New energy solutions and energy technologies will develop into one of the 21st century’s largest growth markets. Austria’s successful position as an “energy innovation country” is also important for the country as a centre of business and employment. Furthermore it will be crucial to make the decarbonisation agenda technically feasible as well as economically viable and socially acceptable.
By way of research, technological development and innovation we shall succeed in finding new solutions, in actively shaping the change processes and in positioning Austrian players on the international markets. By joining the global initiative “Mission Innovation” Austria has given a clear indication that it is one of the front runners in this field. The mission-oriented alignment of the areas of focus in Austria’s research and innovation will support the bundling of all forces as well as assisting focused and efficient innovation management.
The development of integrated, smart energy systems is a significant requirement for the success of the transition. At the “Smart Energy Systems Week”, the Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology, together with its partners, provides a unique forum for exchange between experts, start-ups, companies and researchers in a highly topical innovation area. I would like to invite all of you, most cordially, to become actively involved in this fascinating development process.
The energy transition is one of the major challenges of our time, and cities play a central role in this context. Modernisation, digitalisation and implementing new technologies will be indispensable for Vienna’s future in terms of energy and climate. After all, we live in a challenging time of rapid technological and social change – a time that forces us to focus our full innovative power on the task of meeting new demands that also takes account of aspects of data protection. Vienna is in an excellent starting position for pioneering the future and implementing many of these innovations in favour of the energy transition.
Via regulations and incentives, urban energy policy can effectively influence the main energy consuming sectors like traffic, transport and buildings, making sure they develop in the right direction. Efficient energy use has to be our primary goal, but at the same time, we must find ways to meet the remaining energy demand with renewable energy sources. Technologies based on electricity present an advantage because they can be powered by renewable energy like photovoltaics or wind energy. Solar energy and geothermal energy are additional resources available for heat generation.
Cities will have to find ways to consume or store renewable energy while they are available. Though this is not always easy, more and more people are dedicating their professional careers and personal commitment to these future goals. Thanks to networking platforms like the Smart Energy Systems Week Austria, this dedicated community has opportunities to meet and exchange information on current developments. I am therefore very glad that Vienna has been chosen as the venue for this year’s SESWA. We truly welcome the opportunity to host this prestigious conference.