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Smart Renewable Energy Forum: digitalization driving the new energy world

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The digital transformation in the energy industry has fundamentally changed the electricity landscape. In the future, the energy supply will be ensured by a range of renewable energy plants, storage systems and consumers acting as prosumers. The Smart Renewable Energy Forum at Intersolar Europe, the world's leading exhibition for the solar industry and its partners, is therefore focusing on new concepts and technologies for digital networking along the energy value-added chain from May 31–June 2. 

From sector coupling to cyber security for the energy industry: At the Smart Renewable Energy Forum, Intersolar Europe is shining a spotlight on diverse aspects of a digitalized energy industry on all three exhibition days. Industry experts from science, industry and associations will come together at the forum to discuss the wide-ranging topic of digitalization. The session titled Holistic Energy Transition: Sector Coupling will focus on intelligently connecting electricity, heat and transportation. Digitalization goes hand in hand with cyber security and new players in the energy industry, which will be discussed in further presentations. Topics related to local power supply, on-site consumption in private households and commercial buildings, and power-to-gas bring the Smart Renewable Energy Forum to a close.

Digitalization is the foundation for the new energy world 
Through the Smart Renewable Energy Forum, Intersolar Europe and ees Europe, the continent's largest exhibition for batteries and energy storage systems, are creating a platform for what may be the most significant development in the energy industry – digitalization. The forum was already a great success at its premiere in 2016, and is set to address the rapid transformation of the energy industry again in 2017. 

The future of renewable energies in the power supply depends strongly on digitalization along the whole value-added chain – as this is the only way to ensure that power from decentralized and disparate volatile energy sources is optimally integrated into the grid. Numerous new digital services, products and solutions are currently under development. These will control the decentralized energy market flexibly and safely, and in doing so, optimally coordinate generation and consumption. In addition to this, smart communication between energy producers, smart grids, storage systems and consumers is also necessary. "The large number of players in the communication chain naturally involves risks to grid security and data protection. Cyber security always has to be taken into account in this context. For this reason, we are continuously working on solutions for improving system security," says Prof. Dr. Michael Waidner, Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology SIT.

Utilities Within the Energy Transition Award: The digital future is changing business 
Digitalization is giving rise to new business models and stakeholders. Renewable energies are a major economic factor – and even more so when combined with intelligent forms of marketing. 

"Digitalization is fundamentally changing the market conditions of the energy industry on a technological and regulatory level. It will be interesting to see how quickly the established utility companies, which are being put under pressure by innovative offers from start-ups, will adapt," says Jan-Hendrik vom Wege, lawyer at the law firm Becker Büttner Held and host of the New Players in the Energy Industry: Digitalization & Energy Management session. 

The modern drivers of the new energy world are in the spotlight at the Smart Renewable Energy Forum. On the second exhibition day (June 1, from 3:00pm) at the Forum, the most innovative utility companies will be presented with a special accolade, the Utilities Within the Energy Transition Award. The winners have been selected by the Bonn-based market and economic research company EuPD Research on the basis of a study of all the utility companies in Germany conducted for the first time at the start of 2017. 

The forum is sponsored by Siemens AG, Fronius International GmbH and Viessmann Photovoltaik GmbH.

Business | News published on 09 / 05 / 2017 by Rashmi Nargundkar

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