Review: The World Sustainable Energy Days 2009

The international conference World Sustainable Energy Days was held from 25 to 27 February 2009 in Wels/Austria, a great success with over 850 participants from 53 countries! The World Sustainable Energy Days 2009 offered a unique combination of events:










Pellet Conference


Energie Efficiency Conference

Energie Efficiency Services

Pellet Workshop


Energy Efficiency Conference

Efficient Cooling



Pellet Conference

Regional Biomass Action Plans


Energie Efficiency Conference

Energy Efficiency Watch

Pellet Workshop



Continuing a long tradition of successful international conferences and exhibitions already held in Wels/Austria, the World Sustainable Energy Days 2009 showcased outstanding sustainable energy projects and technologies and offered 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.

Site Visits

The first day was dedicated to technical site-visits which met with very high interest. Especially conference participants from outside Europe welcomed the opportunity to visit a number of interesting sites, including a solar wood chip drying system, an industrial sawmill company with a biomass CHP plant, a leading biomass boiler producer, a road maintenance office with a 220 kW pellet heating system and a one family home with a 10 kW pellet system and a 6 m² vacuum solar system.

European Pellet Conference

The European Pellet Conference was held from 25 to 26 February. Experts from all over the world discussed current and future pellet market trends as well as technical innovations.
The conference was opened by Rudi Anschober, Regional Minister for Environment & Energy in Upper Austria, Gerhard Dell, the Energy Commissioner of Upper Austria and Managing Director of O.Ö. Energiesparverband, and Annick Delhaye, presidency Fedarene und vice president of the French region Provence-Alpes-Côtes-d'Azur (PACA).
The first part of the conference was dedicated to general and current issues. Paul Hodson, European Commission, presented the European renewable energy policy and Christiane Egger, O.Ö. Energiesparverband, key issues for pellet market development.

Following this, Prof. Antti Asikainen from the Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla) spoke about global forest resources for energy production and Prof. Reinhard Haas, Technical University of Vienna, about the ecologically best use of wood for energy production. The presentation of Veit Bürger showed the pro's and con's of different public support models.

In the following round-table, representatives from different stakeholder groups discussed how to cope with the fluctuations of the pellet markets.

In the afternoon the Pellet Conference continued with the session "technologies and innovations". Topics like the energy efficient drying of sawdust, pellet production from different wood raw materials as well as agricultural fuels, increasing the ash melting temperature of wood pellets and the eco-design of solid fuel combustion installations were discussed.
Following this, markets and logistics were presented starting with the European wood pellet market forecast. Further speakers presented biomass resources in Malaysia, global sawdust potentials and pellet supply chains, pellet contracting/realised projects and finally logistics systems for pellets.
To conclude the first day of the pellet conference, the award ceremony of the pellet competition 2009 was held.

Pellet-Workshop "Current developments on European and international pellet markets"

The pellet workshop, starting on 26 February, offered an overview of the current trends on European and international pellet markets with speakers from Ireland, USA, Denmark, Sweden, Italy, the Czech Republic, Hungary, the United Kingdom, Germany and Austria. In the afternoon, innovative pellet technologies from Austria were presented.

Conference Regional Biomass Action Plans

In parallel to the pellet conference, the conference Regional Biomass Action Plans was held on Wednesday afternoon. The first part was dedicated to the development and successful implementation of regional biomass action plans, presented by Christine Öhlinger from O.Ö. Energiesparverband and following this, Niina Kautto, Joint Research Centre, European Commission, showed links between regional and national biomass action plans. The successful biomass market of New England, USA, built the bridge to important instruments like regional biomass networks and information centres, the business model Biowin and the training of female renewable energy engineers.
Successful examples from European regions were shown during the second part of the conference: Provence-Alpes Côtes-d'Azur in France, the Canton of Berne in Switzerland, Alto-Adige and Emilia Romagna in Italy, Žilina in Slovakia, Pomerania in Poland and Flanders in Belgium.

European Energy Efficiency Conference

The European Energy Efficiency Conference - Efficiency 09 - started on Thursday with the conference Energy Efficiency Services. After the opening by Rudi Anschober, Regional Minister for Environment & Energy, Stefan Thomas of the Wuppertal Institute, Germany, gave an overview of energy efficiency services. Innovative European projects were presented by Vasco Janeiro from the European Commission, followed by energy efficiency in Asia, presented by J. Nandakumar, and an overview of US programmes provided by Dan York from the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy. Instruments such as energy advice and contracting, shown by Gerhard Dell, O.Ö. Energiesparverband, and successful subsidy programmes for private households and SME by Rolf Hennes, KfW Bankengruppe, were presented afterwards.

Following this, issues like financing sustainable energy projects around the globe, intelligent energy management services, smart metering and electricity tariffs favouring efficiency were presented.

Energy Efficiency Watch

In the afternoon, the conference continued with the "Energy Efficiency Watch Conference". Firstly, Rudi Anschober, Regional Minister for Environment & Energy, Fionas Hall, Member of the European Parliament and Vice-President of Eufores, Pieter Boot form the International Energy Agency and Vasco Janeiro, European Commission, discussed the question: "Energy efficiency - delivering the 20% target". Afterwards, Daniel Becker from Ecofys, Germany, spoke about the 27 national energy efficiency action plans and the results of the evaluation and Gerhard Dell presented the Energy Efficiency Action Plan of Austria.
In a round-table entitled "Energy efficiency - a contradiction between politics and business?" political decision makers such as MEP Paul Rübig (European Parliament), MEP Fiona Hall and MP Alan Whitehead (British Parliament), representatives of business such as Markus Miele from Miele, Tony Robson from Knauf Insulation and Harry Verhaar from Philips Lighting, and NGOs with Mariangiola Fabbri from WWF discussed the current issues.

Conference "Energy Efficient Cooling of Buildings"

On 27 February, the focus was on energy efficient cooling of buildings. Martin Elsberger, European Commission, started with the presentation "Energy performance of buildings: The proposal for the recast" followed by topics like construction for a warmer climate, clima design and the building of tomorrow - key technologies and light house projects.
The second part of the conference offered innovative examples. At the beginning, Christiane Egger from O.Ö. Energiesparverband presented the strategy for low energy buildings in Upper Austria, Amado de Jesus green architecture in Asia, Thomas Rau examples of sustainable architecture and Miha Tomsic energy efficiency in cooling of buildings in Slovakia.
After the lunch break, the conference continued with efficient cooling technologies. Topics like improving thermal comfort and cooling efficiency, benchmarking, auditing and monitoring, night-cool, PCM solutions of space cooling, solar shading, advanced storage concepts and solar control glass were presented. Finally, Dr. Antinucci spoke about the inspection of air conditioning systems and the implementation in the EU Member States.

Energie Star 2009

Another highlight of the World Sustainable Energy Days 2009 was the award ceremony of the "Energie Star 2009" - the Upper Austrian award for successful sustainable energy projects - in the evening of 26 February. An overview of the winning projects (in German) is available at:

Pellet competition 2009

In the frame of the Upper Austrian pellet competition 2009, especially schools were invited to present pellets in a creative way. In total, 69 projects were submitted and they included poems, cross word, slogans, field reports, photos, videos, pictures, drawings, etc. The winners were honoured in a festive award ceremony held at the European Pellet Conference. Information can be found at (in German).

Competition "The best marketing for sustainable energy"

Professional marketing for energy efficiency and renewable energy keeps getting more important In the framework of the World Sustainable Energy Days 2009 conference, the best promotional campaigns were awarded at the competition "The best marketing for sustainable energy". Details of the competition and the winners can be found here.


An interactive element, "the voting", was included in the conference procedure. During the sessions the audience was invited to answer questions on their opinions about the energy future. The results of the voting can be found here.

Poster Presentation

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. About 70 companies and organisations have made use of this possibility.


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 more than 100,000 visitors and around 850 exhibiting companies. The O.Ö. Energiesparverband presented its services on a large exhibition stand and more than 100 energy advisers were available for any information on energy efficiency and renewable energy sources. Additionally, guided tours of the trade show were organised.
The positive feedback during and after the World Sustainable Energy Days 2009 showed that the conference was very well received both by the participants and the speakers. The audience was offered a multilateral event on renewable energy and energy efficiency 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. More pictures ...

WSED 2010

The next World Sustainable Energy Days will be held from 3 to 5 March 2010 in Wels. The deadline for the "call for papers" is
1 October 2009.