Joint Opening Keynote Session of POWER-GEN Europe Outlines Europe’s Energy Transition

The Joint Opening Keynote session of POWER-GEN Europe and Renewable Energy World Europe 2015 took place yesterday at the Amsterdam RAI. The highly anticipated, annual session brought together four of Europe’s most important energy minds to outline their thoughts on the future of the continent’s energy transition.

The four keynotes were given by Maria van der Hoeven, Executive Director, International Energy Agency; Ineke Dezentjé Hamming-Bluemink, President of FME, the Dutch Employers’ Association; Marie Donnelly, Director, DG Energy; and Dr Wolfgang Konrad, Chief Executive, Siemens Distributed Generation.

Each keynote presented a different outlook on Europe’s transitioning energy sector:

  • Ms van der Hoeven presented the need for an all-encompassing energy approach in order to combat climate change. She asserted that the 21st centuries’ energy structure needed “new towers, cables and steel on the ground to prepare for smart market design”, in order to have a market that “accurately reflects the physical reality of the electricity system”. The speech also commented on the need for large-scale utilities to evolve, bringing in a future characterised by distributed generation and smart grids.
  • Ms Dezentje Hamming-Bluemink spoke of business plans needing to be reviewed “every month” in the fast-moving European energy industry. She told the packed hall at the RAI that “the most sustainable type of energy is the energy that you don’t use”, and she highlighted that Dutch companies have an integral role to play in the electricity transition but warned that the sector “must rise to the challenges”.
  • Ms Donnelly told the audience that Europe was “extremely at risk and exposed” by its huge reliance on oil and gas imports. This, she said, makes it essential that Europe acts together in an integrated and collaborative way, she said: “We can’t continue to operate with 28 separate boxes in the EU.” She also went on to stress the importance of the informed consumer.
  • Dr Konrad took the stage last to inform the audience that one of today’s biggest challenges is the grid. “We need a grid to collect the energy from wind and solar power and then distribute it where it’s needed,” he said. He said that distributed generation is on the rise, and that the industry therefore needs “to understand how to better match demand with availability”. He also stressed the importance of f

POWER-GEN Europe and Renewable Energy World Europe is taking place until Thursday, with fantastic content taking place each day – don’t miss the Joint Plenary Session which is taking place at 2pm today at the Amsterdam RAI. You can also watch the session in a live webcast by registering here: www.powerengineeringint.com/webcasts/2015/06/european-energy-transition

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