VGB Congress "POWER PLANTS 2011" with technical exhibition

2011-09-21 - 2011-09-23
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Bern, Schweiz

How will European energy generation develop? How will the individual countries face the challenges? The explosiveness and topicality of these issues have increased after the Japanese catastrophe. We would like to invite you to the VGB Congress in Bern from September 21 to 23, 2011 “European Generation Mix - High Demand for Flexibility and Storage” where we will jointly find answers to these questions and further important issues of our industry.

Fukushima triggered worldwide an intensive discussion. The safety of nuclear power plants is again in the focus of debates among politics and society. The different positions of the individual European countries are interesting to observe. Example Germany: The Federal Government of Germany is the only European country that immediately took off the grid eight nuclear power plants for good and decided to shut down another nine units ahead of time by 2022. Thus, the German Government has made a far-reaching decision independent of the German Reactor Safety Commission’s assessment which did not find any reason in terms of safety technology to shut down German nuclear power plants. The “stress test”, initiated by the EU Commission and to be carried out by all nuclear power plants in the EU-27 member states, also did not play a part in the Government decision. However, the whole of Europe will feel the consequences: the loss of currently some nine GW and a total of 21 GW of German power plant capacity by 2022 has to be compensated European-wide. How can we bring in line the European targets of climate protection, resource saving and supply safety with this development? What are the consequences of the German decision on the pan-European power plant portfolio and cross-border electricity transmission? How can we guarantee sustainable economic activities and consequently sustainable energy and electricity supply in Europe in the future? We also have to settle these questions.

The task of restructuring the energy mix in the long term by achieving the climate protection targets, maintaining supply safety and simultaneously making energy affordable is easier put in words than implemented in the reality of technology and engineering. However, these are the challenges we are taking on and that even motivate us further as the European leading technical association for heat and electricity generation. Technical solutions are needed for all branches of electricity generation - from conventional thermal coal-, gas and nuclear power plants to renewable sources of energy like hydro power, wind and photovoltaics as well as biomass-fired power plants. However, this is no longer not only a technical issue: the struggling for acceptance of large-scale industrial projects, either gas-fired power plant, electricity line, wind power plant or pump storage plant is increasing in importance. “Public participation” is the popular keyword.Corresponding to the tasks ahead, the VGB Congress programme focuses on the general conditions of the “energy roadmap” for Europe, among others from the viewpoint of the European Commission and the developments towards the future generation mix. Besides, the bridging functions while restructuring generation are also on the agenda. Efficiency, flexibility and storing of electricity are further technical challenges to be dealt with. High-ranked international representatives will address these issues.

We are looking forward to this year´s host country Switzerland and its Federal Capital of Berne that offers a lot of interesting sights with its more than 800 years of history. Being located in the centre of Switzerland, it is also an important link between the German- and French-speaking parts of the country. Thanks to hydro generation and nuclear power, Switzerland does not produce much greenhouse gas emissions and is spending only few resources.

Swiss companies also have a worldwide traditionally leading role in power plant engineering with their mature technology. The worldwide first gas turbine power plant with a capacity of 4 MW was commissioned in Neuchâtel in 1939. Today, gas turbine technology attracts much attention in combined-cycle operation due to specifically low CO2 emissions and high flexibility which is very important in connection with the growing share of fluctuating renewables-based power.

We would like to invite you to take the opportunity to attend our VGB Congress “Power Plants 2011”.

We are looking forward to meeting you at the VGB Congress “Power Plants 2011”, the expert meeting of the European electricity and heat industry.