ManagEnergy is a technical support initiative of the Intelligent Energy - Europe (IEE) programme of the European Commission which aims to assist actors from the public sector and their advisers working on energy efficiency and renewable energy at the local and regional level.

What’s on the menu at European Utility Week

Paolo BertoldiEU Utility Week 2015

3–5 November, Vienna

Networking, innovation, inspiration …

European Utility Week is Europe’s biggest smart utility event. It offers a unique platform for dialogue and exchange between energy professionals from all sectors of the market as well as policy-makers, with over 10 000 attendees, including representatives of 400 utilities.

ESCO Europe at European Utility Week

Speakers include Paolo Bertoldi, action leader for energy efficiency at the European Commission Joint Research Centre. He will participate in the Panel Discussion : ‘Removing the barriers of the ESCO market to fulfil its promise of success’.

Also part of the line-up of ESCO industry experts is Volker Dragon, Chairman, European Association of Energy Services Companies (see exclusive ManagEnergy interview with him about the current state of play in the European ESCO market, to appear shortly).

Central to the ESCO sessions is a presentation of the role of the utility backing the ESCO. In view of its 202020 targets, the European Commission has commited to stimulating the ESCO market, in order to improve energy efficiency levels in buildings. This has implications for energy utilities, who are well positioned to take on a share in this market by setting up subsidiaries competing with the independent ESCOs for energy performance contracts. The backing of the utility lends credibility to these subsidiaries, which in turn create additional revenue for the utility.

Other areas that will feature under the Energy Efficiency and Energy Services programme at the Hub Sessions include ‘Improving Access to Financing & the New Tools Available’, ‘Increasing Confidence with Measurement & Verification and Standardisation’ and ‘The ESCO Within the City’.

Orientation

EUW15 allows utility stakeholders to come together to discover new ways to anticipate imminent challenges and navigate the transitions in the energy landscape. Developing fresh strategies and thinking outside the box generate essential outcomes at EUW.

The extensive smart energy exhibition, with over 420 international exhibitors, features anInnovation Hub, including a Startup Pavilion where 50 top startup companies will be displaying and vying for the inaugural Initiate Awards. The Innovation Programme is designed to showcase efficient solutions for a transition to a smart-energy future; this features the Innovation Stage and the IOT4U stage.

There will be two nine-track programmes running simultaneously:

o the Strategic Conference Programme: 27 high-level strategic sessions where utilities will share their business strategies,

o and the free to attend Hub Sessions on the exhibition floor where 31 dedicated utility project sessions focus on technology innovation.

On 4 November the Inaugural European Utility Industry Awards ceremony takes place, against the backdrop of a networking dinner.

Smart cities and ESCOs

The Strategic Programme is designed to deal with high-level strategic issues encountered by senior management representatives across the utility business. It is divided into seven tracks, ranging from ‘Grid and Renewables Integration’ to ‘Smart Metering’.

One of the several strategic programme tracks in which there is crossover with the content of the ESCO sessions is ‘Smart Cities’. As ESCO Europe puts it, ‘In the upcoming year we will see billions of Euros of investment in the smart utility sector. Smart grids will bring utility services energy, water or telecoms to consumers. Consumers, whether they be cities, industrial, commercial or residential, are looking for ways to drive efficiencies.’

Securing funding and investment in order to implement energy efficiency measures is fundamental to smarter cities across Europe. For example, one of the key topics is ‘Making it Happen: Financing City and Energy Innovation’. There will be four presentations exploring different angles of this issue on the morning of 5 November, followed by a panel discussion entitled, ‘How to Make Public Private Partnerships Work for Smart City and Energy Investment’. Speakers include Tamas Solymosi, who leads the activities aimed at easing access to financing energy efficiency projects in the Covenant of Mayors Office and Mercè Griera i Fisa, Head of Research and Innovation Sector in the Smart Cities and Sustainability Unit of the Communication Networks, Content and Technology Directorate General (DG CONNECT) at the European Commission.