Twitter for the Sustainable Energy Transition in Europe

I actively send out tweets and have been doing so for several years. For the most part, they complement my sustainable energy blog, Energy in Demand. I now have over 5,400 followers @EnergyDemand and the level of activity is encouraging. Based in Paris and London, obviously the policy world gravitates around the European Union – yes, even after the Brexit vote.

Recently I participated in a summer workshop on the development for a Brussels-oriented Twitter community on the energy transition organised by Hans De Keulenaer from Leonardo Energy and Dusan Jakovljevic from the consulting company VATTEL.

I find Twitter to be a fascinating social medium; however it can be quite challenging with tweets with only up to 140 characters. While a challenge it can also be fun. It is also fascinating because there is so much to learn. Dusan, who led the discussion, showed in practice how social engagement can be improved by using a range of tools to help target audiences, sharpen messages and build a community. Dusan handles social media for the not-for-profit organisation Energy Efficiency in Industrial Processes. Impressively, one of their twitter accounts has over 40 thousand followers, and several others over 10,000 each. Not only has Dusan let workshop participants benefit from his experience in growing the audience for EEIP, he also presented what seems the future of social media, collaboration.

We were about 25 people to build a Twitter community – a Twitter community to keep building the momentum for the low carbon energy transition in Europe. The participants represented organisations involved in sustainable energy issues at the EU level.

So, what does it mean to build collaboration? When I notice how many people and organisations are on Twitter – Commissioners, commission staff, members of the European Parliament, members of the European Council, industry associations, not-for-profit advocates, and many more – those tweets can amplify and support each other to drive energy transition in the EU. It is even more important when this new energy transition collaborative community reinforces the messages, spreading the learnings and materials throughout Brussels.

Importantly, we must use different approaches to increase the priority in Europe for this low carbon energy transition. Twitter definitely has an important role to play. Just watch this space – oops, this hashtag: Tw4SE!

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