On May 17, 2021, the Macedonian section of the International Center for Energy, Water and Environmental Systems (SDEWES-Skopje) in cooperation with the Association of Local Self-Government Units organized an Energy Summit via the ZOOM platform. The event was attended by 48 stakeholders, representatives of municipalities across the country, the NGO sector, experts, etc. The aim of the Energy Summit was to encourage the development of political will to act in the direction of the European Green Deal for the implementation of new projects for sustainable heating and cooling through knowledge exchange and dialogue between key stakeholders.
In that sense, the participants were informed about the new European regulations and their impact on the national legislation and had the opportunity to discuss the challenges and fields of cooperation of the municipalities with policy makers, companies and all other stakeholders. During the event, the panelists shared the key challenges that the world is facing in terms of energy transition, giving an overview of their reflections on local governments. Then, the synergies of the European Green Deal and the transition to sustainable heating and cooling were presented.
It was of great importance for the event to develop a discussion about the barriers faced by local governments in the implementation of projects for sustainable heating and cooling. Therefore, some of the experiences of the municipalities that are part of the REPLACE project in the past years were shared, emphasizing the need for capacity building, development of local international partnerships and contact with the citizens. At the end, a GIS tool was presented with the help of which the heat consumption can be determined at the municipal level. The results of such analyzes are an important basis for planning sustainable heating and cooling and for making decisions based on technical analyzes in local governments.
The event ended with a fruitful discussion in which the challenges faced by local governments were shared, as well as good practices in order to accelerate the transition to sustainable heating and cooling.