The 6th EUSALP Energy Conference in a nutshell
The 6th EUSALP Energy Conference was organized on 11 October 2022 in Bolzano/Bozen under the motto “Reliable, affordable and sustainable energy in the Alps”. The conference was co-organized by the Autonomous Provinces of Bolzano/Bozen and Trento and represents a main event of the Italian Presidency. To make the Alpine area a model region for energy efficiency and renewable energy is a focal point of the European Strategy for the Alpine Region (EUSALP). The topic of secure, sustainable and financially accessible energy supply has increasingly come into focus in connection with the energy crisis. This year's Eusalp Energy Conference was therefore organized under the topic of "Reliable, affordable and sustainable energy in the Alps".
Giuliano Vettorato, Deputy Governor and Provincial Councilor for Energy of the autonomous Province of Bolzano, opened the conference by explaining that "the issues of energy scarcity and security of supply are at the top of the provincial policy agenda". The provincial government is planning measures on several levels. With the aim to "alleviate the effects of high energy prices in the short term, to relieve the economy and to counteract energy shortage". New incentives should drive an energy turnaround with investments in renewable energy sources. Trentino's Governor Mario Tonina, who as Provincial Councillor is also responsible for environmental issues, called for focusing on structural interventions to achieve the medium- and long-term EUSALP goals of decarbonisation.
Wolfgang D'Innocenzo, Italian Ministry for Ecological Transition, gave an overview over the Italian energy policy and about the short-term measures planned within the framework of the reconstruction plan until 2026, for which 60 billion euros are available. Elena de Gregorio, EU Commission, DG Ener, reported on the European strategies to overcome energy shortage. She presented the EU strategy "REPowerEU", with which the European Commission - against the background of the Russian invasion of Ukraine - wants to make Europe independent from fossil fuels from Russia before 2030. The aim is to save energy, accelerate the energy transition and diversify Europe’s energy supply. Prof. Davide Tabarelli, Director Nomisma Energia, gave insights to which extend the raising energy prices actually push the roll-out of energy efficiency and renewable energies.
In the second half of the conference, the challenges of municipalities and enterprises in responding to the energy crisis were discussed. Mariadonata Bancher, Energy Agency South Tyrol-CasaClima, presented the outcomes of the energy dialogue “Energy Crisis: immediate measures in municipalities” that was organized with 40 municipalities and 60 participants the day before the conference. Sara Verones, APRIE Trento, and Alessandro Garofalo (Garofalo & Idee Associate) presented the outcomes of the energy dialogue “Energy Crisis: structural responses for the manufacturing sector” organized on 10 October in Trento. Matteo Mazzolini, Director Energy Agency of Friuli Venezia Giulia, presented Renewable Energy Communities as a tool of local administrations to implement the energy transition. Bruno Oberhuber, Director Energy Agency Tyrol, showcased good practices of energy efficiency measures and the roll-out of renewable energies in municipalities in Tyrol.
Ulrich Santa, General Director Energy Agency South Tyrol-CasaClima concluded the conference: "We cannot enforce the climate change from our comfort zone, but we will be forced to do so in an emergency situation." The 6th EUSALP Energy Conference was followed by the awarding of the first EUSALP Energy Awards.
Noi Techpark, Bolzano