to Content

01: 2015: The End of Energy Revolution

Breakout / Working Group
english language

When talking about “alternative energy”, we always think about the future; the more we talk , the longer it will take to be put into practice. From a technological point of view, however, we are already in the thick of it: industrial and energy producing corporations are nearing their maximum efficiency levels. Only by linking individual disciplines and by recognising that global conditions differ greatly can regional or national laws on energy and climate policy be usefully and specifically assessed.


Professor of Nonferrous Metallurgy and Head, Institute of Nonferrous Metallurgy, University of Leoben Abstract
Due to the worldwide increasing demand on raw materials the energy consumption in this field will also rise rapidly. Therefore an optimisation of the global energy usage especially in the area of production techniques should be a requirement to guarantee a better living standard for the future. Beside an improvement of the energy efficiency of the different production processes (for instance in the metallurgical industry) an interaction of different technical disciplines on the one site and the usage of alternative energy production systems on the other side should be intensified in the next few years to decrease the energy demand for the winning processes of products. In this connection the recycling could be one possibility, but only the recovering of materials cannot solve the problems of higher raw materials consumption. Furthermore the feasibility of material recycling in comparison to thermal utilisation in consideration of the energetic point of view should also be discussed. In order to achieve the existing and future legal environmental regulations new concepts for the energy supply will be necessary.
Environmental Economist, WIFO - Austrian Institute of Economic Research, Vienna Abstract
The overall target to stabilise global warming below 20 Celsius cannot be reached en passent following a business as usual path with only few measures and minor technological changes. A substantial restructuring of the energy system is needed to start immediately, including a broad diffusion of available alternatives and concurrently increasing R&D.
Standard analyses of the energy system have their main focus on the availability of primary energy sources and energy generation. Under this perspective one tends to overlook relevant changes at other levels of the energy system. Yet, only an integrated view of the whole energy cascade can overcome path dependencies. The perspective of taking the end of the energy cascade, i.e. energy services, as the starting point of analysis is a particularly fruitful instrument to do so. Energy services are the crucial element for a new understanding of the energy system. It is not the energy flow level consumed that is welfare relevant but the welfare generating energy service, such as comfortable room temperature, or access to goods and persons. An „energy service based“ philosophy thus represents an innovative perspective on transforming our energy system.
From the energy service perspective three economic sectors are of central importance: mobility, buildings, industry. For all three sectors new technologies become apparent that have a high potential for an improvement in energy productivity.
The strength of a framework focusing on energy services as the starting point, is that (1) all relevant reduction options in different sectors are considered and quantified, (2) that interferences between different options within a sector but also across sectors are considered, (3) that changes in energy demand due to reduction options are balanced with energy supply thus considering the entire energy system, and (4) that reduction options are considered on each step of the energy cascade beginning with the energy service. Reduction options starting on this step of the energy cascade are most effective.
Spokesman of the Board, SMS Elotherm GmbH, Remscheid Abstract
Production especially industrial heating- and high temperature processes account for an essential part of the total energy consumption. In Germany this is more than a third of the total energy consumption. Improvements of technological processes are targeting minimum energy consumption, but also maximum yield, meaning the optimum use of input materials. Those endeavours are part of the business models of manufacturing companies as well as plant engineering firms and are paramount and a key for their competitiveness in their markets. Apart from the impact of energy and material cost on the balance sheet of individual companies, wise use of those input factors meets the expectations of society and our value system. The economical manufacturing of industrial products at a high standard requires - apart from process know how and skills - reliable supply of energy and raw materials at a required quantity and quality level. This is an issue with high political and strategic relevance. Distribution and storage of energy must match the demand pattern of final energy use. Coal, oil and gas still are the major sources of industrial heating and reduction media. Those "fossiles" are either directly fired in the processes or in power plants which supply electrical energy to the industry. However there is the option to "produce" electrical energy and reduction media like hydrogen from "renewable" sources. Their industrial use depends on the availability and cost. Substantial energy savings in the steel & metals industry can be realized by avoiding reheating by using the first heat of melting to enable the further steps in processing the metal and/or by heat recovery of process gases. This requires the practical realization of highly integrated (but technically quite sensitive) processes and some economies of scale. Another promising strategy is the development of new routes of manufacturing, by combining and integrating fossile and electrically powered processes or by substitution of fossile by electrical energy, leading to innovative plant concepts. There is no sign indicating the end of energy revolution in industry.
Associate Expert, Migration, Environment and Climate Change, IOM - International Organization for Migration, Geneva
Co-President, Club of Rome, Emmendingen Abstract
The German Energiewende came in two steps: the feed-in tariffs law of 1999, with several updates, leading to a formidable boom of renewable energies, and the response in 2011 to the Fukushima shock, leading to the definitive phase-out of nuclear energy. After the Federal elections, the new government saw the need to curb the support to the renewables, after electricity prices at the consumers end had skyrocketed. Wrong is the interpretation that this move was the „end of the Energiewende“. In reality, solar energy is booming world-wide, at accelerating pace, while old central utilities are facing awful economic difficulties. Solar energy, together with the necessary power storage technologies enjoys constantly falling prices.
The huge potential of energy efficiency, in the meantime, remains grossly neglected. A five-fold increase of energy productivity is theoretically available, even much more in the long term perspective. In other words, all estimates of „energy demand“ are absurdly overstated; in reality one should call it „energy wastage demand“. To reduce it, we shall have to make energy more expensive but can do that slowly in small steps. It is proposed to do it in parallel with increasing energy efficiency.
Research Fellow, Chair of Resource Strategy, Departement of Physics, Augsburg University, Augsburg Abstract
The energy (r)evolution requires time; and a very close, differentiated and honest analysis of the numerous facets of the issue. There is no single solution which fits any region and situation. Each culture and location inherits special constraints which have to be integrated in the quest for optimal solutions. In this sense, the question for safe access to renewables has many answers. First a transition from conventional to renewable energy production is required. The challenge will be to build up and place the renewables in regions close to the people. Under the present trend of urbanization this is a difficult endeavour. And a systemic approach for not developed regions calls for storage systems, and solutions around financing and property rights. The raw materials and resources required are available in enough quantities, as most materials can be recycled. Except of energy feed stock which will be burnt and thus is lost inevitably. Despite the availability of enough raw materials the need for recycling is no question of either-or; recycling is a necessity, not least when considering the huge and dangerous waste dumps all over the world. Subsidies and fee-based instruments are extremely complicated and it seems as if the desired positive effects have not been achieved. Too many workarounds and exceptions render the good ideas useless. Maybe the fact that subsidies - even when they are called differently - will lead to more efficient and thus cheaper products, may justify these kinds of instruments. The faith in mankind to decisively interfere in global warming effects seems a bit presumptuous. A lot of studies address(ed) climate change and most end with prophecies of doom. The reduction of CO2 emissions is basically the only thing that mankind can factually do. So why not do it to a maximum extent - no matter how decisive these actions will actually counter global warming.
Professor and Head, Department of Environmental and Energy Process Engineering, University of Leoben Chair
Ph.D. Student, Chair of Thermal Processing Technology, Montanuniversität Leoben Coordination

Dipl.-Ing. Dr. mont. Helmut ANTREKOWITSCH

Professor of Nonferrous Metallurgy and Head, Institute of Nonferrous Metallurgy, University of Leoben

1982-1987 Metallurgical Engineering, HTL - Higher Technical Education Institute, Leoben
1987-1989 Military Service
1988-1989 Process engineer, Alusuisse, Salzburger Aluminium GmbH, Lend
1989-1994 Master's Degree Programme, Metallurgy, University of Leoben
1994 Graduation M.Sc. / Dipl.-Ing.
1995-1999 Research Assistant, Institute of Nonferrous Metallurgy, University of Leoben
1998 Dissertation (Dr. mont.), University of Leoben
1998-2002 Research Assistant and Self-Employed in the fields of nonferrous metallurgy and materials science
2002-2009 Head, Christian Doppler Laboratory for Secondary Metallurgy of Nonferrous Metals
2003 "venia docendi" (Priv.-Doz.), field: Nonferrous Metallurgy
since 2004 Head, Institute of Nonferrous Metallurgy, University of Leoben
since 2010 Professor, Nonferrous Metallurgy, University of Leoben

Mag. Dr. Angela KÖPPL

Environmental Economist, WIFO - Austrian Institute of Economic Research, Vienna

1978-1992 Research Staff Member, Department of Economics, Institute of Advanced Studies
1985-1987 Scholar, Institute for Advanced Studies
1991 Doctor's Degree, Economics, University of Vienna
since 1992 Economist, Environmental Economics, Austrian Institute of Economic Research
1996- 2006 Deputy Director, Research Area Co-Ordination, Austrian Institute of Economic Research
2002 Visiting Scholar, MIT Centre for Energy & Environmental Policy Research and MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change


Spokesman of the Board, SMS Elotherm GmbH, Remscheid

1981-1988 Mechanical Engineering, Vienna University of Technology, Vienna
1989-1992 Veitscher Magnesitwerke AG, Vienna
1993-1997 Chief Executive Officer, Voest Alpine Mining & Tunnelling Australia Pty.Ltd., Sydney
1998-2006 Chief Executive Officer, MAERZ-Gautschi Industrieofenanlagen GmbH, Düsseldorf
2002-2006 Chief Operating Officer, Hochtemperatur Engineering GmbH, Wiesbaden
2006-2008 Chief Executive Officer, Austrian Research Centers GmbH, Vienna
2008-2012 Chief Executive Officer, Otto Junker GmbH, Simmerath


Associate Expert, Migration, Environment and Climate Change, IOM - International Organization for Migration, Geneva

2009-2010 Project Manager - Emergency and Social Housing, Habitat. Etudes. Recherches Consulting Group, Paris
2011-2012 Project Assistant, GFMD - Global Forum on Migration and Development, International Organization for Migration, Geneva
2012-2013 Programme Co-ordinator and Project Development Officer, International Organization for Migration, Bamako
since 2013 Associate Expert, Migration, Environment and Climate Change, International Organization for Migration, Geneva


Co-President, Club of Rome, Emmendingen

 Earlier stations: Professor of Biology, University President, Director, UN Centre for Science and Technology for Development, New York, Director, Institute for European Environmental Policy, President, Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment, Energy. 1998-2005 MP, Germany, Chair of the Bundestag Environment Committee. 2006-08 Dean, Bren School for Environmental Science and Management, UC Santa Barbara, California.

Dr. Volker ZEPF

Research Fellow, Chair of Resource Strategy, Departement of Physics, Augsburg University, Augsburg

2005-2008 Studies Human Geography and Geoinformatics, University of Augsburg
2008 Master Thesis, Human Geography and Geoinformatics
since 2009 Scientist, Chair of Resource Strategy, Institute of Physics, University of Augsburg
2012 PhD, Chairs of Human Geography and Resource Strategy, University of Augsburg
2012 Coordinator Graduate School, University of Augsburg

Dipl.-Ing. Dr. techn. Harald RAUPENSTRAUCH

Professor and Head, Department of Environmental and Energy Process Engineering, University of Leoben

1991 Promotion PhD, Reactive Flow in Packed Beds, Graz University of Technology, Graz
1997 Habilitation, Graz University of Technology
1997 Guest Lecturer, Technical University Bergakademie Freiberg
1998 Visiting Professor, The Queen's University of Belfast
1999-2006 Associate Professor, Graz University of Technology
2000 Visiting Professor, Rutgers University of New Jersey, New Brunswick
2002 Visiting Professor, Delft University of Technology
2002-2006 Visiting Professor, University of Leoben
2004 Visiting Professor, Rutgers University of New Jersey, New Brunswick
since 2007 Full Professor and Head of Chair, Thermal Processing Technology, University of Leoben

Technology Symposium

show timetable


10:00 - 12:30Technology BrunchSocial
13:00 - 13:10Opening of the Alpbach Technology Symposium 2015Plenary
13:10 - 14:00RTI Policy TalkPlenary
14:00 - 15:30Living with the Machine in the FuturePlenary
16:00 - 17:30Cyber Physical SystemsPlenary
19:45 - 21:15Regional Debate Central Eastern EuropePlenary
21:15 - 23:30Career LoungeSocial
21:15 - 23:30Evening ReceptionSocial


09:00 - 10:30BioeconomyPlenary
09:00 - 18:00Junior Alpbach - Science and Technology for Young PeopleBreakout
09:00 - 15:00Ö1 Children's University Alpbach - Science and Technology for KidsBreakout
10:50 - 12:15Complexity SciencePlenary
12:15 - 13:00Lunch Snacks for the Participants of the Breakout SessionSocial
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 01: 2015: The End of Energy RevolutionBreakout
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 02: Bio-Economy in Action: National Bio-Economy Strategies in ComparisonBreakout
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 03: Human Enhancement Technologies: Amplifying or Reducing InequalityBreakout
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 04: Research Promotion at the Interfaces of Risk, Creativity and MainstreamBreakout
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 05: Market Upheavals: Challenges and Opportunities for Innovation?Breakout
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 06: Entrepreneurship: What Can Science Contribute?Breakout
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 07: Games of InEqualityBreakout
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 08: Physical Internet: A Seismic Shift for Logistics and MobilityBreakout
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 09: Dynamics by Heterogeneity: How Economy and Research Profit from DiversityBreakout
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 10: Energy Transition: Same Goal - Different WaysBreakout
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 11: Hydrogen and Fuel Cells: A Market Breakthrough Ahead?Breakout
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 12: A Bright Future? Challenges and Opportunities for LED LightingBreakout
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 13: Truth and Reality: The Importance of Models in Economy, Science and PhilosophyBreakout
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 14: Virtual Learning: InEquality in Education?Breakout
20:00 - 21:30Urban Innovators Challenge - Start Up Your CompanyPartner


09:00 - 10:30MIT and its Media Lab, Special Guest at this Year's Technology SymposiumPlenary
10:30 - 11:30InEquality: The New Silk RoadPlenary
11:50 - 13:15Art, Design and Architecture as a Laboratory of Digital ModernityPlenary
13:15 - 13:30Closing Statement of the Alpbach Technology SymposiumPlenary
13:30 - 14:00Snack ReceptionSocial