CEDEC press release:Annual Congress 2020 on local integrated energy systems and an inclusive energy transition

CEDEC press release

Annual Congress 2020 on local integrated energy systems and an inclusive energy transition


Brussels, 18 November 2020

This year’s edition of the annual CEDEC Congress was held virtually for the first time in CEDEC’s history and attracted as many attendants as never before, including a large audience of high-level speaker, participants from local energy companies, international organisations, European Institutions and Member State representatives as well as other stakeholders in the field of energy and climate policy.

Today’s congress was organised under a promising double headliner and focussed on the two main and indispensable ingredients for a sustainable and fair energy transition: the role of local integrated energy systems and the inclusion of all citizens in the energy transition.

After nearly one year in office of the new Commission college and following the completion of the Clean Energy Package and the publication of the European Green Deal, which already has begun to bear fruits, the CEDEC Congress provided a timely occasion to exchange strategic views on the most auspicious continued path for achieving the 2050 climate neutrality objective with the help of decentralised and locally integrated energy systems.

CEDEC’s President and SWM München CEO, Dr Florian Bieberbach opened the Congress by highlighting the crucial role of local energy companies for achieving the energy transition. “A successful energy transition can only happen when also including the local level.”

Catharina Sikow Magny, who was welcomed by Dr Florian Bieberbach in the opening session underlined in her keynote speech that the European Commission “will focus more on local production and decentralised energy systems which will bring benefit in terms of decarbonisation ultimately making our economy more sustainable.”

The first panel session “Local integrated energy systems: Master-piece of the energy transition puzzle” was opened by Florence School of Regulation Director Prof. Jean-Michel Glachant and centred around the leading role of local and regional energy companies, which always have been and continue even more to be the key drivers of sustainable and integrated energy solutions. Our distinguished high-level speakers from SolarPower Europe, CAN Europe, Florence School of Regulation and SWM München elucidated where the potential of cooperation and synergies between different energy vectors and mobility lie and how an integrated approach to the energy transition – especially at local level - can be intensified..

The second session was dedicated to the question on how to make the energy transition inclusive to get all citizens on board, including vulnerable consumers. Panellists recognized the topic as a crucial one for the energy transition to succeed, and recalled the need to tackle market complexity, energy poverty, financing needs and the digital divide. During this session Member of the European Parliament and ITRE Vice-Chair Morten Petersen (Renew Europe Group, DK) underlined “We really need to factor in the issue of getting people on board in this gigantic project. Getting people on board in the energy transition is the absolute prerequisite for reaching the climate neutrality objective”.

After the inspiring debates, Gert De Block, CEDEC Secretary General, concluded: “No silver bullet technologies on the stage this morning, but a mixture of shared know-how, empathy and vision. We count on the European institutions – the Parliament, the Council and the Commission – to develop a balanced path to reach the necessarily ambitious climate targets. Having an integrated view on energy, heating and mobility; giving the place they deserve to local energy companies; and taking care of making the energy transition an inclusive one.”

For more information on the congress and speaker’s presentations, please click here.