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Interviews: Dimas, Piebalgs, Pttering | Acciona, IBM, Philips, Q-Cells, UTC

Interview Special edition

Business, Politics & Culture

Europes energy magazine for decision-makers Special edition December 2008

Special mini-edition
United Nations Climate Change Conference
1 12 December 2008

A new economic narrative

Leading the way to

the Third Industrial
Revolution 1

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European Energy Review

Special mini-edition
June 2008

Karel Beckman
+31 6 52 52 76 67

Rik Komduur
1 year of European Energy Review
Art director
Eldad Groenman
With this mini-edition, European Energy Review
Photography editor Europes new energy magazine celebrates its first
Ron van Duuren
Graphic design European Energy Review is in many ways a unique
Wim de Vries
Harmen Heida magazine. It is truly European, written by journalists
and experts from all over Europe. It covers the energy
Ioannis Michaletos (Athens), Stefan Nicola (Berlin), market in all its breadth and complexity from oil,
Anke Truijen (Bosnia), Marc Guillet (Istanbul), gas, coal and nuclear to the whole spectrum of
Stefan Schroeter (Leipzig), Alex Forbes (London),
Maarten Veeger (Milan), Yves de Saint Jacob (Paris), renewables. And it features in-depth, independent
Bert van Dijk (Shanghai), Hughes Belin (Brussels), stories and reports.
Reiner Gatermann (Sweden), Steven Adolf (Spain),
Remco de Jong (Belgium) Above all, however, European Energy Review has set
itself the mission to serve as a trusted guide in the
Regular contributors
Chris Cragg, Mathijs van Gool, Rudolf ten Hoedt, multiform energy transition Europe is faced with today.
Jeroen Ketting, Coby van der Linde, Leen As you know, the energy market is going through a
Preesman, Annemiek Planting, Annemieke van
Roekel, Branko Terzic, Hans Verwijs far-reaching transition from a high CO2 to a low CO2
energy mix, from dependency to self-sufficiency and
Henk Jacobs diversification, from national markets to an integrated
Robert Wielinga market, from a western-dominated to a multipolar
Editorial Board world. This is where we are trying to lead our readers
Anders slund, Jean-Marie Chevalier, Angelo as well.
Ferrari, Herman Franssen, Coby van der Linde,
Claude Mandil, Peter Odell, Walt Patterson, Erik
Steen Sorensen, Valery Sorokin, Jonathan Stern, This mini-edition is especially appropriate to our
Jean Vermeire, Luc Werring
purpose. It features a visionary essay, written by
Advisory Board the famous American author Jeremy Rifkin, in
Marcel Kramer
George Verberg collaboration with Rifkins associate Angelo Consoli
and with Professor Maria da Graa Carvalho, former
Knowledge partners
Energy Delta Institute, Groningen Portuguese Minister of Science, and Matteo Bonifacio,
Clingendael International Energy Programme, The Hague who both work for the Bureau of European Policy
ECN, Petten
Netherlands-Russia Centre, Groningen Advisers (BEPA) and are consultants to European
Commission President Jos Manuel Barroso.
In addition, we have interviewed EU Commissioners
Advertising enquiries
Eurintro Media Sales, Jacqueline Ackers Andris Piebalgs and Stavros Dimas, President of the
Email: European Parliament Hans-Gert Pttering and five
Phone: + 32 (0) 2 230 50 00
Fax: + 32 (0) 2 231 10 40 representatives from international corporations (IBM,
Philips, UTC, Acciona and Q-Cells) about the Rifkin
Castel International Publishers
P.O. Box 70061 vision. You will find their comments interspersed in
9704 AB Groningen the article. The full interviews can be found on our
The Netherlands
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Email: can also subscribe to EER.
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The publisher does not accept responsibility for
any loss resulting from mistakes herein. European Energy Review December 2008 | Special edition
Cover picture by Thierry Monasse
Special edition Interview

Addressing the Triple Threat of the Global Financial Crisis,

Energy Crisis, and Climate Change

Leading the Way to

the Third Industrial
We are at a precarious point in
Jeremy Rifkin (President, The Foundation on history. We are facing the real
Economic Trends)
prospect of an economic meltdown
Maria da Graa Carvalho* (Principal Adviser, on the scale of the Great Depression.
Bureau of European Policy Advisers BEPA)
The credit crisis is compounded
Angelo Consoli (European Director,
The Foundation on Economic Trends) by the global energy crisis and the
climate change crisis, creating a
Matteo Bonifacio* (Adviser, Bureau of
European Policy A
dvisers BEPA) potential cataclysm for civilization.
There is a way out: we need to
* The opinions presented in this article are personal to the
radically overhaul the way we use
authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the
European Commission energy in our society.

Special edition | December 2008 European Energy Review

Interview Special edition

There is a wide consensus that we are approaching the As the European Union prepares for the 14th Climate
sunset of the oil era in the first half of the 21st century. Change Conference in Poznan, Poland in December
The price of oil on global markets continues to remain 2008, and the 15th Climate Change Conference in
high and peak global oil is within sight in the coming Copenhagen, Denmark in 2009, it is critical that we
decades. At the same time, the dramatic rise in carbon reframe the discussion on climate change and energy
dioxide emissions from the burning of fossil fuels is security to the mission of making the transition from
raising the earths temperature and threatening an the Second Industrial Revolution to a Third Industrial
unprecedented change in the chemistry of the planet, Revolution. If we do not succeed in reorienting the
with ominous consequences for the future of human climate change and energy agenda from burden-
civilization and the ecosystems of the earth. sharing to commercial opportunities, it is likely that
The triple threat of the global credit crisis, the global the Poznan and Copenhagen Climate Conferences will
energy crisis, and the global climate change crisis are not achieve their full potential.
interwoven and feed off of each other. Addressing
the triple threat to our way of life will require a new The key is to lay out a compelling social vision to
economic story that can remake civilization along accompany the new economic vision. The Third
sustainable lines. Industrial Revolution provides the framework for
The European Union needs a powerful new economic the birth of a New Social Europe in the first half of
narrative that will push the discussion and the the 21st Century. Just as the distributed Information
agenda around climate change and peak oil from fear Technology and internet communication revolutions
to hope and from economic constraints to economic dramatically changed the social context, as well as the
possibilities. That narrative is just now emerging as economic parameters of doing business, a distributed
industries across Europe begin to lay the groundwork renewable energy revolution will have a similar impact
for a post-carbon Third Industrial Revolution. on Europe and the world.

Carmen Becerril is Managing Director Corporate Resources and

Public Affairs of energy and building group Acciona,
one of the largest producers of renewable energy in Spain

The model based on

fossil fuels is unsustainable
The traditional energy model, based for access to credit in these difficult now possible. Acciona Solars
on fossil fuels, is unsustainable. times. The EU is working in the right headquarters in Pamplona is a zero-
The need to evolve to a more direction, although policies could emissions building; it uses half the
sustainable model is much more a be applied with more determination. energy consumed by a conventional
structural problem than the credit Some aspects such as adapting the building and covers the remainder
crisis, which will be overcome in a grid to sustainable energies should with renewables, such as biodiesel,
reasonable time. Renewable energy get more priority. The success of solar PV and solar thermal energy.
activities will be affected by the wind power in Spain and Germany It also uses demand management
crisis since they require large capital shows what can be achieved with systems to optimise energy
investments. I believe that if the a good regulatory framework. An consumption. It actually exports
people in charge of our energy policy exciting aspect of Jeremy Rifkins electricity to the grid. We must find
convey messages of confidence and scheme is the idea of buildings ways to extend this concept to both
security, this will provide vital support as generators of energy. That is new and existing buildings.

European Energy Review December 2008 | Special edition


European Union

9 13 February 2009

Take a week
to change tomorrow
Interview Special edition

Post-Carbon Society and the Third Industrial levels, and as much as 30 percent if an international
Revolution | agreement is achieved.
While oil, coal, and natural gas will continue to
provide a substantial portion of the worlds and the But, greater efficiencies in the use of fossil fuels
European Unions energy well into the 21st century, and mandated global warming gas reductions,
there is a growing awareness that we are entering a by themselves, are not enough to address the
twilight period where the full costs of our fossil fuel unprecedented crisis of global warming and global
addiction are beginning to act as a drag on the world peak oil and gas production. The G8 nations have
economy. During this twilight era, the 27 EU member already agreed that overall global emissions of
states are making every effort to ensure that the greenhouse gases will need to be cut by 50 percent by
remaining stock of fossil fuels is used more efficiently 2050, which will require that the industrial nations
and are experimenting with clean energy technologies cut their emissions by 80 to 90 percent. Looking to
to limit carbon dioxide emissions in the burning of the future, every government will need to explore
conventional fuels. These efforts fall in line with the new energy paths and establish new economic models
EU mandate that the member states increase energy with the goal of reducing global warming emissions.
efficiency 20 percent by 2020 and reduce their global The industrial nations will need to achieve as close to
warming emissions 20 percent by 2020, based on 1990 zero carbon emissions as possible.

Hans-Gert Pttering, a politician from the German CDU,

is the President of the European Parliament

We cant go on being
dependent on imports
We are facing challenges that no can approach these challenges change policy. We must not use this
single state or superpower can together. Climate change is a major crisis as an excuse to give up on our
manage alone. In the European threat to our lives, our health, our climate change goals. Lets face
Parliament were used to dealing economy, our civilisation as such. it: the targets of the EU climate
with complex problems. We have We cant go on being dependent on package will not be implemented
developed a political system which foreign and especially Russian gas tomorrow. Linking the financial
offers many countries a platform import and we know that one day crisis with long-term ambitions
and a voice. Even if its not always we will run out of fossil fuels. We is out of place. I hope the Poznan
easy we succeed in bringing need to start now to find alternative conference will be a crucial step
forward advanced solutions and ways of maintaining and improving on the road to the Copenhagen
carry them out. This is why I agree our living standards. The economic conference in 2009 where we have
with Rifkins scenario and I think crisis will inevitably lead to cutbacks a unique opportunity for reaching
the European Parliament serves by governments but this should a global agreement to fight climate
as a good example of how we not be to the detriment of climate change.

European Energy Review June 2008 | Special edition

Special edition Interview

Convergence of New Energy and Communication vast distributed global communication networks,
Regimes are just beginning to be used to reconfigure the
The great pivotal economic changes in world history worlds power grids so that people can produce
have occurred when new energy regimes converge with renewable energy and share it peer-to-peer, just like
new communication regimes. When that convergence they now produce and share information, creating
happens, society is restructured in wholly new ways. a new, decentralized form of energy use. We need to
In the early modern era, the coming together of coal envision a future in which millions of individuals
powered steam technology and the printing press gave can collect and produce locally generated renewable
birth to the first industrial revolution. It would have energy in their homes, offices, retail stores, factories
been impossible to organize the dramatic increase and technology parks, store that energy in the form
in the pace, speed, flow, density, and connectivity of of hydrogen, and share it with each other across an
economic activity made possible by the steam engine intelligent intergrid. (Hydrogen is a universal storage
using the older codex and oral forms of communication. medium for intermittent renewable energies; just
In the late nineteenth century and throughout the first as digital is a universal storage mechanism for text,
two thirds of the twentieth century, first generation audio, video, data and other forms of media).
electrical forms of communicationthe telegraph,
telephone, radio, television, electric typewriters, The question is often asked whether renewable energy
calculators, etc.converged with the introduction of will, in the long run, be sufficient to meet the needs
oil and the internal combustion engine, becoming the of the world. Just as second generation information
communications command and control mechanism systems grid technologies allow businesses to connect
for organizing and marketing the second industrial thousands of desktop computers, creating far more
revolution. distributed computing power than even the most
powerful centralized computers that exist, millions
Similarly, today, the same design principles and smart of local producers of renewable energy, with access to
technologies that made possible the internet and intelligent utility networks, can potentially produce

Harry Verhaar is Senior Director Energy & Climate Change at Philips Lighting

We are convinced this

is the future of our world
Almost 20% of global power Unfortunately, market renovation financing schemes. Of course
consumption comes from lighting. rates are too slow. In street lighting Philips has an interest in speeding
An energy saving of 40% is possible the annual renovation rate is just up the efficiency revolution. Green
when replacing old lighting by 3%. A third of the street lamps in products are already half our turnover
currently available alternatives. Europe are mercury lamps from the at Philips Lighting and 100% of our
Offices could save over 60% of their 1930s. The least efficient systems growth. We are convinced that this
energy consumption, homes 80%. can be found in schools and is our future. But we are equally
Over 100 billion in costs could be government office buildings. One convinced that it is the future of
saved annually and we could make bottleneck is financing. Often, the world. There is no other option.
do with 530 fewer power plants. investments processes are not Who can believe that spending ever
Installing more efficient lighting attuned to efficiency criteria. We increasing amounts on wasting ever
requires investments, but their must stimulate green procurement scarcer resources can be good for
payback time is only 2 to 7 years. schemes and introduce green the economy, let alone the climate?

Special edition | December 2008 European Energy Review

Interview Special edition

and share far more distributed power than the older cheaply and efficiently, we need infrastructure to
centralized forms of energy oil, coal, natural gas and load it. This is where the building industry steps to
nuclear that we currently rely on. the fore, to lay down the second pillar of the Third
Industrial Revolution.
The Four Pillars of the Third Industrial Revolution The construction industry is the largest industrial
The creation of a renewable energy regime, loaded by employer in the EU and, in 2003, represented 10
buildings, partially stored in the form of hydrogen, percent of GDP, and 7 percent of employment in the
and distributed via smart intergrids, opens the door EU-15. Buildings are the major contributor to human
to a Third Industrial Revolution. It should have as induced global warming. Worldwide, buildings
powerful an economic impact in the 21st century, as consume 30 to 40 percent of all the energy produced
the convergence of print technology with coal and and are responsible for equal percentages of all CO2
steam power technology in the 19th century, and the emissions. Now, new technological breakthroughs
coming together of electrical forms of communication make it possible, for the first time, to design and
with oil and the internal combustion engine in the construct buildings that create all of their own energy
20th century. from locally available renewable energy sources,
allowing us to reconceptualize the future of buildings
First Pillar: Renewable Energy as power plants. The economic implications are vast
Renewable forms of energy solar, wind, hydro, and far reaching for the real estate industry and, for
geothermal, ocean waves, and biomass make up that matter, Europe and the world.
the first of the four pillars of the Third Industrial
Revolution. While these sunrise energies still account
for a small percentage of the global energy mix, they Buildings are the major
are growing rapidly as governments mandate targets
and benchmarks for their widespread introduction.
contributor to human induced
Their falling costs make them increasingly global warming
competitive. Billions of euros of public and private
capital are pouring into research, development and
market penetration, as businesses and homeowners In 25 years from now, millions of buildings homes,
seek to reduce their carbon footprint and become offices, shopping malls, industrial and technology
more energy efficient and independent. parks will be reconverted or constructed to serve as
In becoming the first superpower to establish a both power plants and habitats. These buildings will
mandatory target of 20 percent renewable energy by collect and generate energy locally from the sun, wind,
2020, the EU has set in motion the process of vastly garbage, agricultural and forestry waste, ocean waves
enlarging the renewable energy portion of its energy and tides, hydro and geothermal enough energy to
mix. By 2050, renewable energy is projected to provide provide for their own power needs as well as surplus
nearly half the primary energy, and 70 percent of the energy that can be shared.
electricity produced within the EU, and account for A new generation of commercial and residential
several million new jobs. buildings as power plants is going up now. In the
United States, Frito-Lay is retooling its Casa Grande
Second Pillar: Buildings as Positive Power Plants plant, running it primarily on renewable energy
While renewable energy is found everywhere and and recycled water. The concept is called net-zero.
new technologies are allowing us to harness it more The factory will generate all of its energy on-site by

European Energy Review December 2008 | Special edition

Special edition Interview

Sharing the power

New directions in the flow of energy Hydrogen Large
Hydrogen fuel cell scale
filling station power
Battery station

Fuel cell
Wind CHP
Shopping mall
buildings Homes,
(e.g. schools) photovoltaic cells
and fuel cells

Flow of energy buildings,
Natural gas
Hydrogen Offices
Electricity Grid Control
Heat Centre
Cooling cooling & In the city:
Flows both ways heating microgrid
CHP = Combined Heat and Power X&Y Graphics Source:

installing solar roofs and by recycling the waste from Third Pillar: Hydrogen Storage
its production processes and converting it into energy. The introduction of the first two pillars of the
In France, Bouygues, the French construction company Third Industrial Revolution renewable energy
is taking the process a step further, putting up a state- and buildings as power plants requires the
of-the-art commercial office complex this year in the simultaneous introduction of the third pillar. To
Paris suburbs that collects enough solar energy to maximize renewable energy and minimize cost it will
provide for all of its own needs, and even generates be necessary to develop storage methods that facilitate
surplus energy. the conversion of intermittent supplies of energy
sources into reliable assets. Batteries, differentiated
The Walqa Technology Park in Huesca, Spain is nestled water pumping, and other media, can provide limited
in a valley in the Pyrenees and is among a new genre storage capacity. There is, however, one storage medium
of technology parks that produce their own renewable that is widely available and can be relatively efficient.
energy on-site to power their operations. There are Hydrogen is the universal medium that stores all
currently a dozen office buildings in operations at the forms of renewable energy to assure that a stable and
Walqa Park, and 40 more slated for construction. The reliable supply is available for power generation and
facility is run almost entirely on renewable forms of for transport.
energy, including wind power, hydro, and solar. The
park houses leading high tech companies, including Hydrogen is the lightest and most abundant element
Microsoft. in the universe and when used as an energy source,
the only by-products are pure water and heat. Our
spaceships have been powered by high-tech hydrogen
fuel cells for more than 30 years.
Todays centralized, top-down Here is how hydrogen works. Renewable sources of

flow of energy becomes energy solar cells, wind, hydro, geothermal, ocean
waves are used to produce electricity. That electricity,
increasingly obsolete in turn, can be used, in a process called electrolysis, to
split water into hydrogen and oxygen. Hydrogen can
also be extracted directly from energy crops, animal
The GM factory in Aragon, Spain, the largest GM and forestry waste, and organic garbage (biomass)
production facility in Europe, has just installed a 10 without going through the electrolysis process.
Megawatt (MW) solar plant on its factory roof at a cost The important point to emphasize is that a renewable
of $78 million. The power station produces enough energy society becomes viable to the extent that part
electricity for the factory as well as 4,600 homes. The of that energy can be stored in the form of hydrogen.
initial investment will be paid back in less than 10 That is because renewable energy is intermittent.
years, after which the generation of electricity will be The sun isnt always shining, the wind is not always
virtually free, except for the maintenance costs. blowing, water is not always flowing, agricultural

Special edition | December 2008 European Energy Review

Interview Special edition

yields vary. When renewable energy is not available, to produce their own energy and share it with each
electricity cannot be generated and economic activity other, is just now being tested by power companies in
grinds to a halt. But, if some of the electricity can be Europe.
used to extract hydrogen from water, which can then The smart intergrid is made up of three critical
be stored for later use, society will have a continuous components. Minigrids allow homeowners and
supply of power. Hydrogen can also be extracted from companies to produce renewable energy locally
biomass and similarly stored. through solar cells, wind, small hydro, animal
The European Commission recognizes that increasing and agricultural waste, garbage, and so on and
reliance on renewable forms of energy would be greatly use it off-grid for their own needs. Smart metering
facilitated by the development of hydrogen fuel cell technology allows local producers to more effectively
storage capacity. In October 2007, it announced an sell their energy back to the main grid, as well as
ambitious public-private partnership to speed the accept electricity from the grid, making the flow bi-
commercial introduction of a hydrogen economy in directional.
the 27 member states, with the focus on producing The next phase in smart grid technology is to embed
hydrogen from renewable sources of energy. sensing devices and chips throughout the system,
connecting every electrical appliance. Software allows
Fourth Pillar: Smart grids and Plug-in Vehicles us to know how much energy is being used, at any
By benchmarking a shift to renewable energy, time, anywhere on the grid. This interconnectivity
advancing the notion of buildings as power plants, and can be used to redirect energy uses flows during peaks
funding an aggressive hydrogen fuel cell technology and lulls, and even to adjust to price changes from
R&D program, the EU has erected the first three pillars moment to moment.
of the Third Industrial Revolution. The fourth pillar, In the future, intelligent utility networks will also be
the reconfiguration of the power grid, along the lines increasingly connected to weather changes, giving the
of the internet, allowing businesses and homeowners power network the ability to adjust electricity flow

Jan van Dokkum is president of UTC Power,

a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp in the US, a leading producer of
fuel cells and other renewable energy technologies

No carbon footprint,
thats what were driving to
We work with all the automotive I do not like the conversion of hydrogen out of the Niagara Falls
companies to get demonstrations natural gas to hydrogen. That is area. The only carbon footprint I
going, to get the buses and cars an in-between step. I advocate have is the truck that brings the
on the road, to take that experience green hydrogen, where you hydrogen to Hartford. But fuel
in and redesign our fuel cells for take wind, solar, geo-thermal cells are only part of the offering.
more cost-effectiveness. I would energy and convert that into If I take a facility, I look at the roof
say that fuel cells by 2015 will go storable hydrogen. There is no space, the energy profile, I bring
into early commercialisation. With carbon footprint. Thats where we all possible solutions together, to
stationary applications, we can are driving the industry to.There find a cost-effective solution. If
already go directly to customers are already quite a few installations you just concentrate on fuel cells,
with the government incentives we running on renewable hydrogen. youre missing the boat. You need
get in some countries and compete I run my entire operation in to look at this as a holistic system
against incumbent technology. Hartford, Connecticut, on green for your clients.

European Energy Review December 2008 | Special edition

Special edition Interview

The intergrid makes possible a of power. Todays centralized, top-down flow of

energy becomes increasingly obsolete. In the new era,
broad redistribution of power businesses, municipalities and homeowners become
producers as well as consumers of energy. This is
called distributed generation.
continuously, to both external weather conditions as Even electric and hydrogen- powered fuel cell plug-
well as consumer demand. For example, if the grid is in vehicles are power stations on wheels with a
experiencing peak energy use and possible overload, generating capacity of twenty or more kilowatts. Since
the software can direct a homeowners washing the average car, bus and truck is parked much of the
machine to go down by one cycle per load or change the time, they can be plugged in, during non-use hours, to
air conditioning by one degree. Consumers who agree the home, office, or the network, providing electricity
to slight adjustments in their electricity use receive back to the grid. Electric and fuel cell plug in vehicles
credits on their bills. Since the true price of electricity thus become a way to store massive amounts of
on the grid varies during any 24 hour period, moment renewable energy.
to moment information opens the door to dynamic
pricing, allowing consumers to increase or drop their In 2008, Daimler and RWE, Germanys second largest
energy use automatically, depending upon price. Up power company, launched a project in Berlin to
to the moment pricing also allows local producers establish recharging points for electric Smart and
of energy to either automatically sell energy back Mercedes cars around the German capital. Renault-
to the grid or go off the grid altogether. The smart Nissan is readying a similar plan to provide a network
intergrid will not only give end users more power over of hundreds of thousands of battery charging points
their energy choices, but also create significant new in Israel, Denmark and Portugal. The distributed
efficiencies in the distribution of electricity. electric power charging stations will be used to service
The intergrid makes possible a broad redistribution Renaults all electric Mgane car. Toyota has joined

Stavros Dimas is European Commissioner for the Environment

EU policy represents
a green New Deal
The situation is serious. We are against climate change. We can do EU GDP in 2020 or 70 billion. But
experiencing an unprecedented both. Developing our response to these are investments rather than
crisis in financial markets and the economic crisis represents an costs. Meeting the target of 20%
governments around the world are opportunity to set the foundations renewable energy alone is forecast
grappling with the question of how for a future low carbon economy. The to lead to nearly 700,000 new jobs.
to avert the worst impacts of the EUs climate and energy package The EUs competitiveness will further
economic downturn. There are those is part of this solution. It represents be strengthened by improved energy
who question whether measures to a green new deal which will put efficiency and reduced dependence
address climate change are now a Europe firmly on the road towards on energy from abroad as a result
luxury. But the reality is that we do a low carbon economy. Europe will of the decentralisation of energy
not have to make a choice between benefit from first-mover advantage. production. We will cut our oil and
addressing the crisis, improving our The EU package will require additional gas import bill by 50 billion a year
energy efficiency and taking action investments of about 0.45% of in 2020.

Special edition | December 2008 European Energy Review

Interview Special edition

with EDF, Frances largest utility, to build charging unbundled, or at least made increasingly independent
points in France and other countries, for its plug- of the power producers, so that new players especially
in electric cars. By 2030, charging points for plug- small and medium sized enterprises and homeowners
in electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles have the opportunity to produce and sell power back
will be installed virtually everywhere along roads, to the grid with the same ease and transparency as
in homes, commercial buildings, factories, parking they now enjoy in producing and sharing information
lots and garages, providing a seamless distributed on the internet. The European Commission has
infrastructure for sending electricity both from and to established a European Smart Grid Technology
the main electricity grid. If just 25 percent of drivers Platform and prepared a strategy document in 2006
used their vehicles as power plants to sell energy back for reconfiguring the power grid to make it intelligent,
to the intergrid, all of the power plants in the US and distributed, and interactive.
the EU could be eliminated.
IBM and other global IT companies are just now A New Social Europe in the 21st Century |
entering the smart power market, working with utility Up to now, the energy and climate change
companies to transform the power grid to intergrids, challenges have been seen as constraints rather
so that building owners can produce their own energy than opportunities. Policies and actions to address
and share it with each other. Centerpoint Utility in them have been perceived as potential threats to our
Houston, Texas, Xcel Utility in Boulder, Colorado, capacity to generate wealth and maintain our social
and Sempra and Southern ConEdison in California models. Addressing climate change, especially during
are laying down parts of the Smart Grid this year, a period of global economic slowdown, has been seen
connecting thousands of residential and commercial as a luxury that collides with other compelling
buildings. priorities such as the need to build sustainable social
security systems, as well as support the welfare of
The new EU energy plan is preparing the way for the low income groups, communities and nations. This is
intergrid, with the demand that the power grid be especially true for Europe, which has placed the need

European Energy Review December 2008 | Special edition

Special edition Interview

to preserve a social model based on solidarity, access inflation, is a first step to preserve equity in the
and opportunity at the heart of its policies and values. distribution of wealth.
The vision of the Third Industrial Revolution, however, Energy is one of the major sources of wealth in every
makes it possible to reframe the energy and climate society, and both availability and the configuration of
change challenges as economic opportunities, not just the energy system have been critical in shaping the
to foster a wealthier society, but also a more equitable availability and distribution of wealth. In our energy
and sustainable one. regime, dominated by fossil fuels, the location of
sources as much as the processes and technologies
The European social tradition through which energy is collected, stored and
At the core of social Europe is the effort to promote distributed, has an obvious influence on who will
both individual freedom and social responsibility. benefit the most from its utilization.
These key principles have been translated into market Now that the fossil fuels energy paradigm is
initiatives and social models with the aim of ensuring approaching its sunset, the question is how will the
economic growth, as well as broad access, social new sunrise energies impact or reshape the European
cohesion and solidarity. The vision of a new Social social model.
Europe emphasizes not only individual opportunities
but also the quality of life of society. Indeed, the two The empowered generation
objectives are inseparable each requires the other. Unlike fossil fuels, which are only found in a few places,
The conventional 20th century economic indicators renewable energies are distributed everywhere.
With the proper technologies, each building can
collect, produce and store renewable energies locally
to provide for its own power needs as well as provide
The democratization surplus energy that can be shared. And, thanks to
of energy becomes a rallying technological developments, we can create intelligent
power grids to distribute energy from the places where
point of a New Social Europe there is a surplus to where there is a demand.
In the future, millions of people, businesses, and
other institutions will have the opportunity to play an
that emphasize GDP and per capita income are now active role in renewable energy production and benefit
being accompanied by equally important quality of from its value. Distributed energy means distributed
life indicators that measure an economy in terms of a wealth. The Third Industrial Revolution can pave the
commitment to social and human rights, an educated way for a New Social Europe where power itself is
citizenry, a healthy population, safe communities, a broadly distributed, encouraging unprecedented new
proper balance of work and leisure, and a clean and levels of collaboration among its 500 million citizens.
sustainable environment. A quality of life economy Just as the distributed communication revolution of
promotes both the market and social models the last decade spawned network ways of thinking,
simultaneously by emphasizing personal economic open source sharing, and the democratization of
opportunity along with a sense of social commitment communications, the Third Industrial Revolution
to create a sustainable society for every citizen. follows suit with the democratization of energy. We can
begin to envision a Europe where millions of people are
Energy and climate change challenge as empowered, both literally and figuratively, with far
opportunities reaching implications for social and political life. The
The long term rise in the price of oil and the increasing democratization of energy becomes a rallying point of
real effects of climate change on commercial sectors a New Social Europe and access to power becomes an
ranging from agriculture to tourism are already inalienable social right.
having a dramatic impact on the standard of living of The 20th century saw the extension of the political
millions of European citizens. Prices of food, consumer franchise and the broadening of educational and
products and services, home heating and petrol are economic opportunities to millions of Europeans.
going up, threatening the economic well being of In the 21st century, individual access to energy also
families. It is virtually certain that these circumstances becomes a social and human right. Every European
will worsen in the years ahead, endangering the should have the right and the opportunity to create
vision of a wealthier and more equitable society. For their own energy locally and share it with others
this reason, reducing our dependence on fossil fuels across the intergrid. For a younger generation that is
and containing, as much as possible, energy driven growing up in a less hierarchical and more networked

Special edition | December 2008 European Energy Review

Interview Special edition

world, the ability to share and produce their own Conversely, access to energy means more economic
energy in an open-access intergrid, like they produce opportunity. If millions of individuals and communities
and share their own information on the internet, will around the world were to become producers of their
seem natural and commonplace. own energy, the result would be a profound shift in
the configuration of power. Local peoples would be
Reshaping globalization less subject to the will of far-off centers of power.
A continent-wide, integrated, intelligent intergrid Communities would be able to produce goods and
could allow each EU member country to both produce services locally and sell them globally.
its own energy and share any surpluses with the rest This is the essence of the politics of sustainable
of Europe in a network approach to assuring energy development and re-globalization from the bottom
security. When any given region enjoys a temporary up. The EU, working with industries and civil-society
surge or surplus in its renewable energy, that energy organizations, can help facilitate the next phase of
can be shared with regions facing a temporary deficit. sustainable globalization by re-orienting development
The new energy paradigm also holds great implications aid, supplying financing and credit, and providing
for the distribution of power outside Europe. The favored-nation trade status in order to help developing
half century transition from the second to the Third nations establish a Third Industrial Revolution.
Industrial Revolution is going to dramatically change
the globalization process. The most significant impact Lisbon agenda
is likely to be on developing nations. The reason the Finally, the new energy paradigm represents a dramatic
poor are powerless is literal. They lack power. change in the European policies aimed at creating more
Incredibly, nearly half of the human population has and better jobs. The transition to the Third Industrial
never made a telephone call and a third of the human Revolution will require a wholesale reconfiguration
race has no access to electricity. The latter is a key of the European infrastructure, creating millions
factor in perpetuating poverty around the world. of jobs, and countless new goods and services, with

Guido Bartels is General Manager of IBMs Global Energy & Utilities Industry
and a leader of the Global Intelligent Utility Network Coalition set up IBM

We are looking at a
whole new growth engine
Jeremy Rifkin designates the smart new developments, such as electric energy era without an overhaul of the
grid as one of the four pillars of cars or solar energy. What most networks. Countries that adopt this
his Third Industrial Revolution. people dont realise is that these technology are looking at a whole
There is good reason for this. The represent an enormous challenge for new growth engine. A whole set of
development of the smart grid is utility companies. The power grid as new technologies will be possible.
essential for our future economic we know it is not designed to handle That is why some people compare
growth. If we dont adopt this these new technologies. If Thomas this to the internet revolution. But
technology, the transformation that Edison came back to earth today, we still have to overcome many
is needed to save the world will he would recognise the power grid institutional limitations. The business
not come about. If you listen to the as something that is basically what model of many utilities, for example,
political debates in the US, you will it was in his time. We cannot combat is based on kilowatts sold. This does
hear talk of all sorts of marvellous climate change and enter a new not work in a world of climate change.

European Energy Review December 2008 | Special edition

Special edition Interview

an economic multiplier effect that will stretch to Entrepreneurs and managers will need to be educated
the second half of the 21st century. We will need to to take advantage of new businesses models, including
invest in renewable energy technology on a massive open-source and networked commerce, distributed
scale; redesign the continents millions of buildings, and collaborative research and development strategies,
transforming them into positive power plants, embed and sustainable low carbon logistics and supply chain
hydrogen and other storage technology throughout management. The skill levels and managerial styles
the infrastructure, transform the automobile from the of the Third Industrial Revolution workforce will be
internal combustion engine to electric and hydrogen qualitatively different from that of the workforce of
fuel cell plug-in vehicles, and lay down an intelligent the second industrial revolution.
utility network across the continent. Just as the first and second industrial revolutions were
With the Third Industrial Revolution looming on the accompanied by vast changes in the educational system,
horizon, the Lisbon Agenda acquires a new and greater The Third Industrial Revolution will require equally
significance. Knowledge will be key in fostering the innovative educational reforms if we are to prepare
Third Industrial Revolution and ensuring a smooth future generations to work and live in a post-carbon
transition. The remaking of the infrastructure and the world. The new curriculum will focus increasingly on
retooling of industries is going to require a massive advanced information, bio- and nanotechnologies, the
retraining of workers. The new high-tech workforce of earth sciences, ecology, systems theory, collaborative
the Third Industrial Revolution will need to be skilled and distributive education, open-source learning
in renewable energy technologies, green construction, models, and social capital.
IT and embedded computing, nanotechnology, We will need to educate our children to think as
sustainable chemistry, fuel cell development, digital global citizens and prepare them for the historic
power grid management, electric and hydrogen transition from 20th century conventional geopolitics
powered transport, and hundreds of other technical to 21st century global biosphere politics. Education
fields. will increasingly focus on both global responsibility to

Andris Piebalgs is European Commissioner for Energy

This will trigger a

new industrial revolution
We face huge challenges, but these and level of maturity. Buildings as sufficient to substitute for a phasing
may also turn into opportunities. power plants are as yet feasible out of nuclear plants. Coal-fired power
There is growing awareness that our only for very high performance with carbon capture and storage
fossil-fuel based societies are not buildings. With regard to nuclear (CCS) can and should fit in the
sustainable. I agree with Mr. Rifkin energy, this is a matter to be model of a sustainable future. CCS
that we have to move to a low carbon decided at the national level, but the is one of the EUs strategic energy
economy and that this change is Commission encourages member technologies. Experts agree that the
going to trigger a newtechnology- states to consider carefully the technology for wide-scale application
based industrial revolution. In terms option of nuclear energy. Nuclear of CCS in power plants can be
of specific policies, e.g. regarding has an important role to play in commercially feasible in 2020. In the
renewables, smart grids and the fight against climate change. short- and medium-term renewables
buildings as power plants, I believe Renewable energy and energy will not provide enough energy for
that they differ in their importance efficiency measures are by no means continued economic growth.

Special edition | December 2008 European Energy Review

Interview Special edition

preserve the health of the planets biosphere and local organizations to fully contribute and benefit from the
responsibility to steward regional ecosystems. Living Third Industrial Revolution.
sustainably will become the anchor of 21st century
learning environments. Conclusions
More research will also be needed to develop the The Third Industrial Revolution makes possible a
technologies necessary to advance renewable New Social Europe in the 21st century. The European
energies, reconfigure existing buildings, construct dream, which lies at the very heart of this, emphasizes
new ones, establish hydrogen storage technologies, social and human rights, balancing the social and
create intelligent utility networks, and create a new market models, and building bridges of cooperation
generation of electric and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles, and peace. Underlying this expansive new dream
as well as support all of the other ancillary industries of a 21st century social Europe is the commitment
and services that accompany the Third Industrial that millions of Europeans share to create a just
Revolution. and sustainable society for their children and future
Given the limited availability of public resources, generations.
private resources must be mobilized to invest more in
research and education. A new pact should be made
between the business and research communities
that can overcome the traditional barriers that have
Entrepreneurs and
long separated these two sectors. This will require a managers will need to be
profound rethinking of the research endeavor, with
emphasis on a more interdisciplinary approach. We
educated to take advantage
need to ensure that both basic and applied research of new businesses models
are innovation driven, and that fragmented resources
across organizations are pooled together to achieve
needed critical mass. It is becoming increasingly clear that the consumption
To advance these goals, the Commission is bringing of oil and gas fuels is not sustainable in the medium
forward a series of initiatives to make the Lisbon term and that the impact of climate change on
Strategy a concrete pillar of the new post-carbon communities and ecosystems endangers our vision
society. The European Institute of Innovation and for a social Europe in the long run. Without a well-
Technology will be a laboratory to pursue new thought-out plan to usher in a Third Industrial
educational programmes, provide needed skills, as Revolution, the hope of a New Social Europe will
well as create strategic partnerships between the begin to fade, putting the European experiment in
business community and the research and education jeopardy. The Third Industrial Revolution, therefore,
communities to advance the new energy paradigm. In is the base upon which a New Social Europe can be
2009, the European Institute of Technology will kick built. Together, the Third Industrial Revolution and a
off its activities with two of its three priorities being New Social Europe offer a compelling narrative for the
renewable energy and climate change. next 50 years of European integration.
The Institute aims at inspiring and driving the European industry has the scientific, technological,
changes and reforms needed by knowledge-intensive and financial know-how to spearhead the shift to

European Energy Review December 2008 | Special edition

Special edition Interview

renewable energies, positive power buildings, a ease, and with a low carbon dioxide footprint, is the
hydrogen economy, an intelligent power grid, and critical unfinished endeavor of the EU.
plug-in transportation, and by so doing, lead the What is needed to move European integration forward
world into a new economic era. The EUs world class is a strong political vision capable of joining the
automotive industry, chemical industry, engineering Third Industrial Revolution and a New Social Europe
industry, construction industry, software, computer together. By articulating a clear political agenda
and communication industries, and banking and to advance the Third Industrial Revolution and the
insurance sectors, give it a leg up in the race to the accompanying programs for a New Social Europe, the
Third Industrial Revolution. The EU also boasts one European Commission will help take the European
of the worlds largest solar markets and is the worlds project to the next stage of its development, and, in
leading producer of wind energy. the process, bequeath a powerful legacy for future
generations in Europe. The new politics provides the
The next stage of European integration will be based EU with an opportunity to become a beacon of hope
on the establishment of a distributed energy regime for the rest of the world in the 21st Century.
that will allow Europe to complete the creation of In 1960, President Kennedy challenged the baby-boom
a unified single market. While the EU is potentially generation in the United States to join him in putting
the largest internal commercial market in the world, a man on the moon and exploring the far reaches of
with 500 million consumers and an additional 500 outer space. The sequel, in the 21st century, is for the
million consumers in its associated regions, it has not EU to lead the world in saving the biosphere of the
yet created a seamless logistical infrastructure, with earth. The European Commission and the member
a common transport grid, communication grid, and states need to communicate this mission across Europe
power grid. Integrating the logistical infrastructure with the goal of unleashing the vast creative potential
so that the billion plus people in the EU region can of the European people to the task of renewing the
engage in commerce and trade with efficiency and planet.

Anton Milner is ceo of Q-Cells in Germany,

one of the two largest producers of solar cells in the world

Politicians are
not brave enough
We are facing a triple crisis and is much higher than 20% in 2020. Now, if we use oil and gas, the
the only way out is through a Photovoltaics alone can provide proceeds go to other parts of the
restructuring of our economy 12% of power supply in 2020. world. If we invest in renewables,
a Third Industrial Revolution. The regulatory environment will the money will stay here and
Politicians know this. But they do have to steer investments in the employment will grow. I want to say
not like to talk about it. There are right direction. At this moment, to the participants of the Poznan-
some hard choices to be made, governments are only starting conference: think about how you
but they are not brave enough to to play with these instruments. can achieve a step-change in the
face up to them. They are more There is still too much conflict of way society is organised. It will
concerned with short-term issues. interest between centralised and have major consequences, but if
The climate policy of the EU is decentralised producers. The and when climate change comes
too little, too late. We believe that financial crisis shows the urgency to bear the consequences will be
the potential of renewable energy of creating a new energy system. much greater.

Special edition | December 2008 European Energy Review

Friends of Europe is an independent Brussels-based think-tank that fosters debate and new thinking on the issues facing
Europes citizens. It reaches out far beyond Brussels by using innovative technologies and communication techniques.

Its activities span almost all the issues on the European agenda but concentrate on these six areas in particular:



Friends of Europe attracts policymakers and stakeholders from a wide range of sectors from all over Europe. They
include EU and national policymakers, business and civil society leaders, NGO representatives, leading academics and
the international media. We ensure that all sides of the debate are represented.


Energy security and the global challenge of climate change are today both on top of Europes political agenda. They
also feature prominently in Friends of Europes calendar and we are proud to make a substantial contribution to the
debate on Europes energy and environment. In addition to our regular evening debates, annual policy summits and
reports on both water and energy issues, we also hold each year a special environment conference as part of the
European Commissions Green Week.

Recent contributors to Friends of Europes activities include:


French President Co-President of the EU Representative for CFSP CEO, Royal Dutch Shell plc European Commission European Parliament Head of Climate and Danish Minister for EU
European Parliament President President Energy Campaign,
Greens/EFA group Greenpeace International


Norwegian Minister for -ARGERIE Director, Global Energy Parliamentary Under Secretary General, EU Commissioner for Austrian Ministry of the CEO of StatoilHydro
the Environment Chief Executive Officer Programme, Secretary of State for European Trade Union Energy Economy
and International of Total WWF the UKs Department for Confederation (ETUC)
Development International Development

For more information on Friends of Europe, please go to

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