January 24th 2024

Technology & Life Sciences forum

Experts from the energy sector meet at MCI for a exchange of facts

The Technology & Life Sciences Forum, which featured four presentations on the controversial topic of "Energy transition - Can we still manage it?" and covered a wide range of topics from hydropower to hydrogen, met with enormous interest.

The importance of the topic was underlined by the presence of Governor of Tyrol Anton Mattle for the entire duration of the event. In his usual fact-based analysis, the Tyrolean Governor welcomed over 300 interested guests and called for openness with regard to the strategy chosen by provincial politics for energy autonomy and for the support of all citizens for the success of the energy transition.

In his keynote speech, Alexander Speckle, Chief Construction Officer of TIWAG, shed light on the necessary scale of energy generation, the most sensible regional technologies for the generation and storage of renewable energy and the possible locations for domestic energy supply. He particularly pointed out that an isolated view of Tyrol in the European energy network was neither possible nor in line with the aim of the European energy network - to guarantee security of supply and reliability.

In her lecture "Political goals and technical possibilities", MCI Professor Angela Hofmann outlined various scenarios for achieving the energy transition by 2050. Hofmann summed up with the statement: "The question of which technology is the best does not arise. We need everything." Ideology-driven technologies cannot be the drivers of the energy transition, because every single renewable energy source is needed for the energy transition to succeed.

Martin Mühlbacher, Site Manager and Vice President Operations at INNIO Jenbacher, spoke about intelligent engines with brains, a largely energy self-sufficient site and investments in hydrogen technology as both an energy source and storage facility. He described the ongoing transformation of the traditional manufacturer of large engines for generating electricity from fossil gas to biogas and hydrogen. Decentralization, digitalization and decarbonization are the leitmotifs of technological change within the INNIO Group and make the company a technological pioneer.

Max Kloger, Managing Director of Tiroler Rohre GmbH, illustrates the relevance of products that could not be manufactured without high energy input and would therefore not be available. The production of cast iron requires high-carbon aggregates and very high melting temperatures, which can only be achieved electrically with high infrastructural and operational costs. Kloger is clearly committed to Tyrol as a location and to the transformation of the regional energy transition, but points out that the cost increase will be felt in the price of the end product. Acceptance on the customer side is still questionable, but CO2 neutrality is the path that must be taken for the next generation. Despite a number of setbacks in research and development for TRM, Kloger remains committed to investing in the future.

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