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Workshops 2015

1. Promising Smart Grid Business Models

Within a large, innovative EU-funded research project software companies, technology providers, project developers, utilities and researchers from Norway to Malta are working together to develop EMPOWER: local electricity retail markets for prosumer smart grid power services. The aim of the project is to get EMPOWER to work, to develop new business models and to spread the idea so that many more companies and prosumers join in, thereby transforming the dominant business models in the energy industry. EMPOWER welcomes new partnerships and alliances with interested companies and individuals. For this purpose the workshop is designed as follows: First, we will provide an introduction to what EMPOWER is about and what it is designed to achieve. Second, we will describe the conceptual challenges and possible solutions for business model innovation in the field of local electricity retail markets for prosumer smart grid power services. Third, we are going to introduce the «newtility» project, an HSG-based business model innovation for EMPOWER. As the final step we will engage in an open discussion with participants to collect feedback and identify joint opportunities for further collaboration. We encourage would-be participants to register early as we anticipate significant interest in this workshop. In addition, every registrant will receive the workshop minutes (containing leads for cooperation) in a timely manner after the workshop finishes.

Prof. Dr. Moritz Loock, University of St.Gallen

Prof. Dr. ing. Bernt A. Bremdal, Smart IO Norway
Prof. Dr. René Bohnsack, University of Amsterdam Business School
Marvin Kirschner & Calebe Künzle, The Newtility Project, St.Gallen

2. Building-Integrated Photovoltaic – Harnessing Untapped Potentials

«Transformation of facades and roofs into solar plants»- ‚a win-win for aesthetics and the environment’ – recent technological developments enable closing the discrepancy between such visionary claims and reality. Switzerland, being a densely populated country, offers optimal conditions to become the driving force behind the further development of building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV). However, the current market penetration of BIPV is still in the low single-digits at the best as various socio-economic barriers prevent greater growth of roof and façade integrated systems. Those barriers will be discussed in this workshop by means of several propositions. Industry experts including architects and installers will share their views with workshop participants and researchers and will explore ways to overcome those barriers. Workshop participants can also expect being presented with some of the latest technical achievements in the field of photovoltaic research.

Prof. Dr. Stefanie Hille & Hans Christoph Curtius, University of St.Gallen

Dr. Hartmut Nussbaumer, Institut für Energiesysteme und Fluid-Engineering (IEFE), ZHAW Winterthur
Cosima Bader, University of St.Gallen

Further experts
Thomas Ammann, HEV Schweiz
Stefan Merz, Helion Solar
Andreas Schöni, Solaxess SA
Iwan Thür, Gasser Fassadentechnik AG
Stefan Truog, visiobau architekturbüro

3. Wind Energy Investment Destinations: Established or Emerging Markets?

Wind energy investment is becoming extremely international. Top investment destinations for European companies include many countries of the European Union and Eastern Europe, as well as overseas. Wind resources are excellent in many of these countries, but not every country offers attractive investment opportunities. While feed-in tariffs or green certificates may be appealing, regulatory frameworks or slow permitting processes may pose a challenge. Moreover, financing schemes vary depending on the region. Finally, local infrastructure and business culture can strongly affect the success of projects. In this workshop we will discuss potential destinations for wind projects and describe the critical factors to consider when making international investments such as regulations, infrastructure, permitting and local culture. To inspire participants to engage in a fruitful discussion, several experts who represent different stakeholders in the wind energy sector will share their experiences of dealing with wind projects in Europe and beyond.

Moderation Yuliya Karneyeva, University of St.Gallen

Dr. Jan Bodenmann, CFO, Swisspower Renewables AG
John O’Brien, Regional Technical Advisor on Climate Change Mitigation, UNDP, Istanbul, Turkey
Dominique Darne, President of the Economic Commission, French Wind Energy Association
Massimo Derchi, CEO of ERG Renew SpA, Genova, Italy
Veronique Werner, BKW Energie AG, Procurement Manager renewable energies

4. The Age of Negative Interest Rates: an Opportunity for Institutional Investors to Get Involved in Renewable Energy?

What role do banks, insurance companies and pension funds play as investors in renewable energy? In this workshop, speakers from leading Swiss financial institutions will give insights into their approach to investments in renewable energies. Apart from the reasons for making investments in renewables, a special focus will be placed on the issues of risk - return ratios and technology preferences. The discussion of the experiences of various financial institutions will be complemented by the latest scientific findings from research at the University of St.Gallen, relating to the main drivers and barriers to investment. The discussion of investment barriers will focus in particular on the impact of regulatory and political uncertainty.

Anna Ebers, PhD & Sarah Salm, Universität St.Gallen

Dr. Matthias Gysler, Head of Energy Policy, BFE
Tom Osterwalder, Deputy Managing Director, Zurich Invest AG
Dr. Tobias Reichmuth, CEO & Co-Founder, Susi Partners AG

5. Change Management in Turbulent Markets: What the Energy Industry Can Learn from Change in Other Sectors

The energy industry is currently undergoing a period of fundamental change. Old wisdoms are today's foolery, long profitable business models are today's value killer, and yesterday's customers are today's competitors. How can organizations that have known a highly stable environment for the last 50 years adapt to a rapidly changing and highly turbulent environment? How can they overcome existing patterns of behaviour and cognition? This workshop focuses on change management in the energy industry. In a first part, strategy experts from the airline and the energy industry, both industries that are currently undergoing a fundamental change, discuss their experiences of change and change management. In the second part, these practical insights are mirrored with findings from research. The last part focuses on applying theory to practice: Together with an expert for strategy-communication, an Action Plan for successful change management in the energy industry is developed.

Gieri Hinnen, Swiss & Universität St. Gallen

Florian Dehne, Head of Corporate Development SWISS
Samuel Enggist, Head of Sales und Marketing, Repower AG
Andri Hinnen, Zense GmbH

6. Social Acceptance of Wind & Hydropower

Since the energy transition strategy ultimately needs to be embedded in regional social networks, this workshop is designed to pursue an integrated approach by looking into the potential contribution of energy regions towards the energy transition. It addresses an emerging empirical phenomenon: namely, the social acceptance of new energy infrastructure, with special focus on hydropower plants and wind energy. In this workshop we intend to put the emphasis on the social acceptance of siting decisions by local stakeholders, particularly residents and local authorities, and to discuss the most important elements of acceptance/resistance based on current experience.

Dr. Andrea Tabi, University of St.Gallen

Markus Geissmann, Head of Wind Energy Department, Swiss Federal Office of Energy
Dr. Catherine Gross, Fenner School of Environment & Society, Australian National University
Pascal Steingruber, Association for environmentally sound energy (naturemade)