PRESSE RELEASE : CEDEC Congress 2019 "Local Energy Transition - Mission possible !"

Brussels, 20 November 2019.

This year’s edition of the annual CEDEC Congress, which was held in Brussels under the promising theme “Local Energy Transition: Mission possible !” attracted again a large audience of high-level speakers and 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.

The annual CEDEC Congress focused on the key elements for the EU political debate on the necessary energy transition: the potential of renewable and decarbonized gases to gradually decrease CO2 emissions, the opportunities and challenges of digitalization for the energy industry, start-ups and consumers, the strategic value of sectoral integration and the reorientation of financing mechanisms for sustainable energy projects.

During the high-level opening “EU Policy and the 2050 challenge – Decentralize, digitalize, decarbonize”, CEDEC’s President, Dr Florian Bieberbach, recalled the crucial role of local energy companies for achieving the (local) energy transition, close to citizens and customers. “Supporting local integrated solutions allows to maximize the sustainability potential of local resources.”

“Local energy companies are those who are closest to the people. And the trust of their citizens in local projects is key to convince them to participate in the transformation of the energy system.” declared Member of the European Parliament Jutta Paulus (DE, Greens/EFA) addressing the participants of the CEDEC 2019 annual Congress.

In view of the eagerly awaited Green Deal and Gas/decarbonisation package, the CEDEC Congress provided a unique opportunity to exchange strategic views on the need to incorporate the potential of renewable and decarbonized gases to achieve 2050 decarbonization targets, while underlining the possibilities for grid infrastructure providers and the appliance industry to contribute.

In a dedicated session on sector coupling and sectoral integration, local energy companies demonstrated the added value of existing integrated solutions, which confirmed why the EU should establish a long term framework that further encourages local integration of energy, heating and transport sectors.

In the session on the digital energy (r)evolution, as an appetizer three start ups gave a pitch on their innovative business proposals. The benefits and challenges of going digital were confirmed and questioned, for distribution grid operators as well as for energy service providers.

During the last session, participants discussed the recent evolutions in the European sustainable finance framework, and the need to foresee a gradual transition, given its expected impact on future financing options for energy infrastructure projects.  

“The CEDEC Annual Congress provided a unique opportunity to discuss the strategic issues ahead towards reaching the 2050 climate targets and to demonstrate the important contribution of local energy companies in the wide spectrum of the energy transition”, concluded Gert De Block, CEDEC Secretary-General.

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

CEDEC Background information

CEDEC represents the interests of more than 1500 local and regional energy companies, serving 85 million electricity and gas customers & connections.

These predominantly small and medium-sized local and regional energy companies are active in every part of the value chain and have developed activities as local electricity and heat generators, distribution system operators for electricity, gas and heating & cooling (including metering & data management), and energy (services) suppliers.

The wide range of services provided by local utility companies is reliable, sustainable and close to the customer. Through their investments and the creation of local jobs, they make a significant contribution to local and regional economic development.