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Brussels, 8 April 2011

EU Sustainable Energy Week 2011: FAQ and media programme

(see IP/11/442)

What is the EUSEW?

The EU Sustainable Energy Week (11 to 15 April 2011), which this year celebrates its fifth edition, is the key annual event of the Sustainable Energy Europe Campaign, which showcases activities dedicated to energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions. It aims to demonstrate to businesses, decision-makers and the wider public that sustainable energy technologies are viable, cost-effective and good for the environment and our economy. Through a series of happenings the EUSEW puts the emphasis on latest innovations in smart energy solutions and renewable energy technologies.

A milestone of the Week is the Sustainable Energy Europe Awards Ceremony. Six winners are chosen from among 303 projects submitted by public authorities, private companies, European associations, universities and NGOs committed to the promotion of energy efficiency, renewable energy, energy education and clean transport across Europe.

More information:

Who are the actors involved?

The EUSEW holds a bottom-up approach with over 1,200 organisations and 10,000 people active in week. Associations, companies, public authorities, schools as well as national, regional or local actors will hold their own Energy Days during the EUSEW.

More than 600 events are expected for this year in almost all EU countries and elsewhere: Bosnia, Croatia, Georgia, Iceland, Israel, Kosovo, Macedonia, Martinique, Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, Norway, La Réunion, Serbia, Switzerland, Turkey and Ukraine. Brussels alone will be hosting nearly 150 events.

What is this year's theme?

The slogan of the EU Sustainable Energy Week 2011 is 'Smart energy for a sustainable future'. This year’s events cover a range of issues, including: energy efficiency, renewable energy solutions (e.g. biomass, solar, and wind energy), reductions of greenhouse emissions, and sustainable energy for transport. However, EUSEW 2011 will largely focus on "Energy efficiency" as main policy theme and message thereby contributing to the recently adopted EU Energy strategy 2020 and Energy Efficiency Plan.

How does the EUSEW promote the EU's sustainability agenda?

While the EUSEW acts as a platform to collect the input from experts in the sustainable energy field it offers the EU an opportunity to present its sustainability agenda and discuss it with relevant stakeholders and interested parties.

This year, the EU Commission will come back on the objectives of the latest adopted energy and transport policies, such as the measures proposed in the Energy Efficiency Plan and white paper for a competitive and sustainable transport. Other events will discuss ongoing European policy implementation in areas such as local and regional actions, buildings, products and appliances, renewable energy solutions (such as biomass, solar and wind energy), low-carbon technologies and sustainable urban mobility, together with a reporting of the progress made towards the achievement of our renewable energy targets.

Why does the EUSEW focus on Energy Efficiency and Smart Grids?

Energy efficiency is at the heart of the EU’s Europe 2020 Strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.

The particular focus on Energy Efficiency is also an answer to the call of the European Council of 4 February 2011 to take "determined action to tap the considerable potential for higher energy savings of buildings, transport and products and processes". Smart grids and smart meters offer consumers more possibilities to control their consumption and save more energy. The EUSEW will use the momentum to announce the next steps to deploy smart grids throughout Europe.

What is at stake behind the EUSEW?

European leaders recognise that sustainable and renewable energy solutions will make the difference in safely reaching the ambitious EU 2020 targets. Now setting the pace for the rest of the world, the 20-20-20 targets define energy goals for Europe, requiring:

  • A reduction in EU greenhouse gas emissions of at least 20% below 1990 levels;

  • 20% of EU energy consumption to come from renewable resources;

  • A 20% reduction in primary energy use compared with projected levels, to be achieved by improving energy efficiency.

After the financial crisis and recent events in Japan and Libya the EU acknowledges that energy challenges are among the greatest challenges of today. As a result, the message behind the EUSEW is that now is time to invest in sustainable energy solutions, energy efficiency and renewable technologies and that energy savings represent the most cost effective way to enhance security of energy supply, and to reduce emissions of greenhouse gas and other pollutants.

What sectors should be primarily targeted?

Current estimates show that the sectors that deserve the highest attention are residential, transport and tertiary with more limited possibilities also available for industry. Major improvements are also needed in the energy transformation sector if the overall 20% target is to be achieved.

Figure 2. Final energy savings potential in EU 27 in 2020 (as percentage of the projections done in 2007)

What is in for consumers?

The combined effects of full implementation of the existing and new measures included in the latest adopted energy policies has the potential to generate financial savings of up to €1000 per household each year; improve Europe’s industrial competitiveness and create up to 2 million jobs

EUSEW 2011 Media highlight programme (Brussels)

EU Commissioner for Energy, Günther Oettinger, will participate in the following media events:

  • EUSEW 2011 Opening Session

  • Press Briefing

  • Opening Plenary Session at the Energy Efficiency Global Forum

  • Sustainable Energy Europe Award Ceremony

  • ManagEnergy Award Ceremony

  • "Energy Efficiency: the winning track"

12 April 2011:

Opening Session (CHARL – Gasperi Room), 09.45 – 12.45 chaired and conclusions by Philip Lowe, Director-General, DG Energy, and featuring the following Key note speeches:

  • Günther Oettinger, EU Commissioner for Energy;

  • Tamas Fellegi, Minister for National Development of Hungary, on behalf of the Hungarian Presidency of the Council of the EU;

  • Johannes Hahn, Member of the European Commission, Commissioner for Regional Policy;

  • Mercedes Bresso, President of the Committee of the Regions;

  • Antonio Tajani, Vice-President of the European Commission, responsible for Industry and Entrepreneurship

  • Peter Liese, (PPE) Member of the European Parliament, substitute member of the ITRE Committee;

  • Jonathan Elkind, Principle Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy & International Affairs - US Department of Energy;

  • Thomas Barrett, Director New Products and Special Transactions - European Investment Bank;

This opening event will host a party of eminent high-level speakers from the EU and abroad giving their views on energy efficiency, renewable energy sources and local actions in these fields. Commissioner Günther Oettinger will present the main points of his strategy regarding energy efficiency, renewable energies, smart grids and financing of energy infrastructure.

EbS will broadcast this session live and will produce a 3' Daily News Report to be broadcast on Tuesday afternoon together with Press briefing images. Please consult EbS schedule:

Press Briefing (VIP Hall – CHARL), 10:50 -11:10: Featuring Energy Commissioner Oettinger followed by opportunities for questions and answers. Commissioner Oettinger would present the new Communication on Smart Grids to the media. EbS coverage – production of a 3' Daily News Report.

Opening Plenary Session at the Energy Efficiency Global Forum (the Square Meeting Center), 16.00 – 18.00: Organised by the Alliance to Save Energy, the Energy Efficiency Global Forum brings together energy efficiency leaders from around the world to boost the emerging clean-energy economy. Featuring prominent figures such as Commissioner for Energy Günther Oettinger, President of the European Alliance to Save Energy Monica Frassoni, and Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA) Nobuo Tanaka. For more media information about the EE Global Forum, visit:

Sustainable Energy Europe Award Ceremony including ITV opportunities with winners (Théâtre du Vaudeville), 19.00 – 21.00: Awards will be presented by Commissioner Oettinger and other senior EU officials, followed by Commissioner Oettinger's closing remarks.

The annual Sustainable Energy Europe Awards reward best-in-class EU initiatives that promote renewable energy or energy efficiency. 

More information about the Awards at: EbS coverage – production of a 3' Daily News Report.

13 April 2011:

ManagEnergy Award Ceremony (CHAR), 12.30 - 12.55. Commissioner Oettinger will make a presentation of the Awards and make the closing remarks. As in previous years, ManagEnergy will acknowledge the best European case studies at the local level. More information:

"Energy Efficiency: the winning track", at the BERLAYMONT esplanade, 13.00 - 13.45.

This event consists in the organisation of a fridge race on the Berlaymont esplanade with athletic tracks "energy label" (A+++ to D). A+++ track is the shortest and the most efficient: the runner who uses this one will win the race which will be presented and commentated by master of ceremony Katrina Sichel. Commissioner Oettinger will give the winner a symbolic prize. After having given the price to the race winner, Commissioner Oettinger will promote energy efficiency through energy labelling before the media by being available for face to face interviews upon request. EbS coverage – production of a 3' Daily News Report.

Media contact: Raffaele Ferrando, EUSEW Media Desk,

For the complete Media Highlight Programme:

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