Energy Policy

YES-Europe is taking its first steps in energy policy work. The Policy team will focus on analysing complex issues in the context of the energy transition, and communicate them with the YES-Europe network, via formats that are easy to digest and captivating to a younger audience. Building on its broad range of experiences, the Policy team will have a chance to develop and sharpen its policy and advocacy skills. The activities and projects proposed will be selected based on the priorities of the young energy leaders of our team and our network, namely the topics that we will tackle and the formats that we will use (events, reports, trainings, etc.).

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Untold stories of the energy transition 
Reconciling policy, industry and citizens – mission (im)possible? 

Young Leaders in Energy and Sustainability (YES-Europe) is proud to present its 2021 essay competition! 


Deployment of renewable energy and phasing out of fossil fuels is the most effective way to provide the necessary CO2 emission reductions. While the goal of reaching climate neutrality by 2050 sounds like the distant future, the way we produce and consume energy is already changing.  In 2019, 20% of all EU energy consumption came from renewable sources. This will inevitably increase by 2030, to an expected level of at least 40%. 

Our entire society is organized around energy systems. Moving towards net-zero emissions will change energy technologies, infrastructure, consumption patterns but also the social, political and economic ecosystem attached to it. To truly work, energy policy must integrate this dichotomy, but practice shows that this has been done with varying success. 


We are therefore searching for real-life stories which elaborate on this phenomenon in form of topical and astute commentaries with a strong policy angle.  In general terms, this would include a zoom into societal processes which stimulate, accompany and arise from shifts in energy systems. 


Ideally, your essay would present an issue, explain how you/your community/your company/your organization approached it and how this approach resulted in a change in policy or in practice.  Likewise, we invite critical essays which challenge existing policies, reveal blind spots and offer alternative views and policy solutions.

Suggested topics include (but not limited) to: 

  • Participation in devising renewable energy policies: industry, communities, civil society

  • Communicating energy policy to citizens 

  • Renewable energy and education

  • Financing the energy transition for citizens

  • Energy prosumers, energy communities and self-sufficiency 

  • Leaving no one behind while cutting emissions– how? 

  • Carbon taxes – do they work? 

  • Renewables and environmental trade-offs

  • Green jobs and reskilling in fossil fuel-dependent regions 

  • Cities as leaders

  • SMEs and startups with a focus on disruption and technological leadership 

  • Climate, energy and global governance 

  • Climate finance and developing countries 


There are no limitations as to the style and tone of the essay. Previously published works will not be accepted. Preference will be given to pragmatic content, calls for action and thought-provoking pieces. Any referenced or quoted content should be clearly indicated. 


10 essays will be preselected by our editorial team and the top 3 essays will be selected by an independent expert panel. Authors of the top 3 essays will be invited to speak on our “Talk Energy with YES-Europe" podcast! 

Relevant dates and Submission:


Please submit your essay of no more than 1000 words in PDF format, along with a brief biography to by 30 April 2021, 23:59 CET. 

Submissions should be made in English. Preselected authors will be informed by 14 May 2021 and prize winners will be announced at the beginning of June 2021.

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