An International Forum aimed “towards a secure energy supply in a net zero emission society” was held in Frankfurt, Germany, January 23-25, 2023. The event was organized by the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center’s Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (CERL), along with the House of Energy e.V. to fight climate change and support energy security on the local level.
The conference brought more than 120 experts from Europe and the United States together to initiate a conversation amongst key stakeholders to establish a secure energy supply in Europe, along with addressing climate change and working toward a net zero emission society.
The conference was designed for state and local government personnel who are responsible for shaping energy policy, fostering cross-sector strategies and forming future building codes, legal frameworks, taxes and rebates; for engineers and scientists dealing with advanced energy technologies and systems; and for energy planners tasked with developing resilient, environmentally friendly and cost-effective energy solutions for municipal and local military, commercial and residential community levels. Representatives from energy utility companies that provide energy to regions, cities and local communities, along with energy savings contractors, architects and equipment manufacturers also participated and shared their insights.
“Having conferences such as this one is important, as they bring different minds together to find ways to build a better future and find solutions in support of efforts to limit climate change and to ensure a secure energy supply that provides a supporting basis for a net zero emission society,” said CERL senior research engineer Dr. Alexander Zhivov.
Participants were encouraged to share their practical knowledge, methodologies, technical means and business strategies. Those ideas will be used in the short term to eliminate use of Russian energy, in accordance with Section 1086 of the National Defense Authorization Act. Additionally, the discussions were consistent with a long-term goal of achieving a net-zero emission society.
“This allowed us to explore the challenges and opportunity to improve energy security for U.S. installations in Europe and hear a broad view of the complexities through direct dialogue,” said Dr. Andy Nelson, director of CERL. “Having this shared understanding and new network of people will allow us to move faster to improve energy security in Europe.”
By discussing and summarizing lessons learned from case studies, pilot projects and modeling results presented at the forum, international experts will be able to provide more informed recommendations to decision-makers.
“This conference was valuable because it brought together people from disciplines who don’t all work together on a daily basis, including technical and legal experts, utility companies, installation staff and senior policymakers,” said Nelson.
Some of the topics covered include installation energy master planning and the interrelationships between energy systems such as on-site generation and seasonal storage, as well as their applications, constraints, pros and cons and self-sufficiency. The forum also addressed different business models and local legal requirements applicable to existing and new energy systems, including those with bidirectional energy flows between installations and utility networks.