ManagEnergy Annual Conference shows the success of ongoing EU-financed local energy investments
21 Jun 2012
The Conference's diversified panel included high-level officials from the European Commission (EC) and the Committee of the Regions (CoR), including Ms Marie Donnelly (EC), Mr Rudolf Niessler (EC) and Mr Thomas Wobben (CoR). They were joined by representatives of several regional and local authorities from across Europe. With an audience of more than 400 participants and online viewers, the conference focused on the latest policy developments and existing financial support schemes leading to concrete local and regional Sustainable Energy Action Plans.
The successful examples of the Province of Milano, the Andalusian Autonomous Community and the cities of Bielsko-Biala and Vaterstetter, among others, confirmed the key role that local and regional authorities play when it comes to helping the EU reach its 2020 objectives.
The Covenant of Mayors, which currently has more than 4000 signatories, offers encouraging proof of urban and regional involvement in boosting energy savings while tackling climate change. The Covenant’s extension beyond the EU borders is further evidence of its success.
Presented by Mr Christof Schoser (EC), the recently launched Smart Cities and Communities initiative adds to EU efforts to transform European cities into clean energy hubs. Smart Cities follows an integrated approach to innovation and economic growth based on the integration of energy efficiency, renewables, transport and ICTs.
From a policy perspective, Ms Marie Donnelly clearly explained the added value of the new Energy Efficiency (EE) Directive, which, she said, involves all actors in the delivery of the energy efficiency objectives. The Directive sets a series of binding measures. For the public sector, it sets an obligation to renovate 3% of centrally-owned buildings annually, including the use of energy performance contracts.
Moderated by Mr William Gillett (EACI), participants of the ManagEnergy annual conference learned how the EU-funded credit lines like Intelligent Energy Europe’s ELENA and MLEI are key to supporting local and regional investments in sustainable energy. In the framework of Europe’s 2050 Energy Roadmap, discussions converged on the success of existing financial support schemes combined with policy implementation measures and legally binding targets.