The 2020 Celsius Summit, co-organised by the Celsius Initiative and the North-West Croatia Regional Energy Agency (REGEA), has been in the making for quite some time. Initially planned as a live event in Croatia in the first half of the year, we had to postpone it and shift it to a digital format. We are however pleased to say that the event was a great success despite these challenges. With over 200 registered participants from 43 countries, this is also our biggest event to date. Placing the focus on the Heat transition in South East Europe in comparison with some of the EUs best practices perfectly captured the theme of the 2020 Celsius Summit: “Mission Possible!”.
Best practices and lessons learned
We have had the opportunity to see examples of successful projects and initiatives as well as highly ambitious plans from a region often dismissed when thinking of innovation and progress in terms of energy and climate. These examples ranged from the successful implementation EU funding mechanisms for large scale retrofits of district heating grids and the implementation of renewables into existing networks to innovative use of established planning processes in cities to drive their energy transition. The discussions focused on the best practices, lessons learned, and mistakes made along the way giving all participants valuable insight into the do’s and don’ts from a funding and policy perspectives.
5 key messages
Taking all of this into account we would like to highlight 5 key messages from the Summit:
- Money is not the issue! There is no lack of funding opportunities for good projects with strong impacts we have an interesting and dynamic financing period in front of us and we must be prepared to use it. These are exciting times!
- We have seen examples of both excellent projects and great innovation as well as of issues and barriers that our cities and district heating companies experienced. We as a community must learn from both! We must repeat the good and avoid the bad, so the next seven years result in even better projects and stronger impacts.
- Buildings need and will continue to need heat; we must be prepared to deliver it sustainably! The heating sector, and district heating, is here to stay. We need to use it to its full potential It is a catalyst for new business models such as waste heat utilization and heat prosumers and it can help drive the stronger uptake of renewable electricity through demand side measures and sector coupling.
- Decarbonisation is not a goal within itself. It will drive innovation and with that competitiveness of our industry, it will reduce our reliance on fossil fuels thus increasing our security of supply and it will help improve air quality, both indoors and outdoors, making us all healthier.
- If Europe wants to decarbonise, our cities need to decarbonise, and district heating is a key piece of this puzzle.
The future is bright and full of opportunities, the only thing we need to do is use them.
Recording and presentations for day 1
– Funding for the Urban Heat Transition