23.01.2017 - EPPSA 11th Technology Evening

On Monday 23 January 2017, EPPSA held its annual Technology Evening at the Residence Palace in Brussels which welcomed over 110 participants from EU institutions, industry stakeholders, NGOs and media.

The EPPSA President, Professor Dr Emmanouil Kakaras (MHPSE), opened the event by stressing the importance of thermal power generation to enable a cost-effective energy transition by supporting the integration of more renewable energy sources (RES) in the system, ensuring the grid stability and security of supply and by supplying affordable energy in Europe. Dr Kakaras emphasised the commitment of technology manufacturers to take a driving role in integrating new technologies and RES in the years to come, engaging in energy and heat sectors as well as industrial symbiosis.

In his keynote speech, Mr Dominique Ristori, Director-General of DG Energy of the European Commission, presented the recently adopted ‘Clean Energy for All Europeans’ package as a key deliverable to realise the Paris Agreement, speed up the energy transition and support the shifting paradigms of the energy markets with an appropriate EU regulatory framework. He stressed the need to support research & innovation (R&I) and ‘bridge’ sectors in order to boost the competitiveness, reindustrialisation and technological leadership of Europe. In this respect, he highlighted that the role of power plant suppliers will become more important as new energy markets emerge (e.g. development of electric vehicles and digitisation of energy systems), to support a progressive decarbonisation and more efficient integration of RES and storage in the energy system.

Mr Ristori’s speech was followed by a high-level panel debate focused on the challenges and opportunities of the energy transition. Key examples of European leadership in advanced thermal power technologies to enable the move to a sustainable energy system were presented. Pascal Fontaine (CMI Energy) highlighted the growing role of thermal storage in thermal power generation to integrate more RES, for example by allowing the supply of solar-based power at night in the absence of sunlight, making dispatchable solar power a reality. The development of multi-fuel thermal power generation solutions based on RES was also highlighted by Kai Janhunen (Valmet), as a way to maintain the affordability and security of energy supply in Europe. Douglas Spalding (Doosan) indicated that some parts of the EU are ready for a revolutionary switch, while a more evolutionary transition is required for other EU countries. He stressed the significant role of R&I to accelerate this evolutionary path. Christian Schaible (European Environmental Bureau) highlighted the existing barriers to apply Best Available Technologies and to ensure the most performant technologies are deployed. He also called for safeguarding the sustainability of bioenergy and ensuring net emissions savings. Finally, referring to the efforts to tackle the challenges of the energy transition, Andreea Strachinescu (DG Energy), highlighted the broad participation of stakeholders in the Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET Plan) and new European Technology and Innovation Platform Smart Networks for Energy Transition (ETIP SNET) to boost R&I taking a systemic approach. Additionally, she cited examples of ongoing actions focused on improving the flexibility of thermal power generation and boosting carbon capture, utilisation and storage.

EPPSA looks forward to supporting the European Parliament and Council of the EU in their upcoming negotiations to ensure that the ‘Clean Energy for All Europeans Package’ creates an enabling EU framework that fosters cost-effective solutions, encourages public and private investments and boosts EU competitiveness and technological leadership worldwide.


Dr Kakaras' presentation
Mr Schaible's presentation