Applause for rural ways towards 100% RES in the European Parliament

Milan Kazda, mayor of Kněžice (first left)

Milan Kazda, mayor of Kněžice (first left)

Published by Tana Dutkevicova on 21/03/2014

100% RES Communities were invited at the European Parliement to share their vision and experience. Kněžice, a small energy self-sufficient Czech village seduces the audience and gets warm applauses.

Brussels -  Parliamentary hearing on '100% RES Political will'

Organized by the World Future Council and the Climate Service Center, a parliamentary hearing entitled "Building Political Will for 100% Renewable Energy", was held in the European Parliament in Brussels. The hearing gathered decision makers and private company representatives for 2 days (the 20th and 21st of March). It mostly emphasized on the importance of exchanging experience, sharing specific tools and building international networks through which political elite will be pushed ahead to massively engage for renewable energy.

Big applause for Kněžice

The largest spontaneous applause of the auditorium went to the small Central Bohemian village Kněžice, as Milan Kazda, mayor of Kněžice and architect of the success of the village, shared the success story that made Kněžice the first (and only) Czech energy self-sufficient village. The municipality created an Energy center composed of a biogas power plant with combined heat and power production and a biomass plant. Since the village does not have a sewer system, this technology processes most of the organic waste and slurry, provides almost full coverage of heat needs for citizens and offers significant surplus production of electricity sold to the grid.

Empowered by this concrete realisation, Kněžice and four other neighbouring villages - for the first time in the Czech Republic - developed a joint Sustainable Energy Action Plan including targets by the year 2020. The joint SEAP was approved by villages at the turn of January and February 2014 with the common commitment to save 45 % of CO2 emissions compared to 2005. Through this commitment, they joined the nearly 5,000 signatories of the European Covenant of Mayors, who supports EU energy policy and endorses saving of at least 20 % of CO2.

Parliamentary hearing - Brussels, 20th March 2014

Olé Barcelona

The successful presentation of Manuel Valdes, deputy mayor for development and coordination of infrastructure and urbanism in Barcelona confirmed  that these targets are taking on not only by small and medium-sized municipalities but also by large metropolises. He emphasized, among other things, on the importance of developing PV installations on the roofs of buildings.

The 100% RES Communities action

Yannick Régnier (CLER, France), coordinator of the European project 100% RES Communities, also caught the attention of the audience when reminding the 4 key services delivered by the action: developing guidelines for joint SEAPs elaboration in rural communities, exchanging through rural 100% RES clubs, identifying and recognising 100% RES communities, collecting RES data at local level and giving visibility to front-runners trough the national and EU RES Champions League.

Author: Karel Merhaut

Photo: organizer

You can find detailed info about the event with all outputs here.