4th European Grid Conference

Electricity is the engine of modern societies and flowering economies. Economic growth is dependent on energy security. Native renewable resources and related grid infrastructure are at the core of the energy transition. More than ever before, electricity has become a basic need and as such also a democratic right. While democracy comes with responsibility, the bigger picture is often lost in local disputes.

While in the past only a few actors dominated generation and transmission, the picture has been changing during recent years. The trend of citizens “taking back” power over the energy system is increasing: distributed generation, unbundling, citizen co-operatives or re-municipalisation of grids are phenomena often described as the democratisation of energy.

Through new technologies, citizens gain more responsibility and become prosumers(producers and consumers) rather than mere consumers of electricity. What’s more, many citizens request an active part in the financing, planning and permitting of new generation and transmission sites. Still, opposition for infrastructure projects on the ground continues to be fierce. New approaches and solutions are urgently needed.

The European Union plays an increasing role in energy policy, be it through the climate and energy packages for 2020 and 2030, the Emission Trading Scheme, Projects of Common European Interest (PCI) and the recently announced Energy Union.


12:00 Reception

13:00 The power sector: evolution or revolution? 
              Antonella Battaglini, CEO, Renewables Grid Initiative Presentation
              Video keynote: Maroš Šefcovic, European Commission, Vice President Energy Union

14:00 Innovation and structural change

  • How can TSOs master the challenges of the energy transition? | Boris Schucht, CEO 50Hertz
  • Disruptive storage options | James McDougall, CEO Younicos | Presentation
  • Collaboration between DSOs and TSOs: policies required to lead the energy transition | Roberto Zangrandi, Special Advisor EDSO

15:30 Coffee break

16:00 Energy and Democracy 

  • Prosumers - responsibility and democracy | Christoph Bals, Policy Director Germanwatch | Presentation
  • Trust your neighbour: the need for interconnections | Graham Watson, President Climate Parliament
  • Big data in the electricity sector: peoples’ concerns and needs | Tor Eigil Hodne, Director EU-Office Statnett
  • Greener grids: infrastructure and biodiversity | Ivana d’Alessandro, Secretary of the Bern Convention, Council of Europe

17:00 The European Energy Union
               Pierre Schellekens | Deputy Head of Cabinet of  Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete

  • What should the Energy Union deliver for the electricity sector? | Jerzy Buzek, MEP, Chair of the ITRE Committee, Group of the European People's Party
  • Essential market reforms | Ben Voorhorst, COO TenneT
  • Liberalisation 2.0 | Claude Turmes, MEP, Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance
  • Efficiency vs. flexibility | Monica Frassoni, President Energy Efficiency Alliance
  • There is no ‘Union’ without sustainability | Ariel Brunner, Head of EU Policy BirdLife Europe

 18:30  Break

 19:00  “Good Practice of the Year”  Award Ceremony

  • Priorities 2015 | Marie C. Donnelly, Director for new and renewable sources of energy, energy efficiency and innovation at the European Commission

Photo gallery


Event sponsors


Christoph Bals, Policy Director

Load more

Monica Frassoni, President
Energy Efficiency Alliance

Load more

Pierre Schellekens, Deputy Head of Cabinet
Commissioner Arias Cañete

Load more

Sir Graham Watson, President
The Climate Parliament

Load more

Ariel Brunner
Acting Interim Director & Senior Head of Policy at BirdLife Europe & Central Asia

Load more

Tor Eigil Hodne, Senior Vice President for European Affairs

Load more

Boris Schucht, CEO

Load more

Roberto Zangrandi, Special Advisor
EDSO for Smart Grids

Load more

Ivana d'Alessandro, Secretary of the Bern Convention
Council of Europe

Load more

James P. McDougall, CEO

Load more

Claude Turmes, MEP
Group of the Greens/ European Free Alliance

Load more

Marie Donnelly, Director for New and Renewable Sources of Energy
DG Energy

Load more

Patrick Oelze, Certified Auditor and Certified Tax Advisor

Load more

Ben Voorhorst, COO

Load more


Theresa Schneider
Senior Manager–Communication

Load more
t: +49 30 7677194 55

RGI gratefully acknowledges the EU LIFE funding support:

EU LIFE funding support Logo

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the LIFE Programme. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.