27 Aug Interregional Cooperation for Europe’s Energy Transition Event
Interregional Cooperation for Europe’s Energy Transition Event
Florence, Italy – 27 July 2018
VIOLET, alongside likeminded EU-funded projects with an interest in improved policy for the European energy transition—REBUS, SET-UP, BUILD2LC, ZEROCO2, BIO4ECO, etc.—engaged in a cross-borders interregional cooperation event this summer to address common challenges and goals related to the energy transition in Europe. Co-hosted by the VIOLET, REBUS and SET-UP projects, the interregional cooperation event was held on the 27th of June in Florence, Italy—not coincidentally, a cultural hub and home to many traditional and historical buildings that need special attention when renovating them for energy efficiency. This transnational meeting was created and designed by the European Institution for Innovation (EIfI) and Resolvo. Originally, EIfI was due to hold a REBUS partner meeting in Brussels, but together with their colleagues at Resolvo, EIfI directed the focus of the meeting toward something much bigger. Rather than exchanging good practices within a single Interreg project partnership, the goal was now to cluster fifteen similar Interreg Europe projects under a single cause—Europe’s energy transition—in an effort to bring synergy and support among represented projects. Featured as an EU-wide Energy Day, an extension of the annual EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW), the whole day was a great success and provided amazing opportunities for capacity building of recommended policy changes surrounding energy efficiency in buildings.
Building capacity for better energy governance, establishing innovative funding methodologies to include both private and public investment and directing the focus of policymakers toward renewable energy and grid usage are all common challenges which were identified prior to the interregional cooperation meeting. Using a co-creational approach, the event then offered a variety of engaging panel discussions, keynote speeches and even a competition to challenge project partners to brainstorm and validate solutions to these pressing issues surrounding Europe’s energy transition.
Some highlights from the event include the sharing of good practices related to energy efficiency policy from experts of the ZEROCO2, Social Green, CLEAN and LOCARBO Interreg projects. Durham Council’s talk on their tested approaches to and experiences with energy efficiency in historical and cultural buildings also held a special place in our heart, as VIOLET aims to preserve traditional and heritage buildings by integrating energy efficiency cultural heritage into EU policy planning, management and monitoring.
All in all, however, the Business Case Competition stole the show, as the competition allowed all projects and participants to become active players in the energy transition day. The aim of the competition was to define actions and prioritise initiatives for the European energy transition through developing an energy transition roadmap that effectively supports decision-making on a regional level.
With the launch of the Business Case competition, project partners broke off into groups for an entire day to define and present their value propositions for the challenges of Europe’s energy transition. In addition to this, the groups had the opportunity to focus on three major factors in the framework of participative workshops: external forces (i.e. inclusive economic development and growth, access to energy, etc.), user commitment (i.e. how to engage with energy system users and stakeholders) and the mobilisation of key resources (i.e. financial support, stakeholders/partners). After the third round of interactive, insightful workshops, the entire event was asked to identify a winner of the competition.
First place of the Business Case Competition went to the innovative thinkers of the MOLOC project (below), while REBUS and BUILD2LC took second and third, respectively. However, the real winners of the successful international conference were all the European projects, and ultimately the end users (you!), who participated in and benefited from this engaging, exciting and inspiring exchange of knowledge and expertise surrounding Europe’s energy transition. And what is truly the best practice we took away from this event? Interregional cooperation for Europe’s energy transition, of course!
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