World Energy Council Italy discusses "Energy: between digitalisation and exponential technologies"

26th March 2019

News ArticleEuropeExperiencesInnovationMember Committees

On Tuesday 19th of March, the World Energy Council Italy, in partnership with EDISON Italia, hosted the “Energy: between digitalisation and exponential technologies” workshop. This seminar covered critical areas of the energy transition being disrupted by an increasing digitalisation and brought together different perspectives from the Italian energy community.

Marzia Zafar, Director of the Issues Monitor & Innovation team at the World Energy Council, joined the discussion with participantsof the energy transition such as Stefano Besseghini, president of the ARERA, Andrea Péruzy, President & Chairman of Acquirente Unico and Lorenzo Giorgi, European Coordinator for Liter of Light. Highlighting the place of new technologies and the changing role of consumers, the event set out to provide an overview of strategies and solutions implemented by international companies and innovators through the application of digital technologies, platforms and big data.

Issue-specific seminars are a core part of the World Energy Council’s ongoing effort to provide energy leaders with a platform to share and gain critical insights. Italian Authorities, both the president of the ARERA and the president and CEO of Acquirente Unico strongly emphasised the need for concrete actions, first and foremost in terms of innovation and digitalisation, but also extending beyond that.

Participating experts explored the place of digital technologies within the great energy transition. Comprehensively covering technical, social, economic and political aspects of the issue, the panel of speakers addressed the emerging opportunities and challenges of this phenomenon.

Stefano Besseghini opened by stressing the need for a more involved policy design rather than letting technology become the only avenue of possibility for sustainable development. Echoing this concern, Filippo Sanpaolesi, Consultant in Global Strategic Communication and Internationalisation for Tessa S.r.l. proposed technology as an accelerator and enabler that is subject to cultural obstacles, like any other tool. Other voices, including Marzia Zafar and Guiseppe Busia, the Secretary General to the Italian Data Protection Authority, highlighted the consumer’s concern with security in digital technologies. While Marzia Zafar emphasised the potential and uncertainties inherent to Blockchain, Giuseppe Busia focused on the transparent use of data and on the exclusion of “microdata” used to track behaviour for commercial purposes.

Economic opportunities and infrastructure challenges were put forward by Andrea Péruzy and Luca Luigi Manuelli, the Chief Digital Officer at Ansaldo Energia,  as well as Simona Benedittini, Senior Manager at PwC Italia. Their insights shed light on the need for a new dialogue between institutions and economic actors to deal with the decentralisation of power production and the shifting position of consumers into prosumers. Lorenzo Giorgi further illustrated the social opportunities of digitalisation by discussing the importance of knowledge sharing in the South and the impact of product scalability for sustainable development.

Stay updated on the World Energy Council Italia’s Events schedule to gain even more insights into how digital technologies are shaping the way we implement the great energy transition.

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