to work towards a green local economy. The tools under this pillar can be adapted to the regulatory frameworks of each country and region.

Energy Facilities

Representing the technological part of the ETU Toolbox, the tools within this pillar support the design, deployment and management of the facilities and equipment required to create local renewable energy communities based on innovative, smart and green solutions.

Energy Communities

Responding to the social component of the ETU model, this pillar gathers the tools that support community building and management, especially in the case of prosumers (consumers that produce their own RES) and schemes for sharing renewable energy at the local level.

Energy Planning

This pillar is linked to the territorial component of the ETU Toolbox, addressing the urban and land use planning factors of implementing local renewable energy source (RES). This pillar brings together tools that support energy technicians, engineers, and urban planners in the development of their energy plans.

The ETU Manifesto

The ETU Initiative is based on five principles that shape our Manifesto:

Holistic response to climate change

The ETU Initiative identifies climate change mitigation and adaptation actions, while addressing the regions’ needs and aspirations.

Territorial equity

Implementing the ETU boosts energy cooperation between rural and urban areas.

Social innovation

The ETU governance model empowers communities to lead the energy transition in their region.

Green economy

Integrating the ETU into territorial planning creates alternative livelihood sources and opportunities for local residents.

Cooperation and commitment

The ETU promotes multilevel governance for territories to identify their own potential.

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