Review: These were the World Sustainable Energy Days 2004

The World Sustainable Energy Days were held from 3-5 March 2004 in Wels/Austria. More than 900 participants from 64 countries attended the World Sustainable Energy Days 2004, which comprised the following events: - European Pellets Conference
- Tomorrow's Buildings
- Megatrends of Sustainable Energy
- European Green Electricity Forum
- ManagEnergy Workshop on the Buildings Directive

Continuing a long tradition of successful international conferences and exhibitions already held in Wels/Austria, the World Sustainable Energy Days 2004 showcases the globe's most outstanding sustainable energy projects and initiatives and every year provides information on major European and international policy developments. The international conference provides a key forum for presenting sustainable energy solutions; for planning political initiatives; and for launching projects and starting partnerships. It aims at presenting new impulses to the participating experts and decision makers as they meet the challenge of transforming the world's energy systems towards sustainability.

European Pellets Conference

The opening conference was dedicated to the topic pellets markets and technologies. This conference provided in-depth information on pellets technology innovations and market trends. It offered a platform to discuss the generation of customer interest in pellets use in all parts of the world. The introductory session was opened by Mr. Rudi Anschober, Regional Minister for Environment & Energy in Upper Austria. An overview of pellets technologies was given by Ingwald Obernberger. The main pellets markets were presented by Christiane Egger (Austria), Joachim Fischer (Germany), John Swaan (North America), these were followed by Olof Arkelöv (Sweden), Jeppe Bjerg (Denmark); Eija Alakangas (Finland), who outlined the European pellets standardisation.

This year again the interactive element "the voting" was included in the conference procedure. During the sessions the audience was asked questions concerning their estimations about the energy future. During the "European Pellets Conference" for example the following questions were posed to the audience and the answers discussed:

In the afternoon parallel sessions were held to the following fields of interest:

  • Innovation & trends
  • Promotion & training
  • Standardisation & fuel resources
  • Present & future marktes.

Innovation and trends were discussed by Peter Ottosen ("Large scale wood and straw pellets production and use"), Ulrich Kaier ("The pellet cycle"), Anton Hofer ("The biomass experience centre"), Martin Holley ("The customer - an unknown city"), G√ľnther Huemer ("Innovative biomass technologies from Austria") and Hans Jansen ("Timber from Russia"). Ideas on promotion and training for pellets were presented by Jeppe Bjerg ("Pelletes for Europe - a European Programme"), Rudolf Huber ("Successful marketing of wood pellets"), Horst Jauschnegg ("A training scheme for plumbers and chimney sweeps"), Leonhard Thien ("The wood pellets marketing campaign"), Adam Kennerley ("Starting from scratch") and Christian Rakos ("The BIOHEAT project").

Standardisation and fuel resources were discussed by Martin Englisch ("The Austrian pellets standardisation"), Norbert M√ľller (The quality labels of DIN CERTCO"), Julie Brassoud ("The ITEBE quality charter for wood pellets"), Fulvio Passalacqua ("Agri pellets - a new fuel for Southern Europe), Lars Nikolaisen ("Pellets recipes for high quality and competitive prices") and Klemens Schadauer ("Biomass resources in Austria"). Present and future markets were highlighted Gianluca Tondi (Italy), Juha Rautanen (Finland), Andreas Keel (Switzerland), Laura Vegas (Spain), Koichiro Koike (Japan) and Graeme Jessup (Australia).

After the parallel sessions reports and summaries were given by the session chairpersons, which were Manfred W√∂rgetter (Federal Institute of Agricultural Engineering, Austria), Mats Rydehell (KanEnergi, Sweden), Brigitte Hahn (Umbera, Austria) and Peter Helm (WIP, Germany). They were followed by Heinz Kopetz, who presented his vision for "Biomass for Europe". On the following day the pellets conference was continued with the focus on European pellets research & development. This session was opened by Maria Olsson and Johan Vinterb√§ck. They gave an overview of pellets R & D in Europe. Herbert Ortner presented condensing boilers and stirling engines. Exergy steam drying for biofuel production was focused by Claes M√ľnter, E.L. Akim highlighted wood pellets production in Russia. Christian R√∂hricht gave a lecture on pelletising grain straw and hay. R & D results were showcasted the audience by Paul Herzog. The session was closed by Petr Hulta who presented pellets from energy crops.

Tomorrow's Buildings

This conference was dedicated to the topic "tomorrow's buildings - the Megatrends in building and energy technologies". Technology highlights and inspiring examples were presented. It covered the entire spectrum from energy efficient architecture and building shell over heating, cooling and ventilation technologies to planning tools. The presentation of outstanding projects rounded off this highly informative event which included the aspects new buildings and renovation as well as housing, commercial and public buildings. This event offered the unique opportunity to obtain a profound outlook on the future of sustainable building and provide insights into forward-thinking innovations in energy technologies.

The introductory session was opened by Gerhard Dell, Energy Commissioner of Upper Austria, followed by Theodor Zillner, Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology in Austria, who presented the successful RTD programme "Buildings of the future". Architect Elmar Schossig outlined innovative facade solutions, Julius Natterer presented timber structure technologies for sustainable architecture, Jan Wienold discussed daylighting and sun shading solutions. The end focused on the presentation of inspiring examples. An overview of solar art was given by J√ľrgen Claus, he was followed by Helmut Poppe, who highlighted Europe's first passive house supermarket. Tjerk Reijenga from the Netherlands gave an overview of solar architecture in daily life, followed by Stefan Oehler, German architect, who illustrated "EnerGon - the largest passive house office building". This year again the interactive element "the voting" was included in the conference procedure. During the "building conference" the following questions were posed to the audience and the answers discussed:

The Megatrends of Sustainable Energy

A special highlight of the World Sustainable Energy Days 2004 was the evening event "The Megatrends of Sustainable Energy". Taking a new approach, this was a gathering of international key figures from the fields of sustainable energy, economy, science, media and politics. With a mix of keynote speeches, interview and discussion rounds, this event provided an exceptional environment for critical minds to gain and exchange expertise on the opportunities and challenges of the 21st century, to obtain an outlook on the future of energy supply and society as a whole.

The event was opened by Mr. Rudi Anschober, the Regional Minister for Environment & Energy of Upper Austria. He was followed by a presentation of Vernon L. Smith, Nobel prize winner for Economics in 2002, from the George Mason University, USA. He discussed the functionality of markets and their ability on selfregulation.

An overview of European policies in the field of energy efficiency and renewable energy sources was given by G√ľnther Hanreich, Directorate-General for Energy & Transport at the European Commission. Another highlight was the presentation of the ecological awareness of the Austrian population by Conrad Seidl, a well known Austrian journalist.

The presentations were followed by a panel discussion chaired by Ingrid Thurnher. Participants were Gerhard Dell, Energy Commissioner of Upper Austria, G√ľnther Hanreich, Directorate-General for Energy & Transport at the European Commission, Dagnija Blumberga, Riga Technical University, Juan Fraga, Secretary General of Eufores, Jackie Jones, Editor, James & James, UK, Gerhard Stryi-Hipp, Director BV Solarindustrie, Germany. Input into the discussion was also given by another "voting round". The audience was asked the following questions:

After a lively round of discussion on the question "what does the future of energy bring?", a get-together at a traditional Austrian restaurant offered the delegates, who had come to Wels from all over the world, the opportunity to discuss energy matters and exchange know-how in a relaxed atmosphere.

European Green Electricity Forum

This conference was dedicated to electricity from renewable energy sources. The conference "European Green Electricity Forum", held on 4th and 5th of March, provided an overview of the latest developments in key future technologies. Another focus were developments in photovoltaics, biomass, biogas and wind energy. Inspiring projects from all parts of the world complemented the expert presentations. This forum offered the opportunity to obtain a comprehensive outlook on the markets of sustainable electricity supply and to gain insights into visionary technological trends. The conference was opened by Gerhard Dell, Energy Commissioner of Upper Austria. Kai Sipilä, gave a presentation on wood biomass CHP. Stefan Nowak discussed solar power for the world, and gave an interesting outlook on technologies and markets. He was followed by Per Krogsgaard who presented the world market for wind energy technologies. The session was closed by Markus Ott, who gave a European overview on biogas from agriculture. The second part of the conference illustrated the promotion of green electricity in all parts of the world. Christiane Egger opened this session and gave an overview of the European green electricity network, specially of the OPET RESe Network, their targets and consortium. Lynne Kiesling discussed the possibility for consumers to drive the markets into sustainability. Amit Kumar from India presented the promotion of green electricity in developing countries. The session was closed by Christoph Wagner who gave an overview of the rehabilitation of small hydro power plants and he presented the success story of Upper Austria in this field of renewable energy.

The next part highlighted projects inspiring. Joan Fages Torras presented his successful wind energy development in Spain. Parson Walter Wimmer discussed power from heaven and presented an impressive example for photovoltaics. Janet Sanders gave an overview of "green empowering". Werner Steinecker presented the biomass CHP plant in Timelkam. Henrik Carlsen gave an overview of stirling engines and their potential to launch onto the market. The conference was closed by Josef Pröll, Austrian Federal Minister for Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management who gave an outlook of green electricty and the potentials therefore in Austria. He also gave an impressive overview on the Austrian way to achieve the Kyoto-targets.

Again during the conference, the audience was invited to participate in the voting, the following questions were posed and answers received:

ManagEnergy Workshop: "The Buildings Directive - opportunities at a local level"

The workshop was opened by G√ľnther Hanreich, Director for New Energies and Demand Management, Energy and Transport Directorate-General, he presented the Buildings Directive. Christine √Ėhlinger gave an overview on the promotion of sustainable buildings, labelling & certification in Upper Austria. Andy Warrington discussed the "Action Energy" and presented interesting examples from Wales. The energy benchmark pool, practised in Germany, was highlighted by Ingo Therburg. The ARPEGE-project which focuses on providing new jobs in the Rh√īne-Alpes region in France, was presented by Emmanuel Jeanjean. The session was closed by Marjana Sijanec Zavrl, who presented the experiences from Slovenja towards the buildings directive. After the conference, participants had the possibility to visit the exhibition and trade fair "Energiesparmesse". Guided tours were offered on Friday afternoon (5th March, 15:30) and Saturday (6th March, 10:30).

Poster Presentation

The Poster Presentation offered the opportunity to display, before a professional audience, successful initiatives and projects concerning energy efficiency and renewable energy sources implemented. Projects were presented via a poster, a video or a software. A summary of the project (max. 1 page) could be included in the conference proceedings and a lot of exhibitors used this opportunity. The pellets conference proceedings include 32 project describtions, the general conference proceedings include 27 project describtions. In total 70 posters were presented and a special part of the poster exhibition was dedicated to innovative energy trechnologies from Upper Austria.

The positive feedback during and after the World Sustainbale Energy Days 2004 showed that the conference was very well received both by the participants and the speakers. This years programme offered a wide range of different events and interesting project-presentations regarding renewable energy from all parts of the world. The audience was offered a multilateral event on renewable energy with the possibility to meet experts from all over the world. It was an ideal platform for initiating new projects and establishing contacts for future co-operation.