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Ultimo aggiornamento 01-12-2023



S.M.A.R.T. "Strategies to proMote small scAle hydro electRicity producTion in Europe" is a project of the Province of Cremona - Environment Division, co-financed by the European Commission through the 2006 Intelligent Energy - Europe Programme, which aims at promoting the spread of distributed power generation.

The Intelligent Energy – Europe Programme 2003-2006 (decision no. 1230/2003 of the European Parliament - article 5) has been designed to support the energy policies of the European Union as set in the Green Paper on Security of Energy Supply, in the White Paper on Transport and by the European Community legislation (for further information on Intelligent Energy Europe please visit the European Union website:

The methodology of the SMART project is a replicable path that is (shortly) organised in the following steps:

The project finished on 15 January 2011, it's possible download the most important deliverables at the bottom of this page.

Achieved results and lessons learnt during the action

The main achieved results are the following:

1. a Handbook addressing the most important target groups (i.e. public local authorities, regional/national decision makers, policy decision makers, investors) and containing a summary and a critical review of the existing normative, institutional procedures, and environmental issues pertinent to the installation of hydro electric plants across the different countries of the partnership;

2. a digital Handbook on CD containing the description of the policies, methodologies, best practices & tools that may support decision makers in developing small scale hydro electricity plants, which is very useful because there are many examples applied in several European Countries.  This is a technical document that can be very useful to public technocrats;

3. a digital Report for each one of the pilot regions, presenting the (positive and negative) experiences of the strategies and tools used for each area, done by each partner of the WP4 (a digital copy is down loadable from the website) and containing the publication of “Strategic Actions learned from pilot regions” addressed to both potential investors and Public Administrations, summarizing the findings in the five pilot regions, with respect to common strategies and methodologies that could be used as reference also in other European countries;

4. a public cadastre very useful for the investors because it contains many SHP potential sites in the following regions: Cremona County (made by Provincia di Cremona and RSE), Karlovac County (made by FSBUZ), Trondheim County (made by  NTNU), Attica Region (made by RSA), Thaya County (made by EAW4) - to this link Public Cadastre of the Pilot Regions of the Project ;

5. Dissemination activities like:

- n. 2 Italian national seminars held in Cremona (2008 and 2009) on “topics and problems related to small hydro power”, during the Annual Gpp Net Forum held in the Trade Fair of the city.

- n. 3 national dissemination events with other public authorities held in the countries of the partnership (Dubrovnik – Croatia, Trondheim – Norway, Thaya – Austria);

- n. 3 workshops for end-users presenting the SMART Project in some local site in the different countries of the project (Karlovac - Croatia, Holtalen – Norway, Naples - Italy);

- n. 2 participation to European events to disseminate the outcomes of the project by RSE SpA: Hidroenergia – (Bled, 2008) and European Union Sustainable Energy Week (Brussels, 2009);

- an International Final Event with all partners, stakeholders and investors in the Cremona (2010);

- printing of many copies the handbook of WP2 in different languages and dissemination of it to the Public Authorities (Italy, Norway, Austria, Greece and Croatia);


Lessons learnt emerging  from the project:

1.      From the initial analysis of the Handbook, it was very clear that there are different administrative procedures in the partnership, at local level, as regards the authorization to build small, mini, or micro hydroelectric power plants.  Such procedures are, in some cases, excessively complicated, such as those in force in Croatia, and in other cases they are very quick and straightforward such as those in force in Austria.  The winning element of the Austrian procedure, as well as the Italian procedure, is the collection of the individual opinions during only one conference and the assessment of all single aspects within only one procedure.  This element could take place also even the public subject is not lawmaker like the Province of Cremona, the Regional Secretariat of Attica (RSA), and the Regional Authority of Karlovac. After the first meeting it became obvious that the basic principles that govern the administrative and procedural actions in each country are profoundly quite different from Country to Country in order to develop a common approach on the matter.  In Italy and Croatia for example water is public and everyone could ask to use it, in Norway only the landowner has the right to ask to use it, whereas in Greece the issues of water basin management plans and concessions has not been resolved. However, all project partners were able to agree on a common list of regulatory tools that might really knock down the regulatory barriers that hamper the development of small, mini, or micro hydro power installations in the EU;

2.      The performance indicators (P.I.) discussed with the Agency during the negotiation period were mostly reached by the partnership, but not to the same level for each indicator.  In fact, the second and the third P.I. (“Number of Authorities willing to review the administrative procedure in their region” and “Local Authorities’ commitment to review their administrative procedures to facilitate SHP systems”) were considered from all partners the most difficult to reach than others, while a partner faced great difficulties in reaching them. The principal reason was that no partner in the partnership could introduce or change new methodologies in other Public Administrations.  However, partners could only underline new procedures and problems because local administrations do change its procedures unless it has to by the law.  One of the reasons is attributed to the fact that new procedures require internal re-organization of offices and are accompanied by management costs.  During the current period of economic crisis, this sort of reform can't be taken into consideration.

3.           The pilot regions chosen for testing methodologies and tools have been quite different one from the other, ranging from a low land and intense agricultural area (Cremona County), passing through coastal Mediterranean (Greece) and Scandinavian (Norway) areas, and ending in piedmont (Croatia) and mountainous (Austria) zones. This means that the application of the informatics tools proposed by the scientific partners (RSE, NTNU and FSB) allowed the assessment of the good/weak points of each one depending upon the topography, climate and water uses. As a general conclusion, informatics tools are very helpful for Public Administration dealing with mini hydro power planning at regional scale, for disseminating SHP site opportunities among potential investor and for the private sector to analyse the convenience of investing in small hydro, including the incentives such as the Green Certificates

For any request you can contact eng. Marco Antoniazzi at the following mail: