Review: The World Sustainable Energy Days 2010

The international conference World Sustainable Energy Days, held from 3 to 5 March 2010 in Wels/Austria, was a great success with over 750 participants from 51 countries! The World Sustainable Energy Days 2010 offered a unique combination of events:






Technical site-visits

Pellet Conference

Energiespar- messe

Building Renovation

Pellet Conference

Energiespar- messe

Building Renovation

Solar Thermal Conference

Energiespar- messe


Technical site-visits

Pellet Conference

Energiespar- messe

Solar Thermal Conference

Building Renovation

Energiespar- messe

Energiespar- messe

Continuing an 18-year long tradition of successful international conferences and trade shows held in Wels/Austria, the World Sustainable Energy Days 2010 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.

Technical site-visits

Tuesday 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 biomass-related sites, including a district heating system with a 650 kW wood chip boiler, a 15 kW pellet heating system in a one-family home, a leading manufacturer of small-scale wood pellet boilers, a 150 kW two-storey wood chip container installed as a contracting project and a kindergarten with a 50 kW pellet boiler.

European Pellet Conference

The World Sustainable Energy Days 2010 started with the European Pellet Conference, held from 3 - 4 March. Experts from all over the world discussed current and future pellet market trends as well as technical innovations.

The Pellet 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 Paul Rübig, Member of the European Parliament. Emese Kottász of the European Commission gave an overview of the European policies for biomass, followed by the importance of standards presented by Walter Haslinger, Bioenergy 2020+. Eija Alakangas from VTT, Technical Research Centre of Finland, introduced the new European Pellet Standards and Martijn van Vis, Biomass Technology Group, presented sustainability criteria for solid biomass production.

A round table with representatives of pellet or pellet equipment companies and their associations respectively, as well as of research and public institutions highlighted "key issues for the pellet market development“, such as sustainability, security of supply, customer focus and international trade. Participants of the round table were Richard Sikkema, University of Utrecht, Christiane Egger, O.Ö. Energiesparverband, Patrick de Jamblinne, Tuzetka Ukraine, Bengt-Erik Löfgren, ÄFAB, Sweden, Jill Stuckey, Georgia Center of Innovation for Energy, USA, and Beate Schmidt, Deutscher Energieholz- und Pellet-Verband, Germany.

In the afternoon, the pellet conference continued with the session "Resources and Technologies". Claudia Kirsten, Deutsches Biomasseforschungszentrum, presented experiences and chances of miscanthus pellets, followed by pellets from cork residues and shrubs by Joao Monney Paiva, DEMGI - Polytechnic Institute of Viseu, Portugal. Wolfgang Stelte, Technical University of Denmark, provided information on pelletising properties of different types of biomass. Further presentations were on the advantages and challenges of torrefied pellets by Robin Post van der Burg, Topell, The Netherlands and on the development of low-dust biomass boilers by Ingwald Obernberger, BIOS Bioenergiesysteme, Austria.

The session "Markets and Logistics" started with the presentation of local pellet production capacities by George Stammers of CO2 Sense Yorkshire. The presentation by Morten Neraas of Green Circle Bio Energy in Florida showcased the world's largest wood pellet plant. The session continued with financial issues - Rudi Maier of Südwärme, Germany, spoke about "Contracting to successfully finance and operate larger pellet heating systems" and Matti Sihvonen, FOEX, Finland, about "Price indices for wood pellets".

The first day of the pellet conference was concluded by short presentations, "project flashes". Radmilo Savic, JKP Beogradske elektrane, Serbia, started with the project "substituting coal by biomass in the district heating system of Belgrade", followed by Duncan Kerridge, Dulas, UK, showing a wood pellet ESCO in Wales and Stefano Tavolo, Turboden, Italy, who presented operational results of an ORC installation at a pellet production plant.

On March 4, the pellet workshop offered an overview of the current trends on European and international pellet markets with speakers from Sweden: Karin Haara, Svebio; Finland: Lauri Sikanen, University of Joensuu; France: Hugues de Cherisey, Syndicat National des Producteurs de Granulés de Bois; Austria: Christian Rakos, proPellets; Germany: Beate Schmidt, Deutscher Energieholz- und Pellet-Verband; Italy: Annalisa Paniz, Associazione Italiana Energie Agroforestali; Spain: Francisco Puente Salve, ESCAN; Hungary: Emese Burján, Magyar Pellet Egyesület; USA: Albrecht von Sydow, Biomass Thermal Energy Council and Russia: Olga S. Rakitova, The Bioenergy International.

Conference "Building Renovation - towards low energy consumption"

The conference "Building Renovation - towards low energy consumption" started on Thursday and was opened by Rudi Anschober, Regional Minister for Environment & Energy in Upper Austria, and Claude Turmes, Member of the European Parliament. The first session was entitled "The energy efficiency package of the EU" and was introduced by Richard Bradley of the International Energy Agency with "Indicators for energy efficiency: towards a low carbon society". Following this, Martin Elsberger, European Commission, presented the new European Buildings Directive. Brian Cody, Graz University of Technology, linked energy efficiency and architecture in his presentation "Form follows energy".

The next session of the conference focused on cost optimal levels for building renovation. The first presentation "How deep to go: the economics of renovation" was held by Rod Janssen, eceee. Claire Roumet of CECODHAS - Housing Europe showed "The pathway to 8 million refurbished homes", followed by the presentation of ambitious renovation targets by Werner Hansmann, Eurima. In the following, two regions were presented. Gerhard Dell, Energy Commissioner of Upper Austria, provided information on the building renovation programmes in Upper Austria and Ian J. Finlayson, Buildings and Climate Programs, Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, spoke about improving US building energy efficiency and the pioneering role of Massachusetts.

In the afternoon, the conference continued with innovative technologies for efficient renovation. Theodor Zillner of the Austrian Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology showed top-level research results in the field of building renovation. Anke Mennenga of the Bavarian Environment Agency focused on the efficient renovation of office buildings. Further topics were pre-fabricated systems for low energy renovation by Robert Fischer, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, and international examples for advanced housing renovation by Fritjof Salvesen, KanEnergi.

The final session on Thursday was dedicated to programmes and financing. Patrick Hansen, Forschungszentrum Jülich, presented the German CO2 building renovation programme and its economic impacts. Blair Hamilton, Director of Vermont Energy Investment Corporation, introduced innovative financing methods and Lenka Česenková, State Environmental Fund Czech Republic, presented the Czech "Green Savings" programme. Further issues were eco refurbishment of housing by Paul Ciniglio, Radian Technical Services, and the user’s perspective of buildings and energy by Bill Bordass of the Usable Buildings Trust, UK.

On Friday, the conference continued with three parallel working groups covering different fields of building renovation. The working groups were introduced by short impulse statements and invited the participants to discuss and actively exchange their views.

The first working group entitled "From European policies to local implementation" was introduced by the statements held by Kierson Wise, Severn Wye Energy Agency, "Target 2050 - aiming for a 60 % carbon footprint reduction" and by Vollrad Kuhn, Clinton Climate Initiative, with the title "Energy Efficiency Building Retrofit Programme".

The second working group was dedicated to refurbishing Europe's social housing. Statements were given by Marit Otsing, the Estonian Union of Co-operative Housing Associations, Péter Puskás, Deputy Mayor of Óbuda and Vit Vanícek of the Czech and Moravian Housing Cooperative Union.
In the third working group, the focus was on innovative products and services. As an introduction, Harry Verhaar of Philips Lighting provided information on efficient lighting and Architect Heinz-Christian Plöderl on renovation examples to passive house standard.

The Building Renovation Conference was concluded with a site-visit on low energy renovation. Two projects were visited: a social housing building which was refurbished to passive house standard in Linz and a renovated industrial quarter in Wels.

Solar Thermal Conference Wels

The Solar Thermal Conference Wels was opened by Christiane Egger, O.Ö. Energiesparverband. As an introduction, Xavier Noyon from ESTIF gave an overview on "solar thermal markets today and tomorrow". Following this, Reinhard Haas of the Technical University Vienna showed the potential of solar thermal energy in Europe and Christiane Egger, O.Ö. Energiesparverband, presented the successful solar thermal strategy of Upper Austria. Matthias Rommel, Institut für Solartechnik, Hochschule für Technik Rapperswil, spoke about quality assurance for solar collectors and Danny Parker of the Florida Solar Energy Center lessons for solar water heating from solar testing.

The next session was dedicated to technologies and programmes. At the beginning Wim van Helden of Wim van Helden Renewable Heat/ASiC presented different options of compact thermal energy storage. Further solar thermal applications were large scale solar district heating plants presented by Jan Nielsen of PlanEnergi and solar air conditioning presented by Alexander Morgenstern, Fraunhofer Institut für Solare Energiesysteme. Navratna Mal Nahar of the Central Arid Zone Research Institute in India presented the possibility of solar water heaters for developing countries and Julije Domac of the North-West Croatia Regional Energy Agency "1000 solar thermal roofs in Croatia". The session was completed by the programme for solar thermal contracting "HOSPISOL", presented by Jorge Jové Sandoval, Ente Regional de la Energía de Castilla y León.

On Friday, the Solar Thermal Conference was continued with the session “Current developments of international solar thermal markets”. The following markets were presented: Namen ergänzen Germany (Werner Koldehoff, Bundesverband Solarwirtschaft), Austria (Roger Hackstock, Austria Solar), Spain (David Pérez, eclareon), France (Richard Loyen, ENERPLAN), Ireland (Paul Dykes, Sustainable Energy Ireland), Czech Republic (Ivana Klobušníková, Energy Centre České Budějovice), Poland (Grzegorz Wisniewski, EC BREC/IEO)and China (Zheng Ruicheng, China Academy of Building Research). Wolfgang Hiegl of WIP Renewable Energies concluded the conference with information on innovative policies for renewable heating and cooling.

More pictures...

Energie-Star 2010

One highlight of the World Sustainable Energy Days 2010 was the award ceremony of the "Energie Star 2010" - the Upper Austrian award for successful sustainable energy projects - in the evening of 4 March. An overview of the winning projects (in German) is available at:


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 on energy efficiency and renewable energy sources. About 60 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 around 100,000 visitors and about 900 exhibiting companies. The O.Ö. Energiesparverband presented its services at a large exhibition stand where more than 100 energy advisers were available for any information on energy efficiency and renewable energy sources.

WSED 2011

The next World Sustainable Energy Days will be held from 2 to 4 March 2011 in Wels. The deadline for the "call for papers" is 5 October 2010.