This article is part of a series highlighting the work of IEEE’s global offices.
IEEE members and staff participated in a roundtable event earlier this year in which policymakers and leaders in the energy field convened in Brussels to discuss the European Union’s 2030 policy framework for climate and energy. Topics covered improving the efficiency, sustainability, and interconnection of the European energy system.
Held in March, Europe’s Energy Future: Efficiency and Competitiveness through Innovation and Smart Integration was organized by the Knowledge 4 Innovation (K4I) network, an independent not-for-profit forum that helps bridge the gap between policymakers and practioners to advance innovation, a mission that aligns with IEEE’s. As a member of K4I, it was the perfect opportunity for me to be part of a constructive dialogue to move the energy sector forward.
The event was hosted by a member of the European Parliament from Poland, Jerzy Buzek, chair of the Industry, Research, and Energy Committee in Europe, the event provided a platform for a constructive dialogue on policy. Some of those who attended were the EU’s Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger, who was the keynote speaker, as well as the European Commission Director-General for Energy, Dominique Ristori.
The event also highlighted new business models, opportunities and synergies, and policy challenges, such as integrating technologies into already existing utilities and increasing cross-sector cooperation. Creating a stable framework for a competitive environment was deemed crucial to allow for innovation and technological advancements in this area.
On the topic of how to integrate technologies in different stages of development in the energy field, IEEE Member Duncan Botting pointed to smart cities as an example of bringing together vastly different technologies for a common goal. He suggested this same model be adapted energy and he emphasized the need for more standards to support the development and growth of sustainable energy.
Also mentioned was the creation of public-private partnerships as a way to get more private investments directed to developing power networks and infrastructure, as well as technology advancements in hardware and software, and manufacturing processes.
Member of the European Parliament Lambert van Nistelrooij, who is also chair of the K4I governing board, argued that it is crucial to find successful ways for sustainable energy production, which is one of the main objectives for Europe in order to stay competitive with other nations and meet low-carbon emission goals.
IEEE recognizes the importance in taking part in these types of discussions in the European Parliament and will continue to engage with the K4I network and other EU organizations and industries. Events like this are opportunities for growing IEEE’s network in which individuals from around the world can share, collaborate, debate, and engage with colleagues all while improving technological innovations.
For more information about the roundtable, view this video.
Karine Iffour is the director of IEEE Business Development Europe, based in the IEEE Brussels office.