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Workshops 2014

Pre-Conference Workshop: Developing New Business Models in the Transitioning Energy Sector

The energy sector is transitioning; industry lines and relationships between players are changing. What opportunities do technology-driven and customer-oriented business model innovations present? The Institute for Technology Management (ITEM-HSG) is one of the founding members of the new Center for Energy Innovation, Governance and Investment (EGI-HSG). We have extensive experience in developing business model innovations, including for converging industries such as telecommunications and successfully use this knowledge in cross-industry workshops. Our goals during this workshop are to reflect on current challenges facing the energy industry and to discuss how we can work together with you toward creating sustainable business models in such a dynamic ecosystem. We will examine how business model innovation, intellectual property management, and technology decisions interact in this context and will consider ways in which the Energy Innovation Lab may support you in overcoming challenges you are currently facing.

Prof. Dr. Oliver Gassmann, University of St.Gallen
Dr. Maximilian Palmié, University of St.Gallen

1. Peer-to-Peer Marketing for Photovoltaics

The demand for PV plants is high under advantageous market conditions due to feed-in tariffs and approachable homeowners. Under conditions with higher acquisition costs, however, proactive sales strategies are necessary. Cold callings and door-to-door sellings entail high acquisition costs in the market of rooftop installations, wherefore some PV salesmen recently come up with innovative ideas for customer acquisition. Simultaneously, most recent scientific findings reveal great importance of peer effects with photovoltaics. In the workshop both scientific findings and innovative marketing ideas from the German and Swiss PV market will be discussed.

Hans Christoph Curtius, University of St.Gallen
Adrian Rinscheid, University of St.Gallen

Nicole Hölscher, Head of Marketing, SolarWorld AG
Stefan Merz, Executive Board, Helion Solar Ost AG
Immanuel Möbius, General Manager, SBU Rhein-Main GmbH

2. Roadmap to Customer Engagement in a Smart Grid

Smart Grid Technologies promise to solve various challenges of the „Energiewende“. For example, by introducing a demand response program, one could prevent grid overload and make a more efficient use of electricity provided from renewable energy sources. In order to better exploit the benefits of a smart grid, customers need to accept such smart grid products and services (e.g. demand response programs) and integrate them into their daily lives.

In this workhop we will discuss how to increase customer acceptance of smart grid products and services and thus actively integrate consumers into the energy system of the future. Recent research findings of the Smart Grid Business Lab of the Chair for Management of Renewable Energies – such as the effectivenes of incentives – will be presented and discussed. Furthermore, means to increase customer acceptance of smart grid products and services and major acceptance barriers will be developed in an interactive discussion with lead users (end consumers) of smart grid technologies and project leaders of smart grid pilot projects from Switzerland, Germany and Austria.

Moderation Karoline Gamma, University of St.Gallen

Dr. Robert Thomann, Innovation Manager, Corporate Department Technology & Innovation, MVV Energie AG / Project leader Model City Mannheim
Leo Condrau, project leader business development, Centralschweizerische Kraftwerke Ltd., Luzern

3. Developing new markets: Renewable energy investments in Eastern Europe

Renewable energy sources are becoming increasingly popular worldwide. While Western European markets such as Germany, Britain and France are maturing, investors are looking East: Partly because of existing resources, partly because of generous government support programs. Wind power in Romania and Poland is accelerating, as is solar power in the Ukraine, creating new investment opportunities outside of Europe‘s more established markets. This workshop aims at bringing together different stakeholders from the renewable energy sector, taking a closer look at future issues of market developments in this part of the continent, at opportunities and barriers focusing on e.g. Romania which is one of the wind energy leaders in Eastern Europe.

Moderation Ramona Miron & Yuliya Karneyeva, University of St.Gallen

Dr. Simona Chirică, Partner, Schoenherr Bucharest
Jürgen Ludwig, CEO, TTM Romania
E.S. Anca Opriş, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Romania in the Swiss Confederation
Dr. Ulrich Reiter, Head Project Development New Renewables, Repower AG
Sergei Kuzmitch, Managing Partner, ENECA

4. Post-Grid Parity Business Models for Solar and Wind

In this interactive workshop, three renewable energy experts outline actual major challenges and pursued solutions in Germany. Many residential, commercial and industrial consumers already lower their costs for electricity by investing in wind or solar PV projects and consuming a large share of the electricity produced. While «grid parity» is an important milestone, it can- not compensate pending deterioration of investment conditions and increasing political risks. How do typical business models of project developers and investors need to change so as to finance very large and very small PV or wind projects in the future? Which new approaches are necessary to enable citizens’ participation also after the coming feed-in tariff reforms (e.g. energy co-operatives)? Three panelists will engage participants in in-depth discussions of such questions.

Moderation Paul Maidowski, University of St.Gallen

Jan Nikolaisen, COO, Romo Wind
Marcel Keiffenheim, Greenpeace Energy eG
Robert Schwarz, BTO Management Consulting AG, Partner & Procurist

5. Electric mobility in urban areas - Drivers and challenges

The electrification of road traffic has been identified as a possible solution to various problems: Growing traffic volumes and the resulting increase in carbon emissions, local pollution and noise. The goal of this workshop is threefold. First, we shed light on the growth potential of E-Mobility. Second, obstacles in the further commercialization of electric vehicles shall be discussed. Finally, we will address the role of both the state and of firms in tackling these challenges. Experts from different fields (manufacturers, consultancies, think tanks) will present different aspects, such as for instance incentive schemes, innovative distribution methods and the role of information technology. The workshop will also address business opportunities for energy providers.

Gieri Hinnen, SWISS & University of St.Gallen / Dr. Stefanie Lena Hille, University of St.Gallen

Dr. Manfred Josef Pauli, Senior researcher, mobility academy
Dr. Peter de Haan, Head of Climate Change and Consumption group, Ernst Basler + Partner AG
Dipl.-Ing. Gerhard Günther, Managing Director VLOTTE