The COVID-19 outbreak represents an unprecedented situation for Europe’s citizens, society and economy. T&D Europe, the voice of Europe’s grid technology providers, welcomes the macro-economic and political measures that Member States and the EU have already agreed to help tackle the pandemic. T&D Europe members are already supporting initiatives that are aimed at ramping up the production of the scarce goods desperately needed to tackle the crisis.
In these difficult times it is encouraging to see that Europe can rely on a well-developed societal infrastructure. Despite the far-reaching measures aimed at controlling the crisis Europe’s critical energy infrastructure has continued to deliver. As a result, many of society’s vital activities remain in operation normally. In these exceptional times one realises that electricity has become an essential and critical resource of the daily life of Europeans. Few people can imagine living without the benefits of electricity. A temporary or prolonged disruption in our electricity supply touches virtually every part of our society and economy. Without electricity, everyday life is severely disrupted, creating massive impacts on essential services such as transportation, water and food supply, communications, security and health services.
T&D Europe members provide equipment and services to the operators of Europe’s critical electricity infrastructure. In the current situation the T&D industry is already mobilised to ensure the production and continued delivery of critical goods and essential services to European transmission and distribution operators. A number of EU Member States have taken measures to halt industrial production in their country as a means to contain the spread of the virus. We welcome the decision by a number of Governments to identify the manufacturing of transmission and distribution equipment for electricity as an essential service. We also support the Commission Guidelines concerning cross-border workers in essential sectors, which identifies workers in the T&D community as providing essential services. T&D Europe calls on all Governments who are forced to take further measures to shut down industry to consider the approach taken by, inter alia, the French, Italian and Spanish Governments. In those countries, the manufacturing of electric motors, generators, transformers and electricity distribution and control apparatus (NACE 27.1) have been included in the list of essential services.
We also call on the European Council to ensure a more coordinated and coherent approach across EU Member States, not least to avoid limitations to the free movement of goods and of the workforce needed to maintain production as much as possible. We recognise that short term measures need to be in place to control the current situation, and we support the particular focus on essential goods, including goods and services for the electricity transmission and distribution sector. Such an approach is, on the one hand, important to ensure the continued availability and reliability of Europe’s electricity infrastructure. On the other hand, the continued functioning of the T&D industry will also reduce the risk of increasing Europe’s technological dependence on non-European suppliers. As a strategically important critical infrastructure, Europe’s electricity network operators need to have access to a strong European base of technology providers.
For Europe’s grid technology providers the safety of employees, suppliers and customers remains paramount. Companies will have to ensure the application of the required distancing within their sites and adhere to the relevant health and hygiene measures, in close consultation with their workforce. Our members across Europe are committed to finding practical and responsible solutions, working closely with the relevant authorities and social partners.
We remain convinced that taking resolute action in a coordinated European approach is essential to manage the immediate medical needs and mitigate the wider socio-economic impact of COVID-19 in the EU. Industry stands ready to step up to help protect our people today and protect our economies tomorrow.
After the crisis, a strong industry will be essential to ensure Europe stands ready to tackle the socio-economic consequences of the crisis, rekindle Europe’s economies and safeguard the prosperity and wellbeing of its citizens.
This week the new European Commission under the Presidency of Urusla von der Leyen started its work. The first major policy initiative of the Commission is the European Green Deal, which is expected to see the light of day on the 11th of December. The European Green Deal is central to Mrs Von der Leyen's ambition to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050.
T&D Europe, the voice of Europe’s grid technology providers, welcomes the European Commission’s initiative for the development and implementation of a European Green Deal. We look forward to working with the European Parliament, Member States, the European Commission and all stakeholders to make a real step change.
As a proactive stakeholder T&D Europe has developed 12 recommendations for a Flagship Initiative for Energy Infrastructure to be included in the Green Deal. They contribute to an ambitious, pragmatic and effective approach that will help deliver a demonstrable positive impact on the life of all Europeans. This week T&D Europe has shared its proposal with the European Commission.
Grid technology providers are part of the Electrification Alliance Declaration signatories. The Declaration calls on EU policymakers to accelerate the uptake of clean and renewable electricity as the most cost-effective and energy efficient strategy to deliver a climate neutral Europe.
What can grid technologies achieve and why do we use them? T&D Europe experts publish new papers on how to better integrate distributed energy resources into the electricity system and on the benefits of monitoring and controlling the medium voltage (MV) and low voltage (LV) network.
Today T&D Europe bids farewell to Nadi Assaf, one of its founding fathers. After a long career in the French and European transmission and distribution industry, Nadi Assaf will retire from his professional activities as Deputy Chief Executive at Gimélec, and dedicate his time to family and other passions. All T&D Europe members wish him all the best in his new endeavours and adventures.
Nadi Assaf was instrumental in the creation and the launch of T&D Europe in 2008 on the basis of former associations COTREL and CAPIEL HV. He played a central role in the subsequent development of T&D Europe as the voice of Europe’s grid technology industry. Nadi was appointed as the first Secretary General between 2008 and 2010. He agreed to a second mandate as Secretary General from 2016 until February 2018. Throughout his career Nadi has been an actively and passionately engaged in ensuring the voice of Europe’s grid technology sector was heard. During this period the association grew from its original 9 member associations to 12, while also welcoming 5 corporate members to T&D Europe.
In recognition of his outstanding contribution to the association, T&D Europe members have awarded Nadi with its first ever Honorary Membership during the meeting of the Executive Committee in Berlin.
“With Nadi’s retirement we will miss the enthusiasm and energy he brought to T&D Europe. He has helped to strengthen the voice of T&D Europe in Brussels and beyond. He leaves behind an association that is in a very good position to contribute to the development of a future-proof electricity system, which enables the transition to a low-carbon society in Europe”, says Diederik Peereboom, Secretary General of T&D Europe. “We wish him and his family all the best in the new phase that will start now. And of course, we hope to hear from our first Honorary Member from time to time.”