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Facilitating the RePowerEU – Cities as Frontrunners & Facilitators in Sustainable Energy

The 20th edition of European Week of Regions and Cities is organised from 11 to 13 October 2022 in Brussels and online. This year, the annual flagship event for European cohesion, local and regional governance, is under the motto “New Challenges for Europe’s Cohesion”.

During this week, Helsinki EU Office is organising a hybrid workshop “Facilitating the RePowerEU – Cities as Frontrunners & Facilitators in Sustainable Energy”, together with the Finnish Cities of Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa, on the 12th of October, at 15.00 – 16.30 CET. Join us!


European cities are at the frontline of implementing the green transition and are key figures, as well as intermediaries between EU strategies and citizens. Cities function as development platforms and facilitators for new solutions that will have direct impact on the lives of citizens. In this hybrid workshop, three challenges of the RePowerEU-plan; saving energy, producing clean energy, and diversifying energy supplies are discussed through three different Finnish approaches on both local and regional level. The panel comprises of representatives from the Cities of Helsinki, Espoo, and Vantaa.

The aim of the workshop is to spark new ideas and dialogue through presenting the innovative approaches and sustainable solutions the neighbouring Finnish cities have adopted to meet the current energy related challenges.

The workshop is of participatory nature, thus it is encouraged that the participants reflect, ask questions and share their perspectives to the panelists to realise fruitful discussion.

Participants are invited to co-design the workshop agenda, through taking part in the questionnare found in the registration form.  


Times are shown in Central European Time (CET)






“The EU fighting Climate Change”,
Mr. Jeremy Herry, Information and Communication Officer, DG Climate Action, European Commission

“Regions and Cities tackling the Energy and Climate Crisis”,Mr. Andres Jaadla, The Climate Pact Ambassador of the Committee of Regions and Ambassador of the European Covenant of Mayors

Part I: Repowering EU in the cities – What has already been done
Cases of the City of Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa, moderator Mr. Fausto Zaccaro, Policy Officer, Energy Cities

“Making a Zero Carbon Capital City of Helsinki; Changing the operational logics to reach wider impact”, Ms. Anni Sinnemäki, Deputy Major, City of Helsinki.

“Developing Energy-Positive Districts in Espoo”,
Ms. Elina Wanne, Development Manager of sustainable energy, City of Espoo.

“Towards a Carbon Negative Energy System by Vantaa Energy”, Mr. Jukka Toivonen, CEO Vantaa Energy.

Interactive panel discussion

Part II: RePowerEU challenges in cities: Saving energy, producing clean energy and diversifying energy supplies – What could be the most effective measures?

Interactive panel discussion

End of Workshop

Case: Making a Carbon Neutral City – changing the operational logics to reach wider impact

City of Helsinki is committed to be carbon neutral by 2030 and zero-carbon by 2040. To reach the goal, impactful measures with high emission reduction potential are needed. Helsinki has recently renewed its emission reduction program with very ambitious measures.
Deputy Mayor Anni Sinnemäki will present the program and its logic and key principles as well as examples of implemented and planned measures related to energy consumption and production.

Case: European collaboration’s important role in energy transition: Case SPARCS Energy-positive districts in Espoo

Energy transition is currently challenging Europe through prizing, availability, emissions, infrastructure etc. The big question is how cities can provide and support our citizens and companies to have access to affordable, reliable and clean energy. In Espoo Horizon 2020 project SPARCS has provided versatile and fruitful platform with knowledge, tools and relevant partners to create low-emission district-level energy solutions. With three demo sites – all in different development stages – we have been able to thoroughly investigate how positive-energy districts can be formed and developed further. Energy is not only about technology – citizen engagement, new business models and co-creation are needed too.

Case: Towards a Carbon Negative Energy system by Vantaa Energy

Completely fossil-free energy production and carbon negative energy system are what all energy production must be like in the future – but for Vantaa Energy, they are near future. The CEO of Vantaa Energy Ltd, Jukka Toivonen, will describe how their energy production will be fossil-free by 2026, and walk us through the route to carbon negativity by 2030. This includes e.g. planning the construction of world’s largest underground seasonal heat storage, waste-to-energy plant expansion, and decarbonized district heating.

Join the workshop online!

This event is in hybrid format with participants on-site at Helsinki EU Office and online.

If you have any questions regarding the event, kindly contact our team at helsinki.euoffice@helsinki.eu


Andres Jaadla

Andres Jaadla

Andres Jaadla is ambassador to the Climate Pact for the Committee of the Regions. He is also the national ambassador of the European Covenant of Mayors in Estonia and member of the board of Housing Europe. He has been member of the European Committee of Regions from 2010 and in the commission of Environment and Climate Change (ENVE), as well as the coordinator of the  ALDE  political group. In his home country Estonia, he has been the vice mayor and the mayor of the city of Rakvere.

Jeremy Herry

Jeremy Herry works at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Climate Action as an Information and Communication Officer. He works on communicating the reality of the climate crisis and explaining EU action in the field of climate to European citizens.
Prior to his role at the European Commission, Jeremy worked on sustainable farming campaigns at BirdLife Europe and Central Asia, an NGO focused on nature protection. He also worked at the Council of European Municipalities and Regions, promoting local and regional governments, and worked on sustainable projects such as the Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy and the Reference Framework for Sustainable Cities. Jeremy is an avid cyclist and enjoys spending time in nature with his wife and one-year-old daughter.

Fausto Zaccaro

Fausto Zaccaro is a Project and Policy Officer at Energy Cities working for the EU Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy.
Previously working there as an Intern, he is the coordinator of the Cities Energy Saving Sprint.
Holding a Master’s degree in Global Energy Transition and Governance from the Centre international de formation européenne and a Master of Arts in European Studies from Maastricht University, he frames the local perspective for energy security through demand-reduction.

Anni Sinnemäki

Anni Sinnemäki has been the Deputy Mayor for the City of Helsinki, responsible for city planning and real estate, since 2015. Since June 2017 she is in charge of Helsinki’s Urban Environment Division. The most important project of this City Council term for her has been the ambitious Carbon Neutral Helsinki 2030 Action Plan. Sinnemäki was Member of the Finnish Parliament for 15 years (1999–2015), representing The Greens of Finland. She was Minister of Labour from 2009 to 2011. Sinnemäki is born in Helsinki, is married and has two children.

Elina Wanne

Elina Wanne (M. Sc. Tech) works currently at the City of Espoo as a development manager for sustainable development. Her main responsibility in Espoo is H2020 Lighthouse project SPARCS, leading the Lighthouse city Espoo consortium work in creating sustainable energy solutions in PEDs. Her interest in sustainable development was ignited at Helsinki University of Technology (now Aalto University), where her studies in materials science and recycling technology has led to versatile career in sustainable development projects: research, construction, community engagement, growth and change facilitation. Her main interest in sustainability is a holistic view on development of cities and communities, and how energy solutions pave the way for carbon-neutral future. To solve wicked challenges of our time e.g. climate change, she sees solutions in new technological innovations with strong human-centric approach.

Jukka Toivonen

Jukka Toivonen has been CEO of Vantaa Energy since 2019. Prior to his position as CEO of Vantaa Energy Toivonen has worked in multiple roles in the energy sector for nearly 30 years. Toivonen sees that frontrunning in the energy transition requires unprecedented innovativeness, agility and courage from energy companies. Vantaa Energy has the competence to innovate and combine various technological solutions into unique mutually supportive entities that will enable the company to quickly phase out the use of fossil fuels in energy production and to move towards carbon negativity in 2030.
Toivonen has strong belief that Vantaa Energy has an excellent possibility to be one of the winners of the energy transition in the long term. Toivonen has an M.Sc. in Electrical Engineering and Industrial Economy from the Tampere University of Technology and an MBA in International Marketing and Finance from Aalto University. Toivonen enjoys cycling both on and off the road. At wintertime he likes to ski cross-country and downhill. He enjoys travelling with his family.