The second day of RE-Source 2020 kicked off with something quite exceptional in these days of the remote and stationary home office: a virtual reality experience where we can all feel together exploring exciting new spaces, all whilst remaining safely at our desks. Presented by ACCIONA, participants could enjoy a 100% immersive tour of ACCIONA’s Renewable Energy Control Centre (CECOER), the largest renewable energy control centre in the world.
In the first panel session RE-Source launched its new report ‘On-site renewable energy generation and storage’, showcasing business models, instruments and measures which can help unlock the potential to generate renewable energy on-site in commercial and industrial installations. Renewable energy on-site generation is crucial to achieving a 100%-based renewable energy system in Europe. Due to complex regulations and legislative barriers in many EU member states, the potential is still largely untapped. When asked how best to improve this, Anika Giller, Director of Business Development at Clean Energy Associates replied: “We achieve our renewables potential in Europe by reaching a unified set of requirements: well documented and understood, objective, fair, simple, and streamlined. To have that accomplished throughout the entirety of the EU is my main wish.” The panel was sure that the potential for this would be furthered by the new report, which can be found here, along with the other reports published by RE-Source and its partners.
To really simulate the experience of a conference and provide moments of detailed and personal conversation, this year’s virtual conference also included 1:1 meetings with RE-Source’s in-house experts. But don’t worry if you missed out on this opportunity – there’s more changes for fruitful networking this week.
After lunch, the panel discussions came back to life with a session on the opportunities and challenges for cross-border PPAs. Lucy Hunt, Manager of Renewable Energy at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), opened by stating the reality that “cross border PPAs enable support for projects in countries where the relevant technology is best suited. This efficiency of scale and location means that prices can be low and can even absorb basic risk.” She also highlighted that the RE-Source platform gives access to a detailed report on cross border PPAs, which anyone interested in is encouraged to download here. Lastly, despite cross border PPAs being a kind of uncharted territory for many, Simon Braaksma Senior Director at Royal Philips NV expressed a confident call to action: “I find it very important to reinforce the fact that leaders need to lead. If your company claims to be a sustainability leader, you need to be brave, take a step up and maybe do a number of things that are out of your comfort zone. You have now seen that many companies like BSM andPhillips succeeded in this field, where we also had never done operated before. I sometimes get tired of sitting in working groups where people start to raise all kinds of barriers, suggesting we cannot move unless there is policy framework in Europe, that we have an equal and level playing field and all that. Of course, there is a kernel of truth to these arguments butso many companies have proved you don’t have to wait, and inertia is the last thing we need at this moment.”
The last live stage session involved a discussion on renewable hydrogen. In the revised version of the Renewable Energy Directive, ‘RED2’, which will run from 2020 to 2030, certification schemes (or “GO schemes”) schemes will be obligatory for renewable gas and hydrogen. In this discussion CertifHy, a forum representing industry, policy makers and civil society, discussed the future GO scheme for Renewable Hydrogen.
Wouter Vanhoudt, Director Europe at Hinicio, stated: “If we follow all the ambitions promoted by EU Commission like decarbonising transport, then we are speaking of significant volumes of hydrogen that are needed – which will be very important and interesting for the wind and solar sector! (…) Hydrogen is a great solution for heavy duty transport, like railroad tracks, heavy equipment, straddle carriers and more.“
RE-source resumes tomorrow morning at 9am, with the opportunity to strengthen the voices of leading corporate consumers of renewable electricity and unlock barriers to rapidly progress against ambitious targets at the Buyers Bootcamp . See the full agenda here.