On the 26-27 of November 2019 the City of Pamplona hosted POTEnT first Thematic Event. Around 40 participants from POTEnT partners and their local stakeholders gathered in the beautiful capital city of the Autonomous Community of Navarre, in Spain, to officially initiate the Interregional Learning process of POTEnT. The main aim of the event was to allow all partners to clearly set their learning needs that will help them to achieve their policy improvement goals and, ultimately, to produce their Regional Action Plans.

Warmly welcomed by representatives of the host City of Pamplona, the lead partner ALOEN, the project Secretariat and Erasmus UPT, POTEnT advisory partner, the speakers from partner organisations and external expert started to animate the 4 thematic sessions:

a. Developing Local Skills

b. Stakeholder Engagement

c. Business case for sustainable energy

d. Smart Energy City.

On day 1, Energy Cities, the European Association of local authorities engaged in energy transition, opened the sessions explaining how to develop a shared vision for getting Carbon neutral meeting EU objectives to 2030, and presented some examples from Belgium, France and Germany on how to engage local stakeholders. Later in the afternoon, the City of Parma and Bretagne Energies Citoyennes presented concrete examples of how they successfully involved citizens in energy projects. On day 2, in the third session the City of Parma and a Dutch real estate agent presented some practical examples of innovative financing for local energy solutions while the energy company Vaxjo Energy AB explained how is helping the City of Vaxjo to be a fossil free city in 2030. In the afternoon the City of Milton Keynes Carbon showed its Offset Fund program and the City of Pamplona presented the SCC STARTDUST project and the efforts to become a more efficient and smart city.

The four sessions were a mix of presentations and interactive sessions so that participants could discuss together how to apply the knowledge gained through the presentations, present other experiences and local issues, and identify key inputs for the next POTEnT activities. Partners will discuss the results of the thematic event with their local stakeholders, preparing for the mentoring days that will be organised in each partner city in early 2020 and the second thematic event that will be held in Ettlingen in March 2020.

It’s not easy being green, as Kermit the frog says, but POTEnT partners are strongly committed to make their cities a greener place to live!