The international conference World Sustainable Energy Days was held from 2-4 March 2005 in Wels/Austria, achieving again very good results and attracting 837 participants from 54 countries. The World Sustainable Energy Days 2005 comprised the following events:
- European Pellets Conference
- Innovative Public & Commercial Buildings
- Energy Sustainable Communities
Continuing a long tradition of successful international conferences and exhibitions already held in Wels/Austria, the World Sustainable Energy Days 2005 showcased 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 provided a key forum for presenting sustainable energy solutions; for planning political initiatives; and for launching projects and starting partnerships. It aimed 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 World Sustainable Energy Days started with the European Pellets Conference. 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 first day was dedicated to a site visit, which met with extraordinary high interest. Especially the conference participants from abroad welcomed the opportunity to visit within one day a pellets production, a biomass district heating plant, a boiler producer and a one family home.
The conference was opened on 2 March by Mr. Rudi Anschober, Regional Minister for Environment & Energy in Upper Austria, Josef Stockinger, Regional Minister for Agriculture, MEP Mechthild Rothe and Samuele Furfari from the European Commission.
The first part was dedicated to brief overviews of the main pellet markets in Europe, the pellet technologies and the role of bioenergy in Europe until 2020, followed by a round-table discussion. Experts from the United States, from Denmark, Sweden, Germany and Austria discussed the trends on important pellets markets. In the afternoon parallel sessions were held on the topics "Markets & Marketing" and "Pellets Production & Technology Trends". The European Pellets Conference was continued on 3 March focusing on "pellets innovations" and "success with pellets". The first part offered an overview of pellets R&D in Europe, the main steering instruments for pellets markets, quality issues and the most recent topics agro-pellets and pellets production from short rotation forestry. The second part was dedicated to the presentation of successful pellets technologies and companies. The interest in the conference was extraordinary high, the participants welcomed the opportunity to discuss pellets related issues with experts from all over the world.
Innovative Public & Commercial Buildings
In parallel to the European Pellets Conference, the event "Innovative Public and Commercial Buildings" was held on 3 March. The event was dedicated to policies and programmes for energy efficient buildings, different ways to bridge the gap between economy and ecology were presented and an overview of innovative technologies was given. Among others, solar cooling technologies and the efficient use of daylight were outlined, followed by inspiring projects from Germany, Slovenia and Austria.
Another highlight of the World Sustainable Energy Days 2005 was the award ceremony of the "Energie-Star 2005" - the Upper Austrian award for successful sustainable energy projects. Additionally the winners of the international photo competition "Sustainable Energy" were presented. 1,069 pictures from 54 countries were submitted and showed how fascinating and how much fun renewable energy and energy efficiency can be.
Energy Sustainable Communities
The conference on March 4, put the focus on Energy Sustainable Communities and offered an overview of the different ways to use renewable energy sources and increase energy efficiency in communities. Inspiring projects from all over the world - reaching from Rhône-Alpes in France and municipalities in the Czech Republic to sustainable energy projects in South-East Asia and Upper Austria - were presented. The final statement of the conference was given by the Austrian Federal Minister Josef Pröll. He outlined the Austrian activities to fulfil the Kyoto-targets and the implementation of the European Directive for green electricity.
An interactive element, "the voting", was included in the conference procedure. During the sessions the audience was invited to answer questions on their estimations about the energy future.
During the World Sustainable Energy Days the poster presentation offered companies and organisations the opportunity to display, before a professional audience, successful initiatives and projects concerning energy efficiency and renewable energy sources.
Biomass for the old people's home in Georgheni, Romania
The evening event of the European Pellets Conference was dedicated to fund raising for a retirement home in Georgheni, Romania. The heating system of the home for 124 persons, run by the Caritas organisation, was converted from oil to biomass recently, which helped to reduce heating costs by more than 50 %. However, due to the cold climate and the difficult economic situation, heating costs still represent a serious economic threat for this institution. With the project "Biomass heating for Georgheni", the World Sustainable Energy Days wanted to make a small contribution by supporting this environmentally-friendly heating for people in a disadvantaged situation. In total 3,300 Euro were collected and handed over to the representatives of the Caritas organisation.
In parallel to the World Sustainable Energy Days, the "Energiesparmesse", an exhibition and trade show dedicated to renewable energy sources and energy efficiency was held. It attracted around 100,000 visitors and more than 800 exhibiting companies. The O.Ö. Energiesparverband presented its services on a large exhibition stand (300 m²), more than 100 energy advisers were available for any information on energy efficiency and renewable energy sources. Additionally for the participants of the World Sustainable Energy Days guided tours in different languages were organised. The positive feedback during and after the World Sustainbale Energy Days 2005 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.