Local Energy Supplies and Recommunalization of Utility Providers

This seminar will gather practitioners, civil society and academics to discuss merits and challenges of such initiatives and similarities and differences between them

PERFORMED ACTIVITY
29 March 2019 - 09:00h
LOCATION: Sala Jordi Maragall, CIDOB. Elisabets 12, 08001 Barcelona
ORGANIZED BY: CIDOB´s Global Cities Programme with the support of the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona (AMB)

COLLABORATORS (1):

PARTNERS:

Objective

Privatization of utility companies and provision of basic services via Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) has been the conventional wisdom of a liberal dogma that reigned supreme from the 1980s until the global financial crisis in 2008. Private providers would run municipal enterprises more efficiently and their privatization would free capital for other purposes, so the argument went.  

Critics have pointed to negative consequences of such privatizations: often the new owners hiked prices and contributed to energy poverty. Urban communities on the other hand were deprived of the ability to actively shape local energy policies and introduce social and environmental consideration into local energy politics. 

Such criticism has led to initiatives for improved schemes of local energy provision, ranging from changed ownership structures, modified private-public partnerships to prevention or reversal privatization of communal energy providers. In Hamburg a successful local referendum was launched in 2016 on the recommunalization of the local provider for electricity, natural gas and long-distance heating. Other German cities have seen similar initiatives, for example Berlin. Montevideo has actively sought to increase the renewable energy share in its energy provision and the Palestinian city of Hebron has a municipal company for energy provision, HEPCo, that faces challenges and opportunities in its specific local context. Barcelona has launched its own municipal energy company, Barcelona Energy in 2018, a public metropolitan electricity operator that will supply renewable electricity to the City Council and other municipal companies, as well as street lighting. Among its state goals is “having an active role in the energy market to make it more fair, efficient and sustainable”.  

This seminar will gather practitioners, civil society and academics to discuss merits and challenges of such initiatives and similarities and differences between them. 

 

Files

Participants

SPEAKERS

Eloi Badia

Eloi Badia

Councillor for Water and Energy, Barcelona City Council; Vice-president for Environment, Metropolitan Area of Barcelona (AMB)

Mirco Beisheim

Mirco Beisheim

Member of the Campaign Board, Civil Movement for the Hamburg Referendum on Recommunalization of Local Energy Provision

Christoph Burger

Christoph Burger

Senior Lecturer, EMST Berlin

Daniel Chavez

Daniel Chavez

Fellow, Senior Project Officer, Transnational Institute, Amsterdam

Raof El-Sheikh Samih

Raof El-Sheikh Samih

General Manager, Hebron Electric Power Co. (HEPCo)

Eva Garcia Chueca

Eva Garcia Chueca

Senior Research Fellow, Global Cities Programme Scientific Coordinator, CIDOB

Pia Laborgne

Pia Laborgne

Researcher, European Institute for Energy Research (EIFER), Karlsruhe

Giacomo Luciani

Giacomo Luciani

Co-Director of the Executive Master in Oil and Gas Leadership, The Graduate Institute, Geneva; Scientific Director of the Master in International Energy, Sciences-Po

Jörg Mühlenhoff

Jörg Mühlenhoff

Advisor, Berliner Energietisch

Clara Rodríguez

Clara Rodríguez

Technical Advisor, Vice-presidency for Environment, Metropolitan Area of Barcelona (AMB)

Ana Romero Càlix

Ana Romero Càlix

Climate change and Environmental Awareness Project Manager, Metropolitan Area of Barcelona (AMB)

Antoni Segura

Antoni Segura

President, CIDOB

Eckart Woertz

Eckart Woertz

Senior Research Fellow, CIDOB

Local Energy Supplies and Recommunalization of Utility Providers PERFORMED ACTIVITY

09:00h Welcome remarks

Eloi Badia, Councillor for Water and Energy, Barcelona City Council; Vice-president for Environment, Metropolitan Area of Barcelona (AMB)

Antoni Segura, President, CIDOB       

09:20h Decentralized Energy Provision: Opportunities and Challenges

Moderator:   Eckart Woertz, Senior Research Fellow, CIDOB

Keynote:   

The Decentralized Energy Revolution

Christoph Burger, Senior Lecturer, EMST Berlin

Global energy trends and local energy provision: What role for renewables?

Giacomo Luciani, Co-Director of the Executive Master in Oil and Gas Leadership, The Graduate Institute, Geneva; Scientific Director of the Master in International Energy, Sciences-Po

Barcelona’s attempts to tackle energy poverty and provide more sustainable energy

Clara Rodríguez, Technical Advisor, Vice-presidency for Environment, Metropolitan Area of Barcelona (AMB)

11:00h Coffee Break

11:30h Local Experiences of Municipal Energy Provision: Hamburg, Montevideo and Hebron

Moderator:   Giacomo Luciani, Co-Director of the Executive Master in Oil and Gas Leadership, The Graduate Institute, Geneva; Scientific Director of the Master in International Energy, Sciences-Po

Keynote:

The role of citizens' engagement in the change of energy distributions systems: The Hamburg referendum on recommunalization of local energy provision

Mirco Beisheim, member of the Campaign Board, Civil Movement for the Hamburg Referendum on Recommunalization of Local Energy Provision

Local energy provision and sustainable energy action plan by a municipal energy company: The case of Hebron (Palestine)

Raof El-Sheikh Samih, General Manager, Hebron Electric Power Co. (HEPCo)

Uruguay’s program to increase production and consumption of renewable energies: Implications for Montevideo

Daniel Chavez, Fellow, Senior Project Officer, Transnational Institute, Amsterdam

13:00h Lunch

14:00h Local Energy Provision: Future prospects in Barcelona and Berlin

Moderator:    Eva Garcia Chueca, Senior Research Fellow, Global Cities Programme Scientific Coordinator, CIDOB  

Keynote:    

Transforming urban energy systems as socio-technical challenge

Pia Laborgne, Researcher, European Institute for Energy Research (EIFER), Karlsruhe  

The 2013 referendum on recommunalization in Berlin and future prospects of local energy supplies

Jörg Mühlenhoff, Advisor, Berliner Energietisch  

AMB’s Climate and Energy Plan 2030

Ana Romero Càlix, Climate change and Environmental Awareness Project Manager, Metropolitan Area of Barcelona (AMB)

15:30h End of conference