WEC - World Energy Council

08/01/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 08/01/2019 08:37

World Energy Council Austria: 20th Meeting of the Vienna Energy Club

Posted on 1 August 2019

The 20th Meeting of the Vienna Energy Club was chaired by Mr. Robert Kobau, General Secretary, World Energy Council Austria. Mr. Kobau welcomed all members of the Vienna Energy Club.

Mr. Unger, Member of World Energy Council Austria Young Energy Professionals Program Board gave an overview about the organisation, the task and objectives about World Energy Council Austria. He introduced the World Energy Council Austria Young Energy Professionals Program. Founded at the World Energy Congress 2007 in Rome, the aims and goals of the Young Energy Professionals (YEP) are to:

  • impart fact-based knowledge on energy industry topics,
  • create their own personal network,
  • bridge the generation gap,
  • facilitate the exchange of experience and knowledge within the World Energy Council network,
  • support the international activities of the Future Energy Leaders Community of the World Energy Council

The World Energy Council Austria decided to establish a national YEP group in 2015. A YEP cycle lasts about three years. The YEP program participants are then accepted into the YEP alumni community. The first cycle of the World Energy Council Austria YEP existed since October 2015 and lasted until Autumn 2018. The 2nd cycle was started in February 2018. Future perspectives are to be developed in working groups on the topics of storage & networks, buildings, industrial processes, oil & gas and #mission2030.


Under the theme 'Young Energy Leaders Future Perspectives' the World Energy Council Austria YEP presented their work in the field of future developments in the energy sector. In the second part of the event, Mr. Christoph Menzel from World Energy Council Germany spoke on the future energy scenarios of the World Energy Council.

1) Future developments in the energy sector from the World Energy Council Austria YEP point of view

Mrs. Raphaela Reinfeld-Spadt, head of YEP WG '#mission2030' YEP presented the Austrian Austrian Climate and Energy Strategy called #mission2030. This project concerns the long-term transformation of the energy system in order to meet the future challenges of mitigating climate change and fulfil the commitments made under the Paris Agreement and at European level. This means that by 2030, emissions in non-ETS sectors must be reduced by at least 36 % compared to 2005. In order to achieve this, Austria has set ambitious targets for expanding renewable energy and improving energy efficiency. The aim is to increase the share of renewable energy to 45-50 % by 2030, with 100 % of the total electricity consumption being covered by renewables. Primary energy intensity should fall by 25- 30 % compared to 2015. To achieve these targets, #mission2030 provides for a range of measures. Twelve 'flagship projects' have been identified as the first key steps to be taken, comprising both short- and long-term measures.

Whether the goals can be achieved through #mission2030 is the subject of analyses of the YEP working group 'Austrian Climate and Energy Strategy #mission2030', he noted.

The final report will be available at the end of November. Mr. Bernhard Fürnsinn and Mr. Wolfgang Richter, representatives of YEP WG 'Storage & Networks' underline the challenges of energy system transformation, which makes necessary research and application of efficient network and storage technologies.

The expansion of strongly fluctuating, decentralised renewable energies poses great challenges for the highly complex energy supply system, such as:

  • Electricity is no longer produced exclusively where it is consumed
  • Electricity must be partially transported over long distances to reach the consumer
  • Electricity production will be subject to greater fluctuations
  • Decentralised power generation will lead to a so-called reverse load flow in the future
  • Electricity must also be available if it can't be generated by renewable energy

Grid expansion is not keeping pace with the expansion of renewable energies even today. Lack of network capacity leads to bottlenecks in the transport network, which in turn often leads to so-called redispatch measures.

It is therefore necessary to balance the potential of decentralised renewable electricity generation via efficient and flexible networks (keyword Smart Grids). In addition to electricity grids, gas and heat grids will also gain in importance in the future. In addition, efficient and cost-effective decentralised power generation from renewable energies is unthinkable without the development of electrical, mechanical and thermal storage systems that can reconcile power generation and consumption.

These challenges make research and application of efficient network and storage technologies indispensable. The YEP working group 'Storage and Networks' aims to develop solutions and visions by networking the actors from business, science and politics in order to support Austria in the success of energy change.

Mr. Alan Voldřich, head of YEP WG 'Industrial Processes' gave an overview of energy use in the Austrian industrial sector. The typical energy usages in the industry - stationary engines, industrial furnaces, steam generation - makes up a good third of final energy consumption in Austria, he noted. 27% of the final energy used is consumed in the area of space heating and hot water. With 3% of total energy consumption, the proportion of EDP (electronic data processing) and lighting is rather low.

Fossil fuels account for almost 50% of industrial final consumption. Key areas for the transition towards a low-emission industry are the decarbonisation of low temperature heat by cross-sector technologies, carbon neutral steelmaking, alternative feedstock for the cement production and carbon capture & storage (CCS).

In its final report, the working group will identify the challenges of decarbonisation in industry and point out its potential.

Mr. Johannes Wall, Member of YEP WG 'Buildings': The achievement of climate objectives requires major improvements in energy efficiency at overall energy system level and a shift towards low carbon energy sources. Heating and cooling represent a major energy demand and thus play a primary role in this debate. Potentials can only be tapped and exploited by taking a holistic view of the energy system. The fundamental question throughout is how the corresponding infrastructures can be developed in a smart way to achieve an cost-efficient, sustainable, and climate-friendly energy system.

The aim of the work of the WG 'Buildings' is:

  • Interdisciplinary analysis and consideration of energy supply solutions on district level
  • Focusing on plus energy districts comprehensive energy concepts
  • Especially district heating/cooling and adapting to climate change

2) Future energy scenarios of the World Energy Council

Mr. Christoph Menzel from WEC Germany gave a comparison of global energy scenarios based on the study 'Global Energy Scenarios Comparison Review' from World Energy Council.

In anticipation of the 24th World Energy Congress in Abu Dhabi (9 to 12 September 2019), the Council is refreshing its global energy foresight and updating its global scenarios narratives. The focus is on an 'innovation twist to 2040' and the use of scenarios to explore and navigate new exponential growth opportunities for accelerating successful energy transition in an era of epic and disruptive innovation. As a part of the refresh, the Council has conducted a comparison study of global energy scenarios in order to test the continued plausibility, relevance and challenge of its own existing scenario set, the World Energy Scenarios 2016, launched at the 23rd World Energy Congress in Istanbul in 2016.

By comparing the methods, narratives and assumptions associated with a benchmarkable set of global energy futures initiatives and studies, the Council seeks to provide his members with clearer understanding and new insights on energy transition while preparing them to better engage with leadership dialogues which pivot on visions of a new energy future.

The review also provides an opportunity to reflect on the challenges and obstacles for utilising global energy scenarios to drive impact, and the challenges in bridging agile and flexible qualitative storytelling with long term, quantitative energy modelling.