• 09 november 2023
  • 09:00
  • LOCATION: Van Nelle Fabriek

The report of our last event of 2023, was written by
Ewald Breunesse, one of the founders of our community.

I would like to share some observations and reflections with you regarding our community meeting on the 9th of November in the Van Nelle Fabriek in Rotterdam. The topic of the day was Energy hub Europe with a focus on the North Sea.

My first observation refers to the presence of our valued members: we counted over 200 participants of which an all-time high share of Young Professionals – which is very good news! ERC manages to attract the coming generation Energy Professionals to our community. Hopefully we can keep them for our industry that needs substantial future inflow to realise the energy transition successfully.

All presentations were focused on greening the security of supply, resonating the 2023 theme: the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate, Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, TenneT, Gasunie and the Ports of Amsterdam and Rotterdam showed that they are working in the same direction. The audience brought up a number of critical topics such as the rising costs in the offshore wind sector, including projects that have been stopped by companies. Is this a short-term dip resulting from inflation and interest rates – or is the rise of costs more structural as a result of materials and labour scarcity due to increased global demand? In that respect Energy hub Europe will have to look beyond Europe to what is happening globally.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) presented the global perspectives of solar becoming the largest power source, the rapid electrification of vehicles with China taking the lead in one out of three new cars sold, and the economic shifts in China with cement and steel peaking and becoming a more energy efficient economy.
The wind sector capacity, which currently is split almost a 50/50 between China and Europe suffers from a large risk/return gap in Europe. The Dutch Association of Wind Energy (NWEA) pointed out that this will possibly bring more uncertainties to the European North Sea wind sector.

The interests of the North Sea were outlined by the Dutch North Sea Foundation, focusing on a triple transition balancing Nature, Food and Energy. A wise statement is “we cannot manage nature, but we can manage our activities”. The tenders for new wind farms hold additional criteria regarding sustainability, and Government and Industry should realise they operate in a weakened and endangered ecosystem.

In the afternoon the focus groups got together, and a new group started: Innovations, Investments and Industries. This focus group was co-hosted by Invest-NL and Siemens Energy. With two sparkling presentations from the co-hosts about EU funding and financing schemes including Invest-EU, the scene was set for a House of Commons debate on subsidy schemes for renewable energy innovations and programmes.

I started my observations with the participation of Young Professionals. Additionally, ERC gave the floor to the Energy club of the Delft University of Technology. Two students gave a lively presentation about their activities and goals. They were open to internal discussions on fossil fuels and the contacts with oil companies. It’s always good to share dilemmas for a better mutual understanding. With this reflection I conclude my review of a valuable day during which we discussed where we stand, the direction we are heading and the challenges we face. Last but not least, the Van Nelle Fabriek was a great place for networking and meeting new colleagues in the energy sector.

All presentations as well as a summary video of the day and the photos taken can be found at the website login with your personal login code. 
Go to FORUM, select EVENTS and select 2023-11-ENERGY HUB EUROPE.

Looking forward to meeting you in 2024!
nov 09
siemens shell deloitte EBN tennet tno
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