Market failures and public ownership options in the European municipal energy transition

There is a paradox at the heart of Europe’s ambition to achieve a municipal energy transition. On the one hand, there is recognition of the importance of municipal and community action to tackle climate change. It is widely recognised that the local level – the scale of everyday life – is a critical policy space for developing strategies for achieving an energy transition. From our work on the MPOWER project, however, it is evident that while municipalities are keen to set ambitious targets and goals, without supportive infrastructure and policies at national and European levels that are not driven by marketisation imperatives, they will struggle.

Barcelona Energía: public power to tackle energy poverty and achieve energy sovereignty

The Barcelona Energy Agency (AEB) is a public consortium that consists of a number of authorities that are directly involved in managing energy and the environment: Barcelona City Council, Barcelona Metropolitan Area, the Catalan Energy Institute, the Autonomous University of Barcelona and the Polytechnic University of Catalonia. AEB aims to boost the city’s reputation as a benchmark city in terms of promoting energy saving and energy efficiency, and enhancing knowledge about and the use of renewable energy.

The ‘smart’ transformation of a Black Sea metropolis

Burgas has recently been named the ‘Best city to live in Bulgaria’[1] – which ­may just have something to do with its strategy of transforming itself into a climate-friendly city without leaving any of its residents behind. The implementation of the municipality’s action plan 2014-2020, designed to set Burgas on a path towards becoming an inclusive ‘smart’ metropolis, has already changed the face of the city’s residential buildings and upgraded its transport system.