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03-07-2014

Local leaders discuss the future of community renewable energy during EUSEW event

City leaders have an opportunity to shape policies to promote renewable energy projects at local level, heard delegates at the "Community energy: accelerating sustainable energy roll-out" event, held yesterday in the framework of the EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) 2014 High Level Policy Conference in Brussels (Belgium). The event, organised by ICLEI, focused on the potential of community-led and owned Renewable Energy Sources (RES) for local and regional development. The theme that political support, manifested through supportive policies and legal and financial frameworks, can have an important impact on community power projects was echoed by speakers throughout the event.

Cities spoke of the importance of local ownership as a means of gaining support for renewable energy, before discussing future perspectives in the context of the EU's 2020 and 2030 energy and climate frameworks. Jens Bartholmes of the Directorate-General for Energy (European Commission) outlined the EU’s position, saying: "We [the European Commission] have earmarked €200 million to push forward the role of smart city technologies and solutions at city level, with a focus on communities... We want to push projects that have a high replication potential. These solutions, especially at local level, are very high on our agenda."

Panellist Jason Anderson, Head of EU Climate and Energy Policy at WWF European Policy Office, said: “Cities and local authorities are at the forefront of the transition to sustainable energy. The actions that they are taking on the ground need to be supported by an ambitious EU climate and energy framework. That is why WWF and ICLEI launched a Call for Action that reflects what we see as being possible and necessary from the European Union to support cities and regions in their work on renewables and the fight against climate change." The event was supported by the EU co-funded project “CO-POWER - Community Power”.

Read the press release

Source: ICLEI

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