Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) make up 99% of businesses in the EU, and around two-thirds of private sector employment. Their impact on the economy, and the environment, is significant, and their transition to sustainable and low-carbon practices will be essential for reaching carbon emission reduction goals. However, SMEs often find it difficult to innovate and integrate new practices and approaches due to barriers, including a risk-avoidant culture, a lack of knowledge and expertise, and limited personnel and financial resources.

In collaboration with the SMEPlus, SME POWER and RESINDUSTRY projects, the Policy Learning Platform is organising an e-workshop on championing sustainable energy in SMEs: public policies to help SMEs save energy and produce renewable energy, to be held on 24 June from 14:00-17:00, to explore what public authorities can do to support SMEs in their transition.

What to expect

  • Understand the importance of the energy transition in SMEs and the barriers they face;
  • Gain insights into policies and instruments to encourage SMEs to make interventions in their energy performance;
  • Identify potential solutions for your own regional challenges;
  • Exchange and network with other participants and experts.

The e-workshop will be made up of four sessions:

Session I - Setting the frame

  • Welcome and introduction by Thematic Experts Katharina Krell and Simon Hunkin to the policy framework for energy efficiency and renewable energy in SMEs
  • Keynote speech by Chris Ashe from the European Institute for Innovation – Technology on SMEs on the road to net-zero
  • Panel discussion with Gabor Horvath, University of Gävle (SMEPlus), Stepanka Holeckova and Jakub Dytrich, Czech Technical University in Prague, University Centre for Energy Efficient Buildings (RESINDUSTRY) and Chris Ashe, European Institute for Innovation – Technology (SME POWER).

Session II - Good practices to help SMEs save energy and produce renewable energy

Session III - EU support 

  • Alejandro Donnay, Deputy Head of Unit, Market Cases Energy and Environment, State Aid I European Commission, DG Competition, will present understanding state aid rules for support programmes

  • Oronzo Daloiso, European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA) will present the European support for the low-carbon transition of SMEs 
  • Elena Ferrario, Thematic Manager at the Interreg Europe Policy Learning Platform will present the services of the Policy Learning Platform

Session IV

Thematic Experts from the Policy Learning Platform will be available for an online policy helpdesk. You can book a 10-minute slot with them to:

  • Discuss policy challenges you might face;
  • Receive information on PLP services;
  • Request tailor-made support.

You can start exploring the topic by reading this policy brief on championing sustainable energy in SMEs.