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Programme 2019

”Social Acceptance of Energy Solutions in a Polarized World"

Thursday, May 23, 2019

13:00 - 17:30 Pre-Conference Workshop

Swiss Energy Strategy 2050 and EU Clean Energy Package: Stronger Together?

Governing the energy transition and attracting investments in clean energy poses similar challenges everywhere. However, the details of energy transition strategies are rarely coordinated across borders. Switzerland and the European Union are an interesting case in point: in the absence of an institutional agreement governing EU-Swiss energy relations, Brussels and Berne have been developing their strategies and targets for the energy transition in parallel. As a consequence, similar objectives are often pursued with different instruments, for instance in terms of financial support for renewables and electricity market liberalization. How can the consistency between the Swiss Energy Strategy 2050 and the EU Clean Energy Package be improved? Could further integration of these strategies help to attract investment flows necessary for the European energy transition? Could grid interconnection substitute a lack of political integration? And are bottom-up approaches an alternative to national and supranational agreements? This workshop, through expert inputs, interactive discussion and participation of diverse stakeholders from both Switzerland and the EU, gives participants the opportunity to share their views on the governance of the energy transition, enrich their understanding of EU-Swiss energy relations, and jointly explore avenues for collaboration.

  • Beatrice Petrovich & Dr. Philipp Thaler, University of St.Gallen (workshop leaders)
  • Jean-Christophe Füeg, Swiss Federal Office of Energy, Head of International Affairs, CH
  • Oliver Koch, Deputy Head, Internal Market Unit, DG-ENERGY, BE (tbc)
  • Imke Lübbeke, Head of Unit, EU Climate and Energy Policy, WWF European Policy Office, BE
  • Eberhard Röhm-Malcotti, Head of EU Energy Policy, Axpo Group, BE/CH
  • Dr. Jörg Spicker, Senior Strategic Advisor, Swissgrid AG

Venue: University of St.Gallen, Müller-Friedbergstr. 6/8, 9000 St.Gallen

18:30   Apéro & Gala Dinner


100% Renewable Energy: Solution & Challenges

  • Prof. Mark Z. Jacobson, Prof. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Director Atmosphere/Energy Program, Stanford University, USA

hosted by Prof. James W. Davis, PhD., Dean School of Economics and Poltical Science & member of Center for Energy Innovation, Governance and Investment (EGI-HSG), University of St.Gallen

Venue: Restaurant ‘Lagerhaus’, Davidstr. 42, St.Gallen

Friday, May 24, 2019

Venue: Olma Messen St.Gallen

08:30   Registration and Coffee

09:00   Introduction to the Conference Theme
Social Acceptance of Energy Solutions in a Polarized World?

09:20   Panel Discussion I.
Polarization and Social Acceptance: the Role of Social Networks and Social Media

Moderator: Fiona Harvey, The Guardian (UK)

10:20  Networking Coffee

10:50  Keynote I.
How Costa Rica turns into a Decarbonization Lab

11:10 Keynote II.
Electric Transport in Norway and Beyond – what others can learn

  • Christina Bu, Secretary General, Norwegian EV Association, Norway

11.30 Smart City – Vision or Reality

  • Reto Steinmann, Country President, Schneider Electric Switzerland

11:45 9th Consumer Barometer of Renewable Energy: The Customer Perspective

  • Julia Cousse, University of St. Gallen followed by Q&A - in cooperation with Raiffeisen Schweiz &  EnergieSchweiz

12:15   Networking Lunch

13:45 - 15:45   WORKSHOPS 1 - 5

Workshop 1 - Digital B2B & B2G prosumer business models

This workshop looks into how digital technology enables novel business models for B2B prosumers (e.g. for small- and medium-sized companies) and B2G prosumers (e.g. universities and public buildings). B2B and B2G prosumers can utilize hardware, data and software to integrate electric mobility and renewables, and to optimize their electricity consumption. Within the workshop different pilot applications from the E-Land project will be presented to outline the potential for digital prosumer business models. Based on this input workshop participants are encouraged to discuss opportunities and challenges that are important for implementing digital B2B and B2G prosumer business models into current and future energy markets.

Workshop 2 - Winning Hearts and Minds through Community Energy (in German)

Many European countries (including Switzerland and Germany) are on their way to transform their energy systems. However, in times of political polarisation and increased policy risk, many project developers are confronted with opposition to energy infrastructure projects at the local level. In an attempt to preventively address the concerns put forward by vocal opponents, community integration and community-based marketing activities become crucial aspects for a successful project implementation. This workshop provides new insights on opportunities and challenges of community-based energy projects, using best-practice cases and latest insights from research. Participants of this workshop will learn how to coordinate and implement community energy projects and discuss approaches how to “win the hearts and minds” of the local population. Moreover, by engaging in an interactive case study on community energy, participants will apply their new knowledge directly.

  • Alexander Stauch & Pascal Vuichard, University of St.Gallen (workshop leaders)
  • Melanie Mettler, Founder, Sunraising
  • Daniel Moos, Head regional energy office & Head energy projects, City of Frauenfeld
  • Marian Schreier, Mayor, City of Tengen

Workshop 3 - Touchpoints for e-mobility

Electric vehicles (EVs) are a very promising technology to lower CO2 emissions significantly caused by individual transportation. Swiss consumers, however, have been relatively slow to change from conventional to electric cars. Hence, while discussions about political strategies on how to promote EV sales best are ongoing, our understanding of the consumer’s perspective, and in particular the actual purchase process, is limited. What keeps consumers from making the switch? What are the important “touchpoints” influencing the final purchase decision? Information campaigns, car dealers, family and friends, or something else? And, finally, where in the purchasing process do consumers relapse to conventional car technology and how can these challenges be overcome? These and further important questions will be discussed in this interactive workshop. Building on the input from experts for electric mobility and consumer behavior and a “tour” of the consumer purchase process, we will discuss how a better understanding of touchpoints for e-mobility can be leveraged in marketing strategies to  promote EV sales best.

Workshop 4 - Myth or Reality? Tackling Rumors on Wind Energy

A variety of views on energy and environmental issues are circulating in the public sphere, and not all of them can be backed up by scientific knowledge. The rise of social media has exacerbated the challenges for veracity in mass communication. Some observers even assert that we are entering a ‘post-truth’ world, in which science is devalued and personal “truths” are based on “alternative facts”. The implementation of wind energy projects is not spared from this development. Local citizens find it increasingly difficult to distinguish trustworthy information from circulating rumors. In this workshop, we will first discuss misinformation and disinformation from a theoretical perspective to get a better understanding of their drivers (e.g. emotions). In a second step, we aim to look at their role in the specific context of wind energy. Finally, workshop participants will discuss promising ways to address false beliefs. This will help to develop fruitful communication strategies for wind energy projects that facilitate informed democratic decisions.

Workshop 5 - Rolling Solar Storage: the Convergence of RE & EV

The future of mobility is electric. Smoothly integrating electric mobility into the grid without compromising security of electricity supply is a key challenge in decarbonizing the energy and transport systems. Charging a large number of electric vehicles (EVs) in an uncoordinated manner could turn out to be a stress test for distribution grids and require costly grid reinforcements. In contrast, dynamic and bi-directional charging of EVs in a grid-friendly mode could facilitate the integration of both electric mobility and renewables. This workshop will bring together three key perspectives on grid integration of EV and RE: the grid operator perspective, the customers’ willingness to adjust their charging profile, and the perspective of ICT experts developing dynamic charging management systems. In an interactive, model-based workshop, participants will discuss opportunities and challenges of successful grid integration.

15:45 Coffee break

16:00  Panel Discussion II.
Where does the Transformation of Energy Systems lead us? Imagining the World 10 Years from Now

Moderator: Fiona Harvey, The Guardian, UK


17:00   Apéro Riche

 (programme due to changes)

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