Reaching climate neutrality by 2050, as is set out by the European Commission’s strategic long-term vision, requires timely decarbonisation of the European energy sector, including a phase-out of coal. This will particularly affect regions, which are depending on the coal sector and other high-carbon industries, as they will have to transit to low-carbon economies in the coming decades. In many of the Balkan countries, coal is a central part of the energy mix. While none of the countries has set a phase-out date for coal, some have already started preparing the transition away from coal.
The Clean Energy Transition Event of the Balkans
Balkan countries are at a crossroad concerning the future of their ageing coal-based energy infrastructure. At the same time, they are facing pressure to keep up with their commitments for the protection of the climate and adopt comprehensive energy and climate policies within the context either of their EU commitments or their EU accession process. Some of the Balkan regions are already in transition phase while others will be in the near future. Balkan Clean Energy Transition (BCET) will provide the opportunity for international, national, regional and local representatives to discuss and exchange experiences how these Balkan regions can best modernize their economies in line with a clean energy transition that also focuses on social fairness, new skills and financing for the real economy.
The ambition of Balkan Clean Energy Transition is to be the Clean Energy accelerator that places the Balkan area on the global map as a vibrant & vital area where innovative solutions for a cleaner, greener, smarter, safer, and better world are fostered. It will serve as the institutional initiative to start preparing for a transition to the post coal era.
The Balkan Clean Energy Transition is expected to be a bi-annual event, during which new international Clean Energy initiatives, challenges and solutions will be presented. For this time, the 2019 Balkan Clean Energy Transition Event will be under the auspices of the Technical Chamber of Greece (TEE), the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), with the support of the EU Smart Cities Information System (SCIS) and the European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC). Inspired by best practices around the world, Balkan Clean Energy Transition will attempt to create unique experiences and valuable spaces for interaction, whilst maintaining the opportunity to maximise floor space and visibility for exhibitors – both large and small in the whole Balkan area.
Balkan Clean Energy Transition Conference is a three-day event (19 – 21 September) covering Clean Energy topics such as renewables, energy efficiency, smart cities, circular economy, mobility, governance and citizen engagement, all of them leading the Balkan area throughout the coal transition.
In parallel with the Conference, the Balkan Clean Energy Transition Fair is a four-day exhibition (19-22 September) showcasing new technological solutions that will make Balkans cleaner and greener. The international conference and fair will be enhanced by interactive sessions of knowledge exchange to inspire attendees in current and future Clean Energy initiatives. An interesting mix of panels, presentations, discussions, roadshow, B2B exchanges, student matching and mentoring and other animated activities will foster the transition to the whole Balkan area and beyond.