After a quarter of a century, Europe’s most recognized annual power industry event takes on a new name and new mission.
For the past 25 years, Europe’s electricity professionals have kept an important date in their calendar each summer – attending POWER-GEN Europe.
The event has graced many of Europe’s finest cities, been the catalyst for many a lucrative business deal and charted the advances in technology and strategic trends that have shaped the industry. This year, POWER-GEN Europe evolves into Electrify Europe and debuts in Vienna, 19-21 June.
Such a change after so many years has inevitably raised questions from loyal attendees about how the event will continue to serve the industry. But far from abandoning its roots, Electrify Europe will feature the very best aspects of POWER-GEN Europe. It will examine all aspects of power generation in the context of the rapidly transitioning electricity industry and present new ideas and digital technologies that deliver the flexible kilowatts needed to dovetail with the increasing proportion of power generated from distributed and renewable sources.
From discussions with energy professionals in recent weeks, there is clearly something extremely exciting and visionary about the conference programme that will be a central feature of Electrify Europe, alongside its large exhibit floor of technology venders and service providers. Never has there been a conference of this scale in Europe that brings together such a comprehensive cross section of the electricity value network and which seeks to promote understanding and collaboration between power producers, transmission system operators, distribution utilities and huge number of new market entrants that are now entering the energy sector providing new services to I & C customers and end consumers.
Utilising the historical strengths of both POWER-GEN Europe and the DistribuTECH brand, which has been serving the needs of the distribution technology and metering sector, organisers PennWell has consulted with industry stakeholders and carried out its own independent research to arrive at the concept for Electrify Europe, which, if it was to be summed up in one word, would be “Convergence”.
Few would question that the European electricity sector is currently undergoing unprecedented change, with one of the most striking aspects of this transformation being the breaking down of the “silo” approach to the sector. The network of nodes that make up the electricity system has become far more diverse and complex in recent years yet each part needs to be interconnected. To achieve this connectivity and the smooth and efficient operation of the power system requires smart technology and the increasing use of artificial intelligence and machine learning. For this reason, the digitalization of the power system has become a high priority.
Such smart and digital technologies operate using cloud computing and new features (applications) are being developed all the time. Digital technological solutions are being developed by all the incumbent OEMs, some using their own operating platforms, but more and more many of the most revolutionary ideas are coming from outside the sector, from the worlds of software developers, telecoms, platform developers and online retailers and often by small independent developers not traditionally associated with the power industry. This is changing the entire structure of the industry, challenging the existing business models and introducing exciting new value propositions. Understanding these changes and the opportunities that they offer as well as connecting all these new, innovative market participants, is what Electrify Europe is about.
Electrify Europe is designed as a platform upon which the convergence processes and collaborations become tangible, on which thoughts and thought leadership processes materialize in the form of customer experience. Rather than being a mirror of developments, the event itself becomes part of the developments that it fosters and caters for.
Electrify Europe takes place over three days in June at Vienna’s international conference and exhibition venue, Messe Wien. Even though the conference and exhibition runs from 19-21 June, there is an opportunity on the 18 June for Electrify Europe delegates to participate in a guided tour and presentation of one of Europe’s most impressive smart urban developments, Aspern Seestadt smart city – a flagship project of the city of Vienna. The tour features a demonstration of the energy research activities being trialled at Aspern Seestadt by Aspern Smart City Research. The development itself is just a very short coach ride from Messe Wien and attendees can register for the visit here.
As well as the features familiar to regular POWER-GEN Europe attendees, Electrify Europe will introduce some new exciting aspects that will make a visit to the show for both delegates and visitors even more valuable. Each day will commence with with a Keynote Session open to all attendees featuring leading industry speakers, presenting incisive views on future industry trends, convergence and the implications of disruption in the industry.
A further innovation this year is that half of the conference programme is scheduled to be presented from the show floor itself, with these sessions will being open to both delegates, exhibitors and visitors alike. Dotted throughout the exhibition floor are five Presentation Arenas, each one focusing on a specific and important trend or question relevant to the modern and evolving electricity system. The Arena themes are: Energy Storage: A new paradigm; Cyber-attacks: How vulnerable are we?; Demand Side Response – Deep dive; What Happens when eMobility goes Mainstream? And Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain – Their role in our Market
If that was not enough, Electrify Europe is also hosting two industry side events which are also free to attend. On the opening day of the show, the Brussels-based industry lobby groups CIMAC and EUGINE jointly host a panel discussion where politicians, utilities and solution providers discuss Austria’s new energy and climate targets for 2030 and how to achieve them. They will look at the possible contribution of engine power plants in achieving the policy targets and discuss options to increase the share of renewable gases as fuel for engine power plants.
On Wednesday 20 June, RSE, the leading Italian research organisation and Electrify Europe’s Scientific Partner, will be running the Mission Innovation session. Mission Innovation is a global initiative that currently involves 22 countries and the European Union to dramatically accelerate global clean energy innovation. The Mission Innovation workshop at Electrify Europe will provide the participants with the opportunity to get updated information about the present status of this global initiative and its future steps, including its initial main achievements and ongoing activity in two specific Innovation Challenges – Smart grids and Clean Energy Materials.
The full conference grid-at-a-glance can be found here and includes all the conference sessions and the Presentation Areas tracks.
In combining the best aspects of POWER-GEN Europe and DistribuTECH – Europe’s and the US’ leading events for the power generation, transmission and distribution sectors, Electrify Europe becomes the world’s first platform event reflecting the ongoing convergence, not only within the power industry, but also with the drivers of digitalisation, decarbonisation, decentralization and electrification, i.e. the ICT, IOT and emobility sectors.
Dramatic changes in any industry bring about uncertainty, but at the same time they present huge opportunities for the smartest and best prepared. This has created a genuine and vital need for a face-to-face platform that provides clarity, facilitates connections and defines the electricity industry’s roadmap. Electrify Europe meets this need, offering the continent’s largest hub for information, networking and lead generation. This will be the century of electricity and Electrify Europe will be a there signposting the way. Join us in Vienna, 19-21 June and be a part of the industry’s exciting future.