Page 7 - European Energy Innovation - Spring 2016 publication
P. 7

Spring 2016 European Energy Innovation     7

Three questions to
Morten Helveg Petersen

                                           our urban planning, our electricity        “It's a cliché, but
                                           grids, heating and cooling systems and     we are beginning a
                                           our transport networks, we can create      genuine period of
                                           synergies that lead to highly efficient,   energy transition
                                           cost-effective and environmentally-        now. One way or
                                           friendly solutions.                        another fossil fuels
                                                                                      and centralised power
Vice Chair of the Industry, Research       The obvious example is coupling            generation are in
and Energy Committee, MEP Morten           waste heat from industrial or              decline.”
Helveg Petersen                            commercial processes to district
                                           heating systems, turning waste             Morten Helveg Petersen, MEP
As a Member of the                         heat into a product, cutting gas
               European Parliament in the  consumption, lowering costs to             resilience, lower costs for industry
               ALDE group and Vice Chair   consumers and making the most of           and consumers, and minimise or even
               of the Industry, Research   available resources. We’re seeing          eliminate greenhouse gas emissions.
and Energy committee, Morten Helveg        limited examples of this today, but to     But this can only be achieved when we
Petersen’s mission is to support the       really optimise this possibility we need   change our mind-sets.
development of a European Energy           to go for genuinely smart planning
Union and a genuine single market for      that cuts across different sectors. In so  We’re looking at a much more
energy, based primarily on renewable       many cases, the opportunity is there       dynamic but also challenging energy
energy sources and highly energy-          but the strategic vision isn’t. If we can  market. Monopolies will slowly
efficient technologies to meet Europe’s    develop this approach we can achieve       break up and we will see much more
energy needs in the 21st Century while     genuinely sustainable energy systems.      regionalisation and localisation of
fighting climate change.                                                              energy supply and use.
                                           WHAT ARE THE TRENDS THAT
WHAT DOES SUSTAINABLE ENERGY               WE SHOULD LOOK OUT FOR IN                  This creates a much more open
MEAN TO YOU?                               SUSTAINABLE ENERGY? AND WHAT               environment for innovation and new
Sustainability means many things to        IMPACTS DO THEY HAVE ON WHAT               thinking to influence how we use
many people. For me the discussion         WE’RE DOING NOW OR IN THE                  energy, but the true potential of all this
about sustainable energy should            FUTURE?                                    will only be realised with much more
go beyond environmental or social          More innovative thinking: It’s a cliché,   innovative thinking and with more input
considerations taken in isolation. What    but we are beginning a genuine             from outside the old guard big energy
we need, and what we are in many           period of energy transition now.           companies. It’s genuinely exciting!
cases seeing is the best use of energy     One way or another fossil fuels and
– by this I mean optimising outcomes       centralised power generation are in        DO YOU PLAN TO ATTEND EU
with the most efficient use of resources   decline, and many more intermittent        SUSTAINABLE ENERGY WEEK
available.                                 renewables are coming into Europe’s        (EUSEW.EU) IN JUNE? WHAT
                                           power grids.                               WOULD YOU HOPE TO GET OUT IT?
By building this kind of thinking into                                                Absolutely! This initiative is a fantastic
                                           There are huge possibilities to            opportunity to build connections and
                                           transform our energy systems to            partnerships with others active in this
                                           give us more energy security and           important area. It’s always great to
                                                                                      catch up with friends and colleagues
“There are huge possibilities to transform our                                        as well as developing new connections
energy systems to give us more energy security                                        and new ideas. l
and resilience… But this can only be achieved
when we change our mind-sets.”
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