The most beautiful school in Croatia that wants to become one of the first energy independent schools in the world. The school is already famous for a botanical garden that is cared for by a student environmental cooperative. Its students and teachers are now seeking to become Croatia’s first energy-independent school. To recall, the Ostrog Primary School, with the help of crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo platform, and with the support of the Energy Cooperative Kastela and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Croatia has collected USD 10,000. These funds have been added to the funds of UNDP, donations from the county and the local community and the investment from the private company Eco - Orbis Ltd. through ESCo model, so at the end, the total amount invested in the energy independence of school exceeds USD 115,000. One part of donated funds were invested in thermal insulation and waterproofing of the roof and on the replacement of classroom lighting with more efficient LED lighting should reduce power consumption more than 60 percent. The legal standard of required illumination is also achieved in the school because it protects the health of children in a crucial stage of their development.
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Green Energy Cooperative (hrv. Zelena energetska zadruga, ZEZ) is a Croatian RES cooperative established in September 2013 within the UNDP energy cooperative development project. ZEZ is a social enterprise based in Zagreb, gathering 19 experts and currently employing 7 people. The cooperative members have vast experience in coordinating and working in innovative green energy initiatives, development projects, designing policy recommendations and carrying out educational activities. In the focus of their work are locally initiated RES&EE projects, with the aim of empowering local communities through use of local resources. ZEZ is one of Board Members of REScoop.eu, then a a co-founding member of Cooperative for Ethical Financing (representing more than 1.300 people, companies and local authorities in Croatia, http://www.zef.hr/), and co-leader of their energy section. Since 2013, we have been putting our efforts to share community energy concept in our country and across borders. Energy Community appointed us as core topic leader for “Citizens participation in the development of RE projects” within RE coordination group, for 2016 and 2017, for South East Europe. We continually support all energy cooperatives in Croatia, established within the UNDP energy cooperative development project in 2013. At the moment, there are 9 active cooperatives, developing local RES&EE initiatives. The cooperative model is still underdeveloped in Croatia and in the region, thanks to administrative barriers for small RES projects and unfavourable laws. We are hoping to encourage community energy by gathering all energy coop initiatives under joint Balkan umbrella – a new platform for community energy in the West Balkan countries.
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