From the 20-22 of June, the European Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) took place in a hybrid format in Brussels and online. This years’ policy conference was held under the umbrella theme ‘Accelerating the clean energy transition – towards lower bills and greater skills’. IEECP colleagues were in Brussels to contribute to the debate in different sessions.
To all those who attended our sessions, thank you for being there and for engaging with us – those have been very interesting discussions and we are highly motivated to continue our work. To all who visited our projects’ booths (which even got featured in special videos!), thank you for stopping by, we’ll certainly stay in touch.
Missed a session? No worries! Find below the links to the recordings.
See you next year!
Debate with Ambassadors
The Debate with the Ambassadors during the opening ceremony focused on the two main topics of this year’s EUSEW: skills needed to move to the more sustainable energy system and short and long-term solutions to affordable, reliable and accessible clean energy. Panellists Mechthild Wörsdörfer from DG ENER (moderator), Dorthe Nielsen from Eurocities, Bertrand Piccard from Solar Impulse Foundation and Ivana Rogulj, IEECP discussed the developments in the sector. Ivana emphasised the need to take into account the capacities of administrative workers in local and regional authorities to enable the implementation of the planned transition. She also focused on the quality of jobs to keep the workers in the sector, along with the cooperation with competitive sectors. Stronger cooperation among authorities for energy and education is needed, along with more skills’ development for the managers of companies. This was the opportunity for IEECP to present the broad area of work we cover in the research, analysis, knowledge sharing and support actions in the EU with all the important aspects of the energy transition. See our colleague Ivana Rogulj in action!
Renewables and energy efficiency: finding the right mix to reduce fossil fuel dependency
On day 2 of the EUSEW policy conference, just after the keynote speech of day 2 Energy Efficiency, Affordability and inclusion delivered by Mechthild Wörsdörfer, deputy Director General at DG ENERGY, the MICAT project hosted an interesting debate by the title Renewables and energy efficiency: finding the right mix to reduce fossil fuel dependency. The session, moderated by Frederic Berger from Fraunhofer ISI kickstarted with a keynote speech by MEP Ciarán Cuffe, rapporteur for the revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), and continued with an introduction on the concept of multiple benefits delivered by the moderator folloews by interesting pitches on the right mix between EE and RES from different perspectives. Sibylle Braungardt, researcher at the Öko-Institut, gave insights on the residential heating, focusing on decarbonisation, energy independency and social aspects of the energy transition. Roland Gladushenko, policy expert at EURIMA, focused on finding the right mix at system level, stressing the fact that on top of finding the right balance, we need more stringent targets for both RES and EE if we want to meet our neutrality goal by 2050. Jan Osenberg, policy expert at SolarPower Europe, advocating for more integration of EE obligations when deploying RES (e.g. coupled subsidies). Heleen Schockaert, project manager at REScoop.eu, who focused on the need to empower citizens in order to capitalise their efforts for a successful energy transition. Finally, Carine Puyol, policy manager and l’Union Sociale pour l’habitat, who stressed the importance of working with an integrated approach for reducing emission of the social housing sector.
Tackling energy poverty through national building renovation plans
In the afternoon, the ENPOR project hosted an event to discuss effective methods of tackling energy poverty through national building renovation plans, moderated by the University of Piraeus’ Prof. Alexandros Flamos. While EU-level policies set the frame for actions to address energy poverty, Member States often still struggle to tackle the issue in policies, financing programmes, and more. The session therefore highlighted existing tools such as the Energy Poverty Dashboard and the soon to be released ENPOR Split Incentives Tool, as well as best practices such as the Estonian Renovation Grant and the Greek Energy Efficiency Obligation Scheme that can increase capacity, knowledge, and skills to reduce energy poverty and, therefore, help Member States to formulate renovation strategies. Following the presentations of all speakers, which included Marie Rousselot (ENERDATA), Dimitris Papantonis (TEESlab), Christos Tourkolias (Centre for Renewable Energy Sources and Saving), as well as the keynote from Stefan Moser (DG-ENER), audiences continued to express interest in the topics of closing the financing gaps for renovations of energy poor households, gender inequalities related to energy vulnerability, and deep renovation case studies in EU member states.
Accelerating just energy transition(s) in coal and carbon-intensive regions
JUSTEM et al.
How to accelerate just transition in coal and carbon-intensive regions was the main question of the online session, hosted by the JUSTEM, Tipping+, ENTRANCES and CINTRANS projects. IEECP’s Diana Süsser moderated the insightful debate with representatives from the research projects, the DG REGIO of the European Commission, the Central and Eastern Europe Bankwatch Network, and IndustriALL. The panellists stressed the importance to build transformative capacities in the regions, by addressing different aspects such as employment, migration, and gender. The discussion emphasised that this also requires collaborative and deliberative processes on the ground to engage and empower affected citizens and communities in the transition process. Employment was also an important topic, with panellists stressing the importance of quality and security of jobs, the need to ensure transition from one job to another, and the need to pay more attention to the role of women in order to address the labour shortages that already exist.
Powering up SMEs: policy measures and digital tools to support renewables and energy efficiency
At the same time, DEESME 2050 had the opportunity to participate in the session and discussion on how can Europe best support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in tackling the challenges of the energy crisis hosted by DG ENER and DG GROW. The discussion was focused on the needs and policies plus the solutions for the energy transition in the SMEs. Kicking off with the information on the obligations and the possibilities available for SMEs from DG ENER, it continued with presentations of the digital solutions enabling SME’s green transition by DIGITALEUROPE. Three important initiatives were presented: The Covenant of Companies for Climate and Energy, Enterprise Europe Network’s new pilot initiative with support to SME to invest in energy efficiency and DEESME 2050, presented by Ivana Rogulj, where IEECP with our partners aims at assisting companies in the implementation of energy audits and energy management systems with multiple benefits integration. Project also aims at supporting companies in ensuring financial opportunities for efficiency investments, for which the new #SMFIN board was introduced.
Climate Neutrality needs concerted action: why is multi-level governance the solution?
On the third day, together with Capacities, LIFE Togetherfor1.5 and the Committee of the Regions, the NECPlatform project organised a session on the importance of multi-level governance in Energy and Climate Policy making, titled Climate neutrality needs concerted action: why is multi-level governance the solution? In the session, IEECP’s Giulia Pizzini presented the experience of setting up Climate and Energy Dialogues in six EU MS (Bulgaria, Croatia, France, Italy, Portugal and Romania), highlighting the general difficulty of involving national governments in these types of exchanges. An interesting debate followed, where the European, national and local level exchanged on how to better vertically integrate amongst them. The EU level was represented by Paula Abreu Marques, Head of the Inter-institutional, Policy Coordination and Planning unit in DG Energy (EC); the national level was represented by Iva Petrova, Deputy Minister of Energy in the Republic of Bulgaria, and by Åsa Minoz, innovation strategist of the Viable Cities initiative in Sweden; the local level was represented by Josko Klisovic, president of the city assembly of Zagreb and rapporteur of the upcoming opinion on multi-level governance of the Committee of the Regions and by Andries Gryffroy, member of the Flemish parliament and rapporteur of the opinion on fostering the potential and synergies of EU Green Deal initiatives for regions and cities in the Committee of the Regions.