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Opening keynote for European Utility Week 2016 to set the scene for Europe’s leading smart energy event

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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:

– Storage

– Smart water and smart gas

– Big data and analytics

– Intelligent grid

– Smart metering, smart homes and end use.

Keynote bios

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.

Sara Bell

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.

 

 

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Responsible Energy Investments Could Solve Retirement Funding Crisis

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Shutterstock / By Sergey Nivens | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/nivens

Retiring baby-boomers are facing a retirement cliff, at the same time as mother nature unleashes her fury with devastating storms tied to the impact of global warming. There could be a unique solution to the challenges associated with climate change – investments in clean energy from retirement funds.

Financial savings play a very important role in everyone’s life and one must start planning for it as soon as possible. It’s shocking how quickly seniors can burn through their nest egg – leaving many wondering, “How long will my retirement savings last?”

Let’s take a closer look at how seniors can take baby steps on the path to retiring with dignity, while helping to clean up our environment.

Tip #1: Focus & Determination

Like in other work, it is very important to focus and be determined. If retirement is around the corner, then make sure to start putting some money away for retirement. No one can ever achieve anything without dedication and focus – whether it’s saving the planet, or saving for retirement.

Tip #2: Minimize Spending

One of the most important things that you need to do is to minimize your expenditures. Reducing consumption is good for the planet too!

Tip #3: Visualize Your Goal

You can achieve more if you have a clearly defined goal in life. This about how your money can be used to better the planet – imagine cleaner air, water and a healthier environment to leave to your grandchildren.

Investing in Clean Energy

One of the hottest and most popular industries for investment today is the energy market – the trading of energy commodities. Clean energy commodities are traded alongside dirty energy supplies. You might be surprised to learn that clean energy is becoming much more competitive.

With green biz becoming more popular, it is quickly becoming a powerful tool for diversified retirement investing.

The Future of Green Biz

As far as the future is concerned, energy businesses are going to continue getting bigger and better. There are many leading energy companies in the market that already have very high stock prices, yet people are continuing to investing in them.

Green initiatives are impacting every industry. Go Green campaigns are a PR staple of every modern brand. For the energy-sector in the US, solar energy investments are considered to be the most accessible form of clean energy investment. Though investing in any energy business comes with some risks, the demand for energy isn’t going anywhere.

In conclusion, if you want to start saving for your retirement, then clean energy stocks and commodity trading are some of the best options for wallets and the planet. Investing in clean energy products, like solar power, is a more long-term investment. It’s quite stable and comes with a significant profit margin. And it’s amazing for the planet!

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Energy

What Should We Make of The Clean Growth Strategy?

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Clean Growth Strategy for green energy
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By sdecoret | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/sdecoret

It was hardly surprising the Clean Growth Strategy (CGS) was much anticipated by industry and environmentalists. After all, its publication was pushed back a couple of times. But with the document now in the public domain, and the Government having run a consultation on its content, what ultimately should we make of what’s perhaps one of the most important publications to come out of the Department for Business, Energy and the Industrial Strategy (BEIS) in the past 12 months?

The starting point, inevitably, is to decide what the document is and isn’t. It is, certainly, a lengthy and considered direction-setter – not just for the Government, but for business and industry, and indeed for consumers. While much of the content was favourably received in terms of highlighting ways to ensure clean growth, critics – not unjustifiably – suggested it was long on pages but short on detailed and finite policy commitments, accompanied by clear timeframes for action.

A Strategy, Instead of a Plan

But should we really be surprised? The answer, in all honesty, is probably not really. BEIS ministers had made no secret of the fact they would be publishing a ‘strategy’ as opposed to a ‘plan,’ and that gave every indication the CGS would set a direction of travel and be largely aspirational. The Government had consulted on its content, and will likely respond to the consultation during the course of 2018. And that’s when we might see more defined policy commitments and timeframes from action.

The second criticism one might level at the CGS is that indicated the use of ‘flexibilities’ to achieve targets set in the carbon budgets – essentially using past results to offset more recent failings to keep pace with emissions targets. Claire Perry has since appeared in front of the BEIS Select Committee and insisted she would be personally disappointed if the UK used flexibilities to fill the shortfall in meeting the fourth and fifth carbon budgets, but this is difficult ground for the Government. The Committee on Climate Change was critical of the proposed use of efficiencies, which would somewhat undermine ministers’ good intentions and commitment to clean growth – particularly set against November’s Budget, in which the Chancellor maintained the current carbon price floor (potentially giving a reprieve to coal) and introduced tax changes favourable to North Sea oil producers.

A 12 Month Green Energy Initiative with Real Teeth

But, there is much to appreciate and commend about the CGS. It fits into a 12-month narrative for BEIS ministers, in which they have clearly shown a commitment to clean growth, improving energy efficiency and cutting carbon emissions. Those 12 months have seen the launch of the Industrial Strategy – firstly in Green Paper form, which led to the launch of the Faraday Challenge, and then a White Paper in which clean growth was considered a ‘grand challenge’ for government. Throughout these publications – and indeed again with the CGS – the Government has shown itself to be an advocate of smart systems and demand response, including the development of battery technology.

Electrical Storage Development at Center of Broader Green Energy Push

While the Faraday Challenge is primarily focused on the development of batteries to support the proliferation of electric vehicles (which will support cuts to carbon emissions), it will also drive down technology costs, supporting the deployment of small and utility-scale storage that will fully harness the capability of renewables. Solar and wind made record contributions to UK electricity generation in 2017, and the development of storage capacity will help both reduce consumer costs and support decarbonisation.

The other thing the CGS showed us it that the Government is happy to be a disrupter in the energy market. The headline from the publication was the plans for legislation to empower Ofgem to cap the costs of Standard Variable Tariffs. This had been an aspiration of ministers for months, and there’s little doubt that driving down costs for consumers will be a trend within BEIS policy throughout 2018.

But the Government also seems happy to support disruption in the renewables market, as evidenced by the commitment (in the CGS) to more than half a billion pounds of investment in Pot 2 of Contracts for Difference (CfDs) – where the focus will be on emerging rather than established technologies.

This inevitably prompted ire from some within the industry, particularly proponents of solar, which is making an increasing contribution to the UK’s energy mix. But, again, we shouldn’t really be surprised. Since the subsidy cuts of 2015, ministers have given no indication or cause to think there will be public money afforded to solar development. Including solar within the CfD auction would have been a seismic shift in policy. And while ministers’ insistence in subsidy-free solar as the way forward has been shown to be based on a single project, we should expect that as costs continue to be driven down and solar makes record contributions to electricity generation, investment will follow – and there will ultimately be more subsidy-free solar farms, albeit perhaps not in 2018.

Meanwhile, by promoting emerging technologies like remote island wind, the Government appears to be favouring diversification and that it has a range of resources available to meet consumer demand. Perhaps more prescient than the decision to exclude established renewables from the CfD auction is the subsequent confirmation in the budget that Pot 2 of CfDs will be the last commitment of public money to renewable energy before 2025.

In short, we should view the CGS as a step in the right direction, albeit one the Government should be elaborating on in its consultation response. Its publication, coupled with the advancement this year of the Industrial Strategy indicates ministers are committed to the clean growth agenda. The question is now how the aspirations set out in the CGS – including the development of demand response capacity for the grid, and improving the energy efficiency of commercial and residential premises – will be realised.

It’s a step in the right direction. But, inevitably, there’s much more work to do.

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