Panellists to consider the energy revolution in kick-off debate
Utrecht, The Netherlands, – European Utility Week (EUW), the leading event for the smart utility community, taking place at Fira Barcelona Gran Via, Barcelona Spain from 15th to 17th November, has released the first confirmed speakers for the event’s opening keynote panel session.
The panel session, entitled ‘Are We Ready for The Energy Revolution?’, will explore how the utility business model can be future-proofed in a changing environment that includes new technologies and shifting customer behaviours.
The session will be moderated by Carol L. Stimmel, chief advisor, author and founder of Manifest Mind, and will explore topics including the integration of renewables, sustainability and energy efficiency, the state of urgency and collaboration and the changing workforce. The C-level utility panellist line up will include:
– Sara Bell, CEO, Tempus Energy, UK
– Inken Braunschmidt, CIO, RWE, Germany
– Blanca Losada, CTO, Gas Natural Fenosa & CEO, Gas Natural Fenosa Engineering, Spain
Speaking about the keynote, Content Director Florence Coullet said:
“We’re delighted to be able to share the line-up for our opening keynote panel session at this early stage. The energy revolution encapsulates one of the biggest trends in a sector which is adapting to new levels of connectivity and changing customer behaviours. It’s a vital topic and reflects the important role that EUW plays in bringing the major players in smart energy together, to explore the state of the industry and where it’s going. We hope 2016 sets the bar even higher and look forward to welcoming our guests to Barcelona in November.”
So far more than 140 speakers from Europe and beyond have been confirmed to speak during the three day event. Speakers include:
– João Torres, CEO, EDP Distribuição and Chairman of EDSO
– Paul Jan Jacobs, Vertical Leader Mobility, Eneco
– Andy Perry, CSO & Head of Supply Operations, Tempus Energy
– Michael Flipper, VP T&I Strategy and Head of Innovation Center Systems, E.ON
– Maher Chebbo, President, ESMIG
– Mercè Griera i Fisa, Project Officer, European Commission
– Nicolas Arcauz, Global and Smart Metering Director, Iberdrola
– Philip Lewis, CEO, VaasaETT
– Caroline Ledl, Head of Product Development, Wien Energie
To see the full list, click here.
EUW has also confirmed the programmes for both the event’s Summit and Hub sessions. The strategic Summit is a knowledge-sharing platform designed to facilitate the needs of C-level executives discussing the challenges facing the industry and the solutions that will help transform it.
This year, the Summit will delve deep into content around market design, digitalisation, consumer centricity and business models for the following themes: T&D, The Intelligent Grid, Retail, Sustainable and Smart City, ICT and Data Management.
The Hub Sessions on the exhibition floor are different from the Summit as they offer a dynamic format and engaging Q&As, allowing attendees to participate for free in topic-led sessions.
For the first time in 2016, the Hub Sessions event will also include two new launch topics: Energy Revolution Europe and Intelligent Buildings Europe. Both launches will be part of the Hub Session programme and will have their own focus area in the form of a zone on the exhibition floor. The other Hub Session topics include:
– Smart water and smart gas
– Big data and analytics
– Intelligent grid
– Smart metering, smart homes and end use.
Carol L. Stimmel
Carol L. Stimmel is the chief advisor, author and founder of Manifest Mind. Carol is an impact advisor to governments from across the globe, NGOs, solutions providers, private companies, and high net-worth individuals. She is an engineer of complex systems, digital forensic practitioner, agile adherent, and sustainability expert.
In 2012, Sara set up Tempus Energy and began developing the tech platform for the future utility. The Tempus platform uses algorithms, machine learning and DSR technology to reduce energy cost for customers, boosting the efficiency of renewables and reducing reliance on stand-by fossil fuel peaking plant. In March 2015, Sara launched the first flexible electricity retailer in the world. Tempus Energy Supply now services over 100 customers, including Hertz, Avis and EAT. Sara sits on numerous industry committees, is a Director of the Association of Decentralised Energy and a member of the Strategic Advisory Council for Energy for the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council.
Dr. Inken Braunschmidt
Inken Braunschmidt heads up the RWE Innovation Hub, the platform and team developing RWEs innovative business models of the future, for RWE to become the innovation leader in the future energy system. In the Innovation Hub the most courageous, creative and entrepreneurial people are free to explore ideas and develop the best to market maturity. The simple mission is: to innovate. She started working for RWE in 2004 within the internal Management Consultancy, RWE Consulting and her subsequent roles included heading up the RWE Consulting Office in Frankfurt am Main, acting as account manager for the RWE Effizienz (innovative Energy+ products and services) and the German regional RWE companies. She also held the post of Managing Director (Finance) of RWE Consulting in Essen where she supported the set-up of RWEs Transformation and Change Journey.
Is Wood Burning Sustainable For Your Home?
Wood is a classic heat source, whether we think about people gathered around a campfire or wood stoves in old cabins, but is it a sustainable source of heat in modern society? The answer is an ambivalent one. In certain settings, wood heat is an ideal solution, but for the majority of homes, it isn’t especially suitable. So what’s the tipping point?
Wood heat is ideal for small homes on large properties, for individuals who can gather their own wood, and who have modern wood burning ovens. A green approach to wood heat is one of biofuel on the smallest of scales.
Is Biofuel Green?
One of the reasons that wood heat is a source of so much divide in the eco-friendly community is that it’s a renewable resource and renewable has become synonymous with green. What wood heat isn’t, though, is clean or healthy. It lets off a significant amount of carbon and particulates, and trees certainly don’t grow as quickly as it’s consumed for heat.
Of course, wood is a much less harmful source of heat than coal, but for scientists interested in developing green energy sources, it makes more sense to focus on solar and wind power. Why, then, would they invest in improved wood burning technology?
Solar and wind technology are good large-scale energy solutions, but when it comes to small-space heating, wood has its own advantages. First, wood heat is in keeping with the DIY spirit of homesteaders and tiny house enthusiasts. These individuals are more likely to be driven to gather their own wood and live in small spaces that can be effectively heated as such.
Wood heat is also very effective on an individual scale because it requires very little infrastructure. Modern wood stoves made of steel rather than cast iron are built to EPA specifications, and the only additional necessary tools include a quality axe, somewhere to store the wood, and an appropriate covering to keep it dry. And all the wood can come from your own land.
Wood heat is also ideal for people living off the grid or in cold areas prone to frequent power outages, as it’s constantly reliable. Even if the power goes out, you know that you’ll be able to turn up the heat. That’s important if you live somewhere like Maine where the winters can get exceedingly cold. People have even successfully heated a 40’x34’ home with a single stove.
Benefits Of Biomass
The ultimate question regarding wood heat is whether any energy source that’s dangerous on the large scale is acceptable on a smaller one. For now, the best answer is that with a growing population and limited progress towards “pure” green energy, wood should remain a viable option, specifically because it’s used on a limited scale. Biomass heat is even included in the UK’s Renewable Heat Initiative and minor modifications can make it even more sustainable.
Wood stoves, when embraced in conjunction with pellet stoves, geothermal heating, and masonry heaters, all more efficient forms of sustainable heat, should be part of a modern energy strategy. Ultimately, we’re headed in the direction of diversified energy – all of it cleaner – and wood has a place in the big picture, serving small homes and off-the-grid structures, while solar, wind, and other large-scale initiatives fuel our cities.
7 Benefits You Should Consider Giving Your Energy Employees
As an energy startup, you’re always looking to offer the most competitive packages to entice top-tier talent. This can be tough, especially when trying to put something together that’s both affordable but also has perks that employees are after.
After all, this is an incredibly competitive field and one that’s constantly doing what it can to stay ahead. However, that’s why I’m bringing you a few helpful benefits that could be what bolsters you ahead of your competition. Check them out below:
One benefit commonly overlooked by companies is offering your employees financial advising services, which could help them tremendously in planning for their long-term goals with your firm. This includes anything from budgeting and savings plans to recommendations for credit repair services and investments. Try to take a look at if your energy company could bring on an extra person or two specifically for this role, as it will pay off tremendously regarding retention and employee happiness.
While often included in a lot of health benefits packages, offering your employees life insurance could be an excellent addition to your current perks. Although seldom used, life insurance is a small sign that shows you care about the life of their family beyond just office hours. Additionally, at such a low cost, this is a pretty simple aspect to add to your packages. Try contacting some brokers or insurance agents to see if you can find a policy that’s right for your firm.
Dedicated Time To Enjoy Their Hobbies
Although something seen more often in startups in Silicon Valley, having dedicated office time for employees to enjoy their passions is something that has shown great results. Whether it be learning the piano or taking on building a video game, having your team spend some time on the things they truly enjoy can translate to increased productivity. Why? Because giving them the ability to better themselves, they’ll in turn bring that to their work as well.
The Ability To Work Remotely
It’s no secret that a lot of employers despise the idea of letting their employees work remotely. However, it’s actually proven to hold some amazing benefits. According to Global Workplace Analytics, 95% of employers that allow their employees to telework reported an increased rate of retention, saving on both turnover and sick days. Depending on the needs of each individual role, this can be a strategy to implement either whenever your team wants or on assigned days. Either way, this is one perk almost everyone will love.
Even though it’s mandated for companies with over 50 employees, offering health insurance regardless is arguably a benefit well received across the board. In fact, as noted in research compiled by KFF, 28.6% of employers with less than 50 people still offered health care. Why is that the case? Because it shows you care about their well-being, and know that a healthy employee is one that doesn’t have to worry about astronomical medical bills.
Unlimited Time Off
This is a perk that almost no employer offers but should be regarded as something to consider. According to The Washington Post, only 1-2% of companies offer unlimited vacation, which it’s easy to see why. A true “unlimited vacation” program could be a firm’s worse nightmare, with employees skipping out every other week to enjoy themselves. However, with the right model in place that rewards hard work with days off, your employees will absolutely adore this policy.
A Full Pantry
Finally, having a pantry full of food can be one perk that’s not only relatively inexpensive but also adds to the value of the workplace. As noted by USA Today, when surveying employees who had snacks versus those who didn’t, 67% of those who did reported they were “very happy” with their work life. You’d be surprised at how much of a difference this could make, especially when considering the price point. Consider adding a kitchen to your office if you haven’t already, and always keep the snacks and drinks everyone wants fully stocked. Doing so will increase morale tremendously.
Compiling a great package for your energy company is going to take some time in looking at what you can afford versus what’s the most you can offer. While it might mean cutting back in other areas, having a workforce that feels like you genuinely want to take care of them can take you far. And with so many different benefits to include in your energy company’s package, which one is your favorite? Comment with your answers below!