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25 Jun 2019

Talk Community Interview: Diederik Peereboom

Diederik Peereboom, Director General, T&D EUROPE

- What do you see as the biggest opportunity for the energy industry ? 

The biggest opportunity for the energy industry is two-fold. First, strange as it may sound, the current climate crisis the world is facing provides an excellent opportunity for all the men and women in the energy sector to show that human ingenuity, innovation and collaboration can build a better future. 
Together we can build an energy system that will provide reliable, climate-friendly energy at affordable prices to all the citizens in this world. Second, this energy transition or energy revolution is an opportunity to modernise and future-proof our energy system by introducing the available innovative technologies and solutions. I am very excited to be part of the group that is going to make that happen.

 

- What do you see as the biggest threat to the energy industry ?

The biggest threat to the energy industry would be an inability to build the energy system of the future and fail the people who count on us to construct a system that will provide the energy they need in a way that does not harm the climate. The world expects us to deliver. And it is right to do so. This means that the energy sector needs to step up, scale up and speed up the future-proofing of the energy system by making the necessary investments at the necessary scale and at the necessary speed. The clock is ticking on the deadlines of the Paris Agreement. We have 30 years left until 2050, by which time we should have a full or near carbon-neutral electricity system. 

To future-proof our network we need three ingredients: Policy, Technology, Investments. In our view, the policy framework is there, technology is available and ready to be deployed at large scale. We now need investments: In Europe, the European Commission estimates that the energy transition needs to mobilise up to an additional 177 billion euro of public and private investment per year from 2021. The Commission’s most recent scenarios include average annual investments in the power grid of EUR 80 billion to EUR110 billion between 2031 and 2050. The baseline for the 2021-2030 period is EUR59.2 billion. At the moment we do not see these kind of investments. 

 

- What are the key topics you will highlight at this year’s EUW & PGE?

T&D Europe, together with many other partners we will highlight 3 key points: First, the crucial role of power networks in the energy transition. And in particular the central role and responsibility of DSOs and TSOs. Secondly, we need to use the enabling policy frameworks to further develop and future-proof the electricity transmission and distribution network. In many countries the ageing electricity grids will need to be upgraded with smart grids technologies if we want the future-proof system to become a reality. Thirdly, national regulators have a key role to enable the network to receive the right investments in innovation and modernisation of the electricity network.
T&D Europe, representing 12 national associations, 5 corporate and 3 associate members, is interested to collaborate with partners who wish to pursue a future-proofing of the electricity network. We look forward to new partners, discussions and opportunities at European Utility Week. 
 

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