When the most renowned opinion leaders of the clean tech, energy and electromobility industry gather in Freistadt, Upper Austria, the occasion can only be an event organized by the clean tech company neoom.
Our third anniversary was a good reason for us to celebrate with employees, investors, partner companies and supporters – and to debate the energy transition with the distinguished speakers who had come together on the stage of the Freistadt exhibition hall, such as bestselling author and speaker Marc Elsberg. With his scientific thrillers, the Viennese-born author makes topics like blackouts accessible to everyone in a gripping way. The fact that in his book “Blackout – Tomorrow Will Be Too Late” a blackout is caused by a terrorist cyberattack served as an invitation for the panelists to reflect on energy supply. Environment Minister Leonore Gewessler, who joined via video message, was also very clear about the importance of the sources that provide our energy security, especially in light of the war in Ukraine: “It doesn’t bear thinking about whose hands we’ve put ourselves in in Europe – and that we’re helping to finance a war of aggression as a result.”
The perennial theme: global warming
Climate activist and UN advisor Marc Buckley said that “Current problems like the pandemic and the Ukraine war overshadow a major problem that will outlast all others: climate change. Triggered by an immense hunger for energy, not only are we greatly endangering security in Europe – as well as world peace – but also fueling global warming.”
So, energy transition is just as essential for the future of humanity as mobility transition. We have been able to usher in the latter because digitalization has resolved the chicken-and-egg dilemma, as has.to.be’s Alexander Kirchgasser pointed out: “We have to keep in mind that in the early days of motorized mobility you had to buy gasoline at the pharmacy. Of course, there was no filling station network for cars with combustion engines yet – it would only be built out in the following decades. About a hundred years later, the situation was similar with electric cars: there was no network. But we solved that problem by connecting charging stations and thereby creating an ecosystem on the drawing board that didn’t exist before. Currently, about 1 million charging transactions take place in Europe – that was only made possible by digitalization.”
Mobility transition: check – Next up: energy transition
But the mobility revolution, which was originally launched by politicians, is not the only thing that determines the measures we need to take to protect ourselves from climate change, carbonization and blackouts.
The other is the energy transition, the basis for which is not only technical know-how, but also the legal framework. Austria plays a pioneering role here. It was one of the first countries to implement the relevant EU requirements and to create the regulatory basis for the energy turnaround by passing the Renewable Energy Expansion Act. Political will is indispensable, as Leonore Gewessler strongly emphasized in her video message. She urged the phase-out of oil and gas and the expansion of renewable energies. Another key factor, according to the minister, is breaking up the monopoly position of energy companies in setting electricity prices. So far, the majority of citizens have only participated in the energy market as end customers, but through energy communities they can now assume the role of electricity producers and distribute energy more regionally and from 100% renewable sources.
Networking devices – networking people
neoom presented KLUUB, a feature in the newly introduced neoom app, which makes it possible to create renewable energy communities.
“The neoom app is the connection between neoom products and the Internet of Energy. With KLUUB, you can connect all electricity consumers and electricity producers to exploit the full potential of renewable energy communities. This allows any member of an energy community to share electricity with the other members via the existing grid, without an energy supplier getting involved and earning money. In other words, participants can supply each other with electricity as efficiently as possible without a third party. The Renewable Energy Expansion Act plays a key role here by eliminating significant fees. So, anyone who buys electricity will get it cheaper, which means the buyer gets more electricity for their money. And for those who sell it, electricity becomes more valuable because there is more net electricity left over,” explained Walter Kreisel, CEO and founder of the neoom group.
This new energy market offers some other significant advantages such as very short transport distances and the good conscience that comes from consuming and passing on electricity from 100% renewable sources that are in your local region.
In the subsequent Future Talk, meteorologist Andreas Jäger was invited on stage as a surprise guest and examined the question of whether climate change is human-made. His conclusion: “Humans play a key role in climate change, but we are not pawns in the hands of some larger force. We can do something about it. That’s why it’s up to all of us to usher in the energy transition together.”