This article is part of a series highlighting the work of IEEE’s global offices.
IEEE was a cosponsor of the Eurelectric Annual Convention, an annual event that brought together policymakers and corporate leaders in the electricity sector.
For IEEE, the convention was part of a long-term effort to partner with Eurelectric in order to bridge the gap between engineers and industry leaders. By working together, the two groups can more easily share knowledge and have a better understanding of the power and energy field as a whole and even work closer together. The partnership was based on the memorandum of understanding, which IEEE signed with Eurelectric, the electricity industry association in Europe, based in Brussels, in 2012.
The event was held in June in London and brought together more than 500 participants, including industry leaders and policymakers. The meeting’s theme was “Building Trust in the New Energy World.” The goal was to call upon policymakers to develop new policies to advance the energy industry throughout the continent. Notable representatives from both the public and private sector attended. CEOs were also present on behalf of major energy companies and organizations such as Energi Norgi, a non-profit representing 270 electricity companies in Norway, based in Oslo, and GDF-Suez, a utility company in Paris. Others from the European Commission and a member of the British House of Commons were also present.
IEEE was well represented. IEEE secretary Marko Delimar, who is also the chair of the IEEE Governance Committee, and IEEE Member Jef Beerten, who is a volunteer in the Benelux Section in Region 8 were there supporting the event and even helped out at the IEEE exhibit booth. The booth was successful in introducing industry leaders to IEEE and was one of the most attended. IEEE Member Jairo Quiros-Tortos, who is currently pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of Manchester, in England, was the face of IEEE at the booth, informing attendees how they could volunteer and partner with the organization.
A major concern raised at the convention was about the rapidly increasing energy prices that are putting financial pressure on businesses and consumers, and hurting competition in the European market. According to speakers from Eurelectric, one of the main reasons for the price increases is due to policy plans that lack strategy on how to scale and optimize the energy sector as it transitions to today’s needs. Without a concerted effort to more effectively manage the costs of energy, expenditures on electricity and gas in 2030 could be 50 percent higher than they are today. To drive this point home, Eurelectric presented a joint study with Accenture, a technology services company headquartered in Dublin, which showed that implementing an integrated European energy policy could generate a net savings of €27 to €81 billion a year by 2030.
Karine Iffour is the director of IEEE Business Development Europe, based in the IEEE Brussels office.