REFER – Responsible Energy for European Regions

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Responsible Energy for European Regions (REFER) is an initiative that aims to support the role Europe’s regions can play in climate protection by helping them develop and implement energy policies, which are based, among others, on a profound knowledge of the diverse smarter, cleaner and more efficient energy solutions that are available today.

Supporting the EU’s environmental and energy strategies, REFER creates a communication link between recognized energy industry experts and regional decision makers, sharing information on successful regional energy solutions across Europe. REFER is the brainchild of Frank Farnel, Director Global Communications & Public Affairs Europe (EMEA) - GE Energy. The initiative was formally launched in May 2009 by Michèle Sabban, President of the Assembly of European Regions (AER) and Ricardo Cordoba, President of General Electric Energy (GE Energy) for Western Europe and Northern Africa.


The UN Development Programme estimates that in order to reduce the threat of climate change by cutting greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to the problems of a warmer planet, about 50% to 70% will have to be carried out at a regional level. The International Energy Agency has argued that “leaders of towns and cities around the world” who support and promote local renewable energy projects can blaze a trail towards greenhouse gas mitigation, energy security, sustainable development and social benefits”.

This is due to an anticipated shift in energy production towards renewable energy sources, away from traditional power plants, which amounts to a decentralization of power with a higher number of smaller power plants in different regions across Europe. Therefore, it is up to the various European regions to find concrete technological solutions adapted to regional environments and needs and which ensure a sustainable energy supply.

Sharing information among each other, but also with companies that offer a variety of different approaches to energy production, storage and distribution (e.g. in this case GE Energy) can provide regional authorities with a more complete picture of their choices when it comes to devising and implementing regional energy policies.

Communication channels[edit]

  • European Regions Energy Day - REFER’s European Regions Energy Day in Brussels, Belgium, brings together regional decision makers and energy experts from all over Europe. The first European Regions Energy Day in April 2010 was one of the first events of its kind.
  • - REFER’s internet platform at follows a community-led approach, providing news and in-depth articles on energy related topics and facilitating discussion among a growing community of energy stakeholders across Europe.


  • EurOilGasMan (2011). "European energy – Hot topic in cold winter", Oil & Gas Watch Europe. 2014-1-4.
  • Jung, Nicole (2010). "Europe’s Energy Future is Not Only About Energy Efficiency, it’s Also About ‘Efficient Energy’", PR Web. Retrieved 2011-11-24.
  • Jung, Nicole (2010). Responsible Energy for European Regions, Press Release. Retrieved 2011-11-24.
  • "Regulations and Control", Energy Efficiency News. 2011-4-15.
  • "EU must up the ante to reach energy efficiency goals", Renewable Energy Focus. 2011-4-19.

External links[edit]