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Energy Defence Consultation Forum enters third phase

Some 170 experts from 29 European countries and more than 20 different institutions and organisations participate in the 1st conference of the third phase of the Consultation Forum for Sustainable Energy in the Defence and Security Sector (CF SEDSS III) which opened today. The two-days online event (27/28 October), held under the auspices of the German EU Presidency and hosted by the German Ministry of Defence, marks the kick-off of the third phase of the Consultation Forum which will cover the next three years. It has set higher ambitions than the previous two phases and can also rely on an increased funding.

In Phase III, the Consultation Forum will pursue the implementation of the EU’s legal framework on energy in the defence sector, and help improve energy efficiency and buildings performance by utilising renewable energy sources and increasing the resilience of defence-related critical energy infrastructures. It will also address cross-cutting topics such as energy management/policy and energy innovative technologies, and identify co-funding and financial instruments to be potentially used for defence energy-related projects. The Forum will also support the generation of defence energy-related project ideas and studies which could lead to new collaborative projects among Member States.

Unique platform

The conference was opened with speeches by Barbara Wießalla (Head of the Directorate-General for Infrastructure, Environmental Protection and Services at the German Ministry of Defence), Tudor Constantinescu (Principal Adviser to the Director-General for Energy at the European Commission) as well as Jiří Šedivý, EDA’s Chief.

In his speech, Mr Šedivý welcomed the fact that, for the first time, all EU Member States participate in the Consultation Forum, which confirms “that sustainable energy is high on the agenda of the EU’s Ministries of Defence”. The Consultation Forum represents a “unique platform enabling knowledge-sharing and promoting collaborative defence research and innovation on sustainable energy”, he said. Mr Šedivý also stressed the importance of the European Green Deal which gives defence the opportunity “to turn to energy-efficient buildings and installations, to strengthen the use of renewable energy and to intensify efforts on climate proofing infrastructure” and thereby contribute to reaching the EU’s goal of climate neutrality by 2050. “For the green transition to be successful, it requires an all-inclusive approach and a whole-of-society engagement, leaving no one behind”, he stated. “EDA and the Consultation Forum are well-placed to support the defence sector and armed forces to play their role”, Mr Šedivý concluded.

Next conference in 2021

The 2nd CF SEDSS III conference is scheduled to take place in Lisbon on 16/17 June 2021 under the auspices of the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the EU and hosted by the Portuguese Ministry of National Defence.

About the CF SEDSS

The Consultation Forum for Sustainable Energy in the Defence and Security Sector (CF SEDSS) is a European Commission funded initiative managed by the EDA. This Forum was established with the primary scope to create a defence energy-related community to share information, knowledge and best practices on improving energy management, increasing energy efficiency and buildings performance, utilising renewable energy sources in the defence sector and enhancing the resilience of defence-related critical energy infrastructure. To address these objectives, and with the support of the European Commission, EDA has implemented two phases: the first phase took place from October 2015 to October 2017 and the second one from October 2017 to August 2019. Building on the successful outcome of these two phases and to address emerging and future challenges in the field of energy, EDA and the European Commission launched on 1st October 2019 the third phase, which will run over a period of four years until 30 September 2023. CF SEDSS phase III is funded by the European Union’s (EU) horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the grant agreement No. 882171.