like the box of chocolates in the legendary film Forrest Gump. While it is a mixed bag, you can be sure they are all amazing and that there is something here for every appetite.
The majority of our edition is dedicated to all things European Utility Week. And what a Utility Week it promises to be! Held in the beautiful city of Paris, this year’s event is [Also often chock-full] of innovation, young talent, projects galore, utility insights and so much more! And we are showcasing some of these projects, people or organisations in this edition of Smart Energy International.
Let’s start with some of the projects which make up the EU project zone on the exhibition floor. We interviewed a number of the project coordinators and have included some of their projects here for your edification. See pages 28, 37 and 67 for a small snapshot of what you can expect to see on the expo floor. We include interviews with the leaders of some of the leading utilities in France – GRDF (page 16), Enedis (page 46), and RTE (page 52). Here senior members of each organisation’s leadership teams spoke to us about their plans for the future, the things that keep them up at night and some of their achievements of the past 18 months. Each of these utilities represents a step forward in the energy transition of Europe, a spirit of ingenuity and the ongoing efforts to decarbonise our energy sectors globally.
There’s more: we search for the holy grail of engagement – real insight into what consumers really want – and spoke with a number of industry leaders to gain their perspectives. Among them, we have an article by Oliver Disney entitled Why customers should drive your digital transformation (page 74) and Billing and customer engagement (page 98), in which we ask whether consumer age is an impediment to a meaningful relationship with your customers.
A key theme in this year’s European Utility Week is that of sector coupling and we spoke with Christoph Riechmann, Frontier Economics (page 18) to understand how this concept is going to bring new synergies to the energy sector as we see an increased convergence between different elements of the energy spectrum.
Our special report in this edition covers the ongoing importance of data in the utility space, and examines how data will continue to be foundational in the cities of the future (page 104) if we can get the most challenging part of our data journey correct – that is, the concept of data democratisation and data sharing (see pages 106 and 108).
There is, of course, much, much more … metering infrastructure (page 118) and communication architectures (page 119), AI in energy (page 90) and an option on the blockchain (page 70). I also want to share, for me and for my colleagues, one of the most exciting pieces of news. From this edition, we will be featuring print elements of Power Engineering International inside the Smart Energy International magazine. The synergies between the two publications are obvious and will bring a wider scope of interesting content to our key utility audiences, while continuing to remain true to our focus areas. I am looking forward to working with Kelvin Ross, Editor of Power Engineering International, as we continue exploring the parallels between our respective brands.
This is, of course, the final edition of 2019. It’s been a year of ups and downs, trade talks and trade stalemates, massive growth across many sectors and a particular elevation of the role of climate change in our lives and our sector. It has been a busy year, but it’s been an incredible one! I hope you have enjoyed 2019 and reading Smart Energy International as much as my team and I have enjoyed sharing the news with you. We look forward to a 2020 in which we start the first year of a new decade off with a bang! Of course, if you are at European Utility Week please come and see us at the Clarion Energy News studio – we’d love to meet our readers, and get some insights into what you want us to cover next year.
Wishing you a wonderful remainder of your 2019