Last week GSGF was present at the European Utility Week in Amsterdam. The event serves as an annual meeting point for the smart utility community, ranging from utilities, network operators, vendors, consultants, startups and system integrators covering the entire smart energy value chain. It was attended by over 12.000 international visitors, 550 speakers and almost 600 exhibitors.
On Wednesday the Face to Face meeting of GSGF took place. A short administrative meeting was held during which ESKOM, our newest member, sketched an overview of the deployment of smart grids in South Africa. During this meeting we also welcomed our new Vice-Chair Mr. Takashi Omote. The administrative meeting was followed by a public seminar on Smart Grids for Smart Cities and on microgrids. Paddy Turnbull from Smart Grid Ireland together with Frederik Loeckx from Flux50 presented the potential for collaboration between their organizations, exploring common areas of interest like microgrids, docks, harbor areas, building retrofit, charging and lighting infrastructure, energy support data systems, mobility and congestion and connected buildings.
The presentation was followed by an in-depth discussion on local energy communities, the role of DSO’s, legislation and a lot more. Throughout the discussion it became clear this collaboration can contribute to three objectives: the creation of business models, the exchange of experiences within the clusters and the creation of a common view towards the European Commission and other regulators, ultimately resulting in combined business plans or roadmaps to reach the 2050 goals.
This was followed by a presentation of the Microgrids whitepaper. During the presentation Sakoto Horie from the Japan Smart Community Alliance identified various functions of microgrids, determined barriers to their commercialization and presented potential solutions for promoting microgrid commercialization, based on insights from existing microgrid pilot projects. One of the main conclusions was that with ongoing cost reductions and changes in the regulatory framework that enable microgrid business models, microgrids will shift from pilot to commercial deployment.
After this inspiring seminar, GSGF offered a networking drink at the EnergyVille booth. Meanwhile our Executive Director Ronnie Belmans took part in a panel discussion on Electro-Mobility, a Smart City Enabler at the Summit. The panel centered around the impact of EV’s on cities, utilities and the power system and what barriers exist for wide scale adoption.
Another highlight during EUW was Philippe Lalliot, French Ambassador in the Netherlands, visiting the Think Smartgrids booth and participating in a round table discussion on the industrialization of the French expertise on smart grids.
We would like to thank our members for their contribution to this edition of European Utility Week. Next year EUW will take place in Vienna from 6 to 8 November.