Tackling the energy transition through the double lens of policy and EU projects
Enlit Europe 2022 brought together several EU projects and the European Commission in the inclusive conference addressing many aspects of the energy agenda
Enlit Europe is one of the biggest industry fairs at the European level, focusing on multiple aspects of the energy agenda. This year, the event held in Frankfurt, Germany, from 29 November to 1 December, was widely attended, with more than 18,000 visitors and 700 international exhibitors. 55 EU-funded R&I projects took part in the event and were featured in the EU Project Zone – a meeting place for all energy-related projects, where each of them had its own exhibition space and participated in policy and project sessions, sharing their results and ambitions with a wide audience.
The role of Zabala Innovation at ENLIT Europe 2022
Zabala Innovation took part in the event as an organisation that manages both European initiatives and innovation projects financed by European programmes to promote their knowledge and development and make them known to the interested public. Roughly 30 of the project of the Zone belong to Bridge, a European Commission (EC) initiative that brings together Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe-funded projects across topics such as smart grids, energy storage, islands, and digitalisation. Bridge, together with its sibling initiative, the ETIP for Smart Networks for Energy Transition (SNET) – whose role is to guide Research, Development & Innovation (RD&I) to support Europe’s energy transition, has played an important role in the organisation of the EU Project Zone.
The two EC’s initiatives were pivotal in the attendance of Bridge projects and were present in three corners of the zone, namely, ETIP SNET, the new Bridge project and ETIPs Forum. Furthermore, they acted as a liaison with the European Commission and ensured the participation of DG ENERGY and CINEA personnel (Head of Unit and Policy Officers) in the six sessions that the initiatives hosted. This is the fifth year in a row that both initiatives have taken part in ENLIT Europe, over which they have established a fruitful collaboration with the event organisers, Clarion events.
Zabala Innovation not only coordinates the Secretariat that daily supports the ETIP SNET and Bridge initiatives but also is the lead partner for communication, dissemination, and policy-making activities of the projects BeFlexible, DATA CELLAR, NESOI (all part of the Bridge community) and ETIP Hydropower.
The project, called ‘Boosting Engagement to Increase Flexibility‘ (BeFlexible), has received €10 million in funding from the ECC through the Horizon Europe programme. Over its 4-year duration, BeFlexible will aim to increase the flexibility of the energy system, improve cooperation between Distribution System Operators (DSOs) and Transmission System Operators (TSOs) and facilitate the engagement of all energy-related stakeholders. It showcased at a booth in the New Bridge Projects corner of the European projects zone.
NESOI, a Horizon 2020 project aiming to unlock the potential of EU islands to integrate the European Energy Transition, took part in the Investor Forum session. This session focused on financing instruments that can support energy investments and will serve as a guide to the energy projects that are planning to continue their journey after the end of their testing period. Among the speakers were Susana Garayoa, European Institutional Relations and Communication Manager at Zabala Innovation.
DATA CELLAR participated in the session “Interoperability in Energy Data Spaces” led by int:net and which included the participation of other projects focusing on data spaces in the energy domain: Omega-X, Enershare, DATA CELLAR, Synergies and EDDIE. The speakers and representatives of each project presented their respective project’s overview and scope, use cases, and communicated the challenges towards the implementation of a Common European Energy Data Space. Antonis Papanikolaou from QUE TECHNOLOGIES represented DATA CELLAR and highlighted the main objective of the project: the development of a dynamic, interoperable energy-oriented data platform to support the creation and operation of Energy Communities.
The six sessions that ETIP SNET and Bridge organised were hosted on both policy and project stages and covered a wide range of topics, including:
- Digitalisation of the energy system – a key challenge with a high impact on the entire energy value chain
- The new SET PLAN: the connection with the ETIPs and IWGs
- How to react to the energy crisis – fostering R&I activities, scaling up innovative solutions, and ensuring their market uptake
- Flexibility for Resilience – How can flexibility support power grid resilience?
- Smart charging: a win-win solution, not a Trade-Off
- ETIP SNET 15th Regional Workshop.
Maria Laura Trifiletti, the Coordinator of ETIP SNET and Bridge Secretariat took part in many of these sessions as a speaker and moderator, while Alessandro Provaggi, the Director of Zabala Innovation’s Brussels office, moderated a session on Renewables and Storage.
Zabala had also the chance to showcase its comprehensive platform on European funding, Kaila. The user-friendly database developed to boost innovation in organisations was even adopted by ENLIT’s organisers, that helped record a video to promote it.
The platform is developed to understand the needs of its users and offer them tailor-made solutions. Its multiple functionalities allow users to find European funding opportunities for R&D&I projects, closely analyse the latest trends in innovation, perform a detailed competitive watch and find partners and collaborators in similar fields. Kaila has recently received the prestigious .eu Web Awards in both the Leaders and Rising Stars categories.