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The transition to a decarbonized energy system requires the development of radical innovations and large capitals with an unguaranteed financial return, complicated tasks to be carried out exclusively by the private sector. Green Public Procurement, through which Public Administrations incorporate sustainable economic and environmental criteria into their purchases, is an effective public support for environmentally innovative SMEs. Through it, investment risks can be reduced and, later, niches can be created for the emergence of environmental technologies and facilitate their adoption and dissemination.

Aware of this problem, the European project XPRESS seeks to facilitate the introduction of innovative technologies in renewable energy and increase their participation in final consumption through public-private collaboration. Specifically, XPRESS, made up of 16 European partners and financed for 3 million euros by the European Commission through the H2020 programme, will identify low-carbon energy needs in municipalities in the United Kingdom, Italy, Norway, Germany, Sweden, Spain, Denmark, Slovakia, Portugal and Belgium with a view to extending solutions to other countries and will improve the application of Public Procurement to technologies that serve to increase the competitiveness of innovative SMEs and thus promote renewable energy.

In addition, it will create a web platform that will allow interaction between public buyers, innovative SMEs and end users. This platform will be developed and coordinated by the Spanish technology centre CIRCE, which will also contribute to the elaboration of examples of good practices and the organisation of workshops in different Spanish cities.

The results obtained within the XPRESS project will be presented through a set of policy-making workshops that will bring together interested representatives of cities and companies from all over Europe in order to create recommendations oriented towards environmental policies focused on the thematic areas mentioned in the European Union’s Urban Agenda as well as on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

All this will be carried out by a European consortium in the best position to actively promote a constructive dialogue between the public and private sectors and to promote innovative investments in the field of renewable energies. The value of the consortium lies in its broad experience in this field and in its interdisciplinarity, as it is composed of experts from different areas.