An Enlightening Day at Enlit Europe: Insights and Inspirations

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Marine Cornelis shares her insights from Enlit Europe on energy poverty, sustainable energy, and the importance of governance in energy communities.
Marine Cornelis at ENLIT 2023 Democratisation Hub

As a seasoned expert in energy policy and a staunch supporter of sustainable energy solutions, I had the remarkable opportunity to participate once more in Enlit Europe, a premier conference in the energy industry. This event was enlightening and offered me a wealth of perspectives on advancing energy democracy and justice. Let me share some highlights and critical insights from the event, which I find essential in our collective pursuit of a more sustainable and equitable energy landscape.

1. Tackling Energy Poverty: A Collaborative Approach

One of the highlights of my day was chairing a panel discussion at the Democratisation hub focused on energy poverty. The session featured insightful contributions from industry leaders like Kalina Trifonova of EVN Bulgaria, Rebecca Dibb-Simkin of Octopus Energy Group, Massimo Bello from European Energy Retailers (EER), and Luisa Matos of Cleanwatts. The discussion revolved around how suppliers can assist vulnerable customers, showcasing compelling examples and best practices in the field. This session underscored the importance of collaborative efforts in addressing energy poverty and supporting vulnerable consumers.

2. Celebrating Sustainable Energy Initiatives: EUSEW and Beyond

Another enriching experience was presenting the European Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW), the EU’s flagship event on renewable energies. As a long-standing ambassador of this initiative, I was thrilled to join forces with Areti Ntaradimou, Chris Vrettos, and Raffaele Ferrando in highlighting the significance of EUSEW as a platform for stakeholder and policymaker engagement. This event plays a pivotal role in fostering energy justice and democracy, crucial elements in our fight against the climate crisis.

3. Governance in Energy Communities: A Video Interview Insight

I also had the opportunity to delve into the topic of governance structures for energy communities in a video interview with Yusuf Latief. This conversation highlighted the critical role of governance in ensuring the effectiveness and sustainability of energy communities, a key aspect of the energy transition.

Key Takeaways: Embracing the Energy Transition

The overarching message from my experiences at Enlit Europe is clear: in the face of the climate crisis, it is imperative to encourage people to embrace the energy transition and take ownership of the solutions. This means moving away from top-down approaches and fostering more bottom-up strategies that challenge the status quo. Such a shift is essential to reduce energy vulnerability, increase resilience, and ensure a sustainable future.

The Role of Energy Businesses and Policymakers

Trust and simplicity should be at the core of B2C practices for energy businesses and suppliers. It is vital to deliver the right message and tools to the right people, a principle that applies to public authorities’ messages. Conversely, policymakers must foster meaningful conversations among diverse groups and encourage healthy competition among stakeholders. This will spur innovation and enable it to scale effectively.

Looking Ahead: COP28UAE and Green Skills

The right policy frameworks, financial tools, and expanding the workforce’s skillsets are crucial as we fasten our seatbelts for the energy transition. Speaking of which, I am excited to share that I will present some research on Green Skills in French-speaking countries at COP28UAE in Dubai on 9 December. You can find more information about this research here.

This day at Enlit Europe was not just another event in the calendar; it was a reaffirmation of our collective commitment to a sustainable energy future. As we continue to navigate the complexities of the energy transition, let’s remember the power of collaboration, innovation, and informed policymaking in shaping a world where energy is a right, not a privilege.

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