“In energy, all European countries are allies”

The coming two years, the Austrian DSO, Netz Niederösterreich, takes part in the DSO Chair of the Vlerick Energy Centre. For Werner Hengst, Managing Director of Netz NÖ, the open dialogue he has experienced with European colleagues is both refreshing and necessary, because “in energy, all European countries are allies”.

Werner Hengst (Netz Niederösterreich)“Netz NÖ builds and operates the electricity and gas networks in large parts of Lower Austria”, Werner Hengst explains. “My predecessor at Netz NÖ had pointed out to follow Professor Leonardo Meeus (currently heading the Vlerick Energy Centre), who was then teaching at the Florence School of Regulation. He told me about the international energy community of DSOs that he was shaping at Vlerick and that’s how I got in touch with Vlerick.”

“Fairly conservative”

In 2017, Werner took the Future Grid Managers Programme. “Before, Netz NÖ was mainly focused on the Austrian and some German players. The Austrian market is fairly safely. So it was fascinating to learn how other European DSOs approach their energy market. I was particularly struck by the open-minded discussions at the table and to learn how everybody is acting in their countries."

“I was struck by the open-mindedness of the other participants." Werner Hengst, Managing Director of Netz Niederösterreich


That open discussion is the thread through all the activities within the DSO Chair, finds Werner: “During the workshop of 9 November we experimented with sandboxes on international regulation. That’s the kind of converging exercise that we, as European DSOs, need to do if we want to be prepared for the future. Because no matter what shape the energy landscape will take, all European countries are allies and will need to converge.”

Discover our expertise in energy

The energy sector is likely to face more changes in the next 10 years than in the last 100. New technologies, organisational challenges, regulation… they will affect you, as a business and as a customer. But change also equals opportunities – even if there are no easy answers. The Vlerick Energy Centre will help you to master that change. We will challenge you to think ahead and find new solutions for tomorrow’s world.

Related news

  1. Travel to learn and never stop learning

    Date: 15/10/2020
    Category: Research News
    “Companies tend to stay private for longer before they decide to launch an IPO. The median age of a company that went public used to be 8 years, but now it’s closer to 13”, says Natalia Matanova, who recently joined us from Pennsylvania State University as professor of Corporate Finance. She comments on her areas of expertise, her attraction to the School and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the IPO market.
  2. The importance of breaking bad news the good way

    Date: 20/03/2020
    Category: Research News
    David Patient, who was recently appointed professor of leadership, people and organisations, has always been passionate about literature. “Perhaps the most exciting teaching experience I’ve ever had was a course on leadership and Shakespeare, for which I used the play Henry V.” David’s love of language and communication is a common thread throughout his career. He joins Vlerick Business School from Católica-Lisbon School of Business where he was professor of organisational behaviour.
All articles