On 7 and 8 September, the InnoEnergy Brussels office hosted the event jointly organised by the CommUnity and the InnoEnergy European Union Business Unit on the recently issued “Clean Energy for All Europeans” package, the first of its genre for the CommUnity. As co-organisers, we were trembling in happiness to see how it would have gone, and the reaction of the attendees! And we can all say that it was a success: high-level speakers have covered both the main aspects of the package and the principal points that have been shaking the energy community since the package has been issued.
Students, alumni, professionals and researchers were keen to be briefed about the changes the European Commission - within the Energy Union project, led by Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič and Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete - wants to set up in the near future for Europe to excel in guiding the energy revolution.
The first of the two-days sessions started presenting the active role of InnoEnergy and the CommUnity in the energy transition. Words by Claudio Geyken and Davide Garufi struck the audience with commitment and passion supported by the highlights of the various and diverse events held by the BeNeLux CommUnity, reinforced by the earnest vision of Diego Pavía on the energy transition.
Guillaume Gillet and Louise Coffineau (InnoEnergy’s EU BU Director and EU Contract Manager & Policy Officer, respectively) closed the first half of the day by elucidating on the European Union, its most important achievements along the years (many were things we personally didn’t know!) and how the ambition of the Energy Union project is pushing towards the right direction with its five pillars, or mutually supportive dimensions: 1) energy security; 2) the internal energy market; 3) energy efficiency; 4) decarbonisation of the economy; and 5) research, innovation and competitiveness.
We all got into the action right after lunch, when Dimitrios Sofianopoulos (Policy Officer, C2, DG ENER) started exploring the “Clean Energy for All Europeans” package, followed by Philippe Tulkens (Deputy Head of Unit, G1, DG RTD), who explained why the package is needed to accelerate innovation in clean energy. These first topics cleared the view to the audience, eager for understanding.
After the break, Serena Pontoglio (DG ENER) presented the reasons why the most effective way to achieve the Energy Union targets is focusing on energy efficiency. This latter topic is lastly developed by Adrian Joyce (Secretary-General, EuroAce), who directed his speech on energy efficiency for smarter and more sustainable buildings.
The feeling we had at the end of the first day was that we were going in the right direction: people were talking excitingly about what they just apprehended, using the coffee and lunch breaks to network and further discuss the topics. And the second day went even better: from what I got from our attendees, one of the crucial and unclear points of the Winter Package is the role of renewables, their dispatch priority (whose loss ACER declared to be an ‘irresponsible’ move) and the European market design in general. Pierre Serkine (End-User Architect, InnoEnergy) went all the way from the liberalisation of the energy market through the advantages of having one fully-integrated market and the requirements to achieve it. Right after him, Marion Labatut (Coordinator Wholesale & Retail Markets Issues, EURELECTRIC) held a powerful debate on the issues the proposed market design is bringing with it. We could sense that this was one of the most thoughtful and involving speeches of the whole masterclass.
Henrik Dam (Policy Officer, C1, DG ENER) talked on promoting a well-balanced set of measures across all energy sectors, stressing the importance of a reliable governance process to achieve the Energy Union objectives. At the end, Thomas Döring (Policy Analyst, SolarPower Europe) analysed the current and prospective situation under a solar point of view, covering what it is to be the most growing sector - solar.
At the end of these two days, it was clear: a deep dive in the "Clean Energy for all Europeans" package has helped students, alumni, professionals, and researchers to understand how our policymakers are working towards a successful energy transition, directly from Brussels, the city where the main debates are taking place. Full of interesting questions, networking moments, and different perspectives on the topics covered by the package, the Masterclass appeared to be a powerful way to educate and bring together multiple actors in the energy field.
All the attendees left the InnoEnergy offices even more enthusiastic and inspired than they entered, and this is the main achievement for us, the Energy Policies team of the CommUnity.
And this is only the starting point: the collaborative organization of the event between InnoEnergy and CommUnity demonstrated that joining forces together can successfully bring our big network of energy experts close to the decision-makers in Europe. This has opened the discussion about the possibility to replicate this enriching collaboration and experience with future events.
Can you imagine how this could amplify the impact of all our CommUnity members?? We can! And we are excited to see the results of it. Surprises will not be missed. Stay tuned!
By Filippo Antonio Capizzi and Maria Chiara Gulli
21 September 2017