Driving the energy transition in industry with innovation and international coordination
From the left side: Mark van Loon (Wienerberger AG), Theresia Vogel (Klima- und Energiefonds), Peter Pechtl (ENEXSA), Michael Losch (BMK), Sabine Herlitschka (Infineon Technologies Austria), Christiane Egger (NEFI und OÖ Energiesparverband), Thomas Kienberger (NEFI und Montanuniversität Leoben), Christian Maurer (NEFI und Business Upper Austria), Wolfgang Hribernik (NEFI und AIT) © NEFI/Özelt
On 27 August 2021, NEFI – New Energy for Industry discussed with international guests at the Alpbacher Technology Talks how the energy transition in industry can succeed.
The decarbonisation and transformation of the industrial energy system is an essential contribution to achieving national climate targets, as the manufacturing industry is responsible for a significant share of global energy consumption and CO2 emissions. More than one fifth of global CO2 emissions are caused by industry, in Austria it is more than one third of CO2 emissions. The switch to renewable energies and the increase in energy efficiency to achieve the European climate protection goals open up major challenges for domestic industry.
“How can the energy transition in industry succeed?” was therefore the key question of the breakout session of NEFI – New Energy for Industry at this year’s Technology Talks in Alpbach.
The projects of the NEFI innovation network develop technologies and system solutions to decarbonise 100% of the energy consumption of the Austrian industrial sector and to initiate a roll-out of technologies “Made in Austria”. However, the greatest challenge in the transformation of the industrial energy system will be the scarce time to implement the social, political and technological changes. For this reason, international networking is needed to drive initiatives forward in a targeted manner worldwide, supplemented by national programmes that both enable implementation and promote international exchange.
In the opening keynote, Will Hall (Head of Buildings and Industry for COP26 at Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)) emphasised that greater coordination among countries in the areas of research, development and standards is needed to accelerate industry’s transition to climate-neutral production and to tap the market potential. After all, manufacturers of low-carbon products should be offered a level playing field. An important role can be played here by the “Mission Innovation” network, a global initiative of 22 countries, including Austria and the European Commission, with the aim of combating climate change and advancing the development of sustainable energy technologies.
“Austria is pursuing ambitious goals in an international comparison: the targeted climate neutrality in 2040 simultaneously offers Austrian companies the opportunity to take a pioneering role in the field of decarbonisation,” explained Michael Losch (BMK) in his keynote speech.
The challenges for the success of the energy transition in industry were discussed under the moderation of Wolfgang Hribernik (NEFI Network Coordinator and Head of Center for Energy AIT) and Thomas Kienberger (Head of NEFI Lab, Chair of Energy Network Technology at the University of Leoben):
- Will Hall, Head of Buildings and Industry for COP26 at Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)
- Sabine Herlitschka, CEO, Infineon Technologies Austria AG
- Michael Losch, Special Envoy for Green Industrial Policy, BMK
- Peter Pechtl, Managing Director, ENEXSA GmbH
- Mark van Loon, Vice President for Sustainability and Innovation, Wienerberger AG
- Theresia Vogel, Managing Director, Climate and Energy Fund
The breakout session is available for review at this Link.