After 25 years, Pennwell is replacing PowerGen Europe with a new annual event designed to unite business and technology in the power industry. Called “Electrify Europe,” this conference and exhibition will seek to advance customer-oriented solutions across the entire electricity value network. The first event will be held June 19 – 21, 2018, in Vienna, Austria.
The new show is designed to take advantage of a fundamental change in how electricity is generated, delivered and consumed. Evolving relationships with heating, cooling, transportation and digital technology are said to be empowering consumers, delivering sustainability, and ushering in innovative energy services.
This change will bring about some disruption and uncertainty, but also exciting opportunities for the smartest and the best prepared, said Glenn Ensor, Managing Director of Pennwell’s International Division.
To be sure, the European power sector has undergone a significant change over the past several years. Wholesale electricity prices peaked in 2008, and, apart from a slight recovery in 2011, have been falling ever since, according to the European Commission (EC). Prices have fallen by almost 70% since 2008, and by 55% since 2011, and in 2016 reached levels not experienced for 12 years.
According to the EC, prices are driven by various factors, including fuel mix, cross-border interconnections, market-coupling, market supplier concentration and weather conditions. Similarly, consumer and industry demand, demand management, energy efficiency and the weather influence the ‘demand side’ of the market.
During the keynote presentations, Andree Stracke, Chief Commercial Officer, RWE Supply and Trading said, “The European Power Sector has undergone a historically challenging situation. Traditional power generation earnings before interest and taxes has been hit heavily from the decline in wholesale prices.”
Earnings in the European Power Sector dropped from 134 billion euros in 2008 to 96 billion euros in 2015, he said. The biggest hit, a 70% drop in traditional generation, from 93 billion euros to 28 billion euros in the same period. This drop was only partially offset by new earnings in renewables, energy services and new products.
“There will be consolidation in the market,” he proclaimed, “there is no doubt.”
This stark prognosis did not dampen enthusiasm at this year’s event. The opening day in Cologne this year saw more than 8,400 visitors attend the conference program and visit more than 430 exhibitors.
You can read the full version of this article in the September/October edition of Turbomachinery International.