More than 150 experts from 29 European countries, as well as different institutions and organisations participated in the fifth conference of the third phase of the Consultation Forum for Sustainable Energy in the Defence and Security Sector (CF SEDSS III) in Prague, reaffirming the Consultation Forum's status as the largest European defence energy community.
The European Defence Agency (EDA) organised the fifth CF SEDSS III conference from 30 November to 1 December 2022 under the auspices of the Czech Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU). It was hosted by the Ministry of Defence of the Czech Republic. During the conference, the forum showed the way ahead to support the defence energy transition, ranging from behavioural change models to climate change proofing and energy resilience. The forum’s output also contributed to implementing broader EU actions, including the EU’s Climate Change and Defence Roadmap, Member States’ defence strategies for climate change adaptability, the EU’s offshore energy strategy, and the Action Plan on Military Mobility.
Accelerating energy transition in defence
The conference opened with speeches by Jan Jireš, Deputy Minister for Defence Policy and Strategy at the Ministry of Defence of the Czech Republic, and Jiří Šedivý, EDA Chief Executive. Ms Eva Horelová, Deputy Head of Mission, European Commission Representation in the Czech Republic, gave a keynote speech.
Czech Deputy Minister for Defence Policy and Strategy Jan Jireš underlined that “it is our responsibility to contribute to the overall effort of European countries and to enhance the energy efficiency of the defence sector. And we have to do it without reducing the operational effectiveness of our forces.”
Jireš also said: “I see two main implications of climate change for our security. First, it will alter the character, scale and geography of future conflicts. Second, it will force us to adapt our defence capabilities. However, they also foster opportunities to look for new and innovative solutions to the same old goal, which is making our world safe and sustainable”.
In his speech, Mr Šedivý highlighted that the Consultation Forum “has become Europe’s beacon in promoting sustainable energy in defence and generating collaborative ideas to close shared gaps”. He emphasised that the “forum’s findings are helping the ministries of defence to develop national strategies to prepare the armed forces for climate change”.
Likewise, they will underpin the implementation of the EU’s Action Plan on Military Mobility, he said “by presenting opportunities for using renewables in military transport, for instance through hydrogen”.
Mr Šedivý said that EDA had launched its first project funded under Horizon Europe, called Symbiosis. He noted that this project “is a successful outcome of the forum, aiming to improve coexistence between defence and offshore renewable energy developments”.
Mr Šedivý also welcomed that the Greek and Italian ministries of defence for finalising, respectively, the project ideas on military behaviour and façade refurbishment, which will now seek EU funding for the next steps. He concluded by noting the efforts of the forum and the Joint Research Centre, who have jointly completed a research study on the impacts of climate change on defence-related critical energy infrastructure.
In her keynote address, Ms Eva Horelová said: "the EU has developed a strategy with four different objectives: guaranteeing energy security for its citizens and enterprises; fighting climate change; mobilising public and private investment to finance energy transition and developing the innovative technologies. Defence has a key role to play in supporting the implementation of the European Green Deal".
Conferences in 2023
The second CF SEDSS High-level Joint Defence and Energy meeting will take place on 8-9 June 2023 under the auspices of the Swedish Presidency of the Council of the EU and hosted by the Swedish Ministry of Defence.
The sixth CF SEDSS III plenary conference and 2nd Energy Technology Solutions conference and on-site exhibition will occur on 29 November-1 December 2023 under the auspices of the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the EU and hosted by the Spanish Ministry of 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 to create a defence energy-related community to share information, knowledge and best practices on improving energy management, increasing energy efficiency and building 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. EDA and the European Commission launched the third phase on 1 October 2019, which will run until September 2024. CF SEDSS phase III is funded by the European Union's (EU) horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 882171.
CF SEDSS website
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