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21 December 2017

UFE’s Annual Conference: highlights of an exceptional day


An exceptional year, an exceptional conference. 2017 was the year of political change in France, but also the one of future projects where the role of electricity will prove to be strategic: Pluriannual Environmental Planning, Mobility Forum “Assises de la Mobilité”, Conference of the Territories, Clean Energy Package… On December 5th, UFE’s Annual Conference, which received the High Patronage of the President of the Republic Emmanuel Macron, tackled all these issues. With an audience of nearly 500 people, 36 high-level speakers from various backgrounds shared their vision of tomorrow’s world and their analysis of the challenges to face when t comes to the concrete implementation of the energy transition, change management, artificial intelligence, the role of territories in the increasing decentralization of energy management, digital transformation and cyber-security…

In her opening speech, Brune Poirson, Secretary of State for the Minister for Ecological and Inclusive Transition, recalled that “energy is first and foremost part of the general framework of our climate issues”. She stressed the momentum of the energy transition, “a real revolution that offers opportunities to seize, and where electricity has a central role to play”. In this context, innovation is “crucial for the Energy Transition”. The future Green New Deal, which will be presented in 2018 jointly by the Minister for Ecological and Inclusive Transition and the Minister for Economy and Finance, will address all the sectors.
Watch the video of the speech here

Energy and climate transition: with a real industrial sector?

UFE’s conference entitled “Welcome to the world of tomorrow!” was structured around two main themes: the concrete implementation of the energy transition and innovation as a lever for creation of value. The first round table focused on the economic, industrial and social issues stemming from the evolution of the electric generation mix. The discussions extensively focused on the major issues around the electrification some of the most CO2 emitting sectors, such as transport, and more particularly urban transport. All participants stressed that the issue of a high CO2 price as an economic incentive to reduce emissions is paramount. Similarly, they clearly underlined the importance of reconciling technical feasibility of the French environmental Law (LTECV), economic sustainability, maintaining the competitiveness of French electricity and the creation of an industrial sector.
Click here to watch the entire debate on “What will the Energy Transition look like in practice in2025, 2030…?” with Julien AUBERT, Member of the French National Assembly (LR), Jean-Louis BAL President of SER, Olivier BAUD CEO of Energy Pool, Bruno LECHEVIN President of ADEME, Marie-Claude DUPUIS Departmental Director for driving equipment at RATP , Matthieu ORPHELIN, Member of the French National Assembly (LR), Dominique MINIERE, Executive Director for Nuclear and Thermal Power Plants at EDF.

Innovation, a vital goal!

Though the energy transition is a vector of competition for industrial players, it is not the only driver of innovation. The digital sector is an unprecedented opportunity to this respect and competitive advantages are now rather induced by innovation competition rather than by price competition.
Watch here the Face-to-Face discussion “Is the Energy Transition boosting innovation?” with François LEVEQUE Cerna Mines Paris Tech et Philippe VIE Cap Gemini
The transformation of the electricity and energy sector impacts all its players, whether they are medium-sized or world leaders, and thanks to innovation they can all remain part of the game. But besides the ability to innovate technologically, and to expand the range of services with digital solutions, the creation of tools and methods to support, train – sometimes differently – and reskill employees will be essential for encouraging creativity and better understanding the changes linked, in particular, to Artificial Intelligence.
Watch here the Great Debate “Innovation, Mutation, adaptation: how to deal with changes?” with avec François BROTTES CEO – RTE, Xavier CAITUCOLI CEO – DIRECT ENERGIE, Jean-Bernard LEVY CEO – EDF, Patrick POUYANNE CEO – TOTAL, Nicolas SADIRAC Founder of l’ECOLE 42, Pierre MONGIN Secretary General ENGIE

Watch here the presentation on “the advantages of Artificial Intelligence and its stakes for France”
by Cédric VILLANI, Member of the French National Assembly (LREM), and President of the Parliamentary Office for Scientific and Technological Assessment (OPECST)

Transformations are not made only within companies. Territories and local authorities are now key players of the highly convergent implementation of the energy and digital transition, with the challenge of meeting a dual constraint of security and electricity availability. If a greater autonomy in the management of energy is emerging, these players will need to work all together to better enhance the flexibility and competitiveness of the French electricity system, as well as the development of it the industrial know-how. Another strategic challenge for utilities is to preserve the skills and the value of mastering the management of very large volumes of data from players who are developing sophisticated services for local authorities… in energy management!
Watch here the round table “What do territories want regarding the Energy Transition?” with Sylvie JEHANNO CEO – Dalkia, Ludovic LE MOAN CEO – SIGFOX, Philippe RAPENEAU President of the Arras’ Urban Community, Jean-François HUSSON Member of the French Senate (LR, Meurthe et Moselle), Denis HAMEAU Dijon Métropole councillor (PS), Hervé GUEZ CEO – MIROVA, Philippe MONLOUBOU, CEO – ENEDIS

Watch here the round table “Who stand and where on the energy value chain?” with Marc GARDETTE Technical Director at MICROSOFT France, Chantal GENERMONT-LEPLANTIF President of ORE Agency, Yann PERSON Président of EP, Xavier PIECHACZYK, DEputy Director General for grids, customers and territories at RTE, Fabien VIEAU, in charge of the implementation strategy for data centers and RES at GOOGLE France, Fabien CHONE, Co-founder & Managing Director General at DIRECT ENERGIE
Watch here the face-to-face discussion “Decentralisation/self-consumption/tariff equalisation: the impossible equation?” with Jean GAUBERT Energy Ombudsman and Vincent FRISTOT, Deputy Mayor of Grenoble.

And what about cyber-security?

One of the last debates of the conference focused on cybersecurity of the electricity system with the exceptional testimony of the US EDISON ELECTRIC INSTITUTE, the professional organisation of electricity sector on the East coast of the United States. The US has indeed already faced cyberattacks on its electricity system, but its resilience ability has made it possible, particularly in California, not to impact some core economic activity areas such as the Sillicon Valley. Therefore, whatever the circumstances and the motive of the attack, the challenge is to protect the industry as best as possible because zero risk does not exist. Anticipating, working closely between industry sectors to share information and practices for strengthening cybersecurity and demonstrating…”healthy paranoia” are the core assets for fighting cyber-attacks.
Watch here the face-to-face discussion “What cybersecurity for the electric system”? with Scott AARONSON, Executive Director Security & Business Continuity US Edison Electric Institute, Guillaume POUPARD Director General of the French National Authority for cyber defense and network and information security (ANSSI), Jamie SHEA NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges
The closing speech of Jean-François CARENCO, President of the French Regulatory Authority for Energy (CRE)

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The Union of the French Electricity Industry is the trade association of the French electricity sector. We bring together companies from the whole value chain of the electricity industry.

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