2016 EU Sustainable Energy Week, the EUSEW Policy Conference

From 14 to 16 June, public and private energy stakeholders filled the European Commission's Charlemagne building and Residence Palace in Brussels to debate policy, share ideas and network for Europe's transition to a low-carbon economy. This year's key theme was the power of the consumer to drive the energy transition.

Policy sessions, interactive presentations and networking activities shared information on strategies and technology that help consumers both save energy and rely more on renewables. Participants also explored policies and technology trends for zero-emissions buildings, clean transport, smart cities, grids, innovative power production and much more.
An impressive Opening Ceremony set the tone from the start. Keynote speeches from European Commission officials and notable energy-sustainability advocates were followed by thought-provoking talks led by Sudha Kheterpal, international percussionist and developer of a hand-held energy-generating shaker.
Another highlight was the EUSEW Awards ceremony. This lively event recognised some of Europe's most innovative sustainable-energy projects for consumers, businesses and the public sector. It also included its first ever Citizens' Award, voted by the public, along with a musical finale from Ms Kheterpal and her guests.
The focus on consumer engagement was present throughout the conference. Project leaders, industry organisations, researchers and policy specialists all added their perspectives, while a tombola gave one lucky conference participant the chance to try a hydrogen car for a day. A constant buzz of conversation in the elegant networking area witnessed the energy of exchanges, with the conversation continuing in the conference's Twitter feed well after the three-day event.
The Policy Conference is part of EUSEW, a month-long series of events launched in 2006 by the European Commission to promote energy-efficiency and renewables, now organised by the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) in close cooperation with Directorate-General for Energy.