Editorial - VGB PowerTech Journal 1-2/2018

Signpost into the future

The energy industry is changing rapidly. Nuclear phase-out, climate protection, distributed generation, e-mobility and digitalisation – to mention a few – are among numerous factors accelerating the change. Now it is time for companies in the energy business to find a route into a successful future. This means for a lot of companies leaving the proven paths and breaking new ground to develop and market novel solutions, because some traditional technologies and business models will soon reach their limits.

Viewing beyond the horizon is worthwhile in order to find the right direction into the future – power generation can no longer be considered isolatedly. Large power plant operators are acting in the same market as final customers producing electricity or generation communities. Generation, transport, distribution and consumption are much more connected with each other and fields like electricity, heat and transport are growing together. Eventually electric power will replace fossil sources of energy in the industry, on the heat market and in the transport sector.

Often new approaches are needed to survive in this changing environment. Hybrid technologies or processes that are increasing flexibility as well as more digitalised methods offer solutions. Some promising, sustainable solutions will have to pursue totally new approaches and it is very likely that such approaches will not be created in-house but rather in collaboration with external partners who generate new ideas and input special knowledge and experience from other fields and industries.

A new conference and exhibition “Electrify Europe” will take place in Vienna (Messe Wien) from June 19 to 21, 2018, with the objective to present new technological options and to encourage cooperation. “Electrify Europe” is successor to the former POWER-GEN Europe, which had been run successfully for 25 years, and therefore the new event covers the entire field of energy generation with all its aspects. Based on the experience with the internationally acknowledged conference and exhibition DistribuTECH, the new event also deals with energy transmission and distribution and goes far beyond these issues: “Electrify Europe” will be the first event of the PennWell Corporation that creates a common platform for discussing the changes in energy generation as well as power transmission and distribution and the most important factors influencing these changes, namely digitalisation, decarbonisation, decentralisation and electrification. PennWell drafted a completely new concept for the event in order to combine all these subjects under one roof.

Visitors, exhibitors and speakers of “Electrify Europe” will now have even better possibilities for orientation in a dynamic market. Three conference days will provide options to learn what is new in the own and neighbouring business environment. Information will not only be exchanged in the conference and exhibition halls, but lectures, discussions and networking events to be held in the exhibition area will open up extra possibilities.

Networking will play a particularly important role in the new “Electrify Europe”. The event is to encourage the exchange of ideas between established and new market participants, e.g. start-ups, since these new market players are often enabler for innovative business models and bring in special knowledge not easy to develop in-house.

“Electrify Europe” will open the doors to new target groups, offering a platform for all engaged in the energy business: energy generators, suppliers, net operators, prosumer, industry and energy experts, IT experts, planners, consultants, politicians, project engineers and e.g. financial service providers, i.e. all involved in the value added chain of electricity. The mix of new subjects and visitors is an ideal chance to get acquainted to new approaches, to initiate alliances in order to be in the lead which is essential for future success.