Steering the green energy transformation process in the Carpathian mountain region requires sound knowledge and information on the required resource base, available potentials and the anticipated impacts of altered management practices and regulatory systems, both in the present and in future. This topic will be in focus of the session “Green Energy Transition in the Carpathians: Opportunities and Risks” at the upcoming Forum Carpaticum 2018 in Hungary (14-18 October 2018).
Reasons to turn towards alternative energy systems are plenty. The majority of the European countries declared their intention to reduce CO2 emissions by replacing fossil energy with renewables such as photovoltaics, hydropower, wind power, biomass or geothermal energy. The EU Commission adopted the bioeconomy strategy and action plan aiming at further shifting the European economy towards a more sustainable use of renewable resources. Such “green energy future” implies a profound change of the entire energy system affecting not only the use of energy sources, but also its storage, transport and consumption. Apart from impacting the landscape and natural resources, the conversion of energy infrastructure and new management schemes entail alterations in the socioeconomic system. As a result of such transformations, mountain regions could be both: winners and losers. Expanding the energetic use of biomass, water, sun and wind could generate income sources and enhance energy independence. On the other hand, mountain ecosystems and landscapes are highly sensitive to change and prone to overexploitation.
The session invites contributions targeting renewable energies, in particular woody and non-woody biomass, and the entailed policies and transition processes relevant for mountainous regions, in particular the Carpathians.
The session on Green Energy Transition in the Carpathians will be organized by Astrid Björnsen Gurung (session chair), Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL, Switzerland; Heino Meessen (Centre for Development & Environment, CH); Yurij Bihun (Shelterwood Systems, PSU, US); Andrian Prokip (Ukrainian Institute for the Future, UA); Mariana Melnykovych (Ukrainian National Forestry University, UA); and Ihor Soloviy (Ukrainian National Forestry University, UA).