About - Programme - Venue - Getting there - Accommodation - Registration

About the Conference

How can citizens and communities stake their claim as drivers of the energy transition? The Conference presents effective solutions and support for civic energy stakeholders and highlights the range of benefits to be gained for communities.

Together with key European policymakers and stakeholders the Conference examines the implications of the recently adopted new European energy market design and its promise of a “level playing field” between centralized and local energy systems. The European perspective will be extended by a selection of regional and national policy initiatives designed to support community energy actors. Contributions from the COBEN project Delivering Community Benefits of Civic Energy will focus on proven approaches and measures to mainstream the civic energy process. Finally, an outlook session will preview future directions for civic energy.



09:00 Registration and coffee
  • Host’s welcome to Oldenburg
    Talke Hinrichs-Fehrendt, Weser-Ems Regional Development Agency
  • Welcome on behalf of the COBEN project
    Thomas Klenke, University of Oldenburg
  • Conference objectives and introduction to the sessions
    Gerard McGovern, University of Oldenburg and Elsie Haertjens, Gent

Session 1: European perspectives on civic energy

  • Brendan Devlin, Directorate-General for Energy, European Commission
  • André van de Nadort, Mayor of Weststellingwerf, Fryslan and Member of the Commission for the Environment, Climate Change and Energy of the European Committee of the Regions
  • Pierre Jean Coulon, President, Transport, Energy, Infrastructure and the Information Society - TEN, European Economic and Social Committee
  • Andreas Lervik, Vice-President, North Sea Commission
12:00 Lunch

Session 2: Regional and national frameworks for civic energy

  • Erik ten Elshof, Senior Policy Advisor on Energy Policy, Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate
  • Craig Egden, Senior Policy Advisor, Marine & Energy, Scottish Government, EU Office
  • Henning Bo Madsen, Member of the Energy Council, Ringkjøbing-Skjern Municipality, West Jutland
  • Dries Druyts, Senior Policy Officer Renewable Energy, Provincie Oost-Vlaanderen
14:15 Coffee

Session 3: COBEN contributions to mainstreaming civic energy
Facilitator Elsie Haertjens, Gent

  • The community benefits of civic energy
    • Alexander Lauring Knudsen, Ringkøbing-Skjern Kommune
    • Sophie Rotter, Landkreis Osnabrück
  • Professionalizing civic energy processes
    • Guri Bugge, Østfold fylkeskommune
    • Ross Jones, Energy Saving Trust, Scotland
  • New business models for civic energy
    • Peter De Vylder, Commercial Director Flanders, Veolia Belgium
    • Siegbert van der Velde, Gemeente Emmen
16:00 Outlook: Future directions for Civic Energy
Anna Skowron, Senior Policy Officer Climate and Energy, World Future Council
16:20 Closing remarks
16:30 After-conference cocktail


Old Parliament, Entrance Portal
(Photo: Gerard McGovern)


The Old Parliament (Alter Landtag),
Tappenbeckstraße 1,
26122 Oldenburg (in Oldenburg)

Official Homepage


Getting there

For those travelling by plane the nearest airport is Bremen. Luftibus operates a shuttle service to Oldenburg. Travel time: 1 hour.

Regional and intercity rail connections to Oldenburg (Oldenburg Hauptbahnhof) can be booked on the Deutsche Bahn website.

We strongly recommend travelling to the conference with public transport as parking space at the Alter Landtag is restricted. Bus 329 takes you directly to the conference venue (bus stop Tappenbeckstraße) from Oldenburg Central Station in 12 minutes. Alternative bus routes: bus 306 or 310 to Jade Hochschule, then a 5 minute walk to Alter Landtag.



Should you require overnight accommodation in Oldenburg a range of hotels and other accommodation can be found at https://www.oldenburg-tourismus.de/uebernachten. The website also offers an online booking function.