Mountain areas offer many opportunities for Europe's energy transition, whether in the form of solar, wind or hydroelectric power. For the transition to be successful, it is essential to assess the future availability of these resources, to take into account the environmental and socio-cultural impacts, and to involve local communities in the governance of the energy transition.

Promoting renewable energy production in mountain areas

Renewable mountain resources such as water, wind, sun and wood allow the development of renewable energies. However, the future resilience of certain resources, such as water, requires the rational use of hydropower. Other forms of energy, such as wind power, raise issues of landscape and biodiversity protection in natural areas.

We call for

  • Developing a place-based approach to energy production in mountain areas, taking into account the resources available locally, both now and in the future, as well as environmental and cultural factors.
  • Promoting a balanced participation of all regions in Europe’s energy transition. Mountains can make an important contribution to European objectives. However, they cannot be seen only as production areas, and the territories must be fairly remunerated for the use of their renewable resources.
  • Stepping up investment in research and innovation. Issues related to energy storage, the use of biomass and the development of energy communities deserve increased attention in the Horizon Europe programme.

Empowering local communities in the energy transition

Energy resilience in mountain regions is a priority for the future. Renewable production and secure supplies at affordable prices are essential for our territories. Resilience can only be achieved with the strong involvement of local communities, who need to be given their rightful place in the decisions and energy transitions that need to be made.

We call for

  • Supporting the development of mountain energy communities. Self-consumption offers new opportunities for local communities that need to be encouraged and facilitated. Energy communities empower citizens to take ownership of the transition, enable the deployment of locally adapted renewable energies, and promote fair redistribution within households and local businesses.
  • Accelerating energy efficiency in mountain regions. Euromontana primarily supports the objectives of energy sobriety. However, the climatic conditions in mountain areas require a greater effort to ensure that no-one is left behind in the energy renovation of buildings and to avoid impoverishing mountain communities. Earmarking funds for mountain areas in all post-2027 Cohesion Policy objectives could support these efforts.
  • Establishing energy information centres in all regions. Too often, small communities and citizens’ groups have difficulties in finding relevant information on the energy transition. Experience has shown that the presence of specialised information desks in local areas facilitates access to funding and the implementation of local strategies.

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