PRISMA Summit Brings Europe’s Gas Community Together

The European gas market is experiencing a time of rapid change, and to solve the many challenges ahead will require co-operation. This was the inspiration behind PRISMA’s creation of a Community Summit to bring together some of the industry’s key players, analysts and power brokers in a spirit of shared goals and values. Here’s a full round-up of the debut event.

Last week, in the sumptuous environs of the G2 Kunsthalle, one of Leipzig’s most distinguished art galleries, colleagues from across Europe’s gas community came together for PRISMA’s inaugural Community Summit.

Surrounded by a stunning collection of contemporary art, around 90 industry figures, including several TSOs and shippers, gathered for a day of talks, presentations and a panel discussion, all focussing on how to create a fair, transparent and integrated market that benefits both the economy and society in the long term.

Covering subjects such as the growth of digitalisation, EU regulation, management strategy, shifting markets, carbon targets, and the risk of blackouts, a total of seven speakers took to the stage to offer their own unique perspectives on some of the key gas-related issues of our time.

Central to the day’s talking points was the question of green energy, with each speaker emphasising the gas industry’s broad commitment to meeting governmental targets in the years and decades ahead. The other hot topic, meanwhile, was digitalisation and how digital technologies can be harnessed in a way that helps the industry meet the many challenges that lie ahead.

The talking points…

First on stage was Guido Bortoni, Senior Adviser to the EU Commission, to provide a political lens with which to view the future of the gas market. During his talk Mr Bortoni touched on why market integration and digitalisation will be key drivers for integrated EU energy markets, and how the EU plans to adjust its regulatory framework in a way that ensures open and fair trade.

Next we were graced by the presence of Annie Krist, CEO of GasTerra B.V, a Dutch wholesaler in natural and green gas. She drew on her deep experience and industry knowledge to offer insights on how future developments around the gas market may take shape over the coming years.

Management strategy and a fresh approach to budgeting in business was next on the agenda, during a talk by management consultant and author, Knut Fahlén. His innovative concept, ‘Beyond Budgeting’, is explored in his latest book Dynamic Management Strategy and recommends a new strategy to help fast-changing markets – such as the gas market – stay dynamic and competitive in the modern world. 

A deep dive into the challenges of digitalisation was then presented by Stefan Lemper, venture capital investor. In his talk, Mr Lemper elucidated his thoughts on why the future of so many companies will be dependent on their ability to master digital objectives.

William Powell, Editor in Chief of Natural Gas World magazine and a doyen of journalism, was up next to provide his perspective on shifting world gas markets. Thanks to his acute understanding of geo-politics, Mr Powell’s talk was perhaps the most far-reaching, delivering a comprehensive look at global forecasts, patterns and trends and their potential meaning for Europe.

The penultimate talk was from André Bryde Alnor, Head of Digitalisation at Energinet, who discussed the impact of digitalisation on TSOs. Drawing on an example from the electricity market, he illustrated the importance digitalisation can have, highlighting the elements that are adaptable and useful for a TSO, but also the specific needs of the gas market.

Last up was Herbert Saurugg, a security technology and infrastructure expert, for an essential insight into the risks surrounding blackouts. How to mitigate against these scenarios arising was at the heart of the talk, which offered a stark reminder of the vulnerability of the gas market to both human interference and technological error.

Panel discussion

After a final break for refreshments, the event then culminated with a fascinating panel discussion between leading experts on how the future of the gas market is set to be shaped, each representing not just different organisations, but different national markets too.

 

From the left: Catherine Brun, GRTgaz. Thomas L'Eglise, Fluxys. Nicola Battilana, DESFA. Jeppe Dano, Energinet.

After show

With the formalities over, proceedings moved to a nearby Leipzig nightspot for a mouth-watering buffet dinner, drinks and live music, displaying our ability not only to provide a platform for serious industry discussion but to have a good time too.

The 2019 PRISMA Community Summit took place on 5 November.