The SET-UP Smart Energy conference has been held in Brussels on 20th of March 2019. This event closed the interregional learning process undertaken by project partners and leading to the definition of 6 regional Action Plans for better smart grid policies. Main goal of the conference: sharing the main lessons learnt on the transition to a smart energy system and the role of public authorities in this process.

The conference has been the occasion for project partners to present their regional good practices and Action Plans to representatives of several European regions and the European Commission. During thematic panel sessions organized around the 3 dimensions of the energy transition (social, economic, financial), partners illustrated their approach to smart grid development with examples of successful energy projects and future actions supported by regional policies.

This exchange has emphasized the key role of interregional collaboration in identifying common barriers and shared solutions for the development of smart grids at European level. The common approach validated by project partners highlights the critical role of consumer engagement in ensuring the transition to a decentralised energy model. An effective collaboration among all relevant stakeholders and a strong public financial support are other key factors that boost innovation and stimulate the industry at regional level.

The SET-UP project has validated a common approach toward smart grids deployment:

  • The essential involvement of consumers to ensure trust and social acceptance of new solutions, making them active players of the energy transition.  
  • The engagement of all stakeholders of the value chain in a collaborative process to encourage the matching between supply and demand, enable the emergence of innovative technologies and validate new business models.   
  • The need of public funding to promote and encourage initiatives, especially regional funding to address specific territorial needs. 
  • The trend toward decentralisation of energy systems, that must be supported to allow more renewable energy and local acceptance.  

The event has also provided the opportunity to discuss the future of smart grids after 2020 from a policy perspective. In this framework, Mario Dionisio - Directorate General for Energy of the European Commission - presented the new energy policy framework defined by the European Union, and Marcello Barboni - Joint Research Center – illustrated the role of other interregional collaboration initiatives, such as the Smart Specialisation Platforms.  Further discussions around 4 key themes of the energy transition process (mobility, islands, consumers and smart city) allowed the participants to define the priorities for 2030.

The Smart Energy Conference has allowed a fruitful exchange of views and experiences among regional authorities and opened the way to future collaboration opportunities. By sharing successful good practices and lessons learnt with other European stakeholders active in the energy sector, SET-UP contributes to building efficient regional policies for a smart grid future, thus paving the way to a more energy efficient and sustainable Europe.  

Useful links:

Our Good Practices to better support smart grid development 

SET-UP objectives, focus and results in a 4-minute video 

Our lessons learnt for more efficient public policies