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16 Oct 2019

Talk Community Interview: Frank Gielen

Dr. Frank Gielen, Education Director, Innoenergy

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

The energy industry is at the core of the actions against climate change. The new “ green deal” of the EU commission will be a catalyst to accelerate the energy transition. Those two elements combined should set the stage to accelerate our actions and move faster to a world where economy & ecology go hand in hand. This is THE opportunity for Europe to show world leadership in energy innovation.


The energy industry with support of the EU political system has the experience and the resources to drive and lead this change process but needs to become aware of the urgency today and the look at the future opportunities and new business models in energy. We need to move more financial and human capital in the sustainable energy transition faster if we want to claim world leadership in energy innovation & transition.


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

Economic & political powers that want to slow down the energy transition for short term financial gains: “ pump up as much oil & gas for as long as we still can”. In relation to the above and the opportunity for European leadership in energy innovation, the biggest risk is a slow decision making process and hesitant action plans which could put Asia and China in a leading role. This would directly and indirectly give Asia & China huge competitive economic advantages across all sectors as the countries that are the fastest in implementing the energy transition will build a solid competitive advantage on the long term when prices of sustainable energy drop. Energy cost is a big factor in the competitiveness for all our industries; not just energy: construction, automotive, food, etc.


In addition, we also need to have buy in from the citizens and consumers. The latter is a real challenge as the impact of climate change is not directly visible and does not impact our daily lives today. Motivating people to change behaviour for a long term goal is a slow process where we need all stakeholders to move in the same direction: governments, industry and citizen. This has to happen at a scale never seen or done before: a real global world wide scale.


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

We will highlight the importance of human capital in the energy transition and how InnoEnergy contributes to building the energy work force of the tomorrow.


InnoEnergy is sponsoring Initiate!



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