Hydropower industry experts recently met for the eleventh time at the hydroelectrics hub connecting eastern and western Europe. Once again, the RENEXPO INTERHYDRO highlighted the key role hydropower plays in securing the provision of a safe, sustainable, affordable and climate-neutral energy supply. On the 28th & 29th November 2019, the latest edition of the European gathering for the hydropower industry offered a unique platform for knowledge transfer, the exchange of experiences and the establishment of new contacts. The hard stats reflected the continued success of the event, as it attracted 125 exhibitors, more than 300 conference participants and around 2500 visitors from several nations!
This year, the RENEXPO INTERHYDRO re-confirmed its status as the European hydropower industry’s no. 1 gathering. “Once again, we are delighted to have been able to convene the entire hydropower industry in Salzburg, and to have provided a stage for discussing the central issues it faces. I am convinced it is a very important form of energy, from a personal standpoint, and because the significance of water power technologies is continually growing! I also believe that in the next few months the status of hydropower will be further enhanced by a number of political decisions related to energy production, as well as by ever-increasing environmental awareness,” explained Salzburg Exhibition & Congress Center Executive Director DI (FH) Alexander Kribus, MBA.
In future, in order to guarantee the current degree of power supply security in a sector increasingly influenced by strong fluctuation as regards the proportions of various renewable energy sources fed into the mix, it will be vital to ensure a balance is found between upper and lower capacities available from the mains grid. Hydropower, as a versatile and storable source of energy, will play a key role. The event was repeatedly able to provide numerous new approaches, and to showcase solutions, above all for those responsible for the planning and management of (small-scale) hydro-electric power plants.
The slogan of this year’s RENEXPO INTERHYDRO was ‘Hydropower needs politics needs hydropower’. Speeches at the opening ceremony dealt with this issue; as did discussions held later at the ‘Energy Talk’, involving well-known politicians, business people and representative organisations.
In his opening speech, Salzburg Province’s Deputy Governor, Dr. Heinrich Schellhorn, patron of the event, highlighted the importance of hydropower for the entire Salzburg region in the context of SALZBURG 2050 climate and energy strategies – and also underlined the significance of the RENEXPO INTERHYDRO as a key gathering for discussing issues and exchanging ideas. Mr. Schellhorn stated: “Climate protection and an energy transition across the province of Salzburg, indeed throughout Europe, can only be achieved by working together. We need to make joint efforts and guarantee a broad exchange of expertise, information and experience. The RENEXPO INTERHYDRO makes an important contribution by encouraging discourse on the status quo and necessary future developments.”
Dr. Michael Losch, Head of Section VI of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Sustainability and Tourism shared these convictions: “Hydropower is Austria’s key source of energy, so I’m even more pleased to know that there’s the RENEXPO INTERHYDRO in Salzburg – an event that provides room for discussion and the exchange of ideas. Every part of Europe is faced with its own challenges and opportunities as regards the expansion of renewable energy capacities. The hydropower potential of the Alps is of particular importance. Hydroelectrics guarantee a constant base load supply from run-of-river stations, and storable peak loads from pumped storage power plants. With the benefit of innovative technologies created by Austrian businesses, this opens up big opportunities on an international stage.”
The interdependence of hydropower and politics was also examined in discussions involving Dr. Michael Losch and Herfried Harreiter (Dipl.-Ing.), Head of Asset Management at Verbund Hydro Power GmbH, Dr. Axel Berg, Chairman of the Board of the Hydroelectric Power Cooperative of Baden Württemberg, the co-author of the renewable energy law, Detlef Fischer, CEO of the Bavarian Association for Energy and Hydropower Management, and Dirk Hendricks, Secretary General of the European Renewable Energies Federation.
The international meeting of representatives from the national associations was held at RENEXPO INTERHYDRO in Salzburg for the fourth time. Great emphasis was placed on the immense benefits of hydropower in combination with ecologically-friendly infrastructural expansion, and there was also discussion of legal structures at national and European levels.
26th & 27th November 2020
Where: Messezentrum Salzburg, Am Messezentrum 1, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
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