EUW will have a Flemish Pavilion for the first time
This year EUW welcomes for the first time, a Belgian-Flemish pavilion. The pavilion is initiated by Flux50, a non-profit organisation that represents the Flemish energy industry, research centres and relevant stakeholders in the energy ecosystem field. At the same time, Flux50 is the link between the companies and policymakers.
Under its wings 6 innovative companies will crew the booth: Comsof, Fifthplay, Gorilla,June MECOMS and Thermovault. Frederik Loeckx, Managing Director of Flux50, presents with proud the Belgian – Flemish assets and strengths.
- Frederik, what makes Belgium - Flanders such a pioneer in the world of Smart Energy?
There is no denying the way geographic circumstances have pushed Flemish companies to innovate and collaborate in their search for solutions. Furthermore, due to the unique political landscape, populated by several levels of governments and the legal canvas, progress is only possible through unparalleled expertise and a deep understanding of the mechanisms that drive stakeholder management.
Flanders has proven to be a powerful presence in the landscape of renewable technology. As well as projects in off-shore wind construction and concentrated solar production, Flanders is a world leader in the development of cooperatives.
From the innovation point of view the real asset is the integration of technologies to complete systems.
- And if you have to name 2 domains on what the Flemish industry puts its focus on?
Our companies have made it possible for the concepts of Local Energy Communities to not just be examined, but also expanded and developed as large-scale pilots and (wordt anders wat lang/onbegrijpbaar Living Labs. Those labs demonstrate how homes serve as central points in the creation of microgrids at street level—e.g. your neighbours with an interest in Demand Side Management focus on delivering heat and electricity to your house, while you will store the energy for your neighbours.
At the same time, you’ll rub shoulders with renowned research centres & universities, such as IMEC, EnergyVille, Universities of Brussels and Ghent, They are all strongly involved in developing and optimising the technology driving the energy transition.
At the Flemish Pavilion, you’ll taste the expertise and research being pursued in Flanders. And if you say the word, we’ll put you in contact with Flemish partners who have the particular expertise you need to make your concept a reality.
"At the Flemish Pavilion, you’ll taste the expertise and research being pursued in Flanders. And if you say the word, we’ll put you in contact with Flemish partners who have the particular expertise you need to make your concept a reality."
- So Flanders has a lot to offer. But what is the role of Flux50, your organisation, in this story?
Flux50 supports innovation, mobilise Flemish stakeholders and leads brainstorming and matchmaking. We represent more than 150 organisations all relevant actors in the shaping of Flanders as a Smart Energy Region. he link Flux50 links industry to policymakers,at all levels. Our cluster paves the way with the 30 most important cities and municipalities in Flanders for innovative public energy projects.
The Flemish government is a co-founder of Flux50; it invests considerable resources into the development and implementation of energy technology via VLAIO, the Flemish Agency for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. With its headquarters in Brussels, Flux50 is strategically located in the neighbourhood of all Belgian and European governments.
- So Flux50 is a spider in the Belgian-Flemish Energy-web. A web that reaches out to industry, research and policy. But what about your international orientation?
Our extensive international network is slowly expanding As a member of the International Cleantech Network (ICN), we’re able to identify opportunities ourmember companies and facilitate matchmaking. Our involvement in the European Regions Research and Innovation network (ERRIN) the European Cluster Collaboration Platform (ECCP) and ETIP SNET keeps us informed about relevant energy projects running in the EU.
The different ERA-Nets (Smart Energy Systems and Solar Cofund) enhance our European project network for energy technology. Thanks to BRIDGE, the EU cooperation group of Smart Grids and Storage projects, Flux50 has access to the best customer engagement and participation project leads from across Europe.
- Is it correct to say that Flux50 is a matchmaker within an international network? Or is it more?
Building a community is only part of our activities. But we go go beyond that and put innovation in action. In 2017 alone, Flux50 played a part in establishing 32 collaboration projects involving 75 industrial and research partners. These collaborations cover various sectors, including energy, ICT and construction. Flux50 hopes to match this level in 2018, supporting at least as many of your projects. The organisation expects to channel as much as 14 million euro to the Flemish energy industry to conduct innovative collaborative projects. Of this sum, 6 million euro is foreseen for projects associated with Local Energy Communities.
We’re also exploring new markets in Asia and Northern Africa.
- So Belgium – Flanders is on the move. And how far is Belgium from the 2020-2030-2050 goals set?
In 2017, Belgium produced a total of 19.2% of its electricity from renewable sources. While this suggests we are on track for the 2020 goal of 20% renewable electricity, we expect the 13% target for heat production will be a close call as our energy efficiency is now lagging behind; advancements were being made until 2015, at which point the downward trend for the use primary energy reverted. It is vital we put Belgium back on track prior to the 2020-2030 period when objectives will be even more ambitious.
- Which main innovative projects are set-up to get on track and achieve the goals?
As Flux50 we want to play a major role in arranging collaborations to pursue the necessary improvements and innovations with projects launched to investigate the possibilities offered by Hydrogen, Power2Gas, Intelligent Renovation and Local Energy Communities.
Furthermore, we will be dedicated to making the transport sector more environmentally friendly. We are conducting V2G and load-scheduling projects in the hope of increasing the number and use of electrical vehicles.
- And what are the main innovative ambitions for 2030?
To realise targets for 2030, we are setting up a broad range of demonstration projects on a small timescale; Local Energy Communities, Intelligent Renovation, Near-Zero-Energy Districts and hydrogen storage are all being pursued.
We also have an eye on 2050: we are taking the first steps in Carbon Capture and Utilisation (CCU) to ensure we have viable business cases in 2035 and beyond. We are also investigating possible collaborations with the chemistry cluster in Flanders in the hope of achieving breakthroughs in these fields.
- What activities are you planning to do on the Belgian - Flemish Pavilion in Vienna?
We will attend the EUW to show our strengths as cleantech region, but we don’t want deprive you from our other famous Belgian assets. That’s why we organise a daily Belgium Beer Café. Every day, between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. we will be serving up an interesting topic accompanied by fresh Belgian beers.As well as this, we would like to set up a few other activities like a Flanders Taste tour during which chocolate won’t be missing as well as a visit to the booths of our members and partners.
The Agenda of the Belgian Beer Café:
- 6/11: Nearly Zero Energy Districts
- 7/11: Energy in buildings
- 8/11: Digitalisation of Energy
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