Event Highlights 2017

"You're not going to be selling energy in the future, you'll be selling life!", to quote Manon Janssen, Chair of Topsector Energie and CEO of Ecorys. With this statement the tone was set for an inspirational Opening Keynote at European Utility Week, which included IRENA Diretor General, Mr. Adnan Amin, who stated that "Utilities' leadership is critical for an affordable energy transition that reaches consumers and meets renewable potential." 

It was a great first day at European Utility Week!

Your 5 key takeaways from Day 1 of the European Utility Week: 

1) The energy market must encourage innovation: There needs to be a re-setting of traditional KPI's to encourage intelligent risk-taking, accelerate technology adoption and embrace the adoption of new business models. KPIs around smart-risk and innovation should be encouraged. 

2) The 3 D's of the modern utility: Utilities are focused on decarbonisation, decentralisation and digitisation in order to remain competitive. This requires new ecosystem partnerships and collaboration with non-traditional actors. 

3) Business model shift; utilities as a market facilitator: The market is evolving and radical decentralisation could see the DSO emerge in a new market facilitator role. 

4) Technology is proven and available: There must be a focus upon the business case. The priority now is insight, intelligence and implementation. 

5) The consumer is becoming active: The full shift from consumer > prosumer may not have occurred yet, but the consumer is increasingly demanding more from utilities. The utility should consider value not in terms of KWs but in Euros. 


U.S. meets The Netherlands 

Today saw a great meet and greet between Dutch Power and a delegation of U.S. utility executives from partner association Smart Electric Power Alliance. Progress was made to learn from each other and share key insights into the utility landscape in The Netherlands, as well as in the U.S. 

We were thrilled to announce the winners of our 2017 Initiate! awards

Joanna Hubbard, Co-Founder and COO of Electron, represented the blockchain startup during the pitch to the judges and was the one receiving the award. The pitch of Nikolaos Alexandros Kritikos, InnoEnergy MSc Student, convinced the judges to grant him the award! 

And the Siemens Welcome Reception was the perfect ending to a perfect day!

The day kicked off with some great activity around the Hub Sessions. Smart Metering, Big Data & Analytics, Grid Intelligence and Storage had a huge audience, as did the sessions around Energy Revolution Europe and Intelligent Buildings Europe. 

Another highlight was the great turnout at the pavilions, especially at the French pavilion with his excellency Philippe Lalliot, French Ambassador in The Netherlands, visiting the numerous companies exhibiting there. 

A great second day at European Utility Week! 

Your 5 key takeaways from Day 2 of the European Utility Week: 

1) Power of partnerships -“Don’t close the doors of your company to third party companies; you are killing yourself”, Enel’s Head of Innovation and Sustainability Ernesto Ciorra told the EUW Summit delegates. Reinforcing the point, Capgemini’s Perry Stoneman reported back on playing Newtonian Shift on Day One of the event, a utility transformation game developed by Dutch utility Eneco and Fresh Forces. Make key strategic partnerships and invest in renewables early in the game and you win; stay isolated and you fail.   

2) Business case, business case - Technology pilots are essential to drive transformation, but just because you can engineer it, doesn’t mean the sector needs it. New technology adoption has to have a solid business case by either cutting a utility’s cost-to-serve or allowing a DSO to do something it couldn’t before.

3) Blockchain acceleration - Non-profit organisation Energy Web Foundation (EWF) launched last year at European Utility Week. Since then, EWF has identified 100 blockchain energy use cases, engaged sector partners including Engie, Centrica and Stedin, and will launch an alpha version of its platform this October. The acceleration of new technology in action? We think so.

4) Another ‘D’ - Diversity in the energy sector joins the other Ds - decarbonisation, digitalisation and distributed generation. During an Engerati Energy Talks panel discussion, Lorena Skiljan, Head of Market Management at Wien Energie, commented how a lack of diversity in the sector is damaging to the utility industry, particularly as business models become more customer-facing. One step in the right direction was the crowning yesterday of Joanna Hubbard, Co-founder and COO of startup Electron, as the Initiate! Startup Award Winner.      

5) Data regulation - European energy regulation is complex, but are utilities up to speed with European Commission data initiatives? Mercè Griera, Head of Research and Innovation at DG Connect, highlighted three essential pieces of regulation. First, compliance with General Data Protection Regulation (and if you don’t know how, find a partner who does, she says). Second, new legislation on the free flow of data across Europe. And third, a new consultation on whether utility data should have the same status as public sector information.

Day 2 also saw great networking receptions, hosted by EUW Gold Sponsor Aidon, Energy Revolution Europe Platinum Sponsor XTN and Initiate! sponsor OMNETRIC Group! 

“I look back at a fantastic EUW. Thanks to the “unbelievable” involvement of our partners, ambassadors, and sponsors we have been able to include even more utilities at the event and discuss the topics that will help the energy transition move further. I’m looking forward to continue the conversations with you, the sector, in the upcoming weeks" said Paddy Young, Group Director at European Utility Week, at the end of the event.

Your 5 key takeaways from Day 3 of European Utility Week: 

1) Technology is moving from adoption to ubiquity more quickly than ever before: The industry is sometimes perceived as slow to embrace digitisation but with technology moving faster than at any time in human history, embracing the digital challenge requires robust ecosystem partnerships and collaboration. It is not a solo pursuit. 

2) Selling solar to the cloud: More effort is being made to engage the customer. Consumer schemes such as those by E.ON (selling excess solar energy to the cloud) is aimed at greater engagement and a more active participation. Perhaps financial incentives will encourage new behaviour.

3) The trifecta of disruptive forces: The convergence of solar, energy storage and EVs, is key in the reshaping of the utilities market. An EUW attendee survey from GEO highlighted that 75% of attendees will be purchasing an EV, next with 35% interested in buying a battery and 54% considering the active home a key priority. Opinions are starting to shift and data businesses look well positioned to take advantage.

4) Rapid analysis now key at the grid edge: With the computing power of a smartphone embedded in every meter, distributed intelligence is fundamentally shifting the paradigm for smart metering and redefining what’s possible for both grid operations and customer service. The potential for improved analysis and decision making needs to be further exploited. 

5) Artificial Intelligence is upon us: AI will dramatically shift the way utility consumers buy, sell & interact. Customer communications must be improved and cost to serve decreased. 

Closing Keynote was a hit!

The Closing Keynote Session was open to all visitors this year. Held at the Energy Revolution Europe Hub Theater, the sessions drew a huge crowd when expert speakers from Eurelectric, E.ON, Energienet, Engie, EV-Box and many more, offered an overview of the EV market in Europe and best practices.

What to expect in 2018!