AEL is a program developed by AIR and EPG, with initial support from ENEL Romania. AEL represents a platform dedicated to emerging leaders from a variety of backgrounds (policy makers, politicians, experts in the energy industry, business people, social entrepreneurs, civil society representatives, academics and researchers) interested in energy subjects. The project aims to widen the scope of the energy policy debate to include non-technical subjects related to governance, social protection, innovation and others.

The objectives of the project are to set up a group of emerging leaders engaged in a transparent, responsible and non-ideological debate on various energy topics, moderated by experts in the energy field, and to assist the group of emerging leaders in exploring subjects of interest for the energy governance community and beyond. The main aim of AEL is to organize 4 topical roundtables and to produce a report following the discussions.

Participants invited include representatives from the private, public, research, academia and media sectors, so as to ensure a variety of angles and perspectives on topics proposed. The project is guided by a Steering Committee, a group of Endorsers represented by key figures in the energy field, and a community of Facilitators made up of experts from the energy industry aiming to challenge attendees to an explorative approach on relevant topics.

The first edition of AEL was held on 10 February and tackled issues like affordability, acces to energy-related services and vulnerable consumers. Discussions covered topics such as the definition of vulnerable consumers, energy poverty, priorities and limits regarding universal access to energy services for vulnerable communities.
The second workshop took place on 22 March and covered Energy governance: institutional actors and decision making, with participants looking at local and European trends in the energy governance sector and energy security perspectives.
The third AEL seminar, on 11 July, looked at Smart economic growth in Romania and the role of financial and interconnecting instruments in connecting cities as poles of growth. Particular focus was laid on investigating perspectives for accesibility and innovation-driven investments in the energy sector, social and environmental resilience and urban governance models.

Meetings and discussion topics are curated by a Steering Committee, which includes leading experts in the energy industry.

A group of endorsers represented by key public figures guarantee the group’s integrity and quality. A community of facilitators made up of experts from the energy industry aims to challenge the emerging leaders (the attendees) to an explorative approach on relevant topics.

Workshops are held in the format of a one-day long event. Participation is on invitation basis.
The Aspen Energy Lab initiative is part of the Institute’s Energy, Security and Economy initiative aiming to contribute to the development of a regional Energy Platform. The AIR Energy, Security & Economy Platform aims to provide an influential debate and reflection platform for regional business sector and decision-makers in the energy sector in the Black Sea – Caspian region and to create a trans-regional platform. The platform links the Caspian, Adriatic and Black Seas strategy and policy review (aiming to anchor the Western gate of the New Silk Road). This effort is designed to dovetail with the EU energy strategy as well as regional and global developments regarding energy markets, security and financing issues in the field. The Program offers a consistent and diversified platform of national expertise in the field, reuniting Aspen members, fellows, and professionals from a variety of backgrounds. Participants come from private, public and academia sectors. Through their input, contributors have the opportunity to shape up Romania’s policies and strategies.

In response to the need for a coherent and productive debate, benefiting from Romania’s valuable track record and performance in the energy field, the Aspen ESE Platform is designed to stimulate discussions and assist policy makers, energy companies and relevant authorities in reaching efficient results. This inclusive debate platform complemented by well-founded strategic analyses, considering the particularities of the energy sector, the economic effects and geopolitical implications.

Participants to the Aspen Energy Lab are:

Istvan Lorant Antal – Hungarian Youth Conference from Romania (MIERT)

Claudiu Butacu – Solar Decathlon

Andreea Carp – Deloitte Romania

Andrei Covatariu – Enel Romania

Valentina – Andreea Dimulescu – Romanian Academic Society

Gabriel Dobre – Enevo Group

Marin Florian – National Trade Union

Iulia Ana Ghiţă – Europuls

Alexandru Grădinar – formely with the Presidential Administration, currently Romanian Ambassador to Denmark

Iulia Joja – Independent expert

Marius Lefter – Energo Dynamics

Octavian Manea – Revista 22/ Foreign Policy Romania

Iulia Manole – Institute for Participative Democracy Euro Qvorum

Petre Florin Manole – SDP

Georgiana Marin – Energy Policy Group

Dan Marinescu – Paroșeni Thermal plant

Anca Mihalache – Energy Policy Group

Lucian Mircescu – Romanian Ministry of Youth and Sport

Cristian Moisoiu – World Economy Institute

Gabriel Petrea – Social Democratic Youth branch

Mihaela Alexandra Popescu – Illumart

Florina Presadă – Resource Center for Public Participation

Radu Vladimir Răuţă – Șerban & Musneci Associates

Anca Ioana Rusu – Hidroelectrica

Adrian Stratulat – Energo Dynamics

Mihai Toader-Pasti – Solar Decathlon/ EFDEN