A record 6600 visitors and delegates attended the recent European Utility Week in Amsterdam where leading industry experts assessed the policy and future market direction of smart energy and the impact on all players, including governments, energy companies, the industry and consumers. The event’s new corporate identity, launched during the event in October, brings together the three formerly co-located events Metering Billing/CRM Europe, Smart Homes and Transmission & Distribution/Smart Grids Europe.
What constitutes smart energy?
Says the European Utility Week’s programme director Aida Mezit: “as a whole, the conference offered a global top-down picture – from policy to specific on-the ground-projects – of how to reconcile interests of all stakeholders, iron out market and commercial imbalances for a successful transition to an open, competitive and consumer-embraced low carbon economy.”
She continues: “the notion of what constitutes smart energy and its importance was debated at length and most agreed on the definition of a combination of technology, operational structures and market mechanisms that support smart meters and grids, improved efficiency in electricity transport and delivery, demand side and renewable integration. The majority of participants also concurred that its importance is crucial to our well-being and faced with rising demand, depletion of fossil fuel and energy cost the need for its developments is real.”
Biggest utility event on the calendar
Participants and partners agreed that the European Utility Week was the most important event on the industry calendar on the continent. The global technology giant Siemens, the event’s diamond sponsor, used the opportunity to present its Smart Grid Suite, a comprehensive end-to-end portfolio of integrated Smart Grid products, services and solutions. Smart Grid Siemens CEO Dr Jan Mrosik, who delivered a keynote in the opening session, said in Amsterdam that “we see that a lot of people that are participating here are very important for the industry. This is the right place to make sure that we are extremely present and show our smart grid solutions to the people that are interested and go into a dialogue with us about what Siemens can offer.”
Deutsche Telekom’s T-Systems was a platinum sponsor and Gabriele Riedmann de Trinidad, head of the Group business area Energy said ”for us Metering Europe is an event that provides the industry with an outstanding platform for exchanging ideas – that’s why we participate regularly.”
Another leading industry technology giant and joint platinum sponsor with Toshiba was Landis+Gyr AG. Says Jon Stretch, Executive Vice President EMEA: “It’s the one event in Europe where all our customers, competitors and partners come together – it is our annual focal point. Clearly, as a leader in smart metering and smart grids across Europe, we take it very seriously. Decision makers are there to try to form an understanding in their own mind about what the next three to five years will bring. We therefore make sure that our brightest and smartest people are at the event”.
To stimulate collaboration
Collaboration was a popular theme at the European Utility Week as many stakeholders across the industry demonstrated their willingness to work together. Five key players in the Dutch energy landscape, Liander, Siemens, KPN, TNO and TenneT, joined forces with an interactive “Energy Experience” on the exhibition floor which showed how smart grids are changing industry and society. Liander was also the host utility of the event.
Says Bram Reinders, Manager, Alliance Management at Liander: “As the Energy Experience demonstrates, it is the aim of Liander to stimulate collaboration between the European Commission, governments, research organizations, industry, the financial sector and international organizations to work together on new energy technologies that will completely redesign our current energy infrastructure and enlarges the possibilities for our clients.”
Event dates and location for European Utility Week 2013:
15-17 October 2013
Amsterdam RAI, The Netherlands
Event website: www.european-utility-week.com
For more information:
Communications manager: Annemarie Roodbol
Telephone: +27 21 700 3558
Mobile: +27 82 562 7844