energy 2050 – programme 2019

The future of energy lies in our hands; we have to act and we have to do it together. Mobility, energy and the industry are called upon to unite in the fight for a clean energy future.


Day 1, 18 September 2019

in the Sheraton Salzburg-Fuschlsee Hotel Jagdhof restaurant
Dipl.-Ing. Wolfgang Anzengruber, chairman of the executive board, VERBUND AG  
Provincial Councillor Dr. Josef Schwaiger, Province of Salzburg
The government has set new standards with its declared goal of generating all electricity in Austria from renewable energies by 2030. It goes hand in hand with a further shift in focus towards energy storage technologies and the expansion of the electricity grid. The government is now required to go all in if it wants to reach its goal. What role will sector coupling play? 
Elisabeth Köstinger, former feral minister for sustainability and tourism
The energy transition has a new buzz word: sector coupling. The idea of running energy-intensive heating, transportation and industry on renewable energy instead of fossil fuels is appealing, but will require the rollout of many new technologies and rules beyond electricity alone. 
Hydrogen is an important such opportunity but tapping into its potential will require targeted action in the near-term.
Dr. Timur Gül,  Head of the Energy Technology Policy (ETP), IEA 

To decarbonize energy, sector coupling is indispensable to transfer renewable energy from PV and wind power to other energy-consuming sectors. Electrolysis is a way to convert electric energy to hydrogen, providing a universal and storable form of renewable energy. Green hydrogen expected to play a significant role in mobility as a complement to e-Cars, either in the form of molecular hydrogen or as synthetic fuels. In future scenarios of vastly decarbonized energy, hydrogen may also be used for re-electrification in gas turbines or fuel cells to provide security of supply. Decarbonization pathways strongly depending on regulation; to decarbonize energy at lowest cost, policy makers should aim for a technology-neutral framework considering well-to-wheel emissions rather than promoting specific technologies.

Dr.-Ing. Katharina Beumelburg, Senior Vice President Strategy, Siemens Gas & Power

and audience Q&A with keynote speakers

Opportunity to test drive electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles

“Clean energy for all Europeans” was the title under which the EU presented the Clean Energy Package. The targets it contains are ambitious: 32.5% more energy efficiency and at least 32% renewable energy in Europe’s gross final energy consumption by 2030. In addition to the “efficiency first” principle, digitisation and sector coupling will be major contributors to fulfilling the process. 
What framework conditions must be provided in order to develop and implement the necessary technologies? What is the status quo in the individual EU countries?

Dr. Florian Ermacora, Head of Unit Wholesale Markets Electricity and Gas, Internal Energy Market Directorate, Directorate-General for Energy, European Commission

What exactly can sector coupling do for the energy transition? Although it is often seen as the key to energy transition beyond the electricity sector, each sector faces its own specific challenges and framework conditions. Uniting them requires a cross-sectoral discussion. In addition, political framework conditions and consumer acceptance open to technology form the basis for designing sector coupling. What hurdles must be overcome to ensure that sector coupling does not remain a mere buzzword?

Dipl.-Ing. Wolfgang Anzengruber, chairman of the executive board, VERBUND AG  
Dr. Florian Ermacora, Head of Unit Wholesale Markets Electricity and Gas, Internal Energy Market Directorate, Directorate-General for Energy, European Commission
Roland Hess, Senior Vice President, Applied Excellence, innogy SE
Prok. Dipl. Ing Alexander Schwab, Director – Market Management, Business Development and Corporate Communications, ANDRITZ HYDRO GmbH

Reflection with 2–4 participants from the audience and questions via app

Don’t believe in megatrends! What may sound unusual from the mouth of a trend researcher is actually very serious: Kai Arne Gondlach is Senior Researcher at 2b AHEAD ThinkTank, the largest trend research institute in the German-speaking world. He continuously tracks down the trends and disruptions of the coming years – not with a crystal ball but with scientific methodology. Because futures are his passion; the people who shape them, his daily dialogue partners. 

Kai Gondlach, Senior Researcher, 2b AHEAD ThinkTank GmbH

Test drives in electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles

Festive dinner on the lakeside terrace of Schloss Fuschl (in fine weather) or in the rooms of the castle


Test drives in electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles 
Test drives in the grounds of Schloss Fuschl


Festive dinner on the lakeside terrace of Schloss Fuschl (in fine weather) or in the rooms of the castle


Day 2, 19 September 2019

Although many technological innovations are required to implement intelligent sector coupling, we still have an existing infrastructure at our disposal. It is now up to us to use it optimally. What role can power to gas or the production of hydrogen and methane still play with electricity from renewable energies? Which interfaces do transport, energy and industry still offer that need to be harnessed? Which obstacles need to be overcome?

Mag. Andreas Reichhardt, federal minister for transport, innovation and technology


Natural gas is the fossil fuel with the lowest CO2 emissions, its transportation & distributions are highly flexible and additionally, gas can be decarbonized via carbon capture storage. Innovative gas fuels such as biomethane, synthetic methane and hydrogen, and technologies such as power-to-gas, fuel cells and micro-CHP, can offer solutions to contribute to the energy system transition significantly. Which role will gaseous energy play in the future energy system?

Andreas Guth, Director Policy, Eurogas

The Zillertalbahn is Austria’s narrow gauge railway in the federal state of Tyrol with a Bosnian gauge of 760 mm. The 31.74-kilometre, predominantly single-track line with a total of about 8.2 kilometres of double-track sections runs from the ÖBB Jenbach railway station on the western axis Vienna – Salzburg (Munich) – Bregenz through the Zillertal valley in Tyrol, which is heavily used for tourism, on to Mayrhofen. The railway serves both the commuter traffic from the valley towards Innsbruck (and back) and the tourist needs of Tyrol's largest tourism region with more than 7.5 million overnight stays (2017) per year. The owner and operator of the Jenbach-based railway is Zillertaler Verkehrsbetriebe AG (ZVB AG). With a total of 185 employees, it operates a fleet of 50 diesel buses in addition to the railway. Due to the generally sharp increase in traffic in the Zillertal and the resulting strain that has put on the roads (B169), the railway has recorded a strong growth in passenger traffic (2012–2017 passengers up +18.5%) to now 2.46 million passengers per year (2017) and is thus the fourth largest regional railway in Austria in terms of passenger numbers. In order to meet these requirements in the years ahead, parts of the railway infrastructure as well as the vehicle fleet will be renewed in the project “Zillertal Railway 2020+ Energy Autonomy with Hydrogen”. The economic, ecological, social, and health consequences of climate change and pollution pose a serious threat to our quality of life. A sustainable solution is offered by the energy transition and hydrogen economy with the complete decarbonisation of our energy system by fully replacing the currently predominant fossil fuels with green electricity and green hydrogen.


VD DI Helmut Schreiner MBA, CTO, Zillertaler Verkehrsbetriebe AG

With the SYNERG-E project, VERBUND is working on the development and demonstration of local storage solutions: With the rapidly advancing development of technology in the area of charging stations for electric cars, which is demanding ever more charging capacity, the demands on the grid are also increasing. In SYNERG-E, a new business model is being developed that addresses both the energy and the mobility sectors. The project is funded by the European Commission.

MMag. Martin Wagner, managing director, VERBUND Solutions GmbH

Opportunity to test drive electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles

Sector coupling contributes to the energy transition objectives and represents an industry opportunity for energy efficiency potentials and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. The industry further needs to develop and apply the new technologies it needs, which can only be achieved with innovative and competitive companies. How can Europe’s industry play a pioneering role and position itself in future markets at an early stage? New business models must be economically and ecologically sustainable. What role do digital technologies play in all of this?

Michael Hirschbrich, CEO and founder, GmbH


Unbundling and democratisation of the energy sector are opening up new, sustainable value creation opportunities for citizens, industry and cities. Modern energy service providers are developing their customers into prosumers. 
Prosumers are private lifestyle customers or companies that not only want to produce electricity for their own needs but also demand innovative services.
Customer acquisition, implementation and operation of cross-sector value-added services therefore require new, highly automated processes that analyse large amounts of data and make the knowledge gained directly usable for the customer. 
The implementation of such processes increasingly requires digital technologies, such as self-learning algorithms, voice-controlled user interfaces, virtual and extended realities, or blockchain.

Dipl.-Kfm. Joerg Alexander Ferchow, Chief Solution Expert Digital Strategy, SAP SE


Myth: Ambitious climate protection pledges are damaging to the economy and jeopardize the survival of industrial locations. Fact: The countries that are successful at curbing climate change are also usually more successful in economic terms. Sweden, for example, has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 21% since 2000, while economic output has increased by 31%. Global investment in renewable energy will rise from US$286 billion annually in 2015 to US$500 billion in 2020. Investments in renewable energies strengthen the domestic economy. 
Which roads can lead us there? What are the hurdles we need to overcome?

 Christian Holzleitner, department head at DG CLIMA, European Commission


Innovation is what makes sector coupling possible. To this end, Germany adopted the 7th Energy Research Programme “Innovations for the Energy Revolution” at the end of 2018. Brussels is also providing support: Starting this year, the EU Innovation Fund is to use auction proceeds from EU emissions trading to promote innovative, low-CO2 climate protection technologies with a demonstrative character in industry and electricity generation throughout the EU. Which digital technologies will be key? What other opportunities are there for industry?

Michael Hirschbrich, CEO and founder, GmbH
Christian Holzleitner, Head of Department of DG CLIMA, European Commission
Dipl.-Ing. Gerd Pollhammer, Head of Smart Infrastructure CEE, Siemens AG Österreich 
Dr. Christoph Riechmann, Director Energy Sector, Frontier Economics Limited

in the Sheraton Salzburg-Fuschlsee Hotel Jagdhof restaurant

That which has no price in a market economy has no value. In climate protection, the hardest currency is a ton of carbon dioxide, and more and more scientists, politicians and entrepreneurs are demanding a reliably rise in the price of CO2. What balance can be expected with a minimum CO2 price of e.g. €30 per tonne? How will the economy behave? Will the expected reduction in CO2 emissions really be achieved? At what cost?

Ing. Mag. Peter Koren, vice secretary general of the Federation of Austrian Industries (IV)  
Prof. Dr. Manfred Fischedick, vice president, Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy gGmbH  

Hydrogen is without doubt a key element of the energy revolution. While its use in the mass mobility market has been trialled for a number of years, the technology has not yet enjoyed real market penetration. Today, the question is about which applications of hydrogen technology can be successful in the long term, but also which path must be taken jointly by industry and politics in order to achieve this.

Michael Sattler, Head of Future Energy, OMV Refining & Marketing GmbH

How can consumers be persuaded to adapt their energy demand to the currently available supply of renewable energy? Not by admonishing their morals, of course. Well thought-out pricing models with weather forecasts, actual financial advantages and flexible systems in private households are necessary. Which models already exist? What other incentives can be created for consumers?

Tara Esterl, scientist, AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH


Changing from one sector to another raises legal concerns: grid connection, tax accruals and government-imposed levies, or mapping out individual supplier relationships. Jurisdictions must identify the obstacles and create a framework. What legal frameworks need to change to enable sector coupling?

Oliver Antoni, LL.M., Foundation for Environmental Energy Law

Opportunity to test drive electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles

The energy future is already taking shape in the second district of Vienna. Energy, mobility and telecommunications are closely intertwined. Resident needs are jointly developed. Modern technologies, such as the use of blockchain, enable uncomplicated Internet of Things applications. Energy trading between residents is just as much a possibility as the local integration of green electricity from one's own PV system, the control of household consumption and the operation of e-charging stations is. Thus, Wien Energie is already laying the foundations today for the local energy communities of tomorrow.

DI Michael Strebl, managing director, Wien Energie GmbH


Climate protection and decarbonisation pose enormous challenges for the energy, transport and industrial sectors. VERBUND is working on specific projects such as H2FUTURE, which involves the production of green hydrogen for the steel industry, and on the sector coupling with green electricity.

Dr. Rudolf Zauner, head of Hydrogen Center, VERBUND Solutions GmbH

Mag. Jürgen Streitner, Departmental head of Section VI - Energy and Mining, Department VI/1 - Energy Policy and Energy-Intensive Industry, Federal Ministry of Sustainability and Tourism

A large number of innovative components enable the coupling of the energy forms electricity, heating, cooling, propulsion and molecules. By storing heat, cold or molecules, the fluctuating supply of renewable energy sources can be cost-effectively compensated for. The practical exploitation of this potential behind the meter is explained using pilot buildings in Seestadt Aspern. A market-economy development of further potential using urban heating networks across buildings would already be technically feasible today.

Prof. Dr.-Ing Stefan Nießen, MBA, Head of Energy Systems Technology, Siemens Corporate Technology
In the VERBUND-Power Slam, young researchers bring their current projects to the stage for 6 minutes each – pointedly, creatively and comprehensibly. We welcome all energy-related topics: From innovative storage technologies to CO2 reduction to coupled energy systems. The three smart minds who impress the audience the most in the preliminary round in Vienna will qualify for the final of energy2050, where the audience will decide who will become the first VERBUND-Power Slam Champion!

Hosted by: Bernhard Weingartner, Vienna University of Technology
Opportunity to test drive electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles
in the Remise of Schloss Fuschl

09:00 AM - 06:00 PM

Test drives in electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles 
Test drives in the grounds of Schloss Fuschl

07:00 PM 
Get-together in the Remise of Schloss Fuschl


Day 3, 20 September 2019

Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things are changing our economic and social life. What impact are the major, cross-sectoral, disruptive trends and technologies having on the energy industry? How can companies take responsibility and also sustainably design the digital transformation?

Prof. Dr. Stefan Gröner, Strategy Consultant & Future Researcher

The fact is: Innovations, changes in technology and their implementation have to be financed. Whether it is project-related consultation, e.g. through green finance, or whether it is the EU-wide action plan for sustainable financing or public-sector financing—the possibilities are numerous. What is the best way to finance sector coupling and the energy future in general? Which options are the most suitable for which means?

Mag. Wilhelm Molterer, managing director, European Investment Bank

and audience Q&A with keynote speakers
Opportunity to test drive electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles

The time has come to act. Existing technologies must be implemented, innovations must be pushed, sectors must be integrated, and end customers must be convinced. What needs to be tackled first to implement sector coupling across the board? Which risk factors need to be considered?

Kristian Ruby, secretary general, Eurelectric aisbl  
Dr. Maren Petersen, division head of generation and systems integration, head of sector coupling staff position, BDEW Bundesverband der Energie- und Wasserwirtschaft e.V.  
Monika Mörth, managing director, Umweltbundesamt GmbH  

Dipl.-Ing. Wolfgang Anzengruber, chairman of the executive board, VERBUND AG
in the Sheraton Salzburg-Fuschlsee Hotel Jagdhof restaurant


Test drives in electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles 
Test drives in the grounds of Schloss Fuschl