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07. April 2016

E-world Congress 2016 - an exchange of knowledge on the future of the energy industry

Current developments, changed framework conditions and concepts for the future: around 25 conferences and seminars provided a lively platform for discussion to about 2,500 participants. Over 200 high-ranking speakers from the fields of politics, economics and science shared their knowledge and discussed the opportunities and challenges presented by the sector – from international market developments to local practical examples.

Strategies for tomorrow's energy world

In keeping with tradition, the congress opened with the "Energy Leadership Meeting", held the day before the E-world energy & water trade fair began. Rainer Baake, Secretary of State in the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, explained the key elements of the planned electricity market design and highlighted the necessity of linking up the energy industry and IT and communications technologies. Amongst others, notable speakers from the Industriegewerkschaft Bergbau, Chemie, Energie, the German Association of Local Utilities (Verband kommunaler Unternehmen -VKU), the European Parliament and the industry vigorously debated the future direction of the German energy market with regard to storage, digitisation and intelligent networks.

Climate protection state NRW – ambitious goals and measures

As the initiator, the federal state of North Rhine Westphalia had, for the 20th time, extended the invitation to the "Specialist Congress on Future Energies". At the opening, Johannes Remmel, Minister for the Environment and Garrelt Duin, Minister for the Economy, both highlighted the particular responsibility borne by North Rhine Westphalia in its capacity as an industrial and an energy state to achieve the goals related to climate protection and the energy transition. The topics of system transformation, virtual power plants, development of wind energy and digitisation were the focal points of the talks. For the first time, the specialist congress opened up to an international audience, hosting a forum on the energy markets in Denmark, Poland, Japan and Chile.

A closer look at the international gas market

The opening speech given by Lazslo Varro, Chief Economist at the International Energy Agency since the beginning of the year, was the highlight of the "International Gas Market" conference. Following a trenchant analysis of the role of gas in a decarbonised European energy system, the perspectives of new market players such as South-East Asia, Iran and the USA were examined. In the afternoon, the content included an elucidation of the new positioning and procurement strategies of Ukraine in the European market by representatives of the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies and Naftogaz.

European Year of Market Design

Where does the Energy Union stand? What will the EU be working on in 2016? What role does wind energy play? Top-class speakers from the European Commission, the European Wind Energy Association, the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) and the Universal Smart Energy Framework (USEF) discussed and responded to these questions during the conference on the "European Power Market". Additional topics covered were the significance of storage as a flexibility option, the integration of renewable energy sources into the energy markets and virtual power plants. The diversity within the programme this year reflected the reforms planned within the energy market by the European Union.

What can digitisation achieve?

For the first time, this year's programme included an event devoted to the topic of digitisation. Entitled "Digitisation – a brave new world?", speakers examined the opportunities and potential of digitisation from various perspectives and analysed the effects on traditional business models. The opening talk, "What is digitisation?", delivered by Prof. Dr. Armin Grunwald, Head of the Office of Technology Assessment at the German Bundestag and Professor of Philosophy and Ethics of Technology at the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology (KIT), left the audience with new food for thought. Notable representatives of Google, IBM, 50hertz and Energy4u shed light on the effects on individual business areas and necessary changes they would be required to make, from grid operation through to sales and marketing. The ideas and tools which were presented showcased interesting and innovative methods within the ongoing process of digitisation.

Municipalities and climate protection

The "Municipalities Day" aroused a great deal of interest: more than 140 participants took part in the event. Held in cooperation with Kommunaler Klimaschutz - SK:KK at the German Institute of Urban Affairs, climate protection and energy efficiency projects at city and regional level were the focal point of the day. Franzjosef Schafhausen, Head of Climate Protection Policy Department and European and International Affairs in the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety, advised on subjects ranging from the National Climate Protection Initiative to PlattformKLIMA, amongst others, with various colourful practical examples. Alongside him, representatives from cities, municipalities and strategy consultancies provided information on helpful funding opportunities.

Science meets industry

The interdisciplinary forum "SmartER Europe" once again brought together technological, economic and IT-related aspects of the new energy world. Researchers from national and international universities as well as from the industry were able to present their research papers and research findings within five different subject areas. The subject line-up ranged from Smart Markets & Business Development, ICT & Automation through to Hybrid Energy Systems and Distribution Grids. One premiere was the cooperation with Zenit and the enterprise europe network. They offered a platform for interested companies and researchers looking for cooperation partners with the opportunity to present their ideas in short project pitches. 

About the E-world congress:

The E-world congress takes place annually in parallel to Europe's leading energy trade fair, E-world energy & water. Over the course of around 25 events and seminars, renowned experts from the fields of industry, politics and science discuss and analyse current challenges and opportunities within the sector. In conjunction with established partners, including the Bundesverband Neue Energiewirtschaft - bne, the University of Duisburg-Essen, the Bundesverband der Energiemarktdienstleister - BEMD, law firms, corporate- and strategy consultancies and companies within the industry, the congress covers a diverse range of subjects. Additional cooperation partners also joined in 2016 – the Bundesverband Erneuerbare Energien - BEE, the Deutsche Unternehmensinitiative Energieeffizienz - DENEFF.

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