Driving Regional Cooperation for Renewables in the European Union

25 Apr – 26 Apr – Renewable energy sources (RES) will have to play a predominant role in EU’s future energy mix. However, the current policy and regulatory framework does not entirely facilitate this transition but rather reflects a business-as-usual approach. The current RE target on EU level in the Climate and Energy 2030 Framework lacks ambition with regards to the low goal setting of “at least 27%” but also due to its “EU-wide” level approach without member state contributions.

Given this weak policy framework, there is one mechanism, which may still help to increase the share of renewables to the scale and speed which is needed given today`s challenges: The idea of regional cooperation. Regional cooperation can effectively bridge the gap between national renewables policies and a Europeanised approach to renewables deployment. Additionally, regional action across borders allows for participation of non-state actors, possibly a higher political legitimacy and fitted solutions for local conditions. A common cross-border identity might be facilitated through these projects and the revenue generated by the decentralized energy plants is more likely to stay in the region.

Therefore, together with the Heinrich Böll Foundation EU Office, we are organising a stakeholder workshops on regional cooperation, exploring opportunities to scale up renewable energy in the European Union. The workshop is hosted by Representation of Lower Saxony to the EU (25 April afternoon) and the Representation of the State of Baden-Württemberg to the EU (26 April morning).

The first day (25 April) will gather regional experts from across Europe to discuss practical for regional renewable energy cooperation. The aim is to bring people from bottom-up initiatives of cross-border subnational cooperation together, so that they can present their projects and facilitate the dialogue amongst them. These experts from the ground will include representatives from local and regional governments as well as project-managers, utilities, regulators and citizens groups. The second day (26 April) provides a platform for policy dialogue with EU institutions to explore how to foster RES deployment in the European Union by strengthening regions and regional cooperation. Representatives from the European Commission, European Parliament, energy regulators and other stakeholders from Brussels are invited to share their views and perspectives. The findings from the first debate – including the strengths and challenges of and for the local cooperation projects – will be presented. Finally, participants are invited to jointly develop ideas on how to build and strengthen a political process for regional cooperation on RE in the EU.

This workshop is part of a programme, which the Heinrich Böll Foundation EU office and the World Future Council are hosting over the upcoming months. It consists of a series of stakeholder workshops and a study tour to further develop, discuss and exchange solutions enhancing and strengthening regional cooperation aiming at a sustainable energy transition. The goal is to provide concrete examples and transferrable policy solutions by discussing crucial questions with and in frontrunner regions. Therefore it will be organised in the framework of HBF’s #Regions4GreenEconomy series which are organised together with the representatives of different German Länder in Brussels, and the Global 100% RE Campaign.

Please find here the detailed agenda for the two days. If you are interested in attending, please register here.