In 2015, one of the biggest European energy events, the POWER-GEN Europe, was taking place in Amsterdam, in conjuncture with Renewable Energy World Europe. The event was held at the Amsterdam RAI Exhibition and Convention Centre, welcoming more than 10,000 power industry professionals, exhibitors and conference delegates.
The 2015 event theme became “The Energy Transition is changing Europe”, which in turn was broken down into 11 separate categories like municipalities, e-mobility, renewables, and others.
One of the event’s highlights was the joint opening keynote session with, among others, the much anticipated speaker Maria van der Hoeven, currently the Executive Director of the International Energy Agency. Before taking this office, Ms. Van der Hoeven served as Minister for Economic Affairs of The Netherlands (2007-2010); during this period she became particularly known for her strong position on energy policy, both in The Netherlands and globally.
— Maria van der Hoeven (@VanderHoeven_M) June 9, 2015
During her address Ms. van der Hoeven spoke, among other things, about the need to integrate the European electricity markets. Ms. van der Hoeven stated that although making some promising steps in this regard, Europe is still “facing significant technical and policy hurdles to regional electricity market integration and the integration of variable renewables”. She also stated that, despite the fact that European utilities “find themselves squeezed” due to reduced demand and profitability, they will continue to evolve; furthermore, according to Ms. van der Hoeven, grids will remain the backbone of the energy system.
At this year’s edition of POWER-GEN Europe, visitors also witnessed the presentation of the Best Paper Awards, and the 2015 Peabody Energy AEFL Clean Coal Awards. Another must-see was the Diplomatic Quarter, which is returning to the conference for the third time: this is a dedicated pavilion that gathers together commercial representatives from embassies around the world.
While at the venue, NRG Magazine talked to Nigel Blackaby, Director of Conferences at PenWell International Power Group; PenWell is the owner and organizer of POWER-GEN Europe and Renewable Energy Europe World.
NRG Magazine: Why did you choose Amsterdam as the venue this year?
Do you already know where you are going to take this event next year?
Why did you decide on this particular theme this year?
How will the theme change next year?
What kind of a role does POWER-GEN Europe play on the European tech and energy scene?