European Utility Week is a fair and congress meeting (Amsterdam, 3-5 October) very known in the sector of utilities. During the different editions it had been a stage where the utilities sector shown their evolutions. Starting about grids that becomes smart and arriving to talk with the consumers and the city mobility management.
Canale Energia had talk with Florence Coullet, Content Director of EUW, about the fair programme evolution between ICT, smart building, renewable, financing.
Looking at the 2017 programme how do you design the utilities profile for this year? What are the new topics and what’s going to change definitely?
European Utility Week is seen by the smart utility community as the event to attend in Europe if you are interested in understanding what is happening in the energy sector right now and are interested in the future trends for achieving a smooth energy transition.
It is a one-stop shop for the utility sector for amassing knowledge in the strategic Summit, a market-place to shop innovative solutions and an excellent 3-day networking platform.
The event attracts over 12,000 smart utility experts from the whole energy spectrum. There are different types of Utilities that visit the event annually but I will simply highlight the two main groups: Established utilities which come from a traditional business of transmitting and distributing energy;The “next generation” utilities with a business model around services mainly.
The latter was born from two main challenges the market was deadline with namely – Decentralisation of Energy opening up the market and the “rise of the consumer” which in my opinion is becoming more and more important.
With this in mind, the event programme highlights the consumer angle, from looking at what energy choices they make (opening keynote panel with an Energy Anthropologist Benjamin Sovacool); Engaged Citizens, and what do the utilities exactly offer to the people? (Panel session 12, Cities in Motion: Engaging Citizens in the Digital Transition); the Large Energy Consumer which are active in this transition (CIED Approved programme).
E-mobility and electric vehicles are also major themes this year, as an enabler of the market, just like storage. E-mobility is definitely an enabler in a smart city context (session 10: Sustainable urban mobility and market models) and it is for sure a driver for innovation (closing Keynote panel).
The E-Mobility theme is this year’s closing keynote and for the first time ever
This will take place on the free-to-attend Hub Sessions on the exhibition floor. It is open to all visitors and a key differentiator for this year’s event. Not many events of our size offer this amount of free content for the audience, with the latest pilots and projects in around Europe.
The major theme of Digitalisation is still at the heart of EUW as it is the fuel to the transition engine. We have exciting discussions on what the value is and for whom? (Session 14 panel: The value for whom) and how to integrate digitalisation in the utility business (session 16: Making Digital transformation in Utilities a Reality).
Personally, I look forward to the presentation of Brien Sheahan, CEO, Illinois Commerce Commission, on the opening keynote, about Innovative Regulation in the US!. The opening Keynote will be chaired by Mr Adnan Amin from IRENA. We are also extremely proud of this.
How is changing also the profile of the public interested in these meeting?
Well, as the business is changing, new departments are being created within utilities and other companies. There is a need for role players in the energy sector to come together and share their expertise, challenges ideas, helping the industry to visualise the future energy sector and the opportunities it has to offer. By bringing together stakeholders including students, startups, utilities, tech providers etc, in a more formal way, we see that changes are discussed more openly and solutions are provided, together.
You are the stage also to plan and to confirm enterprises alliances how do you participate at this process? and which are your best goal about it?
We have developed the Summit and Hub Session content collectively with our community. The key topics in the programme are all aligned in order to help our community of smart energy professionals facilitate progress within the industry.
The event goes beyond a 3-day event. We are constantly communicating with our 70 strong Advisory Committee, Brand Ambassadors, contributors, associations and partners looking to help us in our efforts to bring our community the right content needed to help achieve a smooth transition towards a low carbon energy supply.
The programme has always been a collaboration between our utility executives, partners, technology giants, startups and young talent to share, discuss and inspire others with the latest insights from and for the industry. We use their input to implement a framework for the programme which we then share with our key stakeholders and utility partners including ENEDIS, EnergyOttawa, ENGIE, E-ON, GRDF, Innogy to name a few.