Published: 29.11.2016

On 29 November, the Future of Rural Energy in Europe (FREE) initiative under the umbrella of the RUMRA intergroup organised a breakfast debate to discuss the so called ‘Winter Energy Package’ and its impact on rural energy. The breakfast was hosted by Mercedes Bresso, MEP (S&D, Italy), and brought together a mix of both policymakers and industry representatives. The debate was moderated by Mr Andrew Ford of the FREE initiative.

The speakers, included Fulco Van Lede, CEO of SHV Energy, Brendan Devlin of the European Commission, and Mercedes Bresso, a Member of the European Parliament and the Chair of the Rural, Mountainous, and Remote Areas (RUMRA) Parliamentary Intergroup.

Mr Devlin of the European Commission affirmed that there is indeed a need to pay more attention to rural areas, as they tend to be overlooked.

The highlight of the Breakfast debate was the launch of a new report on ‘Rural Energy Matters’ (available here) by Fulco Van Lede, CEO of SHV Energy. The report brings significant insights into the problems associated with the energy needs of rural areas, including the issues of air quality and fuel poverty. Furthermore, it presents solutions which when adopted will result in 100 million tonnes of CO2 savings and a significant improvement in air quality in rural and mountainous areas.

It was a pleasure to introduce a report prepared by the FREE initiative, that paints a picture of a better future for rural energy, in which around 100 million tonnes of CO2 can be saved whilst improving the quality of the air, health and life of rural populations, said Fulco Van Lede, CEO of SHV Energy after the event.