Untold stories of the energy transition

Reconciling policy, industry and citizens – mission (im)possible? Take part in YES-Europe first 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 organised 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.

Our Solution

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 or your organization approached it and how this approach resulted in 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.

Participation rules


How has the energy transition affected you and your community? Tell us about your good and bad experiences.


Submitted papers should be written in English and have a maximum length of 1,000 words. 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.


Ten essays will be preselected by our editorial team and reviewed by an independent experts’ panel. Three essays will be awarded and writers will have the chance to present their work in our Talk Energy Podcast.


Please submit your essay in PDF format, along with a brief biography to policy@yeseurope.org by July 1st, 2021. Preselected authors will be informed by July 15th, 2021 and prize winners will be announced shortly after.

Suggested topics for inspiration

  • 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 re-skilling 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

Do you have any questions regarding the participation in our call for essays or ideas you want to share with us regarding the project?

Don’t hesitate to contact us!

Beatriz Ildefonso

Beatriz Ildefonso

Energy Policy Team Lead