Building energy security of cities and municipalities

Photo 1. Participants of the Conference

On 12th and 13th of September 2011 the City of Bielsko-Biała hosted a very interesting conference entitled  “Development of innovative energy – building energy security of cities and municipalities”. Its aim was to outline the vision of energy future of our cities, focusing on issues like: reduction of the cities’ impact on climate, improvement of energy security of local communities and improvement of the quality of life of citizens. The conference gathered approx. 300 participants who were vividly interested in supporting sustainable energy development of cities and municipalities. Among them were representatives of national, regional and local authorities, energy companies, universities, NGOs, media and youths.

The conference was initiated by the City of Bielsko-Biała and its co-organizers were: the Association of Municipalities Polish Network “Energie Cités”, the Association of Polish Cities and the Silesian Union of Municipalities and Districts. The event received honorary patronage of Polish Presidency in the EU Council, as well as the patronage of the European Parliament. It consisted of two parts: plenary session (12.09.2011) and panel sessions (13.09.2011).

Plenary session

The plenary session was devoted to the role of cities and municipalities in the development and implementation of national and European energy policy. It began with a lecture of Jan Olbrycht, Member of the European Parliament, who presented assumptions of the EU urban policy. Afterwards prof. Jan Popczyk, Chairman of the Conference Programme Committee, had a lecture about Polish energy policy. His presentation was a starting point for a debate involving representatives of national, regional and local authorities, which ended with a conclusion that there is a necessity to increase involvement of cities and municipalities in the realization of national energy policy.

 Photo 2. Prof. Jan Popczyk, the Silesian University of Technology

Photo 3. Participants of the debate on the role of local self-governments in the implementation of national energy policy

After the debate Anna Hessle from Swedish company SWECO presented innovative energy technologies used in Scandinavian cities. Then Maria Stankiewicz, director of the Association of Municipalities Polish Network “Energie Cités”, and Gerard Magnin, director of the European network  “Energy Cities”, presented – on the basis of their own experience – the idea of cooperation of Polish and European cities in the field of climate protection. They also discussed few examples of its practical realization.

At the end of the session representatives of six European cities (Paris, Helsinki, Heidelberg, Lviv, Warsaw and Bielsko-Biała) and one African city (Pretoria) shared  with the audience their experiences in the field of energy management and climate protection. They also spoke of their energy-related plans for the future. 

Panel 1

Photo 4. Zbigniew Michniowski, Deputy Mayor of Bielsko-Biała

Panel 1 was devoted to good practices in the field of municipal energy management.  Participants of the panel got acquainted with the concept of a “Smart City” and with the use of modern IT techniques in municipal management. There were also presented projects supporting improvement of energy efficiency and increase of RES use implemented by different organisations: Belos PLP - S.A., the Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry, AQUA S.A., the Bielsko-Biała Regional Development Agency, the Association of Polish Cities and the Society of Polish Urban Planners.

Panel 2

Panel 2 concentrated on innovative technologies for energy generation that may be used in cities. In the presentations following topics were raised: use of waste, heat pumps and solar installations for  energy production, integration of RES installations with existing and new buildings, development of an infrastructure for electric cars.

Panel 3

 Photo 5. Denis Baupin, Deputy Mayor of Paris

Panel 3 was devoted to the ambitious European initiative entitled „the Covenant of Mayors” which involves cities and municipalities in activities for climate protection and sustainable development. Covenant signatories commit themselves to go beyond the EU  climate and energy goals set for 2020 through development and implementation of the Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP) and through improvement of energy awareness of their citizens.

Among the speakers were representatives of European cities which are Covenant signatories: Paris, Helsinki, Heidelberg, Bielsko-Biała and Warsaw. They presented climate protection programmes implemented at the area of their cities. 

Panel 4

Panel 4 was focused on model collaboration between municipality and energy utilities aimed at increasing energy security of the local community. As an example served collaboration between the Municipality of Bielsko-Biała and the energy consortium TAURON. At present the entities implement the project of construction of a new heating unit in the CHP plant in Bielsko-Biała.

Panel 5

Panel 5 was devoted to teaching programmes aimed at promotion of energy efficiency and climate protection. The speakers highlighted the necessity to conduct environmental education of Polish society, including the youths. There was presented a number of very interesting teaching programmes and projects implemented by the City of Bielsko-Biała, by local educational centres and by the Association of Municipalities Polish Network “Energie Cités” which cooperates with them. The participants also had an opportunity to take part in a virtual stroll around two buildings where future RES installers learn their profession: The Centre for Renewable Energies of the State Higher Vocational School in Sulechów  and The Renewable Energy Laboratory in the Centre for Continuous & Practical Education in Bielsko-Biała.

The conference ended with the summary session which took place in the Bielsko-Biała City Hall. The session included adoption of a declaration highlighting the necessity to increase activities in the field of energy efficiency of cities and to mobilize support mechanism for climate protection programmes. What is more, representatives of  the Association of Municipalities Polish Network “Energie Cités” and the Association “Energy Efficient Cities of Ukraine” signed the Declaration of Cooperation. 

 Photo 6. Jacek Krywult, Mayor of Bielsko-Biała, speaking during the summary session 

Photo 7. Signing of a Declaration of Cooperation between the Association of Municipalities Polish Network “Energie Cités” and the Association „Energy Efficient Cities of Ukraine” 




Photo gallery





 Honorary patronage:


Herb Bielska-Bialej  zmp

  logo_SZGiP  logo_pnec2

Logo polskiej prezydencji w Radzie UE

  Logo Parlamentu Europejskiego_wersja polska


  Media patronage:

Logo Energy Cities

Logo RIHiP 

Logo_Ambasada Szwecji


Logo_Czysta Energia

Logo_Nowa Energia

Logo Heliosfera

Logo Gram w Zielone



Logo Therma                 Logo Aqua    

Logo Belos         logo_jantar