Editorial - VGB PowerTech Journal 10/2020

100 years VGB: Welcome address

I am very pleased about the invitation to the 100th anniversary of VGB PowerTech.

I very much welcome the fact that VGB PowerTech will not miss the opportunity to celebrate this anniversary despite the Corona Pandemic – on a small scale on the Energy-Campus Deilbachtal and with the online guests live on screen. I am glad and relieved that strict hygiene measures – as they are also observed on site – make it possible to be together and that digital technology also allows us to meet virtually.

I would like to extend a warm welcome to you in and from Essen, one of the most important energy metropolises in Europe.

Essen is the „Powerhouse of Europe“. Here in the center of the Metropole Ruhr, renowned international energy companies have their headquarters. They make Essen a decision-making center for the energy industry. The Essen-based companies have leading market positions in energy generation, distribution, supply and energy management. Essen-based companies are among the key players: RWE AG, E.ON SE, or Evonik AG – they are nationally and internationally active independent power producers.

The Essen-based companies have extensive know-how in research and development in both renewable and conventional energy technologies. However, small and medium-sized companies are also part of Essen´s energy industry. As a whole, these partly highly specialized production and service companies cover the most important areas of the value chain.

With Messe Essen, Essen offers a central event location as a platform for the energy industry with international appeal. The leading trade fair “E-world energy & water” is of outstanding importance in this respect. Current research and development results, future market developments of energy sources and the presentation of new technologies can be experienced there. The global players of the international energy industry will present themselves here.

The entrepreneurial and technical know-how of the energy industry is concentrated in Essen. The concentrated energy of the international groups, the medium-sized companies, the educational and research institutions as well as the international trade fair and congress events is an outstanding trademark of the electricity metropolis Essen.

The most important energy industry network in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia operates under the umbrella of the EnergyAgentur.NRW. It coordinates the cooperation of over 3,000 players in 18 working groups and competence networks.

An outstanding Essen network partner of the energy industry is – you guessed it – the jubilarian: VGB PowerTech e.V.

What makes the international association of power plant operators so special? First and foremost the 100-year tradition. To be successful for more than a century, to set standards, to always be at the cutting edge of technology and even more: to shape the future - this is not a foregone conclusion, behind it there is a lot of power, ambition and the unconditional will to be at the pulse of time, to keep up with the times. 100 years of bundled knowledge are gathered in VGB, which is reflected in its current core competence. Today, 430 VGB members from 33 countries benefit from this.

Because answers have to be found to how to deal with the three major trends in the energy sector: decentralisation, digitalisation and decarbonisation.

VGB provides an impressive answer to these questions in its mission statement published in 2019 – this is another reason why it is so special. With a sense of proportion and the knowledge of technical feasibility, its mission statement not only describes the main aspects of modern energy supply – sustainability, environmental friendliness, safety and economic efficiency – it also shows how to implement them realistically in eight strategic fields of action.

All good things come in threes: I would like to address three fields of action:

First, as Lord Mayor, I have a duty to ensure security of supply for our citizens. On the other hand, VGB knows how an energy mix leads to supply stability. This is fundamental for the economic situation and future of a municipality and for its private households.

Second, the citizens expect an affordable energy supply. To secure electricity prices, VGB can advise its members on the efficiency of their electricity generation and storage facilities. Electricity must be affordable for everyone and must create value for the companies.

Third, as the Green Capital of Europe the expansion of renewable energies is not only good for us, a climate-neutral and modern energy infrastructure also means quality of life and strengthens environmental protection. Thanks to its Europe-wide network, VGB advises its members on the development of the energy systems of the future - the generation of energy by wind, water, solar energy and biomass.

This is valuable knowledge for the energy industry for the near future – “made in Essen”!

At the “Energy Campus Deilbachtal”, the VGB PowerTech e.V., the KWS Power Tech Training Center and the Simulator Centre bring together important players in the energy supply sector, providing the energy industry with innovative know-how and far-reaching impulses. I admit that I am also proud of my home town.

It is something special to represent the energy metropolis Essen and I am glad that VGB has its headquarters in Essen and that it links and holds together the European energy industry.

I congratulate VGB PowerTech e.V. on its 100th anniversary!


Welcome address on the occasion of VGB OnLine – 100 years VGB, 9 September 2020. The spoken word applies, available on VGB´s YouTube channel: www.vgb.org/youtube