Key takeaways from ENLIT Europe 2022

Enlit is a major European energy event focused on telling the stories of the people, projects, and technologies driving energy transformation, and follows on the heels of COP27, which took place earlier this month. Flux’s Chief Client Officer, Jessica Venning-Bryan attended the event and reflected on the insights from day one.

There was a clear call to action at Enlit: as an industry we need to take action to reach the 2030 emissions targets, and we need to do it now.

In his opening comments, Director of Enlit Europe, Paddy Young set down this challenge and it was reiterated by every speaker. With just seven years remaining to reach the 2030 reduction target there is broad consensus that we have the technology needed to transform the energy system, but we must focus our efforts on making change happen. 

On this theme, there were five key messages today:

  • We need to simultaneously pull policy, economic and technology levers to create the right environment for systemic change.
  • The end-to-end energy system must be digitised to fully optimise the technologies that will enable mass decarbonisation. If there are gaps in the system, systemic change will fail. 
  • Partner ecosystems will achieve more than organisations trying to go it alone. No one party has the expertise to transform the entire value chain, so collaboration is essential.
  • Grids must modernise. The grid cannot be the bottleneck in the industry’s transformation.
  • Reaching the 2023 carbon reduction goal will require greater energy efficiency, electrification, and green generation. Again, no single change will move the dial enough.

There is a lot to unpack in that list, but the overarching message was that we need to be pushing on multiple fronts to achieve the 2030 emission reduction target. 

Frederic Godemel, EVP Power Systems and Services at Schneider Electric, set out the scale of the challenge clearly. To hit the COP27 targets we must:

  • Get to 65% renewable electricity generation
  • Move from 21% > 30% direct electrification
  • Have a 250% increase in energy efficiency measures
  • Move from 12% to 19% direct renewables in end use sectors

While there are some very real challenges facing the energy sector, the speakers agreed that we can only achieve these things by working collaboratively, and moving fast.