Limerick and Trondheim lighting the way for Europe’s mid-sized cities

  • Brussels - European +CityxChange Conference

Limerick City and County Council Chief Executive Dr Pat Daly, and Trondheim Municipality Chief Executive Morten Wolden took part in the European Week of Regions and Cities in Brussels (7-10 October 2019), where they highlighted the key challenges and solutions put forward by the Horizon2020 project +CityxChange (Positive City Exchange).

Both Limerick and Trondheim are Lighthouse Cities in this project, and are transforming how we work with our local communities to adapt to new energy markets and adopt a positive energy behaviour.

A sustainable European Economy depends on safe, reliable, and scaleable energy production. A key method of achieving this is to focus on our cities as engines of regional economic growth, and to prepare them for a renewable energy future by creating energy-positive urban areas. The cities of Limerick and Trondheim will develop innovative solutions that will be replicated across European cities.

Said Dr Pat Daly: “If we can crack the problem of sustainable energy generation within municipal boundaries, in Limerick and in Trondheim, it can be replicated in the other 600 Medium sized cities across Europe. Innovative H2020 projects like this are vital for the long term energy security of the EU, and for tackling climate action in an inclusive way”.

“There has always been a symbiosis between community and energy. The first communities came about because of people gathering around fires for heat and warmth; in many ways this has not changed, we want to create Positive Energy Communities where neighbours can come together to generate their own renewable power. Local and Regional Government will be the drivers of this energy transition because we can provide the platforms for our communities to work together.”

This project will allow both cities to develop methods for Ireland and Norway to accelerate reaching the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Recently Trondheim has become the new location for a UN Charter Centre of Excellence to advance sustainable housing as a foundation for urban development.

Said Morten Wolden: “Norway has for more than 100 years benefitted from clean and cheap electricity from numerous hydropower plants around the country. This has however, also made us Norwegians a bit lazy concerning energy efficiency and energy saving. An increasing city population calls for more efficient use of available energy, and new ways of providing our citizens with clean affordable energy. The +CityxChange project will help us find new and innovative ways of how we can meet future green energy needs”.

“It is highly important for us as well to be part of this joint effort which is reaching across Europe combining green energy demands with providing new opportunities for local innovators and businesses”.

Dr Pat Daly and Morten Wolden were guest speakers during the European Week of Regions on The Future of Urban Energy Systems: Innovation for positive energy cities and sustainable communities, which took place in The SQUARE - Brussels Convention Centre on Thursday 10 October 2019.

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