On October 25, 2023, the Vienna Energy Security Dialogue (VESD) took place for the sixth time. Organized by the World Energy Council Austria together with the OSCE, the Federation of Austrian Industries and EY Austria, the Dialogue was dedicated to the topic ‘Future of Energy Markets’.
Ukraine war, Middle East conflict and the threat of recession are putting Europe’s economy to the test. The security of energy supply has become a priority again and the political steps of the next period will determine whether Europe will come out of the crisis stronger and more sustainable or not.
To shed light on the crises and possible courses of action, three panels were organized on ‘Strategic outlook: forging effective energy policies and partnerships’, ‘Increasing resilience and security: reducing energy system vulnerability’ and ‘Industries at crossroads: balancing the energy trilemma’.
The event was introduced by Prof. Dr. Stefan Schleicher (Vice President World Energy Council Austria) and Sylvie Goyet (Deputy Co-ordinator / Head, Environmental Activities, OSCE).
In their keynote speeches, Rana Adib (Executive Director, REN21), Univ.-Prof. DI Karl Rose (Karl-Franzens-University Graz), Dr. Stephan Sharma (CEO, Burgenland Energie AG) and Dr. Irene Giner-Reichl (Ambassador (ret.), President Global Forum for Sustainable Energy, Co-founder Global Women’s Network for the Energy Transition) defined the thematic framework.
Moderated by Mag. Daniel Kroos (Principal Specialist, SE4All) and introduced by Eric Eschrich (Operations Coordinator, WEC Austria), the first panel consisted of Dusko Stjepanovic (Head of Green Banking, REEEP), Elizabeth Press (Director, Planning and Programme Support, IRENA), Andrei Covatariu (Independent Energy Expert, Co-Chair of UNECE Task Force on Digitalisation in Energy) and Dr. Saule Zholdayakova (Acting Head of Department of Alternative Energy / Head of Hydrogen Technologies Research Laboratory, KMG Engineering LLP) presented challenges and possible solutions in the context of the current energy crisis.
In the second panel, Dr. Michael Weixelbraun (Head of Asset Operation and Maintenance, Austrian Power Grid AG), Dr. Eamonn Lannoye (Managing Director of EPRI Europe, Senior Program Manager, Transmission Operations and Planning, EPRI), Roman Tobler (Senior Manager, Cyber Security, Ernst & Young), Roberta Boscolo (Climate and Energy Scientific Officer, WMO) and Prof. Stefan Ulreich (Biberach University of Applied Sciences) discussed threat scenarios for energy infrastructures and instruments to ensure security of supply. The second panel was moderated by Sylvie Goyet (Deputy Co-ordinator / Head, Environmental Activities, OSCE), Eric Eschrich (Operations Coordinator, WEC Austria) introduced the topic.
The third panel was dedicated to the transformation of the energy system towards renewable energies and the necessary legal and organizational framework. After introductory remarks by Eric Eschrich (Operations Coordinator, WEC Austria) and moderated by Ivo Wakounig (Senior Advisor, WEC Austria), Mag. Johannes Mayer (Head of the Economics Department, E-Control), John Roberts (Energy Security Specialist, Methinks), Petra Schwager (Chief of the Division on Energy Technologies and Industrial Applications, UNIDO), Ronald Steenblik (Senior Technical Advisor, SJES Programme, Quaker United Nations Office) and Maximilian Mauthe (Expert, Federation of Austrian Industries) discussed the topic.
Dr. Robert Kobau (Executive Director, World Energy Council Austria) delivered the closing remarks of the event. We would like to thank Eric Eschrich, Ivo Wakounig, Prof. Dr. Stephan Unger and Mag. Daniel Kroos for the conception and organization of the event. We would like to thank our TOP speakers for their exciting and interesting presentations. We would also like to thank the OSCE, the Federation of Austrian Industries and Ernst & Young for their support as co-organizers.