12-14 November 2019
Paris, France

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EUW 2018 Highlights

EUW 2018 was a success and here you can read more about it!

8 November - highlights!

It's a wrap! Watch the video with Duncan Reid, EVP & Global MD of Clarion Energy Portfolio

An event created for the industry, with the industry - read the wrap up article about EUW 2018

An event created for the industry, with the industry - read the wrap up article about EUW 2018

- By Kelvin Ross - 

There was a ‘getting-down-to-business’ feel about this year’s European Utility Week.

While many of the 450 speakers at the event in Vienna tackled in broad strokes how to navigate Europe’s electricity evolution, a show floor packed with 650 exhibitors saw companies buying-in – metaphorically and literally – to the opportunities offered by the energy transition.

However, that transition is still in its infancy, according to many speakers, and there is still untapped – and in some cases, unknown – potential waiting to be unlocked.

“There is huge potential for further electrification,” said Ralf Christian, chief executive of Siemens Energy Management Division. Delivering one of the keynote speeches, he said that in the near future, “demand is going to need to follow generation more and more”, and added that “the grid has to become more intelligent – and that requires innovation”.

And he said that “prosumers will play an increasingly important role, and this will lead to a prosumer-centric energy world”.

The importance of the customer was also stressed by Chris Peeters of ELIA Group, who said that the success of the 21st energy sector hinged on “putting the consumer at the centre of the market”.

He warned that that the role of the consumer in Europe’s energy transition “is still underestimated by many players in the market at the moment” and added: “It is not something that we can wait for – it is something that we must anticipate.”

He said consumers/prosumers “do not want energy as a commodity: they want energy as a service. Consumers want optimal use of the energy transition. We need to expose the consumer to the upgraded energy market. We need to make sure that they are incentivised to become directly involved in the new energy system.”

The three-day event – which attracted 12,000 visitors from over 100 countries, including first-time utilities from Zimbabwe, Uruguay, Australia and Brazil – explored four key areas in European energy: digitalization, decarbonization, energy markets and innovation.

However, you can argue that digitalization is the enabler for innovation across all technologies and business models.

Joanna Hubbard, chief operating officer of blockchain company Electron, says that the digitalization of the electricity sector marks the second energy revolution.

“If the first energy revolution was clean energy, the second energy revolution is shared data structures that anyone can build-out on top of.”

“I see that happening over the next three-to-five years and it’s going to completely change the energy market and the whole supply-consumer relationship.”

She added: “What’s exciting about the digitalization of energy now, is that it is a foregone conclusion: I don’t think that was true a year ago. There’s a huge amount of work going on.”

And Frauke Thies, executive director of smarten, a European industry group of market players driving digital and decentralized energy solutions, said: “You can’t picture a decentralized energy system working without digitalization – it is needed to enable decentralization. Digitalization and decentralization inherently go together in a decarbonizing system.”

Thies chaired an all-women panel of seven industry experts who outlined how the combination of digitalization and decentralization could transform the European energy sector.

“The energy sector is changing profoundly,” she told the audience. “We are seeing new actors, new business models and new ways of trading.”

Barbara Cuitino, global partner manager for energy and natural resources at SAP, said that “information technology can make the energy world run better. That might sound quite philanthropic or even romantic, but it is the needs of the energy industry to diversify and decarbonize that is making this vision concrete.”

She said that digital technologies were enabling utility companies to “automate all repetitive tasks” and added that “new business models are getting more and more based on data: your new perspectives are going to be focused on data”.

However, unlocking this digital potential is about more than just technology. “We need to change our assumptions and challenge our mindset,” said Signe Horn Rosted of energinet in Denmark.

“The value chain is changing. The development of the sector in the past was linear. Now we see deep decentralization and other developments that we were not planning for. We have to move to a logic mindset of exponential development. And we have to set data free – data is the key.”

And in the energy trading hub on the show floor, visitors heard how digital solutions could revolutionize trading if they were adopted more widely across the market.

At a packed session, Marius Buchmann, research associate at Jacobs University, said that the rate of utilities investing in digital energy trading solutions was still low – and significantly lower than the spend of digital technologies for assets.

This message was echoed by Andre Jager, senior vice-president of Product Management at ION Group, who said that with between 10,000 and 30,000 European energy trades being conducted a day, and over 4000 per hour, “you are flying blind if you don’t have data available”.

Jager explained that the future energy trading IT landscape will be “scaleable and future proven, fast, and have easy data distribution and integration.”

And Gordon Thompson of Innogy Innovation Hub, said that a further game-changer would be the introduction of blockchain to energy trading, which he said would enable a shift not just from business-to-business to one of peer-to-peer, but from there on to a machine-to-machine model.

European Utility Week cemented its reputation as an incubator for innovation this year, attracting 50 startups, 250 students, ten international delegations, 12 country pavilions and 24 EU projects.

There was also a significant rise in the attendance of industry associations, regulators and agencies, many joining the event for the first time, such as Wind Europe, IFIEC, Vision 2050, Hydrogen Europe, VKU and ECSO.

A key attraction for associations such as IFIEC (The Industrial Federation of Industrial Energy Users), was the show’s focus on the commercial and industrial sector – a theme which will expanded further when the event moves to Paris in November next year.

“We are seeing that the industrial and commercial companies are taking more responsibility for their energy,” says EUW director Paddy Young, who adds that he is observing a growing involvement of these companies in EUW, “and that is very gratifying. It’s vital to remember that the industrial group is very important.”

And he expects the involvement of the commercial and industrial sector to be even stronger in Paris, a location which he says “works on multiple levels”.

Young says that in future years, “we will start locating the event closer to industry”, and in this respect he explains that Paris is an ideal location. Not only on the doorstep of French industry, it is also easily accessible for the increasing number of power and utility companies from across Europe who are speaking, exhibiting and visiting EUW in increasing numbers every year.

He expects at least 25 per cent of the audience at the 2019 event will be French and adds that “being in France is a platform for the rest of Europe”.

How to design a cyber-secure smart grid

How to design a cyber-secure smart grid

The European Network for Cyber Security (ENCS) has launched a new training course that it claims will give security architects “the knowledge to design secure smart grid systems”.

ENCS managing director Anjos Nijk said that “as the smart grid grows in scope and sophistication, we see increasing integration between IT and OT. Following the 2016 and 2017 blackouts in Ukraine, we also see a growing need to withstand advanced, dedicated cyberattacks on energy infrastructure.”

He said grid operators are addressing this need “by hiring security professionals to design a secure architecture that crosses both IT and OT. With this training, we hope to improve the skills of these professionals.”

The programme runs over three days and includes modules on risk-based-architecture design and the IT/OT interface design as well as practical use cases such as substation design and smart metering.

Nijk added that one of the challenges of designing an effective smart grid risk architecture “is getting the balance right. There are many measures from the IT world that are applicable to OT systems: networks segregation, VPNs, jump-servers and so on. But using too many measures will cause high investment costs and may make the system hard to use. Too few though, and the system is vulnerable. Assessing that balance requires thorough understanding of the systems and risks involved.”

The training course is based on practical cases to give students directly applicable knowledge for their role. In groups of three or four, participants are given an OT security challenge and tasked with designing a solution.

The architecture security training expands ENCS’s role-based training programme for grid operators. Last November, ENCS launched its security operations training aimed at SOC and CSIRT analysts for OT. Earlier this year, it developed tailored management awareness sessions. And next year, ENCS plans to expand the programme with a secure configuration training for engineers and crisis response exercises.

 

Watch the interview with Anjos Nijk:


 

Shared data will ‘change the energy market’ 

Shared data will ‘change the energy market’ 

The digitalization of the electricity sector marks the second energy revolution, according to Joanna Hubbard of blockchain company Electron.

“If the first energy revolution was clean energy, the second energy revolution is shared data structures that anyone can build-out on top of,” she told me in an interview at European Utility Week in Vienna last week.

“I see that happening over the next three-to-five years and it’s going to completely change the energy market and the whole supply-consumer relationship.”

She added: “What’s exciting about the digitalization of energy now, is that it is a foregone conclusion. I don’t think that was true a year ago. There’s a huge amount of work going on.”

Hubbard is chief operating officer and co-founder of UK-based Electron, which has already won government backing as well as the support of several major energy sector players including EDF Energy, Statkraft and TEPCO for its decentralized energy trading platform.

She says that “there’s a lot of different flavours of blockchain: a lot of different use cases. The overarching benefits for me are enabling price transparency in markets – and I say ‘markets’ because there’s not going to be one market for all energy like we have today: there’s going to be a market for grid services, local energy, clean energy, big energy – so the blockchain can provide the co-ordinating layer for all those different value streams to move on top of one another instead of against one another.”

Watch the full interview: 


 

Utilities must prepare for life in the emobility fast lane

Utilities must prepare for life in the emobility fast lane

EUW 2018 Elke Temme innogy“Electric vehicles will disrupt the mobility sector and have a major impact for utilities – so we had better be prepared.”

That was the prediction and warning from Elke Temme, senior vice-president for emobility at Innogy, at European Utility Week in Vienna.

She said that, just like previous innovations that had changed the energy sector, such as the rise of renewables and their ability to exist without subsidies, emobility was now “at the tipping point”.

She urged utilities to be ready to embrace the opportunities and changes that emobility would bring to their business models, and said that “everyone always underestimates when a tipping point will come, because we think linear and not exponential.”

She said that utilities will need to embrace smart charging, and for them to be able to fully do this, legislation would be needed.

And she predicted that “90 per cent of charging will take place at home or at work”, not along the side of roads and motorways. “Charging is not fuelling as we know it.”

A preview into day three of European Utility Week 2018 with Paddy Young, Event Director

7 November - highlights!

Wrap up day two - interview with EUW 2018 Content Directors, Areti Ntaradimou & Patrick Bauduin

All-women panel deliver digital energy roadmap

All-women panel deliver digital energy roadmap

An all-women panel of seven industry experts today outlined how the combination of digitalization and decentralization could transform the European energy sector.

“The energy sector is changing profoundly,” said Frauke Thies, executive director of smarten, at European Utility Week in Vienna. “We are seeing new actors, new business models and new ways of trading.”

Barbara Cuitino, global partner manager for energy and natural resources at SAP, said that “information technology can make the energy world run better. That might sound quite philanthropic or even romantic, but it is the needs of the energy industry to diversify and decarbonize that is making this vision concrete.”

She said that digital technologies were enabling utility companies to “automate all repetitive tasks” and added that “new business models are getting more and more based on data: your new perspectives are going to be focused on data”.

However, unlocking this digital potential is about more than just technology. “We need to change our assumptions and challenge our mindset,” said Signe Horn Rosted of energinet in Denmark.

“The value chain is changing. The development of the sector in the past was linear. Now we see deep decentralization and other developments that we were not planning for. We have to move to a logic mindset of exponential development. And we have to set data free – data is the key.”

And Francesca Vergara or Italgas said that her company was one which had already “embraced the agility of digitalization – digital is all about learning by doing.”

EUW 2018 panel

How digitalization can unlock an energy trading revolution

How digitalization can unlock an energy trading revolution

EUW 2018 SessionsDigital solutions could revolutionize energy trading if they were adopted more widely across the market.

That was the message delivered today at European Utility Week in Vienna.

At a packed session focusing on energy markets, Marius Buchmann, research associate at Jacobs University, said that the rate of utilities investing in digital energy trading solutions was still low – and significantly lower than the spend of digital technologies for assets.

This message was echoed by Andre Jager, senior vice-president of Product Management at ION Group, who said that with between 10,000 and 30,000 European energy trades being conducted a day, and over 4000 per hour, “you are flying blind if you don’t have data available”.

Jager explained that the future energy trading IT landscape will be “scaleable and future proven, fast, and have easy data distribution and integration.”

And Gordon Thompson of Innogy Innovation Hub, said that a further game-changer would be the introduction of blockchain to energy trading, which he said would enable a shift not just from business-to-business to one of peer-to-peer, but from there on to a machine-to-machine model. 

A preview into day two of European Utility Week 2018 with Paddy Young, Event Director

6 November - highlights!

Opening Keynote: Ralf Christian, CEO, Siemens Energy Management Division - click here for details

Opening Keynote: Ralf Christian, CEO, Siemens Energy Management Division - click here for details

Ralf Christian, Siemens, EUW 2018‘The grid has to become more intelligent’ says Siemens boss.

The radical change in the European energy sector in recent years is simply the beginning of a sustained transformation, a Siemens boss said today.

Ralf Christian, chief executive of Siemens Energy Management Division, told the opening ceremony of European Utility Week in Vienna: “There is huge potential for further electrification.”

He said that in the near future, “demand is going to need to follow generation more and more”.

“The grid has to become more intelligent and that requires innovations such as big data and data analytics.

“Prosumers will play an increasingly important role and this will lead to a prosumer-centric energy world”, and added that this would be driven by digitalisation.”

He said “IoT applications will leverage the Internet of Energy” and highlighted the rise of technologies such as digital twins and the virtual power plant.

And highlighting the increasingly important effects of decarbonisation, digitalisation and decentralisation, Christian said that a key requirement for these so-called 3 Ds was “creating more opportunities in trading markets. If you want a demand-driven energy system, then you must provide more opportunities for participation of different stakeholders.”

 

Opening Keynote: Chris Peeters, CEO of ELIA Group - click here for details

Opening Keynote: Chris Peeters, CEO of ELIA Group - click here for details

Chris Peeters, Elia, EUW 2018Call for a consumer-centric energy system

The key to the success of the 21st energy sector will be “putting the consumer at the centre of the market”, according to Chris Peeters of ELIA Group.

Speaking during the opening session of European Utility Week in Vienna this morning, Peeters said that the role of the consumer in Europe’s energy transition “is still underestimated by many players in the market at the moment”.

“It is not something that we can wait for,” he warned: “It is something that we must anticipate.”

Peeters explained: “What we see is that society is electrifying new sectors, such as transport and heating. And that is bringing more flexibility.

“Electricity will be the future: society has changed its mind about some forms of energy, and we are seeing cities banning diesel.”

He said consumers – who are increasingly becoming prosumers – “do not wants energy as a commodity: they want energy as a service. Consumers want to optimal use of the energy transition. We need to expose the consumer to the upgraded energy market. We need to make sure that they are incentivised to become directly involved in the new energy system.

He said that to enable this consumer-centric energy, three things were needed: a real-time communication layer that is unique, open and secure; New digital tools for system operators, market actors and also for consumers; and an upgraded energy market so the consumer can value their flexibility and contribute to system management.

Siemens launches UAV with AI technology for line inspections - click here for details

Siemens launches UAV with AI technology for line inspections - click here for details

Siemens EUW 2018Siemens today launched an unmanned aerial vehicle technology that incorporates artificial intelligence “to bring inspection of transmission lines to the next level”. 

Called SIEAERO, it was unveiled at European Utility Week in Vienna. 

"SIEAERO is a gamechanger in overhead line inspection because we are using digitalization to bring services to the next level,” said Mirko Düsel, chief executive of Transmission Solutions at Siemens' Energy Management Division. 

"Everything from planning and performing inspection flights, managing and analyzing the gathered data, to report generation and long-term data archiving is more cost-efficient with SIEAERO - and it provides better and faster results on top."

The technology is designed to replace traditional helicopter inspections of overhead lines. Instead, the Siemens’ solution is fixed to a CAMCOPTER S-100 unmanned aerial vehicle supplied by Vienna-based drone company Schiebel.

At a press conference today, Siemens bosses said that SIEAERO uses smart analytics software utilizing artificial intelligence and machine learning to store, manage and analyze all flight data in one integrated software system. 

“To reduce the needed amount of flights and inspection efforts drastically, SIEAERO is using a unique high-resolution multi-sensor-system that can record all needed data in one go,” said Michael Wernlein. “Compared to conventional overhead line inspection, SIEAERO service is fully automated, faster and more precise.”

Siemens has been working with German and Austrian transmission system operators TenneT and APG on the development of SIEAERO since 2016 and has carried out test cases and validation projects.

The UAV carries a high-end multi-sensor system which was specifically developed to meet the complex requirements of overhead line inspections. Siemens said that because all necessary sensors and cameras are combined in one multi-sensor system, all relevant inspection data are recorded in one go. 

Wernlein said: “SIEAERO allows not only reducing the time for flight execution and data analysis from weeks or even months to a few days, but also delivers more precise results while using sensors way above industry standard. For example, the 3D LIDAR Sensors used in SIEAERO have 120 dots per m2, while industry standard is roundabout 30 dots per m². More sensor data results in more precise analytics and results. 

“Moreover, SIEAERO uses five cameras with 100 megapixels each, while competitors are typically working with one or two cameras and a lower resolution. On top, the SIEAERO multi-sensor system also includes infrared and corona sensors.”

SIEAERO will go to market next March.

Wrap up day one - interview with EUW 2018 Content Directors, Areti Ntaradimou & Patrick Bauduin

The major trends that will impact the utility sector globally in 2019 - interview with Ben Gardner, President, Northeast Group

Factors to consider for utilities in cybersecurity - interview with Aurelio Blanquet, former EE-ISAC Chairman

Opening Keynote Session live stream!

On the 6th of November, 10:00, the Opening Keynote Session was live streamed  - check this page for the video:

OPENING KEYNOTE LIVE STREAM

5 November - it's go time!

Paddy Young, EUW Event Director, explains what to look out for during the opening day at EUW in Vienna.

FACTS AND FIGURES FROM EUROPEAN UTILITY WEEK

  • 12000
    VISITORS
  • 100
    COUNTRIES
  • 2000
    UTILITY REPS
  • 650
    EXHIBITORS

 

 

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