Sixth International Energy Forum - INTERENEF

Energy transition and green cities of the Mediterranean

Split, September 23. 2022, Cornaro hotel

Organized by...

The city of Split

Our partners...

Euro bnaka

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development

Hydrocarbons Agency

Split-Dalmatia county

Forum's definition

The International Energy Forum is intended as a meeting place for actors from academia, energy companies, governments / politicians, and the media to reflect on and problematize different dimensions of energy policy.

Concept

The International Energy Forum promotes the policy concept, i.e., the concept of energy policy.

The International Energy Forum has been placed within the framework of political science. The basic idea of political science of energy is the idea of power and empowerment of actors in the international community by using energy resources as a lever of power.

The Forum seeks to promote the meaning and importance of energy diplomacy linked to foreign policy and overall national, especially energy security.

Goals

Promote the importance of energy policy for the functioning of the economy in a global risk society within the policy concept and energy policy as a type of public policy.

The theme of the 6. INTERENEF?

The conference Energy Transition and Green Cities addresses the role of cities in implementing energy transition and adapting to climate change in Europe. The aim of the conference is to raise awareness of the importance of cities in this global process, and the ways in which cities can formulate their long-term and sustainable development strategies.

This conference is thematically in line with the EBRD’s Green Cities initiative, so the EBRD would be a natural partner of the conference. The City of Split is in the process of drafting the Green Action Plan (GCAP) within Green Cities, and the conference would contribute to the process of drafting the plan, on the one hand, and on the other would position Split as the main platform for green dialogue between cities in Croatia.

Split would also have the opportunity to show how the city contributes to the European Union’s Green Course, thus becoming an intellectual gathering center for other Croatian cities and towns in the region around the green agenda, thus increasing its investment potential

Panels

1. Energy transition as a global trend in 21st century energy policy

Global society and science agree on the need to reduce half of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared to 2010 levels. The global consensus on increasing the share of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency shows that this is the only way to limit the rise in global temperature by 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2050. The world is united in its need to combat climate change. The issue of harmonizing the ways and deadlines for achieving the goals of energy transition remains, with the European Union leading the trends in green energy policies.

2. Hydrogen use in energy transition

Increasing the share of electricity produced from renewable energy sources will also increase the use of renewable gases such as green hydrogen, which represents the possibility of decarbonization in sectors that are difficult to electrify. However, it is necessary to integrate different sectors and apply the knowledge of technological progress in the production and application of hydrogen as a prerequisite for the creation and development of the hydrogen market. Currently, more than 95% of hydrogen originates in fossil fuels, the so-called. gray and blue hydrogen, with the aim of developing the production of green hydrogen and reducing the cost of its production and expanding the application of its exploitation.

3. Decarbonization of cities as part of the process of adaptation to climate change

Cities consume more than two-thirds of the world’s energy consumption and account for more than 70% of global CO2 emissions. Urban decarbonization is therefore an extremely important precondition for achieving the energy transition and establishing green cities. In recent years, several strategies have been continuously adopted to implement the results of research to identify technologies that could help achieve carbon-neutral goals of energy transition in urban areas while creating new jobs, reducing energy costs, saving on transport costs, and improving the quality of life.

4. The role and opportunities of cities in the fight for sustainable development and a clean environment

There is no single recipe for implementing measures to achieve climate-neutral cities, but cities have a range of technological opportunities at their disposal that can be stimulated through regulation, funding, and financial incentives to create business models in urban areas. Technologies that will contribute to increasing energy efficiency in key sectors such as heat pumps, district heating systems, cooling systems, smart meters and smart grids will certainly have the most important impact on the decarbonization of cities. Urban mobility, including smart technologies for transport applications, requires continued research and application development, with public and private investment being needed in all segments of technological development.

On energy transition, decarbonization and the idea of green cities

Prof.dr.sc. Daria Karasalihović Sedlar Forum’s director

The energy transition aimed at eliminating the effects of fossil fuels on the environment is the cornerstone of the fight against climate change. Reducing the impact of fossil fuels and increasing energy efficiency are the main goals of the energy transition, which aims to eliminate dependence on unsustainable fossil energy sources, greenhouse gas emissions, environmental pollution, energy poverty due to high energy prices, imports, and inaccessible energy sources.

The main backbone of energy transition is the transition to clean renewable energy sources, the increase in energy efficiency and the establishment of new energy systems and behaviors of energy consumers. This creates a society resistant to market disruptions in energy supply, resistant to rising prices of fossil fuels, as was previously the case in the oil market, and in 2021 in the gas market. Increasing the share of renewable energy sources and the transition to an economy that should become carbon neutral by 2050, would create conditions for local use of renewable energy sources, primarily solar, wind, but also all other forms such as biomass, geothermal energy, hydropower etc.

By adopting the objectives of the Green Plan (EU Green Deal), the European Union has set requirements for EU Member States to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase the share of renewable energy sources, and increase energy efficiency in two periods: one by 2030 and the other by 2050, when a carbon-neutral economy will have finally been achieved. In line with the European guidelines for energy development, the Republic of Croatia has outlined the direction of her energy development through the Low Carbon Development Strategy by 2030, and with a perspective to 2050. To achieve the goals of energy transition, it is necessary to establish measures to achieve the so-called Zero scenario by 2030 and 2050, respectively. The zero scenario has not been formally adopted, but to achieve the goals of the EU Green Plan, it will be necessary to adopt it as an official energy scenario for the development and achievement of climate neutrality.

Decarbonization will have to be implemented in all sectors including the sector of energy transformation, transport, industry, construction, services. To achieve the goals of reducing CO2 emissions, as well as other greenhouse gases, investments in renewable energy sources and increasing energy efficiency will be necessary. This primarily refers to decarbonization in the electricity generation sector through a significant increase in the construction of solar power plants and their installed capacity, along with wind farms. The decarbonization of the district heating sector and the establishment of district heating systems will also be important. Full electrification is expected in the transport sector, and the development of green cities with gradual reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and the development and application of new technologies and energy sources such as geothermal energy, hydrogen, or capture, use and underground storage of CO2 are expected through decarbonization of services and buildings, etc.

The building sector represents the largest single final energy consumption and at the same time the greatest potential for decarbonization and development of green cities. Expected investments for projects within the energy transition can ensure the economic development of the Republic of Croatia and create preconditions for a sustainable energy future, but it is necessary to identify the main obstacles to project implementation and create a favorable investment environment while removing administrative and legislative barriers. Energy transition in general, and especially through the development of green cities, means increasing the competitiveness of the economy by encouraging innovation, increasing concern for environmental protection, and implementing measures to reduce the negative impact of fossil fuels, but also ensuring security and independence of energy supply of the Republic of Croatia.

Forum's Sponsors