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Highlights from the MegaWhat renewable roundtable: Electrons, bytes and dollars

By Didier Mallieu
24-04-2023 | 4 min read
Renewable energy is a topic at the top of the world’s agenda. Read the blog to catch up on the highlights from our recent renewable roundtable event.

On Tuesday 28th March 2023, we opened the doors to the Barbican Centre in London for an afternoon of two incredible panel discussions. Our wonderful speakers not only provided our audience with their unique industry perspective, but so too with ideas and possible next steps for how we can accelerate the implementation and integration of renewable energy sources to power our new - and vital - energy scenario.

The discussions took place over 90 mins - which you can catch up on here - but I wanted to take this time to provide you with a brief overview for some of the themes and points which took our panellists by storm.

And if you missed out? Well, here’s an insider’s look to whet your appetite for the potential of renewable energy.

Hitachi Energy’s vision for a renewable energy future

9 speakers, 1 moderator and a variety of thoughts

Before we dive into detail, it would be helpful to remind you – or just inform you – of the fantastic line-up of speakers who joined us for the afternoon.

Unchain the chains to let electrons flow

One of the key challenges this sector is facing is the rapid expansions, integration and deployment of renewable energy into the grid and indeed, society’s everyday lives.
Whilst we have various, abundant natural resources to utilize for this acceleration of sustainable energy and the technology, how we get there is another story.

Juan Rivier Abbad put forward his stance that flexibility and interconnectors are fundamental in ensuring a reliable supply that can meet and keep up with demand without interruptions. Whilst we have the correct tools and technology, we must work towards them working together at the same time.

Following on from this point, Santiago Blanco too homed in on the criticality of flexibility. The energy sector as a whole must work towards balancing demand with storage solutions, price volatility and demand placed on the grid if we are to achieve our net zero vision.

Put simply, the flexibility of renewable energy must evolve.

However, as Laura Fleming concluded, with investments in some renewable energy projects stalling as a result of grid development concerns, should we be looking towards making the most of what we have available to us? For example, are digitalization and battery energy storage the solution to demand issues?

Perhaps it’s up to us to create the flexibility the grid needs…the flexibility the grid needs…

Are hybrid interconnectors and multi-purpose interconnectors the missing link? 

Philip Sandy, Director – New Interconnectors, National Grid

How can we use new and existing technologies to accelerate the transition?

We know we have the technology and expertise to solve implementation challenges faces renewables integration, connection and social acceptance. Yet, paving the path to achieve our net zero targets in this new energy scenario required still has a substantial way to go.

The core focus for our second panel was how can we use technologies and innovations to expand and deploy renewable energies in an affordable manner.

Alfredo Parres, Head of Renewables Hitachi Energy

With the global attention of the current energy crisis and other macro environmental factors headlining so much of the global media coverage, this session really struck a chord with both our physical and virtual audiences.

Throughout the sharing of ideas, one fundamental element the panel agreed on was that technology isn’t the challenge – it’s the implementation that’s holding us back.

It’s not the vision…the ‘what?’ and the ‘how?’ are the critical aspects

Nina Skorupska

The views and vision of a renewable energy future…

  • How can we form new value chains that can accelerate low carbon solutions?
  • How can we boost collaborations between governments and regulators to create bespoke business models that can supply demand?
  • What new solutions can balance load and generation – at any time?
  • How can we utilize green hydrogen and BESS?
  • What are the best solutions to deal with intermittent energy?
  • The age of plenty is over – we need to focus on efficiency

It’s up to us to create the methodology for the last steps in achieving our sustainability targets.

Together, we can create a reliable, sustainable energy future.

offshore windmill park with clouds and a blue sky, windmill park in the ocean aerial view with wind turbine Flevoland Netherlands Ijsselmeer. Green energy

Intrigued to hear more?

MegaWhat Renewables 2023 Roundtable

You can delve into what our speakers thought about these questions, possible solutions and many other topics by using the link below to catch up at a time that suits you. Trust us – you won’t regret it.


    Didier Mallieu
    Solution Manager Renewables
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    About the author

    Didier Mallieu, as solution manager for renewables, is coordinating the product development roadmaps for renewable power in Hitachi Energy. 

    He joined ABB in 2019 with experience of P&L manager in power utilities, OEMs, EPC contractors and engineering companies in the power industry, before transitioning to strategy, innovation and technology in Hitachi Energy. 

    His main areas of interest are floating offshore wind, hybrid renewable plants, digital innovation, advanced O&M and integration of Renewables into energy systems, with both AC and DC technologies. He sees his value-add in de-risking renewable projects and making them more profitable, sustainable and accepted, for developers, operators and EPC contractors.

    Didier holds degrees in electronics, nuclear engineering and management from Liège University in Belgium and Insead in France.