What If...

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Milan Enlit Europe 2020

Your opinion matters. We want to hear it.

Every month we launch an industry question, which we would like you to answer. 

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#4 What If Business And Industry Led The Push To Net Zero Instead Of Policymakers?

Sustainability is now high on the boardroom agenda for every company. They have more to lose than policymakers because their bottom line is at risk with the choices they make. Should we let businesses set the pace of change for the energy transition? Would it result in realistic and achievable results? 


Read The Wrap Up Article Here


What Our Community Says


I believe there needs to be considerable cooperation – and communication – between industry and the energy sector. The energy sector needs to secure the contracts to supply energy-intensive industries to allow them to invest in enabling infrastructure. And in turn, they will be able to supply green energy and be the backbone of the pathway to carbon neutrality.

Paddy Young, Director, Enlit Europe

Read His Article Here

Paddy Young, Director, Enlit Europe


The energy transition must remain largely policy led. Business looks to government to set the overall direction of travel and the broad rules of the game.  However, policymakers need to consider what is commercially viable for business and should provide a framework that gives business both some incentivisation to work toward the goals, but also some flexibility on how the goals are to be achieved.

Jonathan Robinson, Energy Research Director - Power (Industrial), Frost & Sullivan (Enlit Europe Media Partner)

Jonathan Robinson, Energy Research Director - Power (Industrial), Frost & Sullivan


If the net-zero goal is to be met and the earth’s carbon balance restored, it will be achieved through the combined efforts of motivated individuals and businesses. It is the role of policymakers to remove roadblocks to decarbonisation, but a net-zero approach must become the default position for the industry for any new project or refurbishment.

Nigel Blackaby, Associate Editor, Power Engineering International

Nigel Blackaby, Associate Editor, Power Engineering International

Businesses and industries have plenty of reasons to push for net-zero, and certainly with ongoing competition and COVID-19 in the back of our minds, this will have the potential to go faster than expected. Businesses and industry will have an increasing drive to push for net-zero with current policies being put into place, although they would not jeopardise their competitive advantage or risk a negative ROI; policymakers need to be involved to guarantee a safe-level playing field.

Rogier Kuttschreuchter, Utility & Partner Liaison, Enlit Europe

Read His Article Here

Enlit Europe’s Utility & Partner Liaison, Rogier Kuttschreuchter.


Without policymakers setting and timely updating long term energy and climate goals, investments in energy transition would be riskier and the path to decarbonisation would slow down.

GB Zorzoli, President, FREE - Coordinamento Fonti Rinnovabili ed Efficienza Energetica

GB Zorzoli, President, Coordinamento Free


The energy transition involves different actors. A synergy of roles and skills to achieve the decarbonisation goal, which could be favoured by further development policies and measures. Our member companies are ready to take on this challenge. 

Elettricità Futura, Enlit Europe Partner

Elettricità Futura logo, Enlit Europe partner


Only free, competitive and transparent markets are able to activate major investments necessary to achieve the energy transition. Just as in nature, the “biodiversity” of the energy supply system, guaranteed by a solid regulatory structure, is the main lever that allows us to optimistically look into the future.

Energia Libera

Energia Libera What If


Businesses contributing more to shaping a more efficient, speedy and market-friendly transition would certainly be positive, mixing (or switching) the roles between businesses and regulation is not: as it happened in the past with energy providers and network operators, the best way ahead is for everybody to fulfil correctly its role, without being tempted into confusion or overlaps. Setting clear rules (and, even more, effectively policing them) is a job that clearly belongs to politics & regulation, and the more leveled is the resulting playing field, the better is for competition, efficiency, the businesses involved and for society.

AIGET, Partner of Enlit Europe

AIGET Enlit Europe What If


Getting to net zero requires a massive, concerted effort from all elements of society. We need to overhaul our energy system, growing renewable electricity generation and scaling up technologies that are today in their early phase, such as clean hydrogen.

Camilla Palladino, EVP Corporate Strategy & IR, SNAM

SNAM Camilla Palladino Enlit Europe What If

If board of directors and businesses lead the change, regulations funding and consumers may be left behind. If governments lead the change they can miss out on the best options and be captured by special interest groups. If consumers lead the change their focus might be distorted by short-term concerns and they may miss out on grid, systemic and long term perspectives.

Mark Howitt, CTO and Co-Founding Director, Storelectric Ltd; ETIP SNET WG1

Mark Howitt, CTO and Co-Founding Director, Storelectric Ltd; ETIP SNET WG1


To some extent, policymakers need to develop an agenda that bridges the gap between reward-driven actions (expected monetary or non-monetary returns on investment) and less rewarding domains (e.g. protection of biodiversity).

Aurélie Fare, ETIP SNET Co-Chair WG5

 Aurélie Faure  ETIP-SNET Co-Chair WG5

An understanding of sustainability lays the ground for an enhanced and more structure tier levels based approach to the energy transition, where private and public funding and investments are shifted to long-term horizons and associated with clear climate and sustainable pathways and objectives.

Maximilian Niederehe, Productivity Manager - M.Eng in Energy Systems | ETIP SNET

Maximilian Niederehe Productivity Manager - M.Eng in Energy Systems

With the COVID-19 crisis, climate change may not be as much a priority as originally foreseen, as other priorities will be to prevent an economic recession. Policymakers need to reset climate as a policy priority under the post COVID-19 recovery plan.

Pawel Jamrozek, Business & Investment Developer  at EDF Fenice | ETIP SNET

Pawel Jamrozek - Business & Investment Developer  at EDF Fenice


Only a collective and consensus-based approach stands as the way to move forward.


Athanase Vafeas, Innovation Management Specialist at DOWEL Management | ETIP SNET

Athanase Vafeas – Innovation management specialist at DOWEL Management

#3: What If  We Accelerated Energy Innovation?

Existing technologies alone will not deliver the energy transition at the pace that is needed. We need greater innovation. How do we unlock greater innovation in the energy sector?


Explore This What If... Question Here

#2: What If Consumers Drove The Energy Transition?

How much power could the consumer have? How much power should the consumer have? What would they do with that power? And what can the rest of the sector do to empower them?


Explore This What If... Question Here

#1: What If More Convergence Could Accelerate The Energy Transition?

Convergence has already changed the face of energy in Europe – and yet it could do so much more. Convergence of companies, policy, financing and sectors should breed collaboration, and that in turn could create the business models needed for a 21st-century energy sector.


Explore This What If... Question Here

Diamond Partner

  • Siemens


Sustainable Power Partner

  • Enel


Gold Partner

  • Italgas


Silver Partners

  • LoRa Alliance
  • Meters & More
  • Nodes
  • Prime Alliance
  • Solar turbines


Global Knowledge Partner

  • Enel Foundation



  • Bureau Veritas
  • Critical Software
  • Inea
  • Minsait, an Indra Company
  • N-Side
  • NXP
  • Pietro Fiorentini
  • Schneider Electric
  • Sféra
  • Sumitomo
  • Uniper
  • Valmet Technologies


Utility Partners

  • GRDF
  • RTE


Initiate Sponsors

  • EIT InnoEnergy
  • Enel Innovation Hubs
  • McKinsey Energy Insights
  • Smart Innovation Norway
  • Techleap.nl
  • The GC Index
  • TU Berlin