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The Knowledge-Sharing Platform

11 Oct 2018

ISEC 2018 discusses strategies for decarbonisation

From left to right: Prof. Dr. Reinhold W. Lang, JKU Linz, AT; Theresia Vogel, Director, Klima- und Energiefonds, AT; Prof. Dr. Hans-Martin Henning, Director Fraunhofer ISE, DE; Haitze Siemers, Head of Unit for New energy technologies, innovation and clean coal, DG Energy, European Commission, BE; Sabine Mitter, Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology, AT; Josef Plank, Secretary General, Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism, AT; Werner Weiss, CEO AEE INTEC, AT. Credit: Miriam Raneburger

From 3 to 5 October 2018, the International Sustainable Energy Conference (ISEC 2018) took place in Graz under the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. 370 scientific, industry and energy policy experts from 51 countries participated in the event. The conference  focussed on the heat sector and resource efficiency in an interconnected sustainable energy system and the huge resulting possibilities for innovative research institutions and businesses.  

The public debate about the switch from a fossil‑based to a sustainable energy system often concentrates, in the area of energy policy, on the electricity sector alone, which is accountable for only 20% of worldwide final energy consumption. The implementation of the agreement to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius, which was adopted at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in December 2015 in Paris, is only possible if a switch to renewable energy sources also takes place quickly in the heat sector.

Recent statements by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change also show that research and innovation play a key role if the energy transition is to be successful. In Austria, the Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT) supports cooperation between research institutions and the Austrian economy with energy research funds of approximately € 100 million annually. Important factors in this respect are sector coupling and intelligent integration as well as storage technologies and digitalisation.

At ISEC 2018, strategies for the decarbonisation of cities and industrial processes as well as energy planning measures were presented and discussed in 76 specialist lectures and 5 keynote speeches. A workshop organised by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), which also took place in the framework of ISEC 2018, offered participants the possibility to network with seven energy centres in developing countries. The conference was organised by the AEE – Institute for Sustainable Technologies with the support of the Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology, the Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism, the Austrian Climate and Energy Fund, as well as the Federal Province of Styria and the City of Graz.

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