Brussels, 8 October 2014. EU decision-makers and energy specialists came together this afternoon in Brussels on the occasion of the event “Energy Transition – Engine of Growth in Europe’s Regions?”. Co-organised by three key players in the field (GIZ, CEDEC and Energy Cities), as part of the OPEN DAYS 2014, the event aimed to raise awareness on the importance of local players in developing and implementing new energy strategies based on the transition towards a sustainable energy era.
Through four case studies, participants learned about how cities and companies from all over Europe are addressing current energy challenges and are seizing the opportunities that the energy transition brings.
In this vein, Gert de Block, Secretary General of CEDEC, explained “the examples discussed show that local integrated utilities can contribute to the transition towards a sustainable energy generation and distribution with innovative solutions. Due to their local character, they can make use of synergies and contribute to value creation in cities and regions. These can then benefit their shareholders, the European citizens.”
The panellists also raised key points on the topic and urged for wider involvement. “Adequate legislative and financial frameworks supported by the EU and national institutions would make our journey easier and faster,” said Bo Frank, Mayor of Växjö and Vice-President of Energy Cities. He presented the successful case of Växjö (Sweden), a city “determined to become fossil-fuel free by 2030” and where “the energy transition has provided a major boost to the local economy, mobilising all stakeholders and getting citizens inspired”.
The event made clear that the energy transition at local and regional level is a reality and can have a positive impact not only on the environment but also on citizens’ lives. “Our experience has shown that the ongoing energy system transformation can be a driver of employment, innovation and growth, especially for the regions. Cooperation between regions and across national borders is a key to success. Not only because everybody must do their bit, but also because there is so much that we can learn from one another,” said Tanja Gönner, Chair of the GIZ Management Board.
If you want to have a look at the pictures of the event click here.
Please find below the links to the speakers' presentations.