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EDA green defence forum reaches highest level of participation

Over 180 experts from 29 countries, along with more than 30 different institutions and organisations, participated in the sixth conference of the third phase of the Consultation Forum for Sustainable Energy in the Defence and Security Sector (CF SEDSS III) in Malaga. This was the highest level of participation since the start of the project. It underscored the Consultation Forum's status as the biggest European defence energy community. 

CF SEDSS is a European Commission-funded initiative managed by the EDA. 

EDA organised the sixth CF SEDSS III conference on 22-23 November 2023 under the auspices of the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the European Union and hosted by the Ministry of Defence of Spain, with the support of Engineering Systems for the Defence of Spain. This plenary conference was combined with the second Energy Technology Solutions Conference, held on 24 November 2023, and an onsite exhibition, showcasing cutting-edge energy technology solutions applicable to defence.  

Conference participants discussed energy efficiency measures in military buildings, electrification of military transport, energy storage, resilience of defence-related critical energy infrastructure and the energy transition. Participants were updated on EU energy policies and strategies.

For the first time, the community welcomed the acting U.S Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, who spoke on the US defence energy technology trends. 

Committed to sustainable energy in defence 

The conference was opened with speeches by EDA Chief Executive Jiří Šedivý, Lieutenant General Luis Cebrián Carbonell, Director of Infrastructures Directorate, Ministry of Defence, Spain, and Paula Pinho, Director, Directorate-General for Energy, European Commission. Brigadier General E. Ruiz Alonso, Chief, Spanish Army General Logistics Base Program Support Office, Spanish Ministry of Defence, gave a keynote speech. 

In his speech, EDA's Šedivý highlighted that the Consultation Forum conference “is more than an examination of energy policy and exhibition of technological advancements. It is a testament to our collective and continued commitment towards sustainable energy within the defence sector." He looked ahead to 2040, where EDA “foresees a transformation in warfare — driven by digitisation and greener consciousness, with climate change at the forefront of security and operational landscapes.”

Lieutenant General Luis Cebrián Carbonell, Director of Infrastructures Directorate, Ministry of Defence, Spain said: “The defence sector is proactively defining its energy and environmental strategies, with a focus on achieving national and European goals for improved energy efficiency and reduced carbon emissions."

Paula Pinho, Director, Directorate-General for Energy, European Commission said: “Recent events have also put the Consultation Forum at the centre of the European scene. What started focusing on the secondary issue, developed into a wide and well-established EU action in the defence domain – a network of experts who learned to work together, presenting a blueprint for future European armed forces.”

EDA and the European Commission are working on initiating Phase IV of the Consultation Forum, starting in 2024 and continuing until 2028, Pinho said.

In his keynote address, Brigadier General E. Ruiz Alonso said: “The new Army Logistics Base to be established is meticulously conceived from its inception to seamlessly integrate state-of-the-art advancements in sustainable and efficient energy utilisation. This project is instrumental in cultivating a contemporary sustainable and human-centric environment … to bolster the operations of diverse units within the Spanish Army.” 

2024 event 

The CF SEDSS dissemination event will take place on 25 April 2024 under the auspices of the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the EU and hosted by the Belgian Ministry of Defence. This will be the final event of CF SEDSS Phase III, where project results and outputs achieved in the last four years will be presented.  

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