Smart and sustainable energy solutions in municipalities – Green Twinning

7Over 70 people from 7 countries participated in the workshop “Green Twinning: Municipalities together for smart and sustainable energy solutions”, which took place on the 20th of March 2014 in the Committee of the Regions in Brussels. The workshop was organized as the final event of Green Twinning project, which was implemented by our Association in the period 2012-2014 and was co-financed from the Intelligent Energy Europe (IEE) programme.

The welcome speech of Mr. Gerhard Stahl, Secretary General of the Committee of the Regions, was followed by the session devoted to the methodology of the Green Twinning project, as well as to its objectives, activities and outcomes. It also included assessment of local governments’ capacities in terms of SEAPs (Sustainable Energy Action Plans) development and implementation, identifying potential ways of improving these capactities and presentation of successful twinnings established between European cities and municipalities. In addition, there were presented exemplary SEAP actions implemented by municipalities involved in the project, as well as  the challenges and perspectives of the EU sustainable policies at local and regional level.

Representatives of cities and organizations involved in the project from Bulgaria, Greece, Poland, Romania and Slovenia discussed their experiences in the development and implementation of SEAPs. Patricia Plonka, manager of the Green Twinning project in Poland, presented the results of baseline emission inventories and the assumptions of Action Plans developed for Kościerzyna and Piaseczno, as well as their objectives and actions selected for implementaion, taking into account ongoing and planned energy projects.

The last session - orgnised in the form of a roundtable discussion - concerned challenges met during implementation of sustainable energy policies and strategies at local and regional level. The discussion was attended by representatives of European institutions - the European Parliament, the Committee of the Regions, Directorate-General for Energy (DG Energy - ENER), the European Commission, the Covenant of Mayors Office - and the representatives of local governments (mayor of Smolyan in Bulgaria - Marin Zahariev, mayor of Giurgiu in Romania - Nicolae Barbu, mayor of Kocevje in Slovenia - Vladimir Prebilic and representative of Miercurea Ciuc municipality - Pall Arpad).

All presentations of the persons involved in the "Green Twinning" project confirmed that green partnerships established between the cities and municipalities from different regions of Europe bring them a lot of benefits, enabling the transfer of knowledge, experience and best practices for the effective development of local energy policy and the efficient use of local renewable energy sources.