Energy conference: energy 2050

Off to the energy future! Using the opportunities offered by trends, innovations and changes to benefit society, climate protection and the economy

The VERBUND energy conference energy2050, which takes place every two years in Fuschl bei Salzburg, offers a forum for top decision makers from all areas of economy, politics and science in which the topic of energy plays a decisive role.

The economic growth engine needs energy – and the energy sector is facing new opportunities through cooperations, openness and knowledge of the trends. Technology, the market and society are developing rapidly. The point here is to keep up with them. Who is on target? Where are there obstacles? Who is on board? How are global trends influencing Europe's energy future?

You can find a review of the conference and a selection of photos in the VERBUND blog:
Review of Day 1
Review of Day 2
Review of Day 3

More than 220 high-level representatives of the European energy sector discussed the global energy trends and Europe's energy future in the elegant ambience of Schloss Fuschl Castle. "Climate change is a reality, as even sceptics have to admit by now", stated Wolfgang Anzengruber at the opening of the conference.

"Are we thinking radically enough in the way we are developing our energy system?" If we, as a small eco-social market economy, want to be an international role model, then we need to be more radical - which also goes for research and cooperations beyond conventional horizons. This is the only way Austria can maintain its leading role, Mahrer is convinced.

"Technology is suddenly accessible to players that were not yet present on the market a few years ago", as Robert Hardt, partner at next27, notes about the latest trend.
"Energy companies have about 5 to 7 years to become IT companies", observes Ewald Hesse, CEO and founder of Grid Singularity. "Then you also have to think like an IT company", namely quickly and willing to take risks.

In Altötting in May 2017, in the lead-up to energy2050, around 60 participants from Austria and Bavaria with backgrounds in industry, commerce, municipal and regional and national politics, energy and service networks and specialist institutions spent three days in small groups in various theme clusters with a dynamic development format - the "energylab" - working on real solution scenarios for the energy future in the various regions. The results of this energy2050lab were presented to the audience on the 2nd day.

The highlight of the second day was the award ceremony for the winners of the Innovation Challenge. The three winning teams from Spain, England and Austria had the opportunity to present their companies as part of energy2050 and received prize money amounting to EUR 8,000. "With the Innovation Challenge 2017, over the course of the summer VERBUND sought out innovative solutions for three different energy-related tasks", says CEO Wolfgang Anzengruber. "Our teams in the areas of electricity generation, transmission and consumer solutions identified relevant questions, genuine 'needs', and called on the international research community to find solutions for them."

The presentations by the award winners were just as innovative as their solution approaches: The improvisational theatre group TheatreWorks (, together with the audience, worked out an introduction to the thematic tasks of the respective challenges.

Parallel to the conference, the participants had the opportunity to experience electromobility: The latest electric vehicles were available for test drives.