EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) is the largest annual event dedicated to renewables and efficient energy use in Europe, bringing together energy stakeholders to drive forward the clean energy transition. EUSEW 2020 will feature over 30 interactive online sessions on the theme ‘Beyond the crisis: clean energy for green recovery and growth’, as well as networking activities and a varied programme of side events for participants.


Day 3 of EUSEW saw over 3,500 participants taking part in the conclusion of the Policy Conference. The session ‘Hydrogen: fuelling Europe’s energy revolution’ attracted the most attention, with 498 participants tuning in. The session also inspired the largest debate, with 68 questions asked to the speakers by participants.

The final day started with a wide-ranging and inspiring discussion on women in the energy transition, and the role everyone can play in ensuring that Europe’s energy transition results in a more inclusive energy sector. A range of speakers, including the European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson and other EU policymakers, as well as experts in the field, enthusiastically answered the many questions posed by participants in this stimulating session. Speakers identified potential solutions, including the importance of transparency, legislation, the sharing of best practices and visible role models, to encourage more women to bring their talents to this fast-evolving sector.

At the afternoon session on international cooperation in the hydrogen sector, debate focused on the need to work together to overcome the barriers to growth in the sector. Cooperation is important both between EU countries – through programmes such as Interreg North West Europe – and with countries outside of the EU, for example the EU cooperates with the region of Quebec in Canada. Speakers welcomed the proposed EU hydrogen strategy as a good step towards delivering the hydrogen economy, while they also called for more to be done to connect hydrogen regions.

Another engaging and thought-provoking session focused on the process of decarbonisation that industrial sectors across Europe will need to undertake to meet the aims of the European Green Deal. ‘Towards carbon neutrality in a thriving EU industrial sector – markets, investment and financing’ brought together academics and key figures in the public sector to discuss the path towards a fossil-free Europe. The debate emphasised the importance of financial strategy and industry-policy collaboration in the context of delivering on the targets of the Paris Agreement.

Bringing the very first digital edition of EUSEW to a close, Ditte Juul Jørgensen, Director-General for Energy at the European Commission, highlighted the key topics of the Policy Conference including the power of youth in shaping a climate-neutral Europe and crucial technologies like hydrogen and offshore wind. Reflecting a concern that has been raised throughout the event, she warned of the dangers of slipping back into business as usual during Europe’s recovery from the crisis.

This year’s innovative event format attracted over 6,000 participants – twice the number compared to the physical event – from 120 different countries. It also sparked a high level of interaction with more than 4,000 users viewing the sessions and engaging with speakers via Slido.

Coming up:

Hungry for more sustainable energy discussion?

Join a special event on Friday 26 June at 10.00 on the EU’s Strategic Energy Technology (SET) plan. Expect lively debate on how research and investment in clean energy technologies is contributing to recovery plans at national and Europe-wide level.

What’s more, Euronews is teaming up with the Copernicus Climate Change Service and Atmosphere Monitoring Service for a YouTube Live event on the forecast for renewables in Europe tomorrow. Join leading minds to get the inside story on the rollout of renewable energies across the continent.

The EUSEW 2020 extended programme continues until 8 July. Don’t miss out on a wide range of hot energy topics!

#EnergyDays are also happening across Europe this summer. Check out the agenda.

See you next year for the very latest sustainable energy trends at EUSEW2021!

Please complete the feedback survey on this year’s event – your insights will help us to deliver an even better event next year.

Have your say at EUSEW 2020

  • How can the EU be a leader in solar, if the industry mostly depends on cheap components and installations out of Europe?
  • New disruptive technology is available – will industry and policymakers consider new innovations?
  • How can the EU be a global leader and exporter in RE technologies in 2030 and compete with Chinese products? What is the role of cooperation with African countries?
  • The European Green Deal and other initiatives aim to create more jobs in the green sector. How do we make sure that women also benefit from them?
  • The assumptions of the National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs) are now outdated due to the COVID-19 crisis. Wouldn’t it be better to face the situation and have them reviewed?

These are just a few of the thought-provoking questions asked by you, the EUSEW 2020 participants, today.

This year’s event may be over, but we’d still love to hear from you on which was your favourite session, Award winner or side event, or all about a great new contact you’ve made...

Tell us what you’re taking away from EUSEW 2020:

- on social media using #EUSEW2020. Please note that by using this hashtag, you agree that we may reproduce the content of your message on the EUSEW website to promote EUSEW

- by completing your feedback form!

Talking Energy

  The [clean energy] transition needs to be fair. We cannot let the transition reinforce existing gender inequalities and put additional burden on those groups in society that are already the most vulnerable... In the energy sector it is of upmost importance that women are involved in both the development of renewable energy and that we build access to energy where the needs of all citizens are equally addressed.

Alice Bah Kuhnke, Member of the European Parliament, Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance

  There’s evidence that equality improves GDP, that diverse leadership leads to better results. We see that companies with diverse leadership are better prepared to survive financial shocks, they have improved profitability, they are better at innovation, they are mostly better on environmental issues...and [although] we don’t know yet, I’m sure companies with diverse leadership will also better survive the current pandemic.

Christine Lins, Executive Director, Global Women's Network for the Energy Transition

  Hydrogen has already started to play an important role in the energy sector as a versatile, clean and flexible energy vector. In the next 10 years it will prove that it is the best choice for an at-scale decarbonisation of selected segments in transport, industry and buildings.

Mirela Atanasiu, Head of Unit of Operations and Communication, Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking

  NECPs are a good tool, but you also have the Member States. As we have said before, the European Commission has certain tasks and limits, but the Member States are the owners of their own future.

Alessandro Boschi, Head of Renewable Energy (RENEW) Energy Department, Projects Directorate, European Investment Bank

  I have a lot of faith in European entrepreneurs and businesspeople. If they believe that decarbonisation is coming, they will adapt in order to meet it. There are very few sectors that cannot decarbonise with current technologies.

Paul Ekins, Professor of Resources and Environment Policy, University College London

  Wind and solar are clearly two European industries that have huge potential for further growth. But they will only achieve this if supported by the right policies at national and EU level.

Giles Dickson, CEO WindEurope

  I would like to invite the European Commission and all EUSEW attendees to really take the lead in treating youth potential as what it is: an incredible resource that can add great value to the European energy transition. But not forever, only if we generate results. This, I think, is what will make the European Union a true front runner in the global energy transition and cement its status as a founder of a sustainable energy future.

Luciana Miu, PhD Researcher, Grantham Institute for Climate Change and Environment

Powering the green recovery

Hydrogen currently accounts for less than 1% of Europe’s energy consumption. What’s more, the majority of the hydrogen produced today is ‘grey’ hydrogen generated through high carbon-emitting methods. However, clean hydrogen – generated with renewable electricity – has a huge potential as a low-carbon energy source which can be stored in large quantities and over a long time period. These attributes are particularly useful in helping to manage the electricity grid effectively and in or isolated regions of the EU where maintaining an adequate electricity supply can be problematic.

The term "hydrogen economy" refers to the forward-looking idea of using hydrogen as part of the decarbonisation of the energy sector – replacing, for example, gasoline as a transport fuel or natural gas as a heating fuel.

There have been several sessions on this topic in the EUSEW 2020 programme.

  • In the session ‘Hydrogen for a green recovery of European Islands’ held yesterday, speakers explored the specific energy challenges of islands, including geographical, climate and economic, and the potential of hydrogen to provide solutions, as well as to generate new economic growth.
  • The enormous potential of hydrogen was also in the spotlight at today’s session ‘Hydrogen: fuelling Europe’s energy revolution’ which looked at how, in the context of the post-COVID-19 recovery, smart investment in clean hydrogen innovative technologies and infrastructure can help drive the energy transition.

  We are creating a new commodity. Hydrogen is a low or no-carbon vector that can be traded globally as a new commodity. It’s non-fossil, like electricity and it’s tradable globally, like oil and gas...and we want Europe to become the hub, the central marketplace for this new commodity.

Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, Secretary General, Hydrogen Europe
Speaking in the session ‘Hydrogen: fuelling Europe’s energy revolution’

Missed a session? Recordings for all sessions will be available soon on the EUSEW website and YouTube channel.

Hydrogen will be an important element of the forthcoming EU strategy for energy system integration and its future use will also be explored in an EU hydrogen strategy due to be released in July.

Interested in finding out more? EU hydrogen strategy


EUSEW Award Winners 2020

Three ground-breaking sustainable energy projects from Belgium, Italy and Croatia won prizes at this year’s EU Sustainable Energy Awards. The Awards honour outstanding individuals and projects for their innovation in the sustainable energy sector. 9 projects competed in 3 categories – Engagement, Innovation and Youth – as well as for the 2020 Citizens’ Award, which was decided by voters across Europe.

A new category this year recognised the contribution of Women in Energy with prizes given to 3 outstanding individuals. In addition, a prize was also awarded to an inspiring sustainable energy initiative in an Eastern Partnership country.

Today we focus on REMOTE, winners in the Innovation category. Started in Italy, Greece and Norway, the REMOTE project (Remote area Energy supply with Multiple Options for integrated hydrogen-based Technologies) supports isolated communities becoming self-sufficient in energy, thanks to a system built by the project team which helps store locally produced renewable energy and even allows excess green energy to be stored. This storage technology works with any source of renewables, from wind to biomass.

  We’re testing our concept in a wide range of conditions, from sunny, hot southern Europe to windy and cold Scandinavia, and we’re expecting all sites to experience an almost complete substitution of fossil fuels…Many people are happy to move away from dependency on diesel generation and save money by being able to store the renewable energy they generate.

Domenico Ferrero, Politecnico di Torino, REMOTE project

Another project helping communities move towards energy self-sufficiency also took home a prize at the Awards. The cVPP project based in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, won the Citizens’ Award, voted for by the general public across Europe. The project has helped local communities to take charge of their renewable energy generation through developing 3 community-based Virtual Power Plants (cVPPs) in the Netherlands, Belgium and Ireland.

We also recognise Women in Energy winner Sophie Attali. Dedicated to reducing energy consumption, Sophie works as Director of Guide Topten in France to provide detailed, impartial information on the energy efficiency of different electrical appliances, which is accessible to all online. Thanks to this information sharing, consumers are able to navigate more easily the wide range of products on the market and make sustainable purchasing decisions. As well as working with manufacturers, public authorities and policy makers, Sophie also coordinates the international network of Topten sites, directly reaching 1.5 million people – an audience that, with the right information, she is convinced can bring about real change to how electrical appliances are designed, manufactured and used.

  My goal is to help people understand their needs, choose the least energy intensive products and to use them correctly.

Sophie Attali, Director, Guide Topten France

#ENERGYDAYS around Europe...

Taking place throughout Europe, #EnergyDays are digital events engaging and inspiring local communities to help drive forward the clean energy transition.

At the round table on clean, sustainable and accessible energy organised by The Spanish National Research Council in Madrid, experts discussed energy supply, batteries, transport infrastructure, the circular economy and waste-to-energy in the context of the EU’s Green Deal.

The webinar ‘How can BIMplement be implemented in other European countries? Methodology and tools for BIM and nZEB implementation in the construction site’ presented practical solutions on building airtightness and ventilation.

  As part of the EUSEW digital Energy Day, BIMplement presented concrete results for all stakeholders interested in upskilling design and construction professionals in building airtightness and ventilation by using BIM.

Larissa C. De Rosso, ACE Assistant Project Officer

At the 'El Pacto Verd' event, the Head of European Commission in Barcelona, Ferran Tarradellas, outlined the main points of the European Green Deal to 50 companies in the energy efficiency sector. He also discussed the energy transition in Cataluña, the circular economy and how enterprise collaboration can improve competitiveness.

Coming up on 26 June, the #EnergyDays event ‘Decarbonising Orkney’s Lifeline Services using hydrogen’ will explore the latest R&D work being carried out in Orkney with green hydrogen.

  The Orkney islands are at the forefront of green hydrogen R&D with demonstration projects to trial hydrogen-powered planes and ferries

Richard Ainsworth, Hydrogen Manager, EMEC

On 29 June, join the ‘Integration of renewables in the EU energy system: yesterday, today and tomorrow’ webinar where energy experts will present the latest studies on integrating renewables. They’ll also offer insights into current projects and discuss policy priorities and challenges for the sector.

Look out for the ‘Open education for SDG7: affordable and clean energy’ on 30 June. This virtual event will discuss the importance of open education in achieving the UN’s sustainable development goal number 7. Join to learn more about open energy courses and the role of citizen engagement.

  Our event will share the views of policy-makers, experts and practitioners on how the open educational community around the world can contribute to the supply of affordable and clean energy for all.

Mojca Drevenšek, Co-coordinator of the SDG7 Hub