Energy transition Twinning Towns – German city representatives visit their Portuguese and Swedish partner cities

Creating local climate protection and expansion of renewables in Europe – Grevesmühlen and Friedberg as guests of European partner cities

The cities of Friedberg (Hessen) and Grevesmühlen (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern) share knowledge and experience about the development of renewable energies. In the second phase of the “Energiewende Twinning Towns” pilot project funded by the German Federal Foreign Office and carried out by the Renewable Energy Agency (AEE) and the HUMBOLDT-VIADRINA Governance Platform (HVGP), the German city representatives visited their Portuguese and Swedish partner cities.

06. November 2017: Friedberg (Hesse) and Entroncamento (Portugal)

A delegation of six representatives from Friedberg – consisting of politics, administration, public utilities and college – traveled to Entroncamento (Portugal) with a suitcase full of experiences and ideas. Dirk Antkowiak, first city councilor and elected but not yet sworn mayor of the city of Friedberg, was pleased about the opportunity to further deepen the city partnership with Entroncamento, which was successfully presented in Berlin in June, with a full-day expert workshop. “Both cities bring with them experience in local climate protection. We were able to take some interesting ideas and suggestions to Friedberg and will discuss further steps at our next meeting in December 2017, “said Antkowiak.

The mayor of Entroncamento, Jorge Faria, welcomed the participants and emphasized that this meeting was an important building block of the young partnership. The interest of the more than 30 participants in the projects of the twinned city was very high. In addition to various approaches to equip all administration buildings with solar power modules or the application of GIS data for an energy concept, among other topic electromobility and energy-saving municipal lighting concepts were discussed.

08. November 2017: Grevesmühlen (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern) and Laxå (Sweden)

The Grevesmühlener traveled to their Swedish partners with much expertise and commitment as well. The mayor Lars Prahler was accompanied by the managing director of Stadtwerke and other employees and representatives of the city Grevesmühlen. “We have high hopes for the meeting. Especially in the field of wood energy, we can and want to learn from our Swedish friends, “said Mayor Prahler. “The technical quality of the discussion was very good. One reason is that we have known each other for many years. The knowledge transfer is not a one-way street, but an exchange on an equal footing. ”

The Swedish side was represented as well by the mayor Bo Rudolfson and stakeholders from the housing industry, the public utilities and entrepreneurs. The host was particularly interested in solar energy and the integration and further training of the local population. “We thank the German government for the financial support of these workshops. It comes at the right time , because we have a lot to do in the field of solar energy and Grevesmühlen can help us here,” said the Mayor of Laxå, Bo Rudolfson.

Energiewende and united Europe great concern of all participants

In addition to the exchange of technical knowledge about groundbreaking strategies for a local energy transition, all participants felt that the strengthening of the European idea was a major concern. Participants in both workshops emphasized that Europe would only grow together if future friendships were regularly nurtured through meetings and visits. An exchange on climate protection issues within the framework of a twinning is a good occasion for this.

Further information on the pilot project “Energiewende Twinning Towns”

The pilot project, funded by the Federal Foreign Office, selects suitable European city pairs and organizes and finances bilateral workshops in the field of renewable energies, accompanied by AEE and HVGP. The Association of Municipal Enterprises and the German Association of Towns and Municipalities are involved as practice partners. At the kick-off event in June 2017 at the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin, the city pairs Friedberg and Entroncamento as well as Grevesmühlen and Laxå prevailed in a selection process. Both couples won the organizational and financial support of an expert workshop.

More Information and pictures are available here (in German):