Summit Wrap Up

Your executive summary of the European Utility Week Summit


European Utility Week, the leading event for the smart utility community, celebrated an outstanding week in Barcelona. The event was hailed as a platform for collaboration, bringing together industry leaders, start-ups and young talent to drive the industry forward and keep pace with looming EU targets.

Participation between future innovators and established players was encouraged on the event floor, where over 600 exhibitors showcased their solutions across the entire smart energy value chain, from transmission to end-user. 

The conference concluded with a closing keynote session hosted by an expert panel – Philipp Offenberg, Policy Analyst at European Political Strategic Center (EPSC), European Commission, Tomas Gallego Arjiz, REE Financial Director, and Philippe Monloubou, CEO of Enedis and President of Think Smart Grids Association – who gave their views on the challenges and realities of financing the infrastructure needed to support the new energy future.

Next year the event will travel to Amsterdam, The Netherlands, from the 3rd to the 5th of October. The 2017 conference is set to host a range of new features including the EMART Energy show, which targets the energy trading market, bringing market operators into the smart energy conversation.

Your executive summary of day 2 - 16th of November

As the world watches how the energy industry is changing, day two of EUW began with a look at the road to revolution and what changes can already be seen in the industry.

Summit visitors were given a detailed insight into the projects that are transforming the sector, in a session called ‘Technology is just an Enabler’. 

Speaker Reinhard Brehmer, GEODE Chairman and Managing Director of Aspern Smart City Research GmbH & Co KG, gave his outlook on virtual power plants, the evolving role of distribution, the potential opportunities in the EV market, and the role of the algorithm – all of which are making significant strides within the industry.

Another highlight of day two was a panel called ‘March of the Prosumers’, which explored the opportunities for a new type of energy customer. The session looked at the role of the ‘prosumer’, people who not only consume energy but also produce it. A true revolution in the energy mix – the session explored prosumers’ motivations and the implications for existing market participants.

EUW also launched Energy Revolution and Intelligent Buildings programmes – two brand new free hub sessions – central to this year's conference theme on the new energy future.

The Intelligent Building hub kicked off with a session called ‘Energy Management for Intelligent Buildings – Building Reliability’. Speaker Roland Ullman, board adviser at the Building Automation Association and board member at Alliance to Save Energy, discussed the technical and logistical challenges in creating a truly smart and reliable building. He addressed the advancements available in sensor technologies and electronics that can be used and also raised the complexities around the systems.  

The day concluded with a panel discussion on the finance and funding for Intelligent Buildings – the foundations of any great new technology. The panel was joined by five leading figures from the Catalonian Government and business modelling and sustainable energy sectors. The leading minds came together to gain an understanding of the financial process from each of their respective countries, highlighting the differences within Europe.

Paddy Young, Conference Director, explained the relevance of including these themes within this year’s conference: “The event’s aim is to pick up on the trends that the market is focused on and these two hub sessions are a reaction to what interests the sector. Looking ahead to future events, our aim is to continue to change our programmes to reflect the changes within the industry.”

Your executive summary of day 1 - 15th of November

With a staggering amount of attendees through the door today, the opening plenary summit session was packed!

Energy professionals from across Europe took part in the inaugural day of the conference, which included a packed schedule of summit sessions focusing on the role of utilities in the new energy future. 

The event commenced with a welcome address from Conference Director, Paddy Young, who explained that the utility sector has seen major changes in its value proposition, from bold rebranding to IPOs. He said: “The industry is now equipping itself for the energy revolution. EUW is committed to working closely with the sector, not only to stay relevant as a platform for best practice but to act as a catalyst for growth, collaboration and innovation.”

Christian Pilgaard Zinglersen, Deputy Permanent Secretary for the Danish Ministry of Energy, Utilities and Climate & Vice-Chair of the Governing Board of the International Energy Agency, made sure everyone brought their A-game when he alerted us about the developments in wholesale markets, the need for change in order to be fit for the energy transition, data hubs in Denmark and in Europe and the increased digitalization of energy services and opportunities associated with increased system integration.

Other highlights from day one included the Initiate! Young Talent Award, the battle for the Initiate! Startup Award and the Award Ceremony in the evening for the European Utility Industry Awards.