Recap of the Energy Lunch #62: Climate-neutral industry

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by Oxana Schmidt

The event tool place on behalf of the state of Styria.

Approximately one-third of emissions in Austria are caused by the industry. The decarbonization of the industry is therefore a crucial component for the successful implementation of the energy transition. Industrial enterprises face significant challenges, including the rapid expansion of renewable energy production, a massive increase in energy efficiency, the conversion of production processes, investments in new facilities, and simultaneously maintaining and strengthening competitiveness.

On February 1, 2024, the 62nd "Ich tu’s Energy Lunch" on the topic of "Climate-Neutral Industry" took place. Approximately 130 participants attended the event live in Graz.

The event provided an insightful overview of current developments in achieving climate neutrality in the industry. Prof. Dr Thomas Kienberger, Head of the NEFI_Lab and Chair of Energy Network Technology at Montanuniversität Leoben, presented strategies for achieving climate neutrality in Austria's industry, showcasing solutions from NEFI projects (OxySteel, DSM_Opt and HeatHighway).

Following this, two globally leading technology companies with strong ties to Styria presented their decarbonization and transformation strategies:

  • Michael Schwaiger, Operations Manager of the Energy Department at voestalpine Stahl Donawitz in Leoben, and
  • Markus Binder, Director of Energy for Magnal Internal.

Finally, Joachim Kelz (AEE - Institute for Sustainable Technologies) provided insights into the FossilFree4Industry research project.

The subsequent panel discussion addressed current issues related to the event's theme. Manfred Pachernegg, CEO of Energienetze Steiermark, and Dr Franz Prettenthaler, Head of the Institute for Climate, Energy Systems and Society at Joanneum Research, enriched the discussion with aspects related to (gas/electricity) network infrastructure and (inter)national climate policy.

The event was recorded and can be viewed on the Energie Agentur Steiermark's YouTube channel (in German): 62. Ich tu's Energy Lunch - Klimaneutrale Industrie (

The presentations of the speakers are available for Download in German.