Energy companies cooperate on research for a sustainable future

Wien Energie, EVN, Burgenland Energie and Energie Steiermark reaffirm their joint commitment to a sustainable energy future at the Green Energy Lab General Assembly. The research initiative is Austria's largest innovation laboratory and includes over five million consumers.

How can underground thermal water deposits be used for seasonal storage of energy for the district heating network? How can the pooled battery capacities of e-vehicles stabilize the power grid and could vehicle operators perhaps even earn money with them? And how can the digitization of the power grid enable intelligent load balancing in conjunction with fluctuating energy volumes from wind and solar power plants?

In the Green Energy Lab, such new ideas and technologies are tested in practice. The research partners benefit from the joint commitment of the energy companies Wien Energie, EVN, Burgenland Energie and Energie Steiermark, which together ensure the energy supply for more than five million end consumers. This means that the Green Energy Lab showcase region encompasses more than half of the Austrian energy market, making it the largest innovation laboratory in Austria. New technological solutions can be tested under real conditions and, if necessary, quickly implemented on a large scale. “The Green Energy Lab stands for innovation through cooperation – I find our vibrant networks and active partners to be an important ingredient for the success of the energy transition,” says Mathias Schaffer, spokesman for the board of the Green Energy Lab.

Mathias Schaffer,
Spokesman of the Board Green Energy Lab
Photo:Stephanie Weinhappel / Green Energy Lab

Joint commitment to the energy futurestrong
At the 2023 General Assembly of the Green Energy Lab, the four utilities Wien Energie, EVN, Burgenland Energie and Energie Steiermark reaffirmed their commitment to a sustainable energy future. EVN CEO Stefan Szyszkowitz is pleased to continue being part of Austria’s largest innovation laboratory: “On the way to a renewable energy future, we need to join forces.” This is also emphasized by Michael Strebl, Chairman of the Wien Energie Management Board: “Actively meeting the challenges of the energy transition in a large association with innovative ideas from practice is an important joint step towards a sustainable energy future”.

Stefan Szyszkowitz
Spokesman of the Board EVN
Photo: EVN / Wurnig

Michael Strebl,
Chairman of the Wien Energie Management Board
Photo: Wien Energie/Martina Draper

The Green Energy Lab is not just about abstract basic research, but above all about the practical application and integration of new solutions into existing energy networks. “It is important that our developed innovations do not get stuck in the ‘lab’ and reach the market to the customers. That is why we place a great deal of emphasis on the market integration of our projects,” explains Stephan Sharma, CEO of Burgenland Energie.

Stephan Sharma,
Chairman of the Board of Burgenland Energie
Photo: Roman Zach-Kiesling/Burgenland Energie

By bundling synergies in research, the energy turnaround can be advanced even faster to make the energy supply of the future even more ecological. “Only by joining forces can we succeed in mobilizing the necessary innovation potential to bring newly developed technologies to market as quickly as possible so that they can make a substantial contribution to decarbonizing the energy sector. This is the primary goal of our joint initiative,” concludes Christian Purrer, CEO of Energie Steiermark.

Christian Purrer,
Spokesman of the Board of Energie Steiermark
Photo: Energie Steiermark

More than 300 network partners Green Energy Lab is the largest innovation laboratory for sustainable energy solutions in Austria and part of the “Vorzeigeregion Energie” of the Climate and Energy Fund. More than 300 partners from research, industry and the public sector are networked in the “Innovator Circle”. With the Green Energy Foresight, the innovation potentials of different technologies are continuously analyzed and made available to the stakeholders in the joint network. New technological solutions for a sustainable energy future are being developed and tested in around 50 ongoing projects.