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Energy is in the air

Author: Darya Bachevskaya, Villigen
On the verge of energy revolution: what do the major actors think about the present and the future of energy.
On the verge of energy revolution: what do the major actors think about the present and the future of energy.

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It is hard to imagine today’s world without energy: our everyday life, our economies and our future depend on it. That is why it is crucial to find sustainable energy sources and to learn to use them efficiently. These were the issues addressed at the 11th Swiss Energy and Climate Summit. Hundreds of decision-makers from politics, science, and industry showed their will to change and to innovate. PARK INNOVAARE did not miss the opportunity to talk to some of them on location.

This September, the Swiss Energy and Climate Summit welcomed the elite of the energy world in Bern for the eleventh time. The multiple conversations that filled the semi-circle conference hall resembled an electrical voltage buzz. Yet the noise level went down when the president of the Summit, Ueli Winzenried, entered the scene and proceeded to open up a truly inspiring discussion. Carbon-neutral energy sources, energy storage, hydrogen technologies, electro-mobility, smart grids, and clean technologies were the keywords of the evening. PARK INNOVAARE has selected for you some of the event’s best quotes on the topic.

Professor Martin Vetterli, President of EPFL

“Basic research is an engine for innovation. If there were no technology inspired by user-oriented research, we could not expect any technology revolution to happen. Just take solar cells, for example, they emerged from the invention of the transistor and the discovery of the photoelectric effect.”

Jury Golnev, First Secretary of the Embassy of Russia in Switzerland

“It is obvious that renewables are setting the tone for the future of energy. However, their success will largely depend upon the development and progress of storage technologies, in short- and medium-term chemical sources of electric energy (batteries), in long-term hydrogen technologies. Natural gas is sure to play an important role as a balance factor until the final transformation of the world energy system.”

Pierre-Etienne Franc, VP of Advanced Business & Technologies, Air Liquide SA

"Hydrogen use for mobility is just a small part of the role hydrogen will have to play in the global energy transition, from power storage to energy transport and distribution and industry processes fueling. It is the start of a massive shift!"

Michael Liebreich, Chairman of the Advisory Board, Bloomberg New Energy Finance

“There is no doubt that the world energy market has begun a technological, geopolitical and financial transformation. And Switzerland can become a major player.”

Professor Dr. Andreas Pautz, Head of the Nuclear Energy and Safety Division at Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI)

“Nuclear power has earned its place in the low-carbon energy mix, together with solar and wind. It will play a major role in CO2 emission reduction in the decades to come, as the technology becomes safer and more efficient.”

Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary, UNFCCC 2010-2016

“There is a symbiotic relationship between renewable energy and electric vehicles: thanks to artificial intelligence and the decentralization of our energy systems, we will soon have millions of mobile batteries running in our cities. A fantastic future to look forward to.”

Lorenz Isler, Sustainability Manager, IKEA

“If every adult in Switzerland switched to an LED lightbulb, we could save the energy needed for all the households of Schaffhausen.”(Author's note: There were approximately 17'000 private households in Schaffhausen in 2014.)

Mathias Bürgi, CEO, Swiss Climate AG

“Change in our habits and thinking is the true key to CO2 reduction. Technology solutions are already here to support us.”

Muhammad Firdaus Ishak, CEO, Medivest Sdn Bhd

“Our ability to store the energy produced from solar and wind in the smallest volume will be the game changer in the energy revolution.”

Remo Lütolf, Country Managing Director, ABB Schweiz AG, and member of the Board of Directors at PARK INNOVAARE

“The energy revolution is feasible from a technological perspective – all the key solutions needed are basically available. The volatility of renewable energy such as photovoltaics and wind, however, will constitute a rising challenge for keeping demand and supply in balance. Centralized and distributed energy storage will be required, together with a smart grid and effective demand-side management.”

Ben Hammersley, Principal at Hammersley Futures and author

“There is no way around digital strategy in any industry and in the energy sector in particular. It may take time to implement it, but you will have to implement it one way or another.”