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Description of problem

Renewable energy sources (RES) and energy efficiency (EE) contribute to reduction of greenhouse gases emissions and increase competitiveness and economic growth of developing countries, especially those with poor fossil energy sources. Many countries have a strong fossil fuel dependency as poor in oil and in gas resources. Furthermore, the most of countries in SEE countries have a legacy of energy use inefficiency which is translated into a rate of 1:7 per GDP unit compares to Western Countries and their energy demand is expected to rise by a range of 60-80% over the next 20 years (EBRD Energy Policy, 2006). Finally, in all former communist block in Eastern Europe and Asia, world energy consumption would fall beyond 7% if they could reach European level of energy efficiency (International Energy Agency).

In addition, countries in SEE have faced urgent problem of high rate of unemployment. Climate change is very evident in SEE (dry seasons, more rains than snow during winter time, extreme weather etc.). These two issues have to be treated simultaneously. Deploying of RES and EE potentials would lead to climate change mitigation and adaptation as well as creation of green jobs. In this way development of RES and EE is a relevant issue to pursue the main political objectives of:
- economic growth and
- fight to the climate change.

It is known that there are a lot of potentials for RES and EE in SEE. From other side, there are different barriers to deployment of these potentials. Unfortunately deployment of EE/RES is still in delay. Among the main barriers it has been identified:
- Low awareness from the main stakeholders on the problems and solutions,
- Weak capacity of communication among the main actors
- Poor communication among the large public,
- Delay in technological transfer and
- Lack of expertise.

The last one plays a key role. Moving towards a low-carbon economy provides opportunities in private and public sector. However it is needed to ensure a capable workforce with new skills able to contribute to utilize those opportunities. Availability of skills for “green jobs” plays a crucial role in triggering change and facilitating just and timely transitions. The presence of expertise will reflect on all the organizations involved directly and indirectly in the energy revolution and make it more feasible (stakeholders as local institutions, NGOs, DSO, energy producers, consumers, enterprises, building constructors, professionals..). A common environment of expertise able to communicate and understand each other will be a pre-requirement to create a
group able to lead the change. The reinforcement of competences and the creation of networks it’s the key step to make the sustainable energy targets possible.

In the South East Europe this is more true due to the weakness of the Institutions. What is the role of each stakeholders? How they can contribute? How the Central Government can create a trustful environment? How Institutions can contribute to overcome some barriers? How to deal with the scarcity of finance? Why investors should trust? How improve the competence? The creation of a single market is a solution?

These are part of the main questions that the participants will try to issue and afford. The presence of experts in each one of the topic in representation of different stakeholders will help to discuss from different point of views. The OST methodology will be in this sense more helpful. The answers will be collect in a paper and published on the website of the REIC.

Aware of all that, the conference will enable share of ideas/visions of young people from SEE countries how effectively use RES and EE potential in achievement of low carbon economy and creation of green jobs. Sharing of ideas will enable by applying innovative teaching method – Open Space Technology (OST).