Power Industry Not Paying Sufficient Attention to Integration Challenges

A survey of delegates at the recent POWER-GEN Europe and its co-located conference, Renewable Energy World Europe, reveals that 60% of attendees polled feel that the power industry and policy makers are not paying sufficient attention to the challenges arising from integrating intermittent power generation into the system.

The survey was designed to quantify delegates’ views on some of the key issues affecting the industry across Europe in 2013, and was carried out at the event between 4-6 June at the Messe Wien,Vienna. It serves to highlight the concern that power industry insiders have about the extent of intermittent renewable energy generation now connected to the grid and how this can be effectively managed if continuity of supply is to be assured.

In addition to canvassing opinion on the current state of the industry, the survey also polled views on the goals the sector has set itself. Around 48% of those who completed the questionnaire felt that the EU will meet its target of 20% share of total energy consumption from renewables by 2020.

The majority of delegates asked also think the best opportunities for Europe’s power engineering sector in the next five years is in projects and contracts outside Western Europe. While 43% of respondents feel the best opportunities in the next five years are in power plant modernisation/refurbishment, only 13% chose new power plant construction in Western Europe.

“As our events attract so many power generation thought leaders, they present the perfect opportunity to take the temperature of the industry,” says Nigel Blackaby, Conference Director, PennWell International. “It is interesting to see the sentiments expressed in our plenary debate and keynote sessions reflected in this poll and it remains a concern for all in the industry that the conditions do not exist inEuropefor significant new power plant development, given the number of plants to be retired in the coming years.”

The majority of those who attended the conference were engineers, representing construction, electric utility and power generation companies, equipment and service suppliers, consultancies, universities and research centres.

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