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Thematic Event: Sustainable Energy System – Who Will Lead the Way?

16th June 2022, 18:00 - 20:30

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Technical innovation, massive business model change and societal adaptation are inevitable if we are to build a sustainable energy system. But how do we get there? What steps should we take? And who will lead the way? We dived into this topic and took an interdisciplinary approach with our event partner, the Energy Science Center of ETH Zurich, and our host, Siemens.

Energy demands are evolving fast. Nations are moving to build more self-reliance on their energy systems. We have an increasing demand for electricity and at the same time, we have aggressive goals to cut carbon emissions. Energy infrastructure projects will require long-term investments, so finance and governments are key to the solutions.

The only way to tackle the complex problem we face is through an interdisciplinary approach. Cutting-edge research is being done, but what can we learn? What support is required?

At this event, we heard expert inputs by three keynote speakers from academia, business and the public sector. After these inputs, we had the exclusive opportunity to dive deep into the topic by learning from eight doctoral students researching the hurdles and working on specific solutions for a sustainable energy system.

We discussed the following questions – moderated by Christian Schaffner – and learned from doctoral students who are immersed in these topics:

  • How can energy policy support the speed of technical innovation?
  • How can green energy models be economically favorable?
  • What is the latest research on biofuels, semiconductor efficiency, managing hydropower dams, carbon capture and storage, the future of transport?
  • What are government and societal roles around the storage and transport of nuclear waste?

This event was hosted by Siemens in their state of the art Swiss Headquarters in Zug. The Siemens Campus is a great example of the interplay between new technological solutions and the energy efficiency and sustainability they bring with them.


17:30 Guest arrival (recommended train 17.10 from HB*)
18:00 Welcome by ETH, Siemens and GreenBuzz
18:15 Speaker Inputs
Kristina Orehounig, Head of Urban Energy Systems Laboratory at EMPA
Kaja Hollstein, Head of Operations Services at Swissgrid
Ilonka Zapke, R&D Strategy in Technology & Innovation at Siemens
18:45 Panel discussion moderated by Christian Schaffner
19:05 Moderated Poster-Session with PhD students on their research. Including:
  • Arnau Aliana
  • Manuel Belanche
  • Linda Brodnicke
  • Sudesh Dahal
  • Susanne Rhein
  • Katrin Sievert
  • Bessie Noll
  • Dabwiso Sakala
  • Fei Wu
20:00 – 21:00 Apéro hosted by Siemens  and chance to visit the Experience Center



This event is partly funded by Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA), Co-funding of Regional, National, and International Programmes (COFUND)


Switzerland, Theilerstrasse 1a
Zug, ZG 6300 Switzerland
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