Hundreds of decision-makers to attend major conference on the future of energy in cities

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Hundreds of policy-makers and experts from cities around Europe are to discuss the future needs of energy at a major conference in Aberdeen this month.

The Energy Cities annual event, which is being organised by Aberdeen City Council, is focusing on “Cities, eco-driving local development”, and will be held from April 22, 2015 to April 24, 2015.

About 200 people including political leaders and local representatives from all over Europe including France, Germany, Poland, and Ukraine will meet and exchange information.

Aberdeen City Council Head of Economic Development Richard Sweetnam said they were looking forward to showing delegates pioneering projects in Aberdeen.

He said: “The energy sector has been driving Aberdeen’s economy for a long time which makes it an inspiring place to invite our European colleagues to.

“As the energy capital of Europe, we know the importance of exploring new ways of generating sustainable energy.

“We have pioneered schemes such as the Aberdeen Hydrogen Bus Project, which has attracted £20million of public and private investment and brought Europe’s largest fleet of fuel cell buses, a dedicated maintenance facility and the UK’s first fully integrated hydrogen production and bus refuelling facility to the Granite City; and Aberdeen Heat & Power, a not-for-profit independent company which is developing combined heat and power schemes where electricity is generated locally for sale and the heat emitted by the generator is captured and used to heat properties instead of being released to atmosphere.

“We’re growing a reputation of developing viable alternative energy schemes both in the public and private sectors, and we’re committed to develop this further.

“I am confident this conference will result in productive exchanges and help coordinate local efforts towards sustainable development in Europe and hosting this  conference is also a great opportunity for Aberdeen to consider new perspectivesfor the future.

“We are looking forward to showing our peers from around Europe what Aberdeen has to offer, both from an energy point of view and also how beautiful and sparkling our city by the sea is.”

At the conference, local authorities will share examples of successful projects where new forms of energy have been used such as hydrogen buses and the refuelling station in Aberdeen, the new business models they are based on and their positive impact on the local economy. The programme will include opportunities for participants to join round-table and networking sessions, as well as study tours in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.

The delegates will discuss the role local authorities play in doing things differently in the future as European cities face globalisation and economic crisis while following the “take-make-consume and dispose” pattern of growth.

Projects such as decentralised and municipally-owned energy, new production and consumption patterns, urban agriculture, local currencies, and new forms of cooperation will be discussed.

The conference will have speakers including Dr Eckart Wurzner, Mayor of Heidelberg and president of Energy Cities, Claire Roumet, Executive Director of Energy Cities, Ian Duncan, Member of the European Parliament, Eva Gladek, Founder and CEO of Metabolic, and Peter Woodward, Facilitator, co-founder and director of Quest Associates.

Energy Cities is a European association of local authorities in energy transition. The network has more than 1,000 members across Europe. More information is available from the websites www.aberdeen2015.energy-cities.eu andhttp://www.energy-cities.eu/

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