Local Renewables Conference

Cities and regions explore smart grids and smart solutions at Local Renewables 2012

The Local Renewables 2012 Conference was a success! The focus of this edition was the combination of locally generated renewable energy, smart grids and smart end-users. Close cooperation and interconnection between cities and regions is essential in this context. Policy makers, technicians, energy suppliers, city strategy developers and researchers explored the use of information and communication technology (ICT) and energy storage in smart grids, thus getting maximum benefit from renewable resources.



Like any kind of event involving a large number of participants, the Local Renewables Conference can have a negative impact on local natural resources (water, energy, etc.), environment (soil degradation, air pollution, etc) and community.

The organisers of the fifth conference of the Local Renewables series, took sustainability into consideration while planning and organising the event in order to reduce the potential negative impact, as well as to turn the conference into a valuable opportunity to leave a positive legacy for the local community and to raise awareness among the participants in advancing toward a culture of sustainability.

The Local Renewables 2012 Conference - “Cities and regions explore smart grids and smart solutions” was determined to create a sustainable and responsible event.

The impact of food and drink consumption can vary hugely depending on the item itself, the supplier, and the mechanisms of production and distribution.
Supplied by the local company “Business-Catering Freiburg GmbH”, the catering of the event offered a bio menu specially prepared with seasonal and regional products. In order to minimise the food leftovers, participants were asked in the registration form to indicate the days and social events they were able to attend.

The use of plastic and disposable items was replaced by reusable dishes and glassware. Focused on reducing waste, a separate waste collection and recycling system was set up.


Communication & Marketing 

To reduce paper use as far as possible, the interaction and communication strategy with participants was carried out electronically (emails, mailings, phone calls, social media, website) and an online registration system was used.
A limited amount of material was printed on Recystar, a 100% recycled and totally chlorine free (TCF) paper, that was awarded with both the Nordic Swan and the Blue Angel. While roll ups and signage have been designed in a way that can be reused in  future editions of the Local Renewables series.


Transport & Accomodation                                                 

The recommended hotels are located within 2 Km from the conference venue and the main train station. They are well connected to the city's public transport network and within short walking distance from the city centre.


20 Years Partnership

The City of Freiburg is a global leader in sustainability and one of the birth places of the environmental protection movement. Over 20 years of collaboration, the European Secretariat of ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability has been working closely with the City of Freiburg on various projects and events such as the Local Renewables Conference series.


Programme Details


Wednesday 22 October

Welcome remarks from the host city

  • Dr. Dieter Salomon, Mayor, City of Freiburg, German

Opening Key Note: European perspectives for smart grid development from local to large-scale

  • Per-Olof Granström, Secretary General, EDSO for Smart Grids (European Distribution System Operators)

Plenary 1 - Conference opening

  • Facilitator: Wolfgang Teubner, Managing Director, ICLEI European Secretariat
  • Ádám Szolyák, Policy Officer, DG Energy, European Commission - Smart grid development in Europe and the role of local governments
  • Christine Lins, Executive Secretary, Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21) - Needs and perspectives to accelerate the transition to renewable energy
  • Ludwig Karg, Head of E-Energy Ancillary Research, B.A.U.M. Consult GmbH, Germany - Smart grid model projects in Germany: Lessons learned and future developments

Plenary 2 - Smart grid deployment: How to optimise renewable energy production and use through urban-rural-regional cooperation

  • Facilitator: Maryke van Staden, Climate & Air Coordinator, ICLEI European Secretariat
  • Jens Zvirgzdgrauds, Administrator, ENVE Commission, EU Committee of the Regions - EU policy problems - Smart Grids: local and regional perspectives
  • Txaber Lezamiz, Technology Development Manager, Basque Energy Agency (EVE), Spain - The Basque Country´s strategy to support the development of smart grids
  • Sven Stremke, Assistant Professor, Landscape Architecture, Wageningen University, the Netherlands - Energy landscapes: A powerful concept for sustainable energy transition

Parallel sessions 1

A1 - Building a smart grid: First lessons from practical experiences

  • Facilitator: Ruud Schuthof, Director Strategic Services, ICLEI European Secretariat
  • Marianne Bechstein, Energy Economist, Research Group Energy & Communication (EnCT), Germany - EcoGrid EU Project - A prototype for European smart grids
  • Hugo Niesing, Founder, Resourcefully, The Netherlands - Smart grids experiences in Europe
  • Michael Stadler, Project Manager, Business Technology Consulting (BTC) AG, Germany - eTelligence: The E-Energy Lightouse project in the region Cuxhaven

B1- Urban-regional cooperation for renewable energy

  • Facilitator: Carsten Rothballer, Climate Policy Officer, ICLEI European Secretariat
  • Christian Neumann, Head of Project Development, Energy Agency Region Freiburg, Germany - Analysis of renewable energy potentials in the region of Freiburg
  • Marcello Chiaberge, Aggregate Professor, Department of Electronic and Telecommunication (DET- LIM), Politecnico of Turin, Italy - From local needs to global approach – Smart energy and smart grids: the Aosta Valley experience in the Alpenergy Project

Parallel sessions 2

A2 – Decentralised energy production, centralised management and storage

  • Facilitator: Maryke van Staden, Climate & Air Coordinator, ICLEI European Secretariat
  • Gerhard Stryi-Hipp, Head of Energy Policy, Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems, Germany; and
    President of the European Technology Platform on Renewable Heating and Cooling - The importance of storage in future energy systems
  • Tjark Thien, Research Associate, Institute for Power Electronics and Electrical Drivers (ISEA), Germany - Grid-scale storage
  • Carolina Tranchita, Project Manager, European Institute for Energy Research (EIFER), Germany - Intelligent  energy management within the Premio project

B2 – Encouraging framework to support deployment - "Smart grids in practice"

  • Facilitator: Wolfgang Teubner, Managing Director, ICLEI European Secretariat
  • Norbert Dorfinger, Project Manager, Salzburg AG, Austria - Smart grids model region Salzburg
  • Britta Zimmermann, Research Associate, Fraunhofer IWES, Germany - The role of a rural region in the future energy system - Results from the Renewable Model Region Harz
  • Claus Madsen, Vice President Planning, Development & Business, Kalundborg Municipality, Denmark - The green industrial municipality "Smart City Kalundborg"

Evening reception hosted by the City of Freiburg

Friday 26 October

Plenary 3 - Support mechanisms for financing smart grids

  • Facilitator: Wolfgang Teubner - Regional Director Europe, ICLEI Europe
  • Jana Viktoria Nysten, Policy Advisor, European Renewable Energy Federation (EREF) Financing priorities in the perspectives of the European Energy Startegy
  • Ilias Efthymiopoulos, General Director, Aegean Energy Agency, Greece - Using the EIB ELENA programme for the development of smart grids
  • Clive Tomlinson, Managing Director, Net Trajectory Ltd, United Kingdom - Local renewables enabled by local energy markets

Plenary 4 - Rolling out smart grids as part of the green local economy agenda – finding viable investment options

  • Facilitator: Monika Zimmermann, Director Capacity Center, ICLEI World Secretariat
  • Rolf C. Buschmann, Managing Director, EnEd GmbH – Clean Energy Solutions, Germany - Introduction: Building to Grid - The potential of architecture for smart grids
  • Sven Stremke, Assistant Professor, Wageningen University, The Netherlands
  • Ilias Efthymiopoulos, General Director, Aegean Energy Agency, Greece

Summary and outlook

  • Rian van Staden, Principal & Senior Consultant, Intelligent Renewables Energy, Germany

Study tours

  • Sun, wind, water, wood: Freiburg's renewable energy mix at a glance
  • Redevelopment of the neighbourhood Weingarten, Freiburg


Hosts and Organisers

Freiburg, Green City

The City of Freiburg is internationally renowned for its innovative and integrated approach to sustainable energy management and extensive use of renewable energy sources. As a result of its achievements, Freiburg was honoured as “Germany’s Most Sustainable Major City" in 2012, making the city an exemplary and qualified host. Colleagues from the city administration, scientific experts and representatives from the renewable energy sector will be on hand to provide information and advice from an insider’s perspective. Freiburg is synonymous with sustainable development and its ecologically progressive policies have a positive impact on its citizens’ quality of life. The city will be the perfect scenario for the conference, inspiring participants with tangible evidence that seeking energy sustainability and stakeholder collaboration are the way forward.

ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability

Freiburg is also the Host City of the ICLEI European Secretariat. Cities can only become sustainable if they drastically reduce their resource consumption and climate impacts. To achieve its mission, ICLEI, promotes the collaboration between local administrations and supports their progresses towards sustainable development. With its Cities for Climate Protection Campaign and Local Renewables Initiative ICLEI provides information, motivation and support to many local governments around the world.










Partners and Endorsers














Conference Secretariat
ICLEI European Secretariat
Leopoldring 3

79098 Freiburg,

Tel.: +49 761 368920
E-mail: lr2018@iclei.org
Website: http://local-renewables-conference.org/


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