Mountains are full of energy
Mountain areas are rich of renewable energy resources. Mountains can make a key contribution through the use of their natural resources: water, wood, sun, wind, etc. For some resources, the potential for development is still huge. For others, like water which has been exploited for more than a century, the challenge is rather related to the rational use of the resource. In all cases, the question of how to compensate mountain territories for the use of its resources must be addressed.
Furthermore, mountain areas have always had an interest in energy efficiency and the primary objectives must therefore remain reducing energy, electricity and heat consumption and using energy resources more efficiently, for public, private and business purposes.
A context inviting to act
- Climate change: Mountain areas will be the first ones affected by climate change. Increase of temperature, change of vegetation, withdrawal of glaciers, these are some of the risks and challenges that mountains, more than other regions, will have to face. In order to limit the scale of climate change and thus its consequences, measures have to be taken from now on.
- EU objectives: in December 2008, the European Commission adopted an energy and climate change policy aiming at reaching in Europe the “20-20-20” objectives by 2020:
- reducing by 20% the green house gas emissions,
- raising to 20% the use of renewable energies and
- reducing the energy consumption by 20% thanks to improvements in energy efficiency.
Mountain areas have a great potential to contribute to the realisation of those objectives.
Euromontana started to put a stronger focus on the topic of energy in 2009 when the position paper on energy was developed. This position paper was appreciated by a broad audience all over Europe and gave birth to different kind of actions like the involvement in the FREE initiative.
Policy – representation
- Euromontana’s position on energy in mountain areas: a collaborative work has been realised in 2009 by Euromontana’s members, under the lead of Irealp, to establish a position on energy in mountain areas. The position paper contains 9 recommendations to better support the development of energy efficiency measures and of the use of the potential of the mountain renewable energy sources.
More information: download our position
- Follow –up of activities at EU level: Euromontana closely follows and informs its members about the European policy regarding energy.Energy strategy of the European Commission: following the consultation “Towards a new Energy Strategy for Europe 2011-2020” that was closed on 2 July 2010, the DG Energy of the European Commission has released in November 2010 two important communications:
- Communication “Energy 2020 – A strategy for competitive, sustainable and secure energy”
- Communication “Energy infrastructure priorities for 2020 and beyond – A Blueprint for an integrated European energy network”.
More information: read Euromontana’s articles in the doc and links section (members only).
- Joint actions with the FREE initiative: FREE stands for Future of Rural Energy in Europe and aims at raising awareness on the specificities and the needs of European rural areas regarding energy. As mountains are predominantly rural, common interest between Euromontana’s position and the FREE initiative have led Euromontana to participating in the launching event of FREE in June 2010. Euromontana also follows closely the activities of the FREE network since then.
More information: www.rural-energy.eu, Read Euromontana’s articles in the docs and links section (members only)
- Energy solutions in rural and mountain areas, 19 juin 2011, Brussels, Belgium in the framework of the EU Sustainable Energy Week 2012, organised by Euromontana, RURENER, the FREE initiative, ERSAF, and other partners.
- Rural energy day, 21 September 2011, Brussels, Belgium, organised by the FREE initiative. More information: read Euromontana’s articles in the docs and links section (members only).
- The true energy potential of Europe’s rural areas, 12 April 2011, Brussels, Belgium. In the framwork of the European Sustainable Energy Week – event organised by FREE and RURENER (http://fr.rurener.eu/). More information: read Euromontana’s articles in the docs and links section (members only).
- Presentation of the Euromontana position paper on energy to the European Parliament, 14 April 2010, Brussels, Belgium. Objective: presentation of the position paper of Euromontana on energy with concrete examples on how mountain areas can contribute to the 20-20-20 objectives of the European Commission. More information: read Euromontana’s articles in the docs and links section (members only).
- A mountain full of energy. Signature of the Euromontana position on Energy in mountain areas, 19-20 November 2009, Sondrio – Chiuro, Italy. Objective: presentation of the position paper of Euromontana on energy with concrete examples of how mountain areas can contribute to the 20-20-20 objectives of the European Commission. More information.
- Seminar on energy in mountain areas, 01 July 2009, Brussels, Belgium. Objective: discussing the first version of the Euromontana position paper on energy and collecting information to enrich it. More information