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European Commission


Brussels, 18 June 2012

EU Sustainable Energy Week 2012: FAQ and programme

What is the EUSEW?

Now in its seventh edition, the EU Sustainable Energy Week (18 to 22 June 2012) is the core annual event of the Sustainable Energy Europe Campaign, which features 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 262 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 individuals active in the 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 950 events with around 150,000 participants are expected for this year in all 27 EU member states and elsewhere: Australia, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, El Salvador, Georgia, Iceland, Israel, Jordan, Kosovo, Liberia, Macedonia, Mexico, Montenegro, Norway, Serbia, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United States and Uruguay. Brussels alone will be hosting nearly 150 events.

What is this year's theme?

Sustainable energy being a cornerstone of the Europe 2020 Strategy for sustainable growth. the slogan of the EU Sustainable Energy Week 2012 is "Take our future into your hands". The theme is illustrated with a special video.

This year’s events cover a range of issues, including: energy efficiency, renewable energy solutions (e.g. biomass, photovoltaic, and wind power), reductions of greenhouse emissions, employment in the renewable energy sector, EU cooperation with third countries, new technologies (e.g. smart metering) and energy efficiency in buildings.

However, the main focus of EUSEW 2012 will be on the recently adopted Communication on the Renewable Energy Strategy which explores policy options for the integration of renewables in the European energy market. Also examples of financing and implementing opportunities for small businesses and households will be presented during the week.

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

While the EUSEW acts as a platform to collect 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.

Why does the EUSEW focus on Energy Efficiency and Renewables?

Sustainable energy is at the heart of the EU’s Europe 2020 Strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. Renewables are a significant generator of employment in the EU and hence contribute to economic prosperity. Infrastructure is being developed and the necessary support provided. Moreover, renewables are becoming a major and competitive player in the European energy market.

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, products and processes". Smart grids and smart meters as well as energy labels offer consumers more possibilities to control their consumption and save more energy.

The EUSEW aims, among others, to demonstrate the necessity and benefits of intelligent energy use to the EU citizens and advise on how individuals and businesses can contribute to the collective energy efficiency effort.

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.

At a time of slow global economic recovery and with widespread energy supply disruptions as a result of events in Japan and Libya among others, the EU acknowledges that energy challenges are among the greatest challenges of today. Hence why 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. It is thus of vital importance for member states to aim to achieve their planned 20-20-20 targets.

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 it 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 2012 Media highlight programme (Brussels)

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

  • EUSEW 2012 Opening Session

  • EU Sustainable Energy Award Ceremony, incl. ManagEnergy Award

  • Audiovisual Media event: European Renewable Energy Weather Forecast with Günther Oettinger, EU Commissioner for Energy

  • Plenary session "Renewable Energy: a Major Player in the European Energy Market

  • Presentation "Building a 2020 Vision for Europe's energy customers"

Media contact: Raffaele Ferrando, EUSEW Media Desk,

For the complete Media Highlight Programme:

EbS will do coverage of the conference as well as the Award Ceremony and the Media Event.

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