DecarbEurope partners in action at EUSEW Policy Conference

DecarbEurope partners are actively involved in one form or another (e.g. speaker, forum panellist, co-organiser) in 32 of the 92 sessions at the 3-day Policy Conference of the 2019 EU Sustainable Energy Week. Here’s a short overview of where you can listen to their interventions.

Day One: Tuesday 18th June

Dirk Vansintjan, President of is speaking at the session entitled “Life after the Clean Energy Package: unleashing the power of renewable energy for citizens and communities.” It’s a strong way to start the conference, because how in reality do we unleash the power of community renewable energy? Especially as energy communities are new to many people, and citizens are not aware of their opportunities or the new EU rules? Dirk will be giving concrete examples of how citizens are taking ownership in the energy transition by becoming active renewables self-consumers and setting up renewable energy communities.

The cost of the energy transition is always a hot topic, and is particularly relevant because in 2019 an increasing number of renewables installations in Europe will already (or soon will) have exceeded their period of support. Making her presence felt at “Decarbonisation at least cost: renewables beyond support” will be Walburga Hemetsberger, CEO of SolarPower Europe who will surely be interested to hear of plans regarding the national ambitions for solar development (by 2022, 2025, 2027 and 2030) and for details on the support schemes implemented to achieve the 2030 national targets.

At the same time, Walburga’s colleague Aurélie Beauvais, Policy Director, SolarPower Europe will be active at “Decentralised energy systems: models for a modern EU economy” where you can expect to hear of some interesting small-scale solar projects being developed in symbiosis with the local economy to provide employment. She will be joined on the panel by two representatives of DecarbEurope partner SmartEn: Chairman Christiane Mann and Business Analyst Layla Sawyer. Look out for some key reflections on the best pathways to drive the energy transition forward. will be following proceedings at “Ending energy poverty: how EU citizens are taking action”, while one of their Project Managers, Myriam Castanié, will be on the panel at “Islands as lighthouses of Europe’s decarbonization” where you can expect her to give some ideas on how to move islands away from dependency on vulnerable, limited-capacity sea cables from the mainland or expensive fossil fuel imports.

Hydrogen Europe will naturally be present in strength at “Hydrogen enabling the energy transition” where Secretary General Jorgo Chatzimarkakis will be presenting their Hydrogen Roadmap Europe and quite possibly clarifying issues arising over whether hydrogen is brown, grey, blue or green. 

SolarPower Europe round off a busy day for them by promoting “Solar Skin: Unveiling the next building generation”. This describes a future in which every single component of a building – roof, façade, window – can contribute to generating renewable electricity. Eric Scotto, CEO Akuo Energy and Chairman of SolarPower Europe’s BIPV Taskforce will be giving more details.

Day Two: Wednesday 19th June

Kicking-off the early session entitled “Energy transition: role of the Urban Agenda for the EU” will be Pauline Lucas, Policy Officer, Euroheat & Power. It will be interesting to hear her views on the Action Plan of the Energy Transition Partnership which will be presented during this session.

Another morning session of interest is “Green Hydrogen decoupling the European Energy Network.” Secretary General of Hydrogen Europe Jorgo Chatzimarkakis will once more be in action, and is likely to touch on how green hydrogen technologies could be upscaled, in particular through improved European co-operation and finance.

Digitalisation in the energy sector is key to the development of long-term climate and energy strategies at national and at EU level. During the session “How will digitalisation transform the energy system?” Walburga Hemetsberger, CEO, SolarPower Europe and Frauke Thies, Executive Director, SmartEN will be contributing to the debate on the elements to implement for successful digitalisation of the energy system as well as opportunities for new business models.

SmartEN will also be present at the parallel session “New EPBD: the value of actual performance and digitalization”. Be prepared to listen to Senior Policy Adviser Michael Villa’s comments on the Smart Readiness Indicator and demand-side flexibility of buildings. Also on the panel is Peter Hug, Managing Director of eu.bac who can be expected to provide wise words on how to boost investor confidence in smart buildings to ensure the necessary financing for a decarbonised building stock by 2050.

In “A clean planet for all: the role of oceans” Lizet Ramirez, Offshore Analyst from WindEurope will be describing some solutions how to tackle the challenge of expanding offshore wind farms.

During the session “Empowering energy consumers – innovative approaches from European projects,” Stanislas d’Herbemont, Project Manager, will be on hand to discuss good practices to engage and empower consumers, helping them to adopt more energy efficient behaviours through energy advice and low-cost measures.

It’s no surprise that the session “Sectoral integration: shaping EU’s climate-neutral future” will see major participation from DecarbEurope’s partners. Sectors represented on the panel are wind (Giles Dickson, CEO, WindEurope) and hydrogen (Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, Secretary General, Hydrogen Europe). Their views on how the electricity and gas networks can work together in a hybrid system to decarbonize the economy in a smart, sustainable and cost-effective way will be interesting to hear.

The role of industry in the EU is critical to maintain a balanced economy while promoting R&D and innovation. Yet industry is a huge carbon emitter. The question “A competitive future for decarbonised EU industries?” is therefore a key question. What are the best practice solutions for the decarbonisation of industry? What decarbonised feedstocks can abate these emissions and support the competitive of EU industry? Providing answers – and maybe asking questions of their own – are Jorgo Chatzimarkakis from Hydrogen Europe and Aurélie Beauvais from SolarPower Europe.

In the afternoon parallel session “Delivering clean energy on EU islands”, Patrick Clerens, Secretary General, EASE will be putting a strong case forward for the innovative deployment of energy storage systems on islands. Many of the world’s first energy storage projects have been installed on islands, and they have delivered valuable insights into energy storage business cases and the technical feasibility of incorporating very high shares of renewables.

If energy finance is your interest, then you are recommended to attend “Financing energy efficiency and small-scale renewables projects – EU & CEM (part 1).” Dirk Vansintjan, President of will be on stage again. A focus will be on the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM), a global forum where major economies work together to share best practices and promote policies and programs to facilitate the energy transition.

Alternatively, “How can we reach a net-zero emission Europe: renewables, energy efficiency and demand-side flexibility” might catch your eye. There’s plenty of DecarbEurope participation here, including Williams Todts, Executive Director, Transport & Environment; Michael Villa, Senior Policy Adviser, SmartEn; and Daniel Fraile Montoro, Head of Market Intelligence, WindEurope. Topics on the agenda are likely to be distributed generation, energy storage and demand-side flexibility.

Not surprisingly, WindEurope also has a speaker at “DC – AC/DC hybrid grid: how the DC technology can support the energy system transition.” Ulrik Stridbaek is Vice President Regulatory Affairs, ORSTED and Chair of the WindEurope Offshore Working Group. It will be interesting to hear his views on how DC at different voltage levels could support the energy transition in a more efficient way, and if he can highlight some specific projects in this area.

A popular session is likely to be “Ecodesign and energy labelling – better products, less energy, more sustainability,” particularly as the European Commission is in the process of adopting an ambitious package comprising 11 Ecodesign and 6 energy labelling regulations, expected to deliver further energy savings of almost 120 TWh per year by 2030. Stimulating the debate will be Paolo Falcioni, Director General, APPLiA.

Jorgo Chatzimarkakis from Hydrogen Europe is again at the forefront of discussions in the session “Empowering industries to decarbonise with renewable gases”. What are the best alternatives to natural gas, especially in an industrial context? Renewable gas from a biological origin? Biomethane? Hydrogen generated through electrolysis using electricity from renewable sources? What about Guarantees of Origin?

A bevy of DecarbEurope partners is active at the “Launch event: REN21 Renewables Global Status Report 2019.” It will look at the position of the EU in accelerating the renewable energy future. Is the EU doing well, or falling behind? Is the right regulatory framework and market design in place? Are the heating and transport sectors still lagging? Expect some hot debate involving Paul Voss, Managing Director, Euroheat & Power; Laura Buffet, Energy Director, Transport & Environment; Bruce Douglas, Deputy CEO, SolarPower Europe; and Dusan Jakovljevic, Director for Policy & Communications, Energy Efficiency in Industrial Processes.

Day Three: Thursday 20th June

Still got some energy left? Maybe you need empowering, and what could be better than attending “Power systems with high share of renewables: vision and innovation” which will look into the innovations and solutions needed on a technical, digital and market level to manage the energy transition. Providing their words of wisdom will be Frauke Thies (SmartEn); Brittney Elzarei (EASE); Aurélie Beauvais (Solar Power Europe); and Pierre Tardieu (WindEurope).

Meanwhile, Faig Abassov, Manager, Shipping from Transport & Environment will be speaking on the topic of “Sailing towards Paris: can shipping be zero-emission?” With maritime transport responsible for about 2.5% of global GHG emissions due to increase by between 50% to 250% by 2050, his answers to the question are likely to be revealing.

Back on dry land, Solar Heat Europe will be participating in proceedings at “Strategies for energy efficient buildings today and in 2050.” One topic likely to come up is how easy is it these days to integrate Building Information Modelling (BIM) into project planning as a sustainable energy supportive technology for reducing carbon footprint and increasing energy performance?

“But what about consumers?” you ask. If consumers are your focus, then “Ecodesign and energy labels: setting standards for consumers” is right up your street. Organised by CEN-CENELEC, it will include representations by Catherine Vigneron, Customer Service Specialist ‘Energy and living’, and Geert Maes, Customer Solution Manager, Industry. Also present to provide insightful observations is Michal Zakrzewski, Smart Living & Competitiveness Policy Director from APPLiA.

Consumers will also be keenly discussed at “The green revolution starts at home.” One of this session’s co-organisers is the Decarb Heat Initiative which involves DecarbEurope partners Bioenergy Europe, COGEN Europe, European Heat Pump Association, Euroheat & Power, and Solar Heat Europe. Listen to Thomas Nowak, Secretary-General, European Heat Pump Association and others discuss what Europe can do to accelerate the implementation of technologies and solutions that are already available, such as heat pumps, district heating, cogeneration, biomass boilers and stoves, solar heat and geothermal energy.

If questions such as “How do we meet the expanding electricity demand from transport with renewable generation?” or “How can Europe integrate EV charging infrastructure into its streets, grids and homes?” are keeping you awake at night, then you need to get over to the session “The road to a 100% green and fully electric transport system.” Maybe interventions from Philippe Vangeel, Secretary General, AVERE (The European Association for Electromobility) and Julia Poliscanova, Clean Vehicles & Emobility Manager at Transport & Environment will set your mind at rest.

Post-lunch sessions to consider include “Corporate sourcing of renewables: the case for SMEs and supply chains” and “Grids and communities: value and new services for the energy transition.” The former will see Bruce Douglas, Deputy CEO, SolarPower Europe back on the podium to discuss what is preventing SMEs from sourcing more renewable energy, and the different options and models available to SMEs. At the latter, have a strong representation with President Dirk Vansintjan and Advocacy Officer Josh Roberts providing their insights.

Have another strong coffee: there’s still a couple of sessions worth attending. One of them is “Shaping Europe’s energy future – making NECPs come to life” where Pierre Tardieu, Chief Policy Officer WindEurope will be speaking. What’s your opinion of the National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs)? Are the different provisions sufficiently included in EU regulations such as the Renewable Energy Directive, the Energy Efficiency Directive and the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive? What about possible synergies with other complementary regulations such as Energy Labelling Directive or Air Quality Directive? Now is the opportunity to make your voice heard on NECPs.

Finally: money, money, money! €575 billion per year is needed to be invested in Europe’s energy system, which requires rapid upscaling of multiple financial solutions. Is this feasible? How are innovative investments progressing in Member States? Discover more at “Sustainable finance for energy efficiency, experience from markets across Europe” at which CEN-CENELEC will be present through their Sector Forum Energy Management (SFEM) team.

Anything missing?

So there is our brief overview of the 32 sessions that DecarbEurope are participating in. Please let us know as soon as possible if any of your organisation’s interventions are missing from the list, and we will revise the content as soon as possible.

During EUSEW, DecarbEurope will be present live blogging and tweeting, as well as with a small video crew to record highlights and your impressions. So keep an eye on this DecarbEurope blog and our Twitter feed #DecarbEurope.

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