On the 4th of March, the third ManagEnergy Networking Event took place in Wels during the World Sustainable Energy Days and Energy Efficiency Conference. The event was dedicated to the question of “New opportunities for Energy Agencies".
Gathering key stakeholders, the workshop aimed at providing Energy Agencies with tailored solutions to embrace new opportunities in the framework of the Green Deal. The event aimed at developing exchanges and partnership between local and regional stakeholders in the Energy sector. Representatives discussed in groups on how, at the local and regional level, Energy Agencies can trigger further investments and opportunities in new fields. In total, 58 people from 23 countries, including 22 representatives of 17 European regional and local energy agencies and a total of 45 relevant local, regional, national and European actors took part in the workshop. The participants shared their experience with the audience and highlighted the incredible work done at the local and regional level to finance the energy transition.
The workshop was moderated by Vlasta Krmelj, CEO of ENERGAP, who underlined the key role of Energy Agencies "in catalysing change for the Energy Transition". Rados Horacek, from DG ENER started with several developments on EU funding opportunities dedicated to Energy Agencies through the Green Deal.
Christiane Egger, representative of the Austrian OÖ Energiesparverband specifically addressed the capacity of energy Agencies to trigger the Energy transition. The representatives from local and regional Energy Agencies provided their insights and explained how their experience could play a major role regarding the Energy transition.
- KSSENA ,explained how can Hydrogen represent an opportunity, and how to develop an integrated hydrogen economy at the local level. The INEAS project will develop a replicable, balanced and integrated hydrogen economy through the facilitation of investments into market-ready hydrogen technologies. It relies especially on the construction of a scheme involving both municipalities, energy producers, transport companies and financing structures. The long term ambition is indeed to allow for the transformation of the valley into an “Hydrogen Valley” focusing on grid stability and pollution reduction.
- Extremadura Energy Agency (AGENEX) presented the HousEEnvest Project. This project targets the renovation of multifamily houses, especially by addressing the question of financing schemes. This should result in the implementation of a regional financial instrument to solve the current barriers to finance deep energy retrofitting of multifamily houses. 6000 users would benefit from the outcomes of the project, with also more than 700 jobs generated in the course of its implementation. The project is funded through Horizon 2020, for a total amount of around 1.8M€.
- Cyprus Energy Agency presented its YENESIS project, targetting Islands specific situation regarding Youth employment and climate change. The project received a 2.3M€ grant from the EEA (European Energy Agency) and Norway fund for youth employment. YENESIS main objective is to reduce unemployment of young people between 25-29 by creating green jobs in islands in the four areas of renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainable transport and mobility.
- Bucharest Energy Efficiency and Environmental Protection Agency targeted the specific challenges encountered by large cities regarding the Energy Transition. They gave the example of thermal rehabilitation in Bucharest, aiming at developing more energy-efficient multi-residential buildings. The project took part in an overall Sustainable Energy Action Plan called "Marathon 2020: start the long run for a green future". The renovation program took place between 2009 and 2018, addressing several objectives such as a 50% energy consumption decrease, and a 35% CO2 emission per m2 decrease. Future steps of the project should especially address consumer awareness regarding costs reduction thanks to building's energy performances.
- The Greater Stockholm Energy Agency. made its presentation about power system flexibility and the opportunities it creates for municipalities, especially due to the Swedish context regarding outdated grid facilities. The project should therefore allow for an increased local energy production and flexibility. It targets peak hours to avoid future shortages, as well as bottlenecks to protect where the shortage can occur. Overall, the aim is to allow new commercial properties and housing areas to connect to the grid in a more efficient way.
- Medjimurje Energy Agency developed on the importance of citizen engagement, through the ENES-CE project. This Interreg project promotes EE and RES in the public sector, industry, SMEs and private housing sector. 20. Mil € investment should target the energy refurbishment of public buildings in the county.
Following those presentations, the event took a practical turn. For 2 hours, in small groups of 6, the participants were invited to interact and discuss on the topic "How can I develop a new action field for my agency to trigger further investments in the energy transition?". A second round of exchanges between new groups took place on the topic "What opportunities for cooperation do we see around energy transition investment projects?". At the end an harvesting session allowed all participants to ear about what was discussed in other groups.
Participants actively engaged in the discussion and harvesting rounds. Here are the main outcomes of the discussion on how Energy Agencies can increase their role as leaders:
- Energy Agencies could play a stronger role as links between governmental policies and their implementation at the local level, for example by offering consultancy services and capacity building activities. For the proper realisation of this objective, a deeper understanding of EU policies would be necessary.
- The topic of heating and cooling are one of the main topic at discussion in several regions and countries, representing an opportunity for energy agencies to work together, increase knowledge, and develop new narratives on those topics.
- Energy Agencies can participate to a better cooperation between industrial stakeholders, and therefore play a big part in advancing the industrial energy transition.
- Energy Agencies are well placed to act as links between all actors of Energy communities, which development should also be supported.
- More exchanges between Energy Agencies, and a better understanding of each other's business models is key. Further support is however necessary to stabilise these business models.
- Energy Agencies will strenghten their role as leaders of the Energy Transition through the development of their portfolios to new sectors.
The workshop successfully marked the 3rd Networking event held in the context of the ManagEnergy Initiative!