Cities learning for fair, clean, and democratic energy
We cannot solve our
problems with the same
thinking we used when we
— Albert Einstein
The energy system is undergoing a period of huge change. Mass decentralisation of energy in the context of decarbonisation, new technological development and the need to address pressing social and environmental issues throw up questions, dilemmas and new opportunities. Two emerging agendas suggest that municipalities and you as leaders within them have a key role to play at this time of change. As citizens are being required to make big changes in their lifestyles and behaviours, they are naturally beginning to question the legitimacy of the energy system actors involved and to ask for fairness in the allocation of the costs and benefits of the transition. As responsive, locally based institutions rooted in democratic accountability, municipalities are well placed to act as key intermediaries and delivery partners within the transition.
Secondly, the complexity and scale of the transition is beginning to point towards the need for an integrated, local approach to energy. Local actors and municipalities have long understood this dynamic, pushing successfully for the establishment of the ‘Local Energy Community’ in EU law. This provides the opportunity to harmonise elements of generation, distribution and energy services delivery within a bounded geographical area or region. Municipalities must continue to lead these discussions giving shape and definition at this crucial time as they become integrated into legislation and directives.
Many municipalities all over Europe have already shown immense initiative, creativity and innovation in tackling the challenges and tapping into the opportunities arising. At this moment cooperation and learning is essential if we are to create the robust models capable of delivering clean, fair and democratic energy.
mPower Exchange offers you the opportunity to work with a group of peers, with a common understanding of the challenges and opportunities, to collaborate in the strategising and hands-on delivery that will inform the next stage of the European energy transition. Among peers you’ll be able to connect more easily, trust more and crucially benefit faster from exposure to their thinking, problem solving, professional networks, best practice and innovative ideas. Tapping into the collective intelligence and wisdom of such a group can be extremely powerful, especially in a forum that provides a safe harbor — a place to test your thinking and ideas and to ask questions with supportive colleagues who are there to help and not to judge.
This handbook is a resource for you to use during the mPower Exchange programme. It holds background information about the programme, key logistics and most importantly space for you to note and collect your observations, reflections and action plans. It is deliberately set up in a flexible format so you can add sheets and change the order as you like.
We very much look forward to working with you,
Your mPower Team.
Download the handbook here.