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Programme 2017

“Investing in tomorrow’s energy markets, today”

Thursday, May 11, 2017

13:30-15:00

Pre-Conference Session:
Drivers and Barriers to Customer Acceptance of E-mobility

In partnership with Energiekonzept-Kongress 2017 – (in German)
Venue: Olma Messen St.Gallen

Although electric vehicles provide a range of advantages compared to conventional cars, e.g. instant torque, convenient home charging and quiet driving, customers are still reluctant to buy an electric car. Concerns regarding the driving range and the availability of charging infrastructure as well as higher prices of electric cars are considered to be some of the major barriers of customer acceptance of e-mobility. In this session the drivers and barriers to customer acceptance of e-mobility will be discussed based on a presentation of the results of representative population surveys in Austria and Switzerland. Further, it will be discussed how cooperatives for e-mobility, e-taxis and “supercharging for everybody” can increase customer acceptance of e-mobility. The presentation of these local projects from Austria, Germany and Switzerland will offer valuable insights on how municipalities, cities and other stakeholders can foster customer acceptance of e-mobility and reach their targets (e.g. 1’000 electric cars in 2020).

18:30   Apéro & Gala Dinner
Venue: Restaurant ‘Lagerhaus’, Davidstr. 42, St.Gallen

DINNER TALK
The Outlook for Progressive Climate and Energy Policies in a Polarized Political Arena

Hosted by Prof. James W. Davis, Ph.D., Center for Energy Innovation, Governance and Investment, University of St.Gallen

Friday, May 12, 2017

Venue: Olma Messen St.Gallen

08:30   Registration and Coffee

09:00   INTRODUCTION to the Conference Theme

09:20   PANEL DISCUSSION
Investing in Renewable Energies in a risky Policy Environment

ModeratorDr. Melinda Crane, Chief Political Correspondent, Deutsche Welle TV

10:20    Zurich Climate Prize – presenting the winners 2016 and highlighting examples of renewable energy projects

  • Roland Betschart & Barbara Jordan, Senior Advisors Corporate Responsibility, Zurich Insurance. Interview with Peter Röthlisberger, Commercial Director, Solaxess SA

10:40   Coffee break

11:10  KEYNOTE SPEECH

Local Ownership and Community Finance for Renewable Energy Projects

11:30  Energy Storage and Smart Grid Solutions

  • Simon Ryser, Vice-President, BU Energy, Schneider Electric

11:45   The Customer’s Voice
New Evidence about Energy Preferences in Switzerland
Consumer Barometer Renewable Energies 2017 - in cooperation with Raiffeisen

12:00   Networking Lunch

13:30 -    WORKSHOPS 
15:30      by Chair for Management of Renewable Energies

Workshop 1 - Wind in the Sails: Reducing the Soft Cost of Wind Project Development

As wind turbines and other renewable energy hardware becomes cheaper every year, there is an urgent need to lower the “soft costs” of renewable energy infrastructure. The path to producing the first kilowatt of electricity from wind energy can be long and rocky, often due to restrictive regulations, policy uncertainties, and social acceptance issues. In this workshop, we intend to compare and contrast the process of wind project development in three countries: Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States. During the workshop, practitioners and researchers will reflect on best strategies to handle these challenges, given the tradeoffs between project costs, delays, and social acceptance. Examples of good practices will be discussed and participants will be encouraged to reflect on the transferability of these solutions across contexts.

Workshop 2 - #Post-truth and Renewable Energies: communication strategies to correct misinformation

In the era of post-truth, widespread myths and misperceptions about renewable energies prevail both in the public and at the political level. Examples include the claim that producing solar cells requires more energy than they ever produce, and that wind turbines have serious impacts on human health such as causing cancer. The growing use of social media facilitates the wide diffusion of misinformation. Research shows that it is difficult to correct belief in misinformation, but also that it is possible to debunk false beliefs about renewables. In order to move from insight to impact, this workshop consists of three parts: (1) using insights from cognitive psychology, the reasons causing the persistence of false beliefs among particular segments of the population will be unveiled, (2) an insider of the renewable energy industry will give insights into stakeholders’ efforts to address misinformation, and (3) participants will elaborate specific communication strategies for given cases.

Workshop 3 - Making sustainable energy consumption fun and meaningful: visualization and gamification approaches

Gamification (the use of game design techniques in a real-world context) and visualization approaches have been successful in boosting consumer engagement and motivation in various fields. In this workshop, we will discuss how gamification and meaningful visualization can be beneficial to achieve Switzerland’s energy targets. To stimulate fruitful discussion, three interesting speakers will share their experience on how innovative approaches can be used to nudge consumers into sustainable energy behaviors. First, recent research findings from the Social Power Project on motivation neighborhood teams to strive for collective energy reduction will be presented. This project uses a social mobile application with game mechanics (competition and cooperation) to achieve this goal. ​ Second, insights into IWB’s contest “Smart Basil – the Basel energy derby” with the aim to raise awareness of energy saving and efficiency through digital media in a playful way will be presented. Third, Ben Energy will share best practice examples on how visualized consumption feedback as well as gamification approaches such as reward games can trigger customer engagement for utilities.

Workshop 4 - Business models for local flexibility co-creation

The Swiss energy strategy 2050 projects a considerable growth of renewable energy production capacity. In order to synchronize the fluctuating production of solar and wind energy with demand, various solutions are discussed. Such solutions center around the storage of electricity, an adjustment of demand and supply or more flexible ways of production. Also consumers can become prosumers and produce energy. Overall, it appears that there is large potential to make the power system more flexible and flexibility emerges as a new source of value in the energy industry that can be used or shared in many ways. In this workshop, participants will learn about and discuss different flexibility-based business models with a special focus on local flexibility co-creation. Based on the inputs of experts the participants will develop own suggestions for value creation and capture based on local flexibility.

Workshop 5 - Forecasting and market reality: Exploring the future of e-mobility

The energy industry is undergoing fundamental transformation. Liberalization, nuclear phase out, technological innovations, political changes, decentralization, market volatility and sharing economy constitute only some of the key issues that the energy market is facing. Although the alternatives for seizing investment opportunities may be manifold and varied, decision-makers share one common question: how to forecast future growth opportunities under uncertainty? This workshop concentrates on forecasting new business opportunities in the field of e-mobility under uncertainty. With an emphasis on forecasting, it uncovers how and why firms differentially take stock of the opportunities going forward. In a first part of the workshop, the importance of forecasting and some of the challenges associated with it will be introduced. In a second part, distinguished guest speakers will share their forecasts on the future business opportunities associated with development of e-mobility market. Finally, workshop participants will create their own forecasts for given investment opportunities and discuss their forecasts with our guest speakers.

Workshop 6 - How to make capital costs of hydropower plants in Switzerland work for investors?

Large hydropower plants play a crucial role in the overall energy transition. Switzerland with its topographic structures has long been relying on hydropower. The country now aims to increase its average production to 38'600 Gigawatt hours per year by 2050. But: new hydropower projects are only built when the project itself is economically feasible. Investment decisions for large hydropower projects depend on numerous and complex factors, and they often do not look too promising today. The public debate mostly stays on a generic level and evolves around the currently low electricity prices, predicting future electricity prices and the development of fossil fuel prices. The goal of this workshop is to add a new spin to the debate by asking and elaborating the question of how to get to cheaper capital costs for hydropower plants in order to improve their economic feasibility. Come and join the interesting debate!

15:30    Coffee break

16:00   PANEL DISCUSSION
              Managing Diversity for a successful Energy Transition

Moderator: Dr. Melinda Crane, Chief Political Correspondent, Deutsche Welle TV

16:50   CLOSING REMARKS

17:00   Apéro Riche

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