zoom, 25 March 2021. The European energy transition has barely made the headlines since the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, the transformation of energy systems in Europe remains one of the most important challenges and opportunities. The Energiewende Partner City project, which was funded by the Federal Foreign Office and implemented by the Renewable Energy Agency together with the Humboldt-Viadrina Governance Platform, shows how the transformation can be advanced at municipal level. With a digital closing conference, the project is saying goodbye to the city pairs from Germany, Ireland, Greece, the Netherlands and Poland for the time being.
Over the past two years, the Energiewende Partner City project has accompanied a total of ten European municipalities in five city pairs in their progress towards the local energy transition and contributed to an exchange across national borders. The final conference on 25 March 2021 was scheduled to take place in Berlin, but had to be repeatedly postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and finally moved entirely to the digital space. In the meantime, a film has been made about why municipalities and European cooperation are so important for the success of the energy transition. We would like to thank the representatives of the twin towns of Alheim (DE)/ Dunleer (IRL), Braunsbedra (DE)/ Kozani (GR), Marburg (DE)/ Koscierzyna (PL), Pfaffenhofen (DE)/ Galway (IRL) and Steinhagen (DE)/ Woerden (NL), the Federal Foreign Office and Ellery Studio for inspiring this film and bringing it to life. Phasing out coal, the transformation of the energy system, climate education for children and young people, citizen dialogues, energy cooperatives - all these and many more topics were discussed in the European exchange project. We hope that the film will inspire other partner cities to launch joint initiatives for the energy transition, identify common points of contact and synergies and thus contribute to joint learning about the energy transition and European understanding.
The "Energy Transition Partner City" project, funded by the German Federal Foreign Office, has been running since 2018 in cooperation between the HUMBOLDT-VIADRINA Governance Platform and the Agency for Renewable Energies. As practice partners, the German Association of Local Utilities (VKU) and the German Association of Towns and Municipalities (DGStB) support the project activities, which aim to strengthen the exchange of knowledge and technology between German and European municipalities through bilateral workshops and multilateral online meetings as well as kick-off and final conferences.