The chamber welcomed Megan Richards, Director of Energy Policy in DG Energy (ENER), European Commission, at this lunch briefing to speak on Smart Energy.
The Energy Union is one of the Commission’s ten priorities, and aims to make energy more secure, affordable and sustainable. It is made up of five dimensions, including the decarbonisation of the economy as well as a research and innovation dimension. This event gave an informative overview of where the Commission is currently standing regarding these different dimensions.
A wide range of topics were covered over the lunch, somewhat reflecting the numerous files the Commission is working on in the energy field. We heard about the importance of technological change, the increase of which could lead to a better integration of renewables in member states. The 2050 long term strategy of the Commission, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95% in 2050 when compared to 1990 levels, was also discussed during the briefing. Such a commitment is cross-sectoral and will also include industries, and should ensure that the EU’s economy continues to grow and to create jobs.
The Q&A was particularly interesting, with Megan providing very open and detailed responses to questions raised by our members. The topics discussed were varied, ranging from China’s problem of the storage of renewables and how the EU has helped them with the implementation of a regulatory framework, to the benefits of using hydrogen.
James Stevens, partner at Rud Pedersen, gave us his opinion on the event: “A great example of how the Chamber brings value to its members: the speaker connected the dots between the files you follow in detail and the broader landscape, while providing insights into her own thinking and style that will influence the way the Commission thinks about the dossiers that are yet to come.”
Director of Energy Policy, DG ENER | European Commission
Megan Richards has been Director of Energy Policy in DG Energy (ENER) of the European Commission since April 1st 2017. From 2013-2014 she was EU Fellow at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University. From September 2006 - April 2009 she was the director of resource management in the Commission's Joint Research Centre. From May 2009 she was in the Commission's DG CONNECT, holding positions of director of General Affairs, director of Converged Networks and Services, director Coordination, and acting Deputy Director General and Principal Adviser. In 1991, she joined the European Commission and has worked programs to support SMEs, research and innovation, including regulatory, legal, financial and contractual issues. She has worked for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Africa, the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, the government of Canada, and private law firms. She has a bachelor of science, bachelor of laws and master of public administration degrees.