The Green Energy Investment Forum will be held for the first time within the frameworks of the South-East European Conference on Energy Efficiency & Renewables, which 15th edition will be held on 16 April. Why do you choose the event of Via Expo?
There are two basic reasons for having chosen organizing the Forum in the framework of the event of Via Expo. First, we have chosen Sofia because it is the Capital City of the BSEC Member State – Republic of Bulgaria – which holds the Chairmanship-in-Office of our Organization during the first semester of the year 2019. Secondly, as the Forum is about Green Energy, we thought that the most appropriate time and place to hold the Forum would be the South-East European Conference and Exhibition on Energy Efficiency & Renewables, a prestigious annual event, offering an outstanding platform for getting acquainted with the latest technological developments related to cleaner energy, greener cities and better quality buildings, for identifying new investment opportunities and for useful interaction of market players in these sectors.
We are familiar with this yearly event as, beginning with 2011, the area of countries on which this event focuses have been enlarged to include also countries from the Black Sea region. Since that year, BSEC became a partner of Via Expo, together with other organizations and institutions, in supporting these exhibitions and conferences.
One of the major priorities of our Organization is to support the efforts of its 12 Member States for ensuring sustainable energy and we thought it would be profitable for the participants in the Forum to interact with local and international companies that present at the SEE Conference and Exhibition their products and solutions for cleaner energy, greener cities and increasing energy-efficient buildings.
Which topics will be considered during the Forum and what is its aim?
I would begin by mentioning that we are organizing this Forum in close cooperation with the coordinator of the “BSEC Green Energy Network”, which is the Energy Policy and Development Center (KEPA) of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, recently selected as the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) hub for Sustainable Development Goal 7 – Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
I would add that the “BSEC Green Energy Network” was established and started to function in 2015. It is an important tool for exchanging information and for sharing know-how and good practices among our Member States.
In the previous three years, similar Fora were organized – three in Athens and one in Istanbul –, as a vehicle to encourage the development of Green Energy in our region.
The Forum this year has the same aim. It will have two parts. Part 1 will consist of a “Policy dialogue”, during which representatives of governmental authorities from Bulgaria and other interested BSEC Member States, at both national and local levels, and from business communities, will present national projects on the development of Green Energy, open to domestic and/or foreign investments. Part 2 is going to discuss “Green Funding Mechanisms”, in which participants are expected to examine ways and means to facilitate international banks and foreign green funds to operate in the BSEC Region and to exchange views on developing the regional cooperation in this field by sharing experiences at local and national levels in various BSEC Member States. Conclusions and Recommendations will be drawn after the discussions, which are going to be submitted for consideration to the governmental authorities of the BSEC Member States.
Speakers and guests from which countries do you expect to join the Forum?
First of all, we expect that a high representative of the Ministry of Energy of Bulgaria, who will attend the official opening of the Via Expo event, will also address our Forum in the “Policy dialogue” part.
We will have as a keynote speaker the Coordinator of the “BSEC Green Energy Network”, Professor Dimitrios Mavrakis, who is also the Director of the Energy Policy and Development Center of the University of Athens.
From the business community, we will have as keynote speakers the presidents of the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and of the Bulgarian Industrial Association. We expect to enrich the discussions with participants from local authorities and academic community from Bulgaria, and also from other international governmental and non-governmental organizations active in the field of promoting Green Energy. For the “Green Funding Mechanisms” part, we are going to have as keynote speakers high representatives from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the European Investment Bank and from the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank, which is a related body of our Organization.