Marie Donnelly, Director for Renewables, Research and Innovation Efficiency at DG Energy, highlighted the importance of “putting the energy consumers at the center of the energy system” in Europe, in the conference “Investing in Europe: building a coalition of smart cities & regions towards a third industrial revolution”, held yesterday at the Committee of the Regions.
The high-level conference and debate, attended by NOBEL GRID, was organised by the European Commission and the European Committee of the Regions to join forces and support local and regional government cooperation and unlock investment.
Markku Markkula, President of the Committee of the Regions and Maroš Šefčovič, Vice President of the European Commission in charge of Energy Union hosted the conference. Professor Jeremy Rifkin, President of the Foundation on Economic Trends, and other important representatives of the European Commission and the Committee of the Regions participated also in the event.
The overall aim of the event was to provide interesting insights about the current strategies carried out in different geographical areas across Europe in order to become “smarter” and also about the existing financing opportunities to fund these policies.
The Energy Union and the “Clean Energy for all Europeans” were discussed also as key issue within the building coalition of smart cities and regions topic.
Regarding the transition towards a new energy system, Professor Jeremy Rifkin stated that nowadays, energy is produced by small actors through cooperatives, and this is leading to the appearance of a whole range of new business models.
This high-level seminar represented a unique opportunity to bring together key stakeholders of the so-called “3rd (digital) Industrial Revolution”, and to share knowledge and experiences currently being implemented in Europe within the current policy framework.