Engaging the customer remains major challenge for industry
Amsterdam will once again welcome some 8000 utility experts for the annual European Utility Week from 15-17 October at the RAI at what is the largest industry conference and exhibition on the continent.
Formerly known as Metering Europe, the newly branded European Utility Week focuses on all aspects of the utility business, from transmission to the consumer, including smart T&D infrastructures, renewable integration & storage, smart metering, ICT/ Data management, smart homes & end-user engagement, to form a unique smart energy platform. The event will feature an international exhibition with more than 350 solution providers, 200 industry expert speakers with some 8000 conference delegates and expo visitors, including representatives from more than 300 leading utilities.
European Utility Week’s theme for this year is “Pulling in one direction”. Event director Elisabeth Brusse explains: “growing importance is being placed on collaboration, interoperability, shared targets and joint ambitions which are promoting the transition to a smart energy ecosystem in Europe”.
Smart Grids and T&D
According to Brusse, investment in smart grids and transmission and distribution infrastructure present huge challenges and opportunities. She explains: “Rapid deployment of renewable energy generation, the need for widespread decarbonisation and urgent requirements to update the aging electrical supply infrastructure presents a significant and growing challenge to T&D system operators across Europe. Investments in this sector are expected to account for the lion’s share of smart grid investments until 2017.”
Smart meters are link between utility and consumer
It is estimated that some 963-million smart meters will have been installed globally by 2020. Says Elisabeth Brusse: “smart meters form the keystone of communication between utilities and the consumer and a vital link for effective ICT and data management. Key questions still need to be addressed in this nascent industry and will be discussed during European Utility Week including that of interoperability, security of infrastructure, safeguarding privacy and personal data.”
How to really engage with the customer remains one of the single greatest challenges associated with transitioning to a smart energy economy according to Brusse. She continues: “Germany remains a pioneer in the adoption of these advanced home technologies and by 2025 smart home features are expected to be standard in upscale dwellings. The country’s smart home market is expected to grow to EUR19 billion by that year. And most importantly, retrofits will be affordable by 2025 with easy to install solutions that will facilitate entry into the smart home.”
Renewable integration & storage
The explosive growth of renewable energy markets has also come with huge logistical and technical challenges in adapting the existing infrastructure. European Utility Week’s “Renewable Integration & Storage” track will update the industry on the latest technology developments, policy updates and global project experiences.
Global, technology giants who have already signed up for major sponsorships at the event are Landis+Gyr, Toshiba, Accenture, Capgemini, Itron, Oracle and Schneider Electric.
Confirmed speakers for European Utility Week include:
- - Per-Olof Granström, Secretary General, EDSO for Smart Grids, Belgium
- - Eduardo García Sánchez, Head of Smart Grids Department, Red Eléctrica, Spain
- - Shinsuke Ito, Former Deputy Director, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan
- - Toru Hattori, Senior Research Economist, Central Research Institute of the Electric Power Industry, Japan
- - Jean-Paul Krivine, Project Director of Smart Energy-Smart Home, EDF, France
- - Manuel Sánchez Jiménez, Team Leader Smart Grids, DG Energy, European Commission, Belgium
- - Stuart Rolland, Managing Director, Smart Metering, British Gas, UK
- - Andrew Blaver, Programme Manager, Smart Grid Development, Western Power, Australia
- - Robert Denda, Smart Metering Project Manager, Endesa, Spain
- - Merce Griera i Fisa, Directorate-General Communication Networks, Content and Technology Smart Cities and Sustainability, European Commission, Belgium
- - Dr K. Peter Röttgen, Head of Innovation Center Energy Storage, VP EASE, E.ON/European Association for Storage of Energy (EASE), Germany
- - Bernard Delpech, President European Association for Storage of Energy (EASE) and Vice President EDF R&D, EASE/EDF, France
Event dates and location:
Conference and Expo: 15-17 October 2013
Location: Amsterdam RAI, The Netherlands
Communications manager: Annemarie Roodbol
Telephone: +27 21 700 3558