Folkecenter Parliamentary Hearing
04 Oct - 08 Oct
The energy transition in Europe is gaining momentum in light of the astonishing development of renewable energy in various EU Member States. However, the current policy environment in the Member States still does not correspond with key challenges such as grid integration of renewable energies, costs, and public participation. The World Future Council, together with Climate Service Center and Nordic Folkecenter will host a parliamentary hearing on “Regional Development and Renewable Energy in Europe: Best Policies for 100 % Renewable Energy in European Regions.” to discuss the potential of decentralised and community-owned renewable energy supply.
The primary objective of the hearing is to bring together policy makers and parliamentarians from all governance levels as well as experts from the field of European energy policy. The workshop will provide a platform to share knowledge, exchange ideas, develop strategies and build networks with the overall goal of implementing 100% renewable energy targets across European regions. It aims at providing an opportunity for capacity building by presenting political instruments and strategies that have proven successful, such as (feed-in tariffs; Combined Heat and Power (CHP) based on district heating systems; and decentralized smart grids based on community owned schemes) as well as case studies for regional value creation through renewable energies.
In which regard has political support for renewable energies affected European regions? What are supportive policy approaches and how can they be implemented elsewhere? How can we use the tools at hand to end the dependency on fossil fuels? With regards to the format, the hearing aims at triggering dialogue and shared learning amongst participants. The Nordic Folkecenter offers an opportunity for interactive discussions in an environment where 100% renewable energy is already a reality.
This workshop is for decision makers of European regional development, including representatives of ministries for regional development in European Member States; national and regional governments; local authorities; the European Commission; and municipalities. 40 participants from 15 European countries have confirmed their participation. Among them are:
- Deputy Convenor of the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Scotland,
- MP of the Norwegian Standing Committee on Energy and the Environment,
- MP and Chairman of the Climate, Energy and Building Committee, Denmark
- MP and Member of the Parliamentary Advisory Council on Sustainable Development, Germany
- MP and Member of the Economic Committee, Poland
- Head of the Environmental Policy Department of the Austrian Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management,
- Experts for community based energy production from Belgium, UK, Germany and Canada
- as well as representatives from municipalities like Barcelona (Spain), Aberdeen (Scotland), Bistrita (Rumania) , Modena (Italy), Skellefteå (Sweden), Tallin (Estonia) and the Province of Gelderland (Netherlands), Milton Keynes (UK).
While regional energy strategies are implemented in the context of European integration, the role of regions as economic players is becoming increasingly important. Local political representatives can be empowered to spearhead the energy transition. The local community as a whole would be able to harvest the economic and environmental benefits of 100% renewable energies. Regions must therefore create an overall framework which is conducive to action.
European regions are interdependent in terms of guaranteeing energy supplies, creating stable economic conditions and effectively combating climate change. However, the European Union’s Member States are differentially placed to expand supply of energy from renewable sources and have different costs of production. Therefore, national governments have to engage in cross-border cooperation to support their development. It shows how all stakeholders at local, regional, national and European level are playing a crucial role in managing the energy transition. European regions need to embrace a new perspective and commit themselves to a sustainable energy policy.