Smart Energy Summit Positions Copper as Key Enabler of the Energy Transition

In an increasingly decentralised and renewable electricity system, the demand side will need to play a major role. The aim of the Smart Energy Summit, held in Brussels on 6th April, was to discuss how to take smart energy forward in Europe and beyond, define current and future contributions to demand-side flexibility from industry, commercial and residential consumers, provide a snapshot of the demand side landscape in Europe, and discuss policy implications. It was convened by Frauke Thies of the Smart Energy Demand Coalition and Hans De Keulenaer from ECI.

The day-long event was attended by over 100 delegates and was highly interactive, with real-time polling and a constantly updated and popular Twitter page using the hashtag #SESummit. It was based around four lively sessions. Three of them covered residential solutions and trends, industrial and commercial demand-side flexibility, and a conducive policy framework. The fourth was a series of seven Pecha Kucha presentations on best practice cases from around the world. In addition, the new SEDC Demand Response Map was introduced, which confirmed significant progress has been made, while admitting that much still needs to be done.

In the policy session, a moderated panel with participation from Anna Colucci, Head of Retail Markets Unit, DG Energy, European Commission, Thor-Sten Vertmann, Counsellor for Energy, for the upcoming Estonian Presidency of the EU, Laurent Schmitt, Secretary General of ENTSO-E and Frauke Thies, Executive Director of SEDC reviewed the status of demand response in Europe. The Clean Energy Package was recognised for bringing very significant improvements for demand response and for levelling the playing field between supply, demand, storage and grid solutions. Demand response is a complement to grid developments as well as to capacity markets.

The closing remarks were given by Bernard Respaut, Chief Executive, ECI, who clearly stated that “Copper is the material of choice to achieve energy efficiency, a high share in power generation through renewables, and electrification.” He introduced the newly launched DecarbEurope initiative of ECI, which consists of ten solutions, each of which can reduce EU GHG emissions by 100 to 500 million tons per year. “These solutions are cost-effective and are ready to be activated, and provide significant business opportunities for many European actors,” he added.