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Do it fast but do it smart! European Energy Strategy 2020: AER members visit GE Smart Grid Centre and promote the role of regions in speeding up an energy efficient Europe

Date

01 Feb 2011

Sections

Energy
Regional Policy

Bracknell (UK), 1 February 2011.

To affirm its commitment to a low-carbon future on the eve of the EU Summit, the Assembly of European Regions (AER) organised together with its partner GE Energy, regional representatives and energy experts a one-day event presenting viable actions to build up an energy efficient European territory. “Much of the success of the European Energy Strategy 2020 lies upon regional policies and actions: regions have proved to be more efficient and active than other levels of governance. My County has already implemented concrete and innovative solutions in Hampshire” said Mel KENDAL, County Councillor of Hampshire (UK). “But of course we still need to improve our energy policies and we need to do it fast if we want to get out of the environmental crisis in the near future. This is the purpose of our today’s event” he concluded.

“Energy 2020: a strategy for competitive, sustainable and secure energy”
Adopted by the European Commission in November of 2010, "Energy 2020" defines the energy priorities for the next ten years and sets the actions to be taken in order to tackle the challenges of saving energy and achieving a market with competitive prizes and secure supplies. Among the top priorities identified in the Communication, some are crucial for the regions: achieving an energy efficient Europe, empowering consumers and achieving the highest level of safety and security, extending Europe's leadership in energy technology and innovation. ”An AER survey has shown that 91% of our member regions position energy as one of the key priorities in the next 15 years and 75% already have an energy strategy in place. However, the sub-national level is still not considered as a true partner in European energy policy. I hope that the European Commission will come forward with initiatives and proposals that are built on a bottom-up approach and give regions the role they deserve” said Kenneth BACKGÅRD, County Councillor of Norrbotten (S) and Chairman of the AER Group on Climate Change and Energy.

From discussions to field study: visit to the GE Smart Grid Centre
As the European Communication "Energy 2020" calls for further efforts to upgrade energy infrastructures, particularly the grid infrastructure (smart meters and power grids) as key to full exploitation of the potential for renewable energy, GE Energy opened the doors of its Smart Grid Demonstration Centre in Bracknell (UK) to European regions.

“Thanks to the knowledge shared by GE Energy we are now able to go back to our regions and elaborate energy policies that meet our needs and the “Energy 2020” objectives. And of course we expect a lot from the Summit of the heads of EU governments to be held next Friday, which should be strongly focused on energy matters. “ concluded Kenneth BACKGÅRD.
"The EU has committed to shrinking carbon production whilst ensuring energy security for its member states and here in the UK, the Government’s goal of installing smart meters in every home by 2020 is a valuable step towards smarter energy usage," said Magued ELDAIEF, UK Managing Director, GE Energy. "GE supports the European Union’s goals for a lower-emission, higher efficiency energy infrastructure and has proven technology that allow consumers and utilities to better monitor and manage their energy usage, for example in the UK GE solutions already manage 13 of the 14 Distribution Networks and we now have metering solutions approved by U.K. regulators."

The AER study “Sustainable energy policies in European Regions”:
http://www.aer.eu/en/main-issues/energy-policy.html

The AER survey “Regional investment in energy projects”:
http://www.aer.eu/events/regionaldevelopment/2011/aer-survey-on-regional-investment-in-energy-projects.html

Save the date!
European Regions Energy Days 2011, 11-12 April 2011, Brussels (B)

The Assembly of European Regions (AER – aer.eu) is the largest independent network of regions in wider Europe. Bringing together more than 270 regions from 33 countries and 16 interregional organisations, AER is the political voice of its members and a forum for interregional co-operation.

AER Contacts

Francine Huhardeaux
Press & Communications Officer
+33 3 88 22 74 49
f.huhardeaux@aer.eu

Valentina Guerra / Antonio Buscardini
Press & Communication Assistants
+33 3 88 22 74 33/44
v.guerra@aer.eu  - a.buscardini@aer.eu
   
Christina Diegelmann
Senior Policy Coordinator
Committee “Economy and Regional Development”
+33 388 22 74 38
c.diegelmann@aer.eu

Justyna Podralska
Policy Coordinator
Committee “Economy and Regional Development”
+33 388 22 74 37
j.podralska@aer.eu

For further information:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Assembly-of-European-Regions/150836174931200
http://refer.blogactiv.eu/

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