Interview with Christian Previati, Key Energy Exhibition Manager – IEG
Christian Previati, you’re the Exhibition Manager of Key Energy, the leading expo for renewable energies in the Euro-Mediterranean basin organized by Italian Exhibition Group. What are the strong points and contents of this year’s edition?
“Key Energy will be held in Rimini from 26th to 29th October with important new features compared to the previous editions. Over the last 14 editions the expo’s product and thematic perimeter has been extended and currently includes sustainable cities and electric mobility. We therefore represent the entire renewable energy chain: from wind farms and photovoltaic plants, through the energy efficiency of industries and buildings to the power-to-grid of electric vehicles.”
And as far as the topics of the conferences are concerned?
“In 2020 we moved all the conferences to a digital platform. This year we’re meeting once again face-to-face in Rimini, in full respect of the anti Covid regulations. Last years’ topics were orbited round the great new feature of the European Green Deal; this year’s main issue will be the Italian Recovery Plan, focussed on energy transition. The most in-depth and comprehensive economic and industrial policy plan ever realized and which will not only bring Italy out of the post-pandemic crisis, but will provide a model of sustainable development for the entire Mediterranean basin.”
“This will be seen in the individual conferences, at which case studies will be presented for both public policies and technological innovation. The Expo’s job is to pool these experiences, not only for the Italian market but also for the international ones. I’d like to add two examples of how we are also working with the university system to have valuable means at our disposal for understanding the evolution of the renewable energy market. Photovoltaic and wind are two “core” sectors for Key Energy and, in fact, we shall have an interesting panel event with ANEV, Italy’s National Wind Energy Association, on offshore wind power and on the competitive stimulus that digitalization represents for wind power, all with an international slant thanks to the participation of Windeurope. Then there will be a section dedicated to “sustainable cities” where energy efficiency and digitalization play a decisive role in combating climate changes. Municipalities from Bosnia, Argentina and the Ivory Coast will also attend Rimini. Our main partners include AIDI (Italian Lighting Association), which will realize a series of workshops on how new technologies are changing the way lighting is perceived and used in our cities. The energy communities also already have an active role in sustainability, thanks to the paradigm of the use of electricity by the users who produce it. And, lastly, we’ll talk about revamping and re-powering photovoltaic plants. We’ll thus have an insight from the source to the street, so to say, of the expansion of the share of renewable energy. We talk about Italy of course, but our exhibitors are ready to enter foreign markets that want to follow this European boost to ecological transition and the abatement of the emission of climate-changing gases in Europe within 2050.”
In fact, the attention of Italian Exhibition Group, the organizer of Key Energy, is focussed in a specific manner on the African continent with an important new initiative. Can you explain the reasons for this choice?
“One of this year’s edition’s most eagerly awaited events is Africa Green Growth, in collaboration with the ITA Agency, which will directly involve African institutional representatives and associations (from Kenya and Rwanda) in the energy sector, as well as Italian companies operating in Sub-Saharan Africa. The focus will be on the role that wind power will play in the combination of energy produced in Africa in the near future. This year we decided to focus to a greater extent than in the past on the green challenges that Africa is getting ready to face. We’re honoured by the participation of countries such as Egypt, but also Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Rwanda and Kenya, where there are interesting margins of growth for the renewable energy sector. This is another reason for which at Key Energy 2021 we decided to set up a real networking and business platform extended to include the countries of the Mediterranean basin, and its African shore, enriched by one-to-one meetings between delegations and companies.”
How do you assess the renewable energy sector in Egypt, Italy and the Mediterranean basin?
“For us Egypt is a country to be following with the utmost interest. There have been important investments in solar and wind power: these are two resources that your country has in abundance. From 2019 to 2020, trade grew significantly between Italy and Egypt, with exports from Italy for over three billion euros. For this reason, Key Energy can definitely represent a useful profitable opportunity for networking on the issues of energy transition, but also an opportunity for business with the major players del Euro-Mediterranean basin.”
What will the anti-Covid measures be for participating in the expo and the centre?
“As foreseen by current regulations, visitors and exhibitors will be required to have a European Green Pass; those without the Pass will be able to undergo a rapid antigen swab test at the entrance to the expo centre at a special rate. Our objective is to ensure Covid-free halls, so that the only thing participants in the expo have to think about is doing business. The request for this measure reached us in an explicit manner from the companies, who intend ensuring their collaborators the utmost safety. Moreover, Italian Exhibition Group wanted to facilitate participation in the expo of even more foreign attendees, via the Safe Travel service: informative assistance on the regulations and procedure that international visitors and exhibitors must comply with and follow when entering Italy. A measure that takes its place alongside the Safe Business by IEG protocol, in effect since April 2020, and GBAC STAR certification, which guarantees practices, procedure and workplaces suited to meeting international cleaning, disinfection and infectious risk prevention standards.”