Two years into their groundbreaking partnership, The Assembly of European Regions (AER) and GE Energy continue to pave the way towards a new and efficient energy future for Europe and its regions.
Brussels, Belgium – April 12th 2011
Today marks the 2nd Annual European Regions Energy Day, a unique event of its kind in Brussels and a key date in the European energy calendar. This two-date event is co-organised by AER and GE Energy and represents an important step in the renewal of regional energy policies.
Hosted by the German Land Baden-Württemberg, the event welcomes regional decision makers and European energy experts under this year’s theme, ‘Investment in sustainable energy – Regions as motors for growth and innovation.’ Together they will discuss energy investments from a European and regional perspective and formulate policy recommendations, highlight the importance of regional actors and present good practice examples from regions from all over Europe.
The European Regions Energy Day demonstrates the success of both territorial action and public-private cooperation in the face of an unprecedented energy crisis – dwindling supplies of fossil fuels, risk of energy scarcity and changing climate. While nations fail to address these challenges, regions, acting side-by-side with the industry, take them up fruitfully. From offshore wind clusters in South Denmark, innovative waste heat recovery systems in Hampshire (UK), electric cars in Açores (P) to energy efficient measures introduced in medium sized enterprises of Baden-Württemberg (D) and concrete energy management actions undertaken by the regional energy agency of Maramures (RO) – European Regions’ Energy Days unveil those surprising and truly innovative stories from every corner of Europe and bring the regional creativity in stimulating green energy concepts to light. When it comes to advancing smart growth and turning promise into practice, Europe should definitely take inspiration from regions.
Among the speakers are EU Energy Commissioner, Günther Oettinger, Connie Hedegaard, European Commissioner for Climate Action, Michèle Sabban, President of the Assembly of European Regions, Ricardo Cordoba, President of GE Energy for Western Europe and Northern Africa, and Martin Eggstein, Head of the Unit Policy, Sustainability, Climate Protection, Nature Conservation of the Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Transport Baden-Württemberg (D).
“This event demonstrates to all stakeholders how European Regions confront energy threats and prepare for a sustainable future. As is often the case, a change of perspective gives a new appreciation of changes underway, and a break from the pervasive pessimism,” said Michèle Sabban, President of the Assembly of European Regions.
“This day represents an important stage for GE-AER partnership. We are convinced that this event will accelerate the energy transition of regions and will benefit the development of energy sustainability at European level. Regions take their future into their own hands in a responsible and autonomous way, especially in respects to energy, which is an issue that affects the daily life of all citizens” said Ricardo Cordoba, President of GE Energy for Western Europe and Northern Africa.
The AER’s latest survey was also presented during the event. The study looks at energy investment and highlights the importance of regional investment in energy projects. Based on contributions from 27 AER member regions from 17 countries, the report shows the various and non-standard essential funding solutions that regions are already employing to achieve the EU 2020 energy goals.
The European Regions Energy Day also serves as a dynamic platform from which to release a new report. The REFER Report looks closely at the challenges facing Europe and its regions and the energy efficient solutions they are employing and features research from the soon-to-be-released ‘Delta Study’, an exclusively commissioned report, by GE Energy, into understanding the benefits of supply-side energy efficiency.
About GE Energy and the AER
In May 2009, the Assembly of European Regions – Europe’s largest network of regions – and GE Energy, an established European and global player, launched “European Regions Energy Day”, a joint initiative to tackle the energy challenges facing European regions today and to promote possible solutions. It is the first summit to bring together regional decision makers and European energy experts and will be held annually in Brussels, Belgium from the end of April 2010.
The European regions are a key player in the choice of the energy solutions to be implemented in their territories. That is why Michèle Sabban, AER President and Ricardo Cordoba, President of GE Energy Western Europe & North Africa, have joined forces to address climate change issues at a regional European level. The partnership creates a unique gateway between globally renowned energy experts and regional public decision makers; it also supports the European Union’s energy and environment strategy while creating a benchmark centre of expertise and solutions in the energy field for all the European regions.
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