June 15, 2016     15.30 - 22.00     WTC Rotterdam



June 15, 2016     15.30 - 22.00     WTC Rotterdam



If there is one area where the energy transition is visible in all its drama, it is the North Sea region. On the one hand, there is the declining fossil exploration and production sector to the point that the first of the more than 600 offshore platforms and installations are being decommissioned. These will gradually be followed by the others over the next few decades, unless alternative uses for the platforms and the grids can be found. By contrast, renewable energy production is booming, as is shown by what has been achieved already, but even more so by the capacities scheduled to be installed. For example, the current about 10 GW installed capacity is expected to increase to anywhere between 19.5 and 28 GW by 2020, to rise further thereafter to possibly double that level.

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One could look at this ‘Changing of the Energy Guard’ as two guards passing each other: exit fossil fuels, enter renewables. In the long term, this image is probably correct, but in the short and medium term, fossil fuels and renewables will not only coexist for some time, but will also need to collaborate in order to secure a sustainable, reliable and affordable energy system and in order to provide at the same time win-win situations, i.e. the operators involved may benefit, society as a whole, as well as the environment.

That is why a number of organizations has taken the initiative to initiate a symposium under the umbrella of the Dutch EU Presidency to discuss the future of the North Sea as a future energy power house of Europe.

During the symposium energy specialists from North Sea countries will convene to discuss: how gas, wind and grid offshore operators may coordinate their activities; how to co-operate on addressing energy conversion, storage and transport; and how to collaborate in practice via joint projects. The symposium will address both the long-term perspectives for co-operation as well as short-term business opportunities. The latter is done by zooming in on concrete joint projects or project options, in which offshore wind, gas and grid operators work together.

So, the symposium will mark a first step in exploring collaboration on the North Sea between gas, wind and grid operators. It is expected that such collaboration may substantially contribute to the energy transition. As an outcome of the symposium it is scheduled to sign a Manifesto ‘North Sea Co-Operation’ to express the intensions and views of the key stakeholder groups involved.


  • Mark a first step in exploring collaboration on the North Sea between gas, wind and grid operators
  • Stimulate discussion between energy specialists from North Sea countries
  • Address the long-term perspectives for co-operation
  • Touch upon the short term business opportunities by zooming in on concrete joint projects or project options

Preliminary programme

15.15 - 15.50 Reception


Moderator: Jan Douwe Kroeske
15.50 – 16.00

Keynote speaker

Speaker: Mark Dierikx
Organization: Ministry of Economic Affairs
Subject: Joint activity North Sea
16.00 – 16.25

Keynote speaker

Speaker: Brendan Devlin
Organization: European Commission
Subject: Climate action and energy
16.25 – 16.50

Keynote speaker

Speaker: Dolf Gielen
Organization: IRENA (International Renewable Energy Agency)
Subject: Innovation and technology
16.50 – 17.15
17.15 - 17.30 Break

Table sessions - first round

Subject: North Sea Long Term Objectives (till 2050)
17.30 – 18.15

Table sessions - second round

Subject: Short Term Call For Action (till 2030)
18.15 – 19.00


Speaker: Jo Peters
Organization: Secretary General of NOGEPA

Speaker: Hans Timmers
President of the board of NWEA (Dutch Wind Energy Association)

19.00 – 19.20

19.20 Drinks & Dinner

During the dinner

During the dinner the famous journalist and historian Michael Pye, author of the bestseller on the history of the North Sea area: The Edge of the World: A Cultural History of the North Sea and the Transformation of Europe will entertain you about the North Sea’s past and future; also some young professionals will reflect on their North Sea area energy expectations and inform you about the insights they gained through the serious policy game.




Jan Douwe Kroeske has developed a unique vision with his years of experience in the media and sustainability world. During the Symposium, he takes the lead were needed and will guide the participants with his curiosity towards their passion. As the moderator of this Symposium, he has a central role in the program.



Mark Dierikx

Mark Dierikx has been General director Energy, Telecommunications and Competition at the Ministery of Economic affairs since 2011. In light of the Dutch Presidency of the European Union, with key priorities:  innovative Union,  a Union limited to essentials,  and-a Union which connects, Dierikx is  involved in the a political declaration on collaboration among countries within the North Sea Region. During the symposium he will discuss this declaration in more detail.



Brendan Devlin is advisor in Directorate General for Energy at the European Commission. He speaks about the role of the European Union in relation to offshore energy production. Unlike some other areas, there is in the North Sea no legal framework for cooperation, which can make collaboration between the offshore gas and wind sector work better.


Dolf gielen

Dolf Gielen is the director of the IRENA’s (International Renewable Agency) Innovation and Technology Centre in Bonn since 2011. Irena has a mandate to accelerate global renewable energy deployment and in light of this the Centre advises member countries in the area of technology status and roadmaps, energy planning, cost and markets and innovation policy frameworks.




It is expected that towards 2050, Dutch North Sea gas production will have come to an end. For the time being, integration of different energy systems, such as offshore wind and offshore gas production, can help to speed up the transition towards a low carbon energy mix. ”


Hans timmers

Offshore Wind energy has an enormous potential on the North Sea and will be essential to make the Dutch energy supply completely sustainable in 2050. In the run up to that date, we need to search for opportunities to make this transition possible and affordable. The offshore gas industry is such an opportunity. ”

Dinner speech



Michael Pye will discuss the influence of North Sea in the transformation of Europe. Saints and spies, pirates and philosophers, artists and intellectuals: they all crisscrossed the grey North Sea in the so-called “dark ages,” the years between the fall of the Roman Empire and the beginning of Europe’s mastery over the oceans. Michael Pye reveals the cultural transformation sparked by those men and women: the ideas, technology, science, law, and moral codes that helped create our modern world. It was on the shores of the North Sea where experimental science was born, where women first had the right to choose whom they married; there was the beginning of contemporary business transactions.

Round table

During the symposium energy specialists from North Sea countries will convene to discuss: how gas, wind and grid offshore operators may coordinate their activities; how to co-operate on addressing energy conversion, storage and transport; and how to collaborate in practice via joint projects.

The symposium will address both the long-term perspectives co-operation as well as short-term business opportunities during the round table sessions. The latter is done by zooming in on concrete joint projects or project options, in which offshore wind, gas and grid operators work together.

Long term



Chief Executive Officer Tennet

No transition to sustainability is possible without cooperation.”


Sabine Augustin

Senior Vice President Regulatory Management

The long-term European energy mix will be dominated by Renewables plus Gas. Power-to-gas will link these two and will help to make a low-carbon future become reality.”


Ewald Breunesse

Manager energy transition Shell Nederland B.V.

Sailing on the North Sea I experience the tremendous energy potential, and I think that the North Sea has been an important source for the Dutch economy for many centuries. Where gas and wind meet each other, we are entering a new phase of the energy transition on our way to a sustainable energy supply.”


Giles Dickson

Chief Executive Officer Wind Europe

Offshore wind is a huge growth industry for the European economy. It employs 144,000 people and saw investments worth €13.3bn in 2015. And it’s a technology area in which Europe leads the world. Over 90% of the world’s offshore wind turbines are in Europe. As offshore wind takes off in other markets such as the US, there will be major export opportunities for European business.”


Tjerk Wagenaar

Managing director Natuur & Milieu

The North Sea has potential as the OPEC of offshore wind: Unique combination of business opportunity’s, attractive and innovation work and saving the planet for mankind. Everyone is needed, please join transition.”



Director Gas Technology TNO energy

More recovery from the North Sea requires governmental stimulation, and collaborative innovation.”

Short term


Ruud Bos

Managing Director of ENGIE E&P Nederland B.V.

Offshore wind and offshore E&P have more in common than they expect or than they believe to know.”


Ulrik Stridbaek

Senior Director, Head of Group Regulatory Affairs at DONG Energy

Offshore wind from the North Sea is about to become the new source of bulk energy, free from CO2, and competitive with alternative sources. This will require regional cooperation to ensure a stable build out and effective transmission to load centres.”


Catrinus Jepma

Professor of Energy and Sustainability at the University of Groningen and senior expert energy and sustainability at Energy Delta Institute

The energy transition machinery gets more and more momentum everywhere in Europe. The challenge for most of the renewables resources is whether one will transport, store and deliver energy to end users as electrons or as molecules. In order to secure its future position, the gas industry will gave to actively face this challenge.”


Peter terium

Chief Executive Officer of the Executive Board of RWE AG

The expansion of renewable energy is one of our main growth areas and offshore wind energy will play a vital role.”


Pieter van Oord

Chairman of IRO – the Association of Dutch Suppliers in the Oil and Gas Industry

The North Sea is for Offshore Wind, as Saudi Arabia is for oil.”


Alistair Davison

Senior Expert Offshore Renewables of Royal HaskoningDHV

Delivering a sustainable and competitive offshore wind industry in the North Sea highlights engineering, environmental and planning challenges. Co-operation between states, learning lessons within and between existing marine sectors, alongside a precautionary spatial planning approach will be key to success.”



We look forward to welcoming you to the Gas meets Wind symposium on the 15th of June 2016. Registration for the symposium costs €250 (incl. dinner) per participant and one can start the registration process via the registration button. Note that sponsors of the symposium have access to free tickets. If your company has not received the sponsor registration codes yet please contact



The gas meets wind symposium is a site event of the international Winddays which are held on 15 and 16 June 2016. The winddays, with this year’s theme ‘Wind: leading the energy transition’, is a recurring annual event consisting of an exhibition where companies and organisations will showcase their products and services and a conference at which leading speakers will provide a varied programme.


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There will be workshops and lectures on innovations and research results, challenges in development/spatial development, construction and operation, experiences in financing and operation and opportunities for growth in employment and education. Both onshore and offshore wind will be covered. May you be interested in this event, or do you want to have more information about the winddays, please check out


Would you like to receive more information about the symposium? Do you have questions or remarks about the symposium? Please contact the organization committee via



The Gas Meets Wind: North Sea Energy Symposium is an initiative of: