This seminar will gather practitioners, civil society and academics to discuss merits and challenges of such initiatives and similarities and differences between them
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.
Eloi Badia, Councillor for Water and Energy, Barcelona City Council; Vice-president for Environment, Metropolitan Area of Barcelona (AMB)
Antoni Segura, President, CIDOB
Moderator: Eckart Woertz, Senior Research Fellow, CIDOB
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)
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
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
Moderator: Eva Garcia Chueca, Senior Research Fellow, Global Cities Programme Scientific Coordinator, CIDOB
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)