It has been a privilege to lead panel 3 of the European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (eceee) summer study with Rod Janssen and Sophie Shnapp of Energy in Demand. The topic, this year, was “Agents of Change”.
I’ve Got The Power (Citizen Engagement)
High voltage (Governance & frameworks)
What’s The Frequency, Kenneth? (EE or not EE, that’s the question)
Live wire (Financing Net Zero)
Make a Circuit With Me (Local Decision-Making)
Cosmic Energy (Governance & frameworks)
Electric Avenue (Questioning utilities)
Our panel was about policy, finance and governance, and yes, we covered almost everything. We had the privilege to receive insights on topics as different as energy poverty; energy law; auctions; multiple benefits of energy efficiency; financing schemes; the disappointing results of many policies; the mind-boggling expansion of gas networks; local cooperation; gender-sensitive lightning; or the different ways to make lasting policy impact and try to change the system to become more energy sufficient.
Energy efficiency policies need the right combination of policy, finance and governance measures to generate optimal and lasting energy savings, contribute to decarbonisation processes and keep climate justice and a just transition at the forefront of our mitigation actions. In this panel, we explored how various frameworks are financed, designed, implemented and managed to make a difference and meet the long-term objectives of the Paris Climate Agreement. The panel focuses on topics related to policy foundations, such as European Union Directives, their interactions and the need for coordination between them. Out-of-the-box discussions related to how policies support more progressive concepts such as sufficiency, positive energy, negative carbon, positive energy districts, smart buildings, regenerative economies, multiple benefits, decentralisation and prosumers, etc., at national, European and international levels are welcome. But thinking out-of-the-box is where we must be, and the papers presented were chosen to do precisely that. If we are to address the messages from the IPCC reports, and if we are to implement the Fit-for-55 package and the European Green Deal, nothing can remain as business-as-usual.
All these presentations had something in common: the cosmic energy of their authors. Our panellists want to make a difference; they are agents of change. And that might be the key: in the end, it’s about the people. People matter. Human beings are the ones who can make or break our (energy) systems. They may get angry, team up, vote and decide on shared objectives and results that make us live within the boundaries of our planet – or not.
We have the power to ensure that everyone is on board whether they are European, African, or Asian; identify as male or female or the gender of their choice; able or not, and do or do not have the capabilities to act. So we urgently need different voices.
But this power needs to be catalysed. To be stronger, we need to be organised. We need to be vocal and visible. We need excellent storylines and storytellers. We need agents of change!!
So that was just a good start!!
So why did we choose those names for our panels? Well, they are all song names, more or less related to energy.
There’s one we didn’t put, but it would fit too: We Will Rock You!
Thank you everyone and see you in a couple of years, and thanks a million to Rod for following me and my crazy ideas 😆