By Ieuan-Rhys Beal
The European Union’s Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW for short) is an awareness campaign dedicated to renewable and efficient energy use across Europe. With the UK Government recently announcing its commitment to cutting greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, there’s a renewed focus on sustainable / renewable energy sources and what part they can play in moving the UK away from a reliance on fossil fuels.
The 14th European Union Sustainable Energy Week started on Monday 17 June, with the highlight of the week being a three-day policy conference in Brussels aimed at discussing and shaping Europe’s energy future. Energy Day events have been taking place in the UK and across Europe in May and June, leading up to the European Union Sustainable Energy Week. You can see some examples from the UK on the EU SEW website .
The conference includes an awards ceremony that celebrates projects, programmes and individuals currently active in the sustainable energy space. Many of the principle presentations and discussion sessions will be streamed online from Tuesday 18 to Thursday 20 June. Energy Saving Trust representatives will be attending. Although registration is closed, it’s not too late to take part, as you can view the programme and join the sessions online.
How does Energy Saving Trust support sustainable energy use?
The University of Calgary defines sustainable energy as ‘energy production that can last for the foreseeable future’.
To help promote sustainable energy in the UK we work with national governments to oversee the running of a number of projects, programmes and schemes that look to make homes and workplaces more energy efficient and sustainable for future generations.
Examples of these projects include:
Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES)
Energy Saving Trust is part of an eight party consortium, committed to helping communities across Scotland reap the benefits of renewable energy systems, whether they’re commercially or community owned.
Delivered by Local Energy Scotland, the Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) encourages the local or community ownership of renewable energy across Scotland. It supports Scottish Government’s target to have 1GW of locally owned energy by 2020 and 2GW by 2030.
A network of regional development officers provide free impartial advice and support to communities on engaging with renewable energy. There is also a range of financial support in the form of loans and grants available.
Welsh Government Energy Service
The Welsh Government Energy Service provides financial and technical support to help public sector and community groups across Wales develop their own renewable energy schemes. Energy Saving Trust leads a consortium alongside Carbon Trust and with support from Local Partnerships, which helps deliver the service. The service has a number of loans and grants available for community groups to develop a project whilst also supporting public sector organisations source other finance options.
Energy Saving Trust has an established presence across the European Union, with a history of working on a number of successful programmes and projects. Two programmes that we have been involved in since their launch in 2012 are the Concerted Action for the Energy Efficiency Directive (CA EED) and the Concerted Action for the Renewables Directive (CA RES).
Energy Saving Trust is the nominated UK National Contact Point by UK Government for CA EED and CA RES. We look to promote engagement and participation of government officials and other relevant organisations for both directives.
Energy Saving Trust is also a long established member of the European Energy Network (ENR), having held its membership since 2003. The network looks to support governments in transforming energy markets through the implementation of policies and other market measures that drive the uptake of energy efficiency, renewable energy and clean transport.
Energy Saving Trust represents the UK in a number of working groups, which allow for organisations across the EU to share their knowledge and launch partner projects, most notably the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme. Earlier this year, Energy Saving Trust took over the presidency of the network. It will hold the presidency for one year.