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Springtime in Paris for Global Energy Management students

By Maria Pacheco - Posted on 20 April 2017

Each year, students on the Global Energy Management programme organise an exchange with student colleagues at Dauphine University in Paris. Here, Maria Pacheco talks about the first leg of the exchange.

This year’s first leg of the Energy Master Exchange Programme (EMEP), between the Global Energy Management (GEM) class and our French colleagues from the Energy Finance Carbon programme of Dauphine Université in Paris, was focused on Power Grid Challenges. A range of presentations and site visits took place during the two-day workshop over March 9 and 10.

Day one began with an introduction session from Patrice Geoffron, director of Dauphine’s Energy and Commodities Geopolitics. Then R&D engineer in electrical systems Nicolas Omont from RTE (France’s Transmission System Operator) took over to describe the challenges that France’s transmission system (TS) is facing today.

One of these is consumption trends. Today, despite population growth, France’s electricity demand is stagnant, which could be a result of different things - like energy efficiency improvements or consumers’ behaviour, just to mention a few. In 2007, 15% of the total electricity demand was lost and as of now it has not been recovered. Mr Omont highlighted the importance of understanding consumption patterns to be able to adapt today’s and future systems accordingly.

He also mentioned the physical constraints of the TS as well as the need for improvement to increase renewables integration. Likewise, environmental regulations force the TS to adapt to France’s future energy structure. For example nuclear, which accounts for 75% of the total electricity production share, will be reduced to 50% by 2025 in order to increase the renewables’ portion in the energy mix.

After Mr Omont’s informative presentation, Mr Mathieu Bordigoni, from the national distribution company Enedis took over to explain more about current and future challenges as well as Enedis’ strategies to overcome them. Later, we got the chance to formally introduce ourselves to our French colleagues in a welcome reception at the university followed by a dinner.

Day two started with a site visit to Schneider Electric headquarter (Le Hive), where the Marketing Strategy Director, Mr Mohamed Soltani, welcomed us. Then Schneider’s staff gave us a guided tour through their innovation hub and Le Hive’s energy efficiency track, which gave us a closer view on the existing technology to improve buildings’ energy efficiency and energy management. Later that day we commuted to EDF’s Vaires-sur-Marne Power Station, for a guided tour through the site. Vaires-sur-Marne is a power station with a total capacity of 555 MW, which operates only during peak demand, using fuel oil combustion turbines.

Our class was very grateful to Dauphine Université, especially to our French colleagues, for the warm welcome and set-up of all the activities, and also to Schneider Electric, EDF and all guest speakers.

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