On Thursday 24th June, the Border Focal Point Network organised the third episode of the ‘Beyond Borders: Breakfast Debates’ series. This edition focused on cross-border sustainable energy cooperation.
The session discussed how border regions can greatly benefit from cooperation and synergies in the development of sustainable energy systems, while also covering the obstacles for such collaboration.
Local projects brought together evidence of how cross-border cooperation can help achieve the EU’s transition to sustainable energy. The SEREH project (Smart Energy Region Emmen Haren), the only project concerning cross-border energy exchange in Europe, which began in 2014, facilitates a smooth exchange of energy between Haren (Germany), which is self-sufficient in renewable electricity, and its neighbour Emmen (Netherlands). In the Basque Country (France-Spain), the BLUESARE project promotes a regional offer dedicated to renewable marine energies, and collaboration among energy companies in the area; while the RES-TMO project implements a renewables-based energy system in the Upper Rhine region (France-Germany-Switzerland). The panel agreed that effective integration of energy infrastructure across borders and harmonisation of national policies are key to achieving successful outcomes.
Representatives from the European Commission also contributed to the event with DG REGIO providing an overview of the role of border regions in enabling the transition towards a climate neutral Europe by 2050. DG ENER discussed current opportunities for enhancing the clean energy transition in EU border areas. The new Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) can support cross-border projects in the field of renewable energy. The initiative has a 5.83 billion EUR budget, with 875 million EUR subjected to the market uptake of the benefited regions.
If you could not join us for this event or if you would like to watch it again, the recording is available here:
More information on the topic and useful websites:
The 'Beyond Borders: Breakfast Debates' series has been designed to highlight ways in which cross-border regions can be supported in tackling specific problems, building on their many assets. The debates will provide the opportunity for stakeholders and policy experts to convene and discuss the continued challenges and obstacles to cross-border cooperation.