On September 23, the Interreg GR & Energy theme day took place in Saarlouis Fraulautern. The aim of the event was to promote cross-border cooperation in the field of energy efficiency and renewable energy.
The program included the presentation of the energy projects of the Interreg V A Greater Region program in the field of energy, such as the project GReENEFF (cross-border network in the field of sustainability and energy efficiency) or the projects Energiewaben GR (Regional Energy Supply of GR) and Smart Energy 4.4. (educational project for the integration of skilled workers).
Mrs. Christiane Fortuin, Managing Director of the EGTC – managing authority of the Interreg V A Greater Region program – pointed out in her opening remarks the importance of the topic of energy efficiency, also for the new Interreg VI program period (2021-2027): here, the focus is clearly on CO2 reduction in the context of a sustainable energy transition and circular economy. Six of 11 specific objectives have been dedicated to climate protection and sustainability.
On the European Union’s energy policy, there was a video slot with the General Directorate for Regional and Urban Policy: Mr. Nicola De Michelis, Vice Director General for Programming and Implementation – Smart and Sustainable Growth, named here as a goal a secure, economic and environmentally compatible energy supply. This, he said, should be achieved through diversification, energy conservation and the development of renewable energy.
The morning concluded with a panel discussion on the current situation and challenges of cross-border cooperation in the GR energy sector. Here, representatives from Luxembourg, Rhineland-Palatinate and Grand-Est were joined by Saarland’s Minister of Economic Affairs Anke Rehlinger. She emphasized that energy policy always means industrial policy, otherwise the energy transition cannot be mastered.
The program was completed in the afternoon with a tour of the GReENEFF pilot project “Wohnquartier Husarenweg” in Saarlouis: The neighborhood, which was built in the 1960s, is to be gradually renovated in an energy-efficient and sustainable manner. Many of the GReENEFF criteria will be taken into account here during the refurbishment, such as an energy-efficient construction method, PV system for self-power supply or the topic of e-mobility.
Last but not least, the remaining participants were able to take part in a guided tour of the city of Saarlouis, which included a visit to the Ravelin V fortress park. The reconstruction of the area at Ravelin V is one of the most important major projects in Saarlouis. Ravelin V was an outwork that was located in front of the main fortress wall as a so-called “rampart shield” and protected it. The necessary funding came from various EU, federal and municipal support programs.