IBE Conference on Digitisation of the Energy Industry in Bochum

This year’s annual conference of the Institute for Mining and Energy Law (IBE) at Ruhr Universität Bochum was on the “Digitisation of the Energy Industry”. I had the pleasure of speaking on “From Industry 4.0 to Energy 4.0: Future Business Models and Legal Relations”.

The IBE conference took place in Bochum on 17 March, and included the following presentations:

  • A Digital Single Market for Europe: Challenges facing the Energy Sector, Mercé Griera I Fisa, European Commission, DG Connect, Head of Research & Innovation Sector, Brussels
  • From Industry 4.0 to Energy 4.0: Future Business Models and Legal Relations, Dr. Matthias Lang, Bird & Bird, Düsseldorf,
  • Daten- und Verbraucherschutz im digitalen Energiesystem (Data and Consumer Protection in Digital Energy Systems), Dr. Kay Diedrich, Kümmerlein Rechtsanwälte & Notare, Essen
  • Zum Entwurf eines Gesetzes zur Digitalisierung der Energiewende (On the Draft Law on the Digitisation of the Energy Turnaround), Karsten Bourwieg, Federal Network Agency, Bonn
  • Auswirkungen des Gesetzes auf tradierte Marktrollen und -prozesse (Effects of the Law on the Digitisation of the Energy Turnaround pm Traditional Market Roles), Dr. Cornelia Kermel, Noerr LLP, Berlin
  • Entwicklungsperspektiven im Bereich Verteilernetze (Development Perspective in the Area of Distribution Grids), Frank Zeeb, Vorsitzender des Vorstandes, Alliander AG, Berlin
  • Energievertrieb in der „smarten“ Stadt (Energy Sales in the “Smart City”), Ralf Kurtz, Partner Energy Consulting, PwC Düsseldorf
  • Schutz kritischer (Energie-) Infrastrukturen – aus IT-technischer Sicht (Protection of Critical (Energy) Infrastructure – From an IT-Technical Point of View), Prof. Dr. Thorsten Holz, Horst Görtz Institut für IT-Sicherheit
  • Schutz kritischer (Energie-) Infrastrukturen – aus rechtlicher Sicht  (Protection of Critical (Energy) Infrastructure – From a Legal Point of View), Benjamin Sommer, Verband kommunaler Unternehmen e.V., Berlin
  • Smart-Energy für NRW: FuE-Initiativen auf Landesebene (Smart Energy for NRW: R&D Initiatives on State Level), Prof. Dr.-Ing. Wirtsch.-Ing. Thorsten Schneiders, Fachhochschule Köln

It was an excellent conference, covering key elements of the accelerating digitisation of the energy industry.

I think this area is likely to be at least as disruptive as the Energiewende’s current transformation towards more renewable energy. Industry in general has recognised that we are at the beginning of a revolution that is fundamentally changing the way we live, work, and relate to one another. While energy has been key to all industrial revolution so far, not all parts of the energy industry may have as yet fully realised how much the current digital industrial revolution will be transforming the energy industry. This all comes at a time when the energy industry is struggling with the Energiewende, and at a a time, when other industries are already in the process of realising what potential and what risk are associated with Industry 4.0.

Discussions at the conference showed that it will be challenging, exciting and necessary to find solutions to the legal challenges that this upcoming revolution will surely bring. Please let me know what areas you think are likely to become most relevant.

Source: Institute for Mining and Energy Law

Related posts: