On the 12th December 2019 Sustainable Energy Priority Area (PA2) of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR) organised its Energy Poverty Seminar in Prague.
The seminar was based on a study titled Energy Poverty in the Danube Region. Various experts of different projects and with different point of view on this topic were present at the seminar. The Energy Poverty in the Danube Region Study was commissioned by the PA2 and prepared by the Czech Technical University, specifically by the University Centre for Energy Efficient Buildings.
The event was moderated by Mr Tomáš Vácha from the Czech Technical University and offered various points of view on the topic of the Energy Poverty from experts connected to this topic. Seminar was opened by Ms Marika Wernerova, Head of COREPER I Coordination Unit at Office of the Government of the Czech Republic.
First, definitions and approaches towards Energy Poverty were introduced by Mr Jiří Karásek, senior consultant for SEVEn. This presentation was followed by the first panel discussion, and we were honoured by the presence of Ms Anne Katherina Weidenbach from European Commission and Ms Branislava Martenic from Energy Community where she is a Natural Gas and Customer Expert. This discussion was based on questions from the audience which led to a very lively discussion.
Second part of the Seminar was opened by Mr Igor Kytka from the Czech Technical University who presented the study on Energy Poverty in the Danube Region. Followed by professor Stefan Bouzarovski from Manchester University. Mr Bouzarovski is one of the lead experts in the Energy Poverty field and he further introduced to the audience Patterns of energy poverty in the Danube Region.
Second part of the seminar was followed with yet another panel discussion on the best practices and good examples. Ms Marina Varvesi from AISFOR S.r.l., Ms Cezara Popovici from the STEP project, Ms Lena Herrmann from Stromspar-Check, and Mr Martin Ander from AHOKA were part of this panel and were also joined by Mr Bouzarovski and Mr Kytka. As it was shown at this panel, quite a large amount of good examples can be found across Danube Region regarding the energy poverty topic. On the other hand it is unfortunate that not many political steps were taken to this date.
The seminar further encouraged to explore and find more suitable solutions in the energy poverty and of course, urged the cooperation through various actors.