Energy Cities proposition 01 - Take local control of energy supply

Empowering local players

2014

Energy Cities l’association européenne des autorités locales en transition énergétique

Energy Cities is a network of more than 1,000 cities in 30 different countries. Convinced that energy transition is more than a question of renewable energy or advanced technologies, Energy Cities proposes to use resources in a reasoned way, to strengthen local participation and to improve the quality of life in a democratic Europe. In 2014, the network presents 30 proposals for the Energy Transition of Territories.

They are a source of inspiration to think and act differently. To finally turn the page on unsustainable practices that lead us into energy, climate and perhaps economic and social dead ends.

À télécharger : cahier_short_jan2014_en.pdf (6,8 Mio)

Energy Cities proposition 01 - Take local control of energy supply

The problem at hand

European countries are of various types. In Scandinavian and federal countries, municipalities are responsible for their territories’ energy supply and set up local energy utilities to carry out this mission. This contributes to developing a sense of responsibility amongst local authorities, whilst providing them with a source of income.

In other Western, Eastern and Southern European countries, local authorities do not have such power and responsibility. It is a State monopoly, which has sometimes evolved into a private monopoly. Some cities own their energy grids and are allowed to build heating networks, even with using combined heat and power - CHP. However, large energy companies always have the upper hand and get all the added value. These companies are usually not favourable to heating networks, which are local networks by nature.

Innovation, local resource mobilisation and CHP development are clearly ahead in countries where cities have more power in this area.

Proposal

Take responsibility for the territory’s energy supply. This is a decision which comes under national laws.

Experience shows that entrusting a local administration with power and responsibility always leads to better service. In the field of energy, it is a strong leverage for transition as it increases population acceptance of the infrastructures. It fosters creativity and innovation and stimulates local activities, thus creating economic added value that remains in the territory.

Conditions for success

In countries where municipalities have this power and responsibility:

  • Making full use of the potential offered in connection with energy efficiency and renewable energy objectives.

In countries where this is not the case:

  • Claiming such power and responsibility by referring to the experience of other countries as an example.

  • Making good use of responsibility “niches” in existing legislation..

Références

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