NEWS

Nordic Energy Forum 2019: Accelerating the energy transition by innovating and engaging consumers

“There can be no successful energy transition without social involvement and public acceptance,” stated Dr. Angela Wilkinson, Secretary General of the World Energy Council, at the Nordic Energy Forum 2019 at the Old Student House in Helsinki on Tuesday.

Angela Wilkinson speech

Dr Angela Wilkinson, the next Secretary General of the World Energy Council presented scenarios of the future of energy at the Nordic Eergy Forum 2019 in Helsinki. Photo Mauri Ratilainen

Dr. Wilkinson holds a PhD in Physics and was previously Senior Director, Scenarios and Business Insights, before being appointed the next Secretary General of the World Energy Council at its 24th Congress this September in Abu Dhabi, where the latest scenarios for the world’s energy systems were presented under her leadership.

At the Nordic Energy Forum, she pointed out that digitalisation offers many opportunities for prosperity, but that it also presents challenges.

“We need new capabilities for governing dynamic resilience to respond rapidly and flexibly also to unforeseen climate and cybersecurity challenges, as well as to enable a reliable and sustainable energy transition,” Dr. Wilkinson says.

Challenges within Europe include funding investements for energy systems. The World Energy Council sees Integrated energy-industrial strategies and sector-coupling policies pivotal to faster, deeper and affordable decarbonisation.

EU seeks fair and sustainable climate neutrality

Artur Runge-Metzger, Director, Climate Strategy, Directorate-General for Climate Action, European Commission, proposed various pathways towards a climate-neutral Europe by 2050. The climate strategy that was presented last year aims to ensure an economically feasible and socially just transition towards a climate-neutral society. The strategy also seeks to foster the competitiveness of the EU economy and companies in global markets.

Runge-Metzger acknowledges that achieving these aims will be challenging, but he believes that they are still achievable.

“Moving towards a net-zero greenhouse gas economy can only be successful with citizens that embrace change, get engaged and experience it as beneficial for their lives and that of their children,” he emphasises.

According to Runge-Metzger, both personal lifestyle choices and Improved planning and public infrastructure can have a real impact on combating climate change while at the same time improving the quality of life. He also sees opportunities to strengthen the role of regions and cities and towns in order to accelerate the changes sought in the EU.

Paula Pinho, Acting Director in Directorate A, Energy Policy, European Commission, presented the EU’s national energy and climate plans covering all sectors. For the first time each country is obligated to report on its current status and goals in five dimensions, from energy efficiency to the share of renewable energy.

“All 28 countries submitted their draft plans within the timeframe. Although none of them were perfect, all of the plans had good practices that could be recommended to other Member States,” Pinho clarifies.

Nordic energy markets as a model for the rest of the world

Markus Hübner, Chair of the Electricity Market Group at the Nordic Council of Ministers, envisioned the Nordic region as the world’s most competitive, innovative and consumer-oriented electricity market. The Nordic countries already serve as an example for the rest of the world in generating carbon-free electricity. In addition, the Nordic countries together with Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania already share a common electricity exchange owned by their national grids.

“There still remains plenty to do, especially in strengthening electricity transmission links and coordinating Data Hub cooperation, for example,” Hübner points out.

Demand for electricity is expected to continue to increase as a result of, among other things, growth of population and continued construction, the electrification of traffic and energy intensive data centres, and Sweden is already experiencing shortages of electricity. The need for time- and capital-intensive network investments was confirmed in a panel discussion, in which Maria Wetterstrand, Managing Director of Miltton Purpose, Jouni Haikarainen, Senior Vice President at Gasum, and Tiina Tuomela, Executive Vice President at Fortum Corporation, concluded that the starting points for the Nordic region were otherwise in many regards good.

Room for improvement was also noted in the pan-Nordic electricity retail market, as well as in more consumer-oriented price information that would guide consumption in a meaningful way. Harmonising regulatory requirements in different countries, for example through the Nordic Council of Ministers, would allow for faster innovation across the region.

The second Nordic Energy Forum to be held in Helsinki is taking place on 29-30 October 2019, offering decision-makers and experts the opportunity to meet and discuss topical issues, as well as share their views on future energy scenarios, policy choices, markets, innovations and business models. The second day of the forum will look at the Northern European gas markets, innovative technologies and new business opportunities.

World Energy Council

The World Energy Council is the principal impartial network of leaders and practitioners promoting an affordable, stable and environmentally sensitive energy system for the greatest benefit of all. Formed in 1923, the WEC is a UN-accredited global energy body representing the entire energy spectrum, with over 3000 member organisations in over 90 countries representing governments, private and state corporations, academia, NGOs and energy stakeholders. We inform global, regional and national energy strategies by hosting high-level events – including the World Energy Congress – and publishing authoritative studies. We work through our extensive member network to facilitate the world’s energy policy dialogue.

How bumpy is the road to a climate-neutral Europe?

Energy industry leaders gather in Nordic Energy Forum in Helsinki 29-30 October 2019: ● How will the global availability, price and impact of energy develop in the future? ● How far away are we from carbon dioxide neutrality as sought by the EU to combat climate change, and what actions are being taken on the national level in different countries to achieve this? ● How does the joint Nordic energy market function today and in the future? ● How can change be achieved economically, socially and technologically? ● What is the role of innovations in achieving climate neutrality?

Answers to these important questions will be sought at the Nordic Energy Forum 2019 at the Old Student House (Vanha ylioppilastalo) in Helsinki on 29-30 October 2019. Convened by the World Energy Council (WEC) Finland, this international and English-language event brings together around two hundred energy industry leaders and experts from Finland and the rest of Europe.

The Nordic Energy Forum will present over 40 interesting speakers from Finland and abroad, including Angela Wilkinson, the new Secretary General of the UN-accredited World Energy Council who has overseen its work on future energy scenarios, as well as Artur Runge-Metzger, Director ‘Climate Strategy, governance and emissions from non-trading sectors’, DG Climate Action of the European Commission. National energy and climate plans will be assessed by Paula Pinho, Head of Unit, Energy Policy Coordination, Directorate-General for Energy, European Commission.

The future of the Nordic energy markets will be discussed by a panel following up on a report on the development of energy cooperation prepared by Jorma Ollila for the Nordic Council of Ministers.

The programme on Tuesday will also discuss the fossil-free future of heavy transportation and biofuels. Piia-Noora Kauppi, Managing Director of Finance Finland FFI, in turn will talk about sustainable finance criteria shaping the future of energy.

The programme on Wednesday highlights innovations and new business models for the energy revolution. Einari Kisel, Regional Manager for Europe in the World Energy Council, will head a panel discussing the synchronisation of the Baltic power system with the EU. The morning session will also discuss the gas, wind power and biomass markets in the Baltic Sea Region.

The final session will look at startups and venture innovations for energy transition, as well as new business opportunities in the circular economy, also through the eyes of investors. The last talk will be presented by Dr. Carsten Rolle, Executive Officer, World Energy Council Germany, who will discuss game-changing innovations for clean energy.

The full programme can be found here.

World Energy Council

The World Energy Council is the principal impartial network of leaders and practitioners promoting an affordable, stable and environmentally sensitive energy system for the greatest benefit of all. Formed in 1923, the WEC is a UN-accredited global energy body representing the entire energy spectrum, with over 3000 member organisations in over 90 countries representing governments, private and state corporations, academia, NGOs and energy stakeholders. We inform global, regional and national energy strategies by hosting high-level events – including the World Energy Congress – and publishing authoritative studies. We work through our extensive member network to facilitate the world’s energy policy dialogue.

Nordic Energy Forum brings together decision makers in Helsinki

The Nordic Energy Forum will meet on 29-30 October, bringing together decision-makers and leaders from the Baltic energy sector at the Vanha Ylioppilastalo in Helsinki. The event provides an excellent opportunity to network, connect with new contacts, and be updated on energy trends and innovations.

The two-day program covers a wide range of topics involving the entire energy sector. The discussions will address the future of the industry, innovation, changes in legislation and new business models. The presented perspectives will focus on various fuel and product solutions, equipment manufacture, and social decision-making.

Over 30 experts from the energy field will speak at the event. One of the most anticipated speakers is Angela Wilkinson, President of the World Energy Council, who will present the WEC’s latest Energy Scenarios. WEC scenarios are developed by a large number of professionals in their field and are a unique concept in the energy industry.

The program will also feature the EU Climate Vision, presented by Artur Runge-Metzger, Director, DG Climate Action, European Commission, and Climate Strategist. The EU is committed to the Paris Climate Agreement, which aims to curb global warming and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Runge-Metzger will explain how the EU is set to achieve these goals.

Climate change mitigation has affected the entire energy sector, wherein fossil fuels have to be replaced by other energy sources. As we move towards carbon-neutral energy production and consumption, energy systems are fundamentally changing. The new systems are decentralized, variable and intelligent.

Change to low-emission energy is a complex process that requires efforts from all actors. Innovation and experimentation are key, as energy systems are diverse and change cannot and does not happen in an instant. The world is changing: big data, machine learning, artificial intelligence and blockchains have opened up new opportunities for sustainable energy production and use.

The Nordic Energy Forum is organized by the nearly 100-year-old World Energy Council (link: https://www.worldenergy.org/), an energy cooperation organization that includes 100 countries. Ever since its inception, the World Energy Council has offered a unique platform for global energy leaders to explore new energy futures, critical innovation areas and new strategies.

Globally, the World Energy Council promotes different approaches to energy, whether based on new smart technologies, storage, electrification, or even the hydrogen economy. The diversity of solutions requires networking and collaboration, the very same things for which the organization was founded almost a hundred years ago.

We warmly welcome you to network with peers and experts at the Nordic Energy Forum on 29.-30.10.2019.

Buy a ticket to the Nordic Energy Forum right away

Helena Kivi-Koskinen
Executive Director
World Energy Council Finland Ry
tel. +358 50 314 2955
helena.kivi-koskinen@wecfinland.fi

PS. The World Energy Council holds the world’s largest conference on energy every three years. This year, The 24th World Energy Congress will be held in Abu Dhabi from 9 to 12 September 2019.
More information and registration: https://www.wec24.org/