CRETE VALLEY: pioneering the first renewable energy valley in Europe

10. Jan. 2024

The project aims to transform Crete into a sustainable, decentralised energy system.

Through a combination of renewable energy sources, CRETE VALLEY will demonstrate, in real-life conditions, the sustainable and cost-effective production and storage of renewable energy to cover the Island’s yearly energy needs.


By 2028, Crete will host the first Renewable Energy Valley 'Living Lab' (REV-Lab) in Europe, enabling the island to meet its energy needs through renewable energy sources.This will be made possible thanks to CRETE VALLEY, a new Horizon Europe project to increase the production of green energy, diversify energy supplies, and reduce dependence on fossil fuels, thus contributing to the EU green transition. The REV-Lab developed by CRETE VALLEY can be seen as a decentralised renewable energy system that will help the Greek island achieve higher energy autonomy, a more secure supply, and lower and more stable overall energy costs.

The Renewable Energy Valley will seamlessly integrate innovative ICT technologies, open digital solutions, social innovation processes, and robust business models. A key feature of CRETE VALLEY is its emphasis on the involvement of local stakeholders: the project considers that local communities should actively participate in energy transition projects as a way to achieve both energy independency and energy democracy.

The CRETE VALLEY project will therefore demonstrate a distributed, renewable, digitalised, system that is affordable for all and covers the local yearly energy needs, utilizing multiple renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, geo-exchange, biomass, biogas/biomethane and hydrogen.
The REV-Lab will integrate four Community Energy Labs (CELs) located in distinct sites across Crete. Each CEL will rely on different renewable energy sources, depending on the specific geographical and climatic conditions. The communities benefiting from the production and storage of renewable energy include around 150 residential, commercial, and industrial facilities and 175 households.


CRETE VALLEY is led by the Institute of Communication & Computer Systems of the National Technical University of Athens (ICCS) and brings together 41 partners from across all of Europe. The 5-year project was launched on 12 December in Athens.

“CRETE VALLEY has been officially recognised as a pivotal strategic initiative by the European Union. Our project stands as a testament to the EU's dedication to a sustainable and resilient future. This transformative project signifies a shift in energy paradigms and exemplifies collaborative efforts towards a shared goal,” said Elissaios Sarmas, Project Coordinator.

Thanks to the development of the REV-Lab, CRETE VALLEY will contribute to the implementation of the European REPowerEU Plan, increase the roll-out of local renewable energy system solutions, create new sustainable jobs, and enhance the security and autonomy of the local energy supply. ZSI supports all co-creation activities and participatory approaches.

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Tags: co-creation, energy citizenship, energy transition, participatory design

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