“Energiewende” is one of the few German words that has made it into the contemporary English language due to its significance. It means ‘energy transition’, and there are many passionate people who strive to achieve a more sustainable future. One of them is the enthusiastic Vice President of the European Commission, Maroš Šefčovič, responsible for the Energy Union, which leads the EU's energy policy and nuclear issues. He recently attended the 2ª Gira de la Unión de la Energía conference held in Madrid. The VP talked about how digitalisation has been made easier with electric vehicles and renewables. He emphasised that Europe wants to remain a leader in innovation.
Another passionate person striving to achieve a more sustainable future is InnoEnergy CEO Diego Pavia, who addressed the NIMBY (‘not in my backyard’) effect and the mismatch between citizen empowerment regarding the expected and the actual energy behaviour. The relationship is very cultural and education is key to reach the point where every nation would be willing, like the Swedes are, to become PIMBY – ‘please in my backyard’. Through a show of hands, attendees were asked if they were living in a smart home. Even though the audience was filled with preoccupied senior energy professionals, maybe 1 % of them could claim it.
Many experts emphasised the lost heat from buildings, comparing it to heating the streets. Massive improvements could be possible if more focus was put on the energy used for heating.
I was fortunate to be able to attend these talks, and after the event, in a meeting, I introduced the CommUnity to the Vice President himself. I emphasised the passion of the members to change the energy game together. Mr. Šefčovič, who was very empathic and did not give the impression of a typical poker-face politician, mentioned that in a time where skepticism about politics and the citizen’s empowerment prevails, especially amongst the youth, such a CommUnity could pave the way towards a better future. Afterwards, we talked about how possible synergies with the commission could accelerate our vision. The conversation loop was kept open through a dedicated responsible member from his cabinet. This demonstrated his commitment to our network and thus, opens the door for possibilities of direct involvement from the European Commission!
The main takeaway was: If you have a strong vision, a good cause and great people pursuing it, you will manage to change the status quo. Let’s unite!
Claudio Geyken - CommUnity Officer
In collaboration with the CommUnity Post
Published on 22 April 2017
Original article of Sefcovic, ending with great appreciation of our community found here.