11 May 2022
Jorge Fernández from Orkestra during the opening of the JIEEC. © EVE, Orkestra and TECNALIA
The Basque Energy Board, Orkestra and TECNALIA have held the 17th edition of this forum, which brings together experts and researchers from different countries and fields to discuss aspects related to the development of smart grids
Electricity grids are the backbone of the energy system and a key element in ensuring an efficient energy transition. In this context, the 17th International Conference on Electrical Equipment (JIEEC) brought together more than 150 experts in Bilbao to address aspects related to the development of smart grids in the coming years. The event focused on the areas of decarbonisation and sustainability of the energy system, cybersecurity and data management, as well as the role of the new user of the electricity system and energy communities.
This edition has paid particular attention to the role of smart grids and their contribution as key technologies in the Recovery Plans and in the European Green Pact, which aims to transform the EU into a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy, ensuring no net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Electricity grids are key elements in meeting this objective, as they, among other things: enable the construction of interconnected energy systems and better integrated grids to support renewable energy sources; promote innovative technologies and modern infrastructures; boost energy efficiency; and foster smart integration across sectors and enable the full potential of offshore wind energy in Europe to be grasped.
The event was opened by Iñigo Ansola Kareaga, General Director of the EVE; Jesús Valero, General Director of TECNALIA and Jorge Fernández, coordinator of Orkestra's Energy and Environment Lab. During his speech, Fernández stressed the profound impact that the crisis generated by the pandemic and the war in Ukraine are having on the foundations of the energy sector.
He also stated that in the coming years the role of electrification as a pillar of the energy transition will be strengthened and that, in this sense, "the development of smart grids will be an essential requirement for definitive progress in the electrification of the economy and will contribute decisively to the achievement of the European Union's energy-climate objectives, in accordance with the guidelines of the European Green Pact and the Fit-for-55 package".
The conference and its content
The first session of the Conference was a debate on the role of electricity grids in the energy transition and featured experts from the DG Energy European Commission, the Ministry of Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge, the International Energy Agency and the Inter-American Development Bank. In addition, companies such as Aclara-Hubbell, Arteche, Hitachi Energy, Iberdrola, Ibil, Ingeteam, Ormazabal, Schneider Electric and Siemens exchanged ideas and points of view on the current situation of the electricity sector.
The first day also addressed the keys to cybersecurity and data management for smart grids, while on the second day of the forum the experts delved into the role of the new electricity system user and energy communities.