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FOSG Roundtable: Energy Communities – A Game-Changer or Just a Game?

19 Jun 2019 @ 08:00 - 10:30

Join Friends of Sustainable Grids (FOSG) in Brussels at 8.00am on June 19, 2019 for a breakfast debate.

We will be discussing the future, if any, of energy communities in Europe and whether they are set to become the norm as well as the impact of existing legislation on energy communities and technological obstacles to their development.

Draft Agenda

8.00 – 8.15 Welcome

8.15 – 8.30 Setting the Stage – Energy Communities

Introduction – A Game-Changer or Just a Game?

Guest Speaker:

Jan Steinkohl, Policy Officer at DG ENER, European Commission

8.30 – 10.00 Roundtable Discussion (with Breakfast)

Moderator: Pierre Bernard (Chairman of the Board, FOSG)

Guest Speakers:

Dirk Vansitjan, President, RESCoop

Lawrence Jones, Vice-President, EEI

Emeline Spire, Head of EU Affairs, Elia Group

Christophe Widart, developer and entrepreneur

The speakers will address the following topics:

  • The impact of recently adopted legislation on energy communities;
  • Technological obstacles;
  • The future, if any, of energy communities in Europe;
  • Will energy communities become the norm?

10.00 – 10.30 Q&A (all) and Closing Remarks – Pierre Bernard

Places are limited so to reserve your spot now, please fill in the registration form:



Speakers’ Profiles

Jan Steinkohl is a policy officer at the European Commission’s Directorate General for Energy (DG ENER). He works in the unit for renewables and CCS policy. He is part of the team that developed the Commission’s proposal for the recast of the Renewable Energy Directive in the “Clean Energy for All Europeans” Package. He mainly works on topics related to consumers, such as self-consumption of renewable electricity and consumer information. Mr Steinkohl also works on the North Sea Energy Cooperation on the joint development of offshore wind.

Dirk Vansintjan is the co-founder of a number of co-housing projects and one of the largest energy co-operatives in Europe – Ecopower (1991). Today, Ecopower has 50.000 members and supplies 1,5% of the Flemish households with green electricity. He also co-founded the umbrella organisation for renewable energy in Flanders – Organisatie voor Duurzame Energie Vlaanderen (ODE-Vlaanderen) in 1996 – and the federation REScoop.be (2010). Mr Vansintjan is an expert on community energy and European projects. He was the coordinator of REScoop 20-20-20 and is now closely involved in CITYnvest, PV Financing, REScoop MECISE, REScoop Plus, Nobel Grid and Wise Grid. Mr Vansitjan is currently a Board Member of Ecopower and since 2013, he is the President of REScoop.eu – the European federation of groups and co-operatives of citizens for renewable energy. Mr Vansintjan holds a Master’s degree in Germanic Philology.

Dr. Lawrence E. Jones Dr. Lawrence E. Jones is a thought leader and practitioner with over twenty-five years of experience in the energy industry. He joined Edison Electric Institute (EEI) in September 2015 as Vice President, International Programs. Under his leadership, EEI’s International Programs has more than 65-member companies with operations in over 90 countries and has launched several new strategic initiatives including the annual Global Electricity Forum, the Africa Utility Power Sector Exchange, the Thomas Edison International Utility Executive Fellowship Program, and the Global Executive Leadership Network. Prior to joining EEI, Dr. Jones was North America Vice President for Utility Innovation & Infrastructure Resilience at Alstom Grid Inc., where he assisted utilities worldwide with formulating strategies for deploying new technology innovated business solutions. While at Alstom, Dr. Jones served as Vice President, Policy, Regulatory Affairs & Industry Relations for the international full-service electric generation and transmission firm. Before joining Alstom, Dr. Jones was a visiting researcher at EDF in France and worked on several projects for ABB in Sweden. Dr. Jones serves on the Advisory Boards of several organizations and is affiliated with think tanks and academic institutions including: Member of the Millennium Challenge Corporation Advisory Council; Chair of the 21st Century Power Partnerships Public-Private Leadership Forum, an initiative of the Clean Energy Ministerial; Honorary Industry Fellow at Monash Energy Materials and Systems Institute, Monash University in Australia; a Senior Associate (non-Resident) with the Energy and Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies; and Co-Chair of the Global Pillar of the Dentons Smart Cities & Communities.

Emeline Spire is a Senior Manager at Elia Group, the parent company of two major European electricity transmission system operators, Belgium’s Elia and Germany’ 50Hertz. Ms Spire has been working for over 15 years in France and Belgium in electricity market development. Ms. Spire is currently Elia Group’s Head of EU Affairs. She was previously in charge of the group’s culture transformation programme, and also headed the company’s grid development and energy management teams. Before joining Elia, Ms. Spire was VP for Power Physical Markets with the Powernext (now EPEX Spot) power exchange. As such, she led a number of pioneering projects that contributed to shape the regulation of European electricity markets. Ms. Spire holds an MSc in Engineering from the Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées (France) and an MA in European Economic Studies from the College of Europe.

Christophe Widart decided to jump into the Renewable Energy sector in January 2019 after 20 years in Corporate Finance dept. and expertise in trading commodities and FX, interest rate risks. This decision came as an evidence and conclusion, after 2 years managing a blog named Green Electricity and creating 3 POC over energy collective self-consumption, with Greenlab, Brussels, TWEED-MECATECH and recently with ELIA Cluster Internet of Energy. Christophe Widart holds a Business and administration degree Master in Finance from ICHEC Brussels and a specialization in Option and Financial Derivatives at London School of Economics.

For more information, email us at tkuzov@supergrid.brussels


19 Jun 2019
08:00 - 10:30
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Friends of Sustainable Grids


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