ENhancing renewable heaT planning for improving the aiR quAlity of commuNities


  • Solar thermal energy
  • Buildings
  • Energy supply
  • District heating
  • Market & policy


  • Knowledge transfer
  • Market development
  • Consulting


  • Public funds


04/2019 – 03/2022 (3 years)


2.68 m. EUR


ENTRAIN project aims at improving the capacities of public authorities to develop and implement local strategies and action plans for enhancing the use of endogenous renewable energy sources in small district heating networks.


Interreg Central Europe


  • Ambiente Italia Ltd (coordinator, IT)
  • Steinbeis Research Institute Solites (DE)
  • Wood Energy Association Baden-Württemberg (DE)
  • Regional Association Neckar-Alb (DE)
  • North-West Croatia Regional Energy Agency (HR)
  • AEE – Institute for Sustainable Technologies (AT)
  • Energy Agency of Styria (AT)
  • Energy Agency of Savinjska, Šaleška and Koroška Region (SI)
  • The Public Service Company Javne službe Ptuj d.o.o. (SI)
  • Association of Municipalities Polish Network “Energie Cités” (PL)


The project’s main objective is to promote structural cooperation between public authorities and key stakeholders at transnational level and to build-up skills and know-how for a systematic, holistic and efficient planning of small district heating systems within five target regions (ITA, GER, HR, SI, PL), based on renewable heat sources. It includes following parts:

  • Improved energy planning skills of local and regional authorities
  • Coherent regional energy strategies for renewable district heating
  • Implementation of local actions for renewable district heating

This outcome will also lead to a reduction of fossil fuels and CO2 emissions, positive impacts on local air quality and socio-economic benefits for local communities through the growths of technical expertise and the start-up of investments and innovative financial tools.


The objective will be achieved through structural cooperation between public authorities and key stakeholder at local and transnational level, as well as through know-how transfer from regions with advanced planning capacities and long-therm experience on high Renewable Energy Sources (RES) district heating.

  • Preparing the local ground:
    Set-up Regional Stakeholder Advisory Groups (RSAGs), which will do involvement and consultation of local stakeholders, preperation of initial regional surveys and evaluation of regional potentials for renewable heat.
  • Knowledge transfer:
    Build-up skills and know-how for a systematic, holistic and efficient development and planning of integrated renewable small district heating systems within the target regions and to enhance the successful realisation of plants. Therefore, systematic planning guidelines, technical standards and quality criteria are introduced. Specific training sessions in five target countries and guided study tours to best practies projects for opinion leaders, decision makers and regional target groups will transfer the necessary knowledge for initiating projects.
  • Making the Change (responsible part of Solites):
    Influencing the decision making process at regional and local level and promoting structural cooperation between local actors. More adequate policies and tools supporting renewable district heating systems implementation will be allocated. Furthermore, trigger the development of pilot activities in some communities.


The major expected results of ENTRAIN are:

  • Regional Stakeholder Advisory Groups set up in 5 target regions. Acting as regional and transnational networks, they ensure a structural and mulitlevel cooperation between public authorities and key stakeholder, fostering project results beyond the project consortium and after the project end.
  • 21 specific training sessions in 6 regions for opinion leaders, decision makers, technicans and market actors for ensuring knowledge transfer on small local RES district heating
  • 5 regional action plans fostering the diffusion of small renewable district heating networks in target regions
  • Detailed spatial and heat plans in 9 pilot municipalities from 3 target regions, possibly foreseeing integration into existing Sustainable Energy Action Plans (SEAPs) or local strategies
  • 9 pilot projects of small renewable district heating networks in 3 target regions
  • 3 innovative financing schemes in 3 regions to support RES district heating
  • Adoption of the improved quality management system for RES district heating by 3 regions or local authorities

Downloads and links

Patrick Geiger

This project has received funding from

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