Tecnologie e Società


Energy Efficiency: Paradigm Shifts in Innovation
Sara Engelen


Navigating from energy-efficiency investments in the private-public domain (Catherine Cooremans, University of Geneva), a mathematical model of consumer attitude (Jean Paul Van Bendegem, philosopher and mathematician, Vrije Universiteit Brussel) to devolution in energy policy (Iain Todd, AREG, Scotland), this workshop deliberately takes some random walks from the beaten track to innovation. Followed by 2 outstanding Belgian case studies - the Capricorn CleanTech Fund and Energy ICT - presented by Jos B Peeters (Capricorn) and Stefan Grosjean (Energy ICT).

Energy Efficiency: Paradigm Shifts in Innovation

Timing: 8.30 AM until 2.00 PM, lunch included
Place: Promotiezaal D.2.01, Vrije Universiteit Brussel | Building D, Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussels
Format: Workshop + lunch
More info & registration on

08:30 - 09:00 Registration & Coffee
09:00 - 09:40 When public tries to meet private - Strategic and cultural dimensions of energy - efficiency investments (Catherine Cooremans, University of Geneva HEC)
09:40 - 10:20 The science-friction of the ideal human consumer (Jean Paul Van Bendegem, Vrije Universiteit Brussel)
10:20 - 11:00 Devolution in Energy Policy - Evolution or Revolution? (Iain Todd (AREG, Scotland)
11:00 - 11:15 Coffee break
11:15 - 11:55 Case 1 Capricorn CleanTech Fund (Jos B Peeters, Capricorn)  
11:55 - 12:35 Case 2: The impact of metering and ICT on energy savings efficiency (Stefan Grosjean, Energy ICT)
12:35 - 13:00 Paneldiscussion
13 :00 - 14 :00 Lunch

with the support of the European Union's Sustainable Energy Week (9-13 February 2009)

Catherine Cooremans: When public tries to meet private - Strategic and cultural dimensions of energy - efficiency investments
(abstract) In many cases, improving energy-efficiency entails an investment decision. According to mainstream neo-classical economics, investment decisions are made on financial considerations. Based on this view, public programs promoting energy-efficiency provide information and financial incentives to business users. Unfortunately, these programs are not successful enough, and a significant energy-saving potential, achievable in a cost-effective way (e.g. where investments profitability is higher than companies' cost of capital), remains untapped in most commercial buildings or industrial sites. Organizational decision-making research provides some answers to this situation: it has shown that financial factors only partially explain businesses' investments and that a decision must be understood as a process in context, influenced by the characteristics of the investment itself (non-strategic issues lose the competition) and by the actors involved. Decision makers' cognitions affect issues categorizing. Therefore a different approach to promoting energy-efficiency investments is needed.
(bio) Catherine Cooremans is a researcher at the business school (HEC) of the University of Geneva. Her research interests include the interface between financial and strategic management, with a focus on energy-efficiency investments and on "the strategic fit" of energy efficiency. She is also an energy and climate consultant to businesses and to demand-side management programs organized jointly by Geneva Energy Office (SCanE) and by SIG (Services Industriels de Genève), the Geneva electricity & gas producer and distributor.
Jean Paul Van Bendegem: The science-friction of the ideal human consumer
(abstract) Man is often described as a rational being. However, from the philosophical point of view, it is often not clear what is meant by the epxression "to be rational". As psychologists, sociologists, economists and other human scientists examine the human being in all its curious behaviours, they are time and again forced to conclude that humans are to be labeled as irrational, driven by emotions and instincts, incapable of serious deliberation, and such similar quite unflattering expressions. The core thesis of my contribution is that this opposition should be reversed. Finally we are coming to terms with our own self-image and are thus far better equiped to handle such matters as energy efficiency and risk management in terms of what it takes to convince a population to take an option for a particular life-style.
(bio) Jean Paul Van Bendegem is a philosopher and mathematician and professor at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in logic and philosophy of science. He is president of the National Center for Research in Logic, director of the Center for Logic and Philosophy of Science, and he is also co-director of the interdisciplinary Center Leo Apostel (VUB). His research concerns mainly non-classical logics, the practice and philosophy of mathematics and, more generally, the relations between science, religion, and society. Topics studied by members of the research group are: cultural identity, biological origins of language and basic mathematical capacities, philosophy of information, philosophy of consciousness.
Iain Todd: Devolution in Energy Policy - Evolution or Revolution?

(abstract) Within the UK, a Scottish Parliament and government have been established to administer a number of devolved areas of public policy. Certain aspects of energy policy are devolved to Edinburgh, while some are reserved to London. The presentation will consider the benefits and drawbacks of such an arrangement .

(bio) Iain Todd has spent his career working on energy policy and energy projects, both as a civil servant and as a private consultant. Between 2002 and 2004 he was Director of Renewable Energy in the UK Government. Now an energy consultant in Scotland, his clients include the Scottish Government and the Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group. He is also Professor of Renewable Energy Policy at the University of Aberdeen.

Jos B Peeters: Case 1 Capricorn CleanTech Fund
(bio) Dr Jos B. Peeters is Founder and Managing Partner of Capricorn Venture Partners NV, a Belgian based pan-European manager of venture capital funds seeking to invest in technology-based growth companies. Jos is regarded as one of the pioneers in European venture capital, being active in this area since 1985. He co-founded and became Chairman of Quest for Growth NV, an Investment Company quoted on the Brussels Stock Exchange which is specialising in investing in quoted and later stage unquoted technology based growth companies. Jos was Chairman of the Working Group which founded the European Association of Securities Dealers (EASD) and developed the concept of EASDAQ. In partnership with Börse Berlin the company is relaunching as Equiduct, a regulated market for secondary trading in Europe. He is a member of the Supervisory Board of Börse Berlin and a Director of Easdaq NV. Jos has a PhD in Physics from the University of Louvain. He was co-founder and first chairman of the Belgian Venture Capital & Private Equity Association (BVA). He has been a member of the Board and in 1989/1990 he was chairman of the European Private Equity & Venture Capital Association (EVCA).
Stefan Grosjean: The impact of metering and ICT on energy savings efficiency

(abstract) Thanks to smart meters end users will notice an important improvement of their energy efficiency and a considerable reduction of their energy consumption. Smart grids on the other side are faced with the challenges of the new renewable energy generation. Both aspects of this cleantech will be highlighted.

(bio) Stefan Grosjean holds a degree of Master of Science in Industrial Engineering (1986), as well as an MBA obtained at the Vlerick School of Management (1988). In 1991 he founded EnergyICT and with the help of some Venture Capitalists he was able to stimulate the growth of the company. In 2000 Stefan is elected "Entrepreneur of the Year" and in 2006 EnergyICT is nominated for the Gazelle Awards. EnergyICT is currently not only present in Europe and the UK, but also in the USA and Australia.
In his position as C.E.O., Stefan is working on further expansion of the company. He draws up to company's strategy, takes the chair of the Board of Directors and keeps an eye on business development.

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