The energy transition process was the main topic of the ‘Energy and Energy Solidarity’ conference organised in Slupsk as part of the ‘Solidarity in Development’ series. On 11 October 2023, the Slupsk Technology Incubator hosted local government officials, scientists, entrepreneurs and NGO representatives.

Fot. Agencja Rozwoju Pomorza SA

According to the organisers, the aim of the ‘Solidarity in Development‘ series is “firstly, to reflect on contemporary challenges facing societies, related to the technological revolution, climate change, profound transformations in demography, culture, the economy, or in the broader civic and public sphere. Secondly, the aim is to initiate a debate that will create an opportunity to bring together people representing a variety of professional backgrounds, local communities, generations or beliefs.” The ‘Solidarity in Development’ series of events is part of Open Eyes Economy.

The conference was attended by representatives of the University of Gdańsk: Sylwia Mrozowska, PhD, Dsc, Prof. UG, UG, Vice-Rector for Cooperation and Development of the UG, Prof. Cezary Obracht-Prondzyński, Vice-Chairman of the Solidarity in Development Programme Council, and Krzysztof Szczepaniak, PhD, Director of the Centre for Sustainable Development. The event is part of the nature of the University of Gdansk’s activities and strategy, which promotes and engages in actions for sustainable development.

The conference was chaired by Katarzyna Laskowska, Deputy Director of the Entrepreneurship Development Department, Pomerania Development Agency SA. The meeting was opened by Piotr Ciechowicz, Vice President of the Pomerania Development Agency SA, and Sławomir Koprowski, Vice President of the Pomerania Regional Development Agency SA.

The main session included panels on ‘energy as a development challenge’ and energy transition from a climate perspective. The first session concluded with a debate on ‘Social dialogue as an element of a just energy transition’, moderated by Dr Sylwia Mrozowska, Professor UG.

Another highlight of the conference was the two parallel sessions: business and local government. In the midst of these, topics such as corporate energy transition, ESG, financing the energy transition and urban design emerged. The session ‘Energy security of municipalities’ was moderated by Dr Krzysztof Szczepaniak.

Extremely valuable for the energy security of our region and country is the high awareness of local authorities of the ongoing changes in the availability and structure of energy generation sources. The role of the state is to provide the minimum amount of energy necessary to sustain the economy and basic public services. However, at the local level, there are a number of ways to protect residents from an energy crisis. For example, following the example of Scandinavian countries, we can develop so-called energy cooperatives, which bring many benefits to local communities. In this way, several municipalities in Poland have already achieved energy self-sufficiency,” points out Krzysztof Szczepaniak, PhD.

The final highlight of the event at the Słupsk Technological Incubator was a summary delivered by Prof. Cezary Obracht-Prondzyński. With this, the “Energy and Energy Solidarity” conference came to an end. As part of the ‘Solidarity in Development’ series, there will still be a ‘Social Initiative Presentation’ conference on 5 December in Kartuzy as part of the 2023 series.