"As Austria's largest electricity provider, we view it as our mission in society to set the pace for clean energy, more energy independence and a future worth the living for the next generation", as VERBUND Chairman of the Board Wolfgang Anzengruber emphasizes. "All of the submitted projects are outstanding innovations which once again demonstrate Austrian know-how and esprit. So VERENA is sending strong signals to industry and for the environment again this year. The incentive award VERENA is an important building block for redesigning the energy future."
This innovative process for producing biofuels, BioCRACK Technology (patent pending), will make it possible for refineries to achieve an organic fuel content of up to 20% directly in the refining process, by integrating by-products of refining and solid biomass such as straw or waste wood into the processing. The quality of the fuel produced in this way complies with the European diesel quality norm. Using this "biodiesel of the second generation" therefore requires no adaptation of conventional diesel motors. According to a study by Joanneum Research, the bioCRACK process has a potential for reducing greenhouse gases by over 80%, using the official EU method of calculation. An important step on the way to industrial implementation was made in July 2012 with the opening of the BioCRACK pilot plant at the OMV refinery in Schwechat. BDI - BioEnergy International is developing technologies for extracting energy from by-products and waste products – with a maximum conservation of resources at the same time.
Three further companies were nominated for the VERENA award: Energie AG Oberösterreich from Linz developed a smart system for improving energy efficiency. Herz Energietechnik from Pinkafeld submitted a CO2-neutral biomass- and heat pump system, and Kälte- und Systemtechnik from Freundorf developed a "tiled stove – heat pump – all-over home heating system".
The VERBUND E-Novation Award (VERENA) was awarded for the 14th time this year by Austria's leading electricity company VERBUND for innovative projects from the fields of energy efficiency, energy management and smart grids, electromobility, as well as electricity from renewable sources of energy. VERENA is a motivating factor for industry and research to cooperate in implementing future-oriented measures. Starting in 2012, VERENA is a special prize awarded as part of the National Innovation Award.