Press Release: How to make Europe’s Energy Transition a Reality with the Help of Smart Technologies

19 February 2020

ESMIG organised an evening of discussion at the European Parliament Members’ Salon exploring how to make Europe’s energy transition a reality with the help of smart technologies. Ms Maria Carvalho MEP (EPP/PT), Mr Ville Niinistö MEP (Greens/FI) and Ms Claudia Gamon MEP (Renew/AT) co-hosted the event which gathered a cross-national and cross-party group of MEPs, policy experts and ESMIG members engaged in the energy transition towards a digitalised, decentralised, consumer focused energy system integrating renewables. The evening featured keynote speeches from Mr Thor-Sten Vertmann, Member of the Cabinet of Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson, Mr Zeljko Krevzelj, on behalf of the Croatian Presidency of the EU and Mr Mark Van Stiphout from DG ENER (European Commission).

Maria Carvalho MEP introduced and emphasised the stakes, challenges and opportunities related to both the ongoing energy transition and the digital transformation while also highlighting how the Clean Energy Package opens up the possibility for EU member states to create the best conditions to empower citizens to become both producers and consumers, namely prosumers. In relation, Claudia Gamon MEP pointed out that the EU energy transition will have to manage an increasing demand which needs to be coupled with the fostering of renewable and decentralised energy sources. The data availability for prosumers will facilitate not only their assessment of consumption and production, but also foster their energy storage potentials.

During his keynote speech, Mr Thor-Sten Vertmann explained the potential and the challenges related to the creation of EU rules on the use of data, while remarking that energy efficiency-related policies will also need to be further fine-tuned. Subsequently, Mr Zeljko Krevzelj asserted that in the chapter of the Presidency programme “A Europe that connects”, the Croatian Presidency aimed at ensuring a more connected, efficient and secure EU energy market, while continuing to foster renewables and low carbon energy sources. Mr Mark Van Stiphout focused his intervention on the Clean Energy Package, which, in his opinion, demonstrates necessity of smart meters in implementing a more efficient energy system. He further stated that access to metering data and information, as well as the right to a dynamic price, will be also of crucial importance for the development of the energy system that is increasingly decentralised and end-user friendly. In relation to this, Willem Strabbing, Managing Director of ESMIG, informed participants that according to ESMIG’s research, consumers can save 7-9% on gas and electricity consumption based on real-time insight. Although the roll-out of smart meters that can provide real-time data is progressing, the offering of tools and services based on this real-time data is substantially lagging.

Following a lively discussion between participants, in his concluding remarks, Ville Niinistö stated that both regulators and operators have taken a long time to realise that the energy system has been shifting towards new paradigms. He remarked that Europe needs to build a regulatory environment which fosters price information and can guarantee standardised data access to citizens. Mr Dieter Brunner, ESMIG President, closed the discussion by recalling the importance of cooperation between the industry and regulators for the benefit of EU. To this end, Mr Brunner stated that ESMIG and its members will continue to foster the dialogue between industry, policy-makers and citizens at the EU, national and local level.

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