The challenge of energy efficiency

Experts debate issues in a Steinbeis symposium

At the Steinbeis symposium on “Energy – Efficiency in Application and Transformation” on April 1 – part of a series of events on applied technology – over 120 participants debated issues and challenges concerning energy use and the preservation of resources. The event was organized by the Steinbeis Technology Group (STG), the energy company Shell and the “innovation projects” department of the F.A.Z. Institute. The organizers invited a range of high-profile speakers from industry and academia to the one-day event at the Haus der Wirtschaft in Stuttgart.

Using resources intelligently – especially energy – has become essential for companies to safeguard financial success. Because if energy reserves dry up, industrial production becomes impossible.

By 2050, energy demand will outstrip the supply that can be generated from dwindling fossil fuels. This means we need to recognize the relationship between using resources efficiently and generating value-added – never forgetting that a sustainable energy supply is vital for the future.

The Steinbeis symposium offered participants a platform to debate key issues surrounding energy supplies, efficiency and the preservation of resources with high-profile speakers from industry and academia. Dr. Jörg Adolf from Shell
Deutschland Oil led the first of the day’s four plenary sessions, discussing the challenges inherent in managing energy supplies and protecting the climate in industry. In the second session, Professor Dr. Gunter Henn – the architect behind Volkswagen’s Autostadt (car city) attraction in Wolfsburg and the Gläserne Manufaktur in Dresden – lectured on social and technological sustainability. Panjörg Salzmann of the firm DIW Instandhaltung gave the third lecture, in which he examined energy-efficient operation from operational and economic perspectives. Finally, Martin Mönig from ZF Sachs brought the plenary sessions to a close, speaking on aspects of energy procurement and resource preservation in factories.

In the afternoon, following the plenary sessions, two expert panels discussed the challenges involved in optimizing the relationship between using resources and adding value.

The panels discussed product development and production processes in complex manufacturing, as well as plant availability, based on the principle of ”avoid rather than utilize” (with regard to functional materials, lightweight construction, product and process substitution, hybrids and near-net shape processes). The panels also addressed conventional and alternative approaches to energy generation and use (fossil, wind, solar, geothermal, etc.)

Daniel Schleidt of the F.A.Z. Institute led the closing podium discussion, in which Karl Greißing of the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Economics, Dr. Jörg Adolf of Shell Deutschland Oil, Professor Dr.-Ing. habil. Eckhard Beyer of the Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology and Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ulrich Günther of Steinbeis University Berlin addressed the challenge of energy efficiency in light of conflicting ecological and economic priorities. A specialist exhibition was also part of the conference.

The day’s events were met with an overwhelmingly positive response – showing that the symposium delivered on its goal of providing suggestions and problemsolving approaches for a successful switchover to energy efficiency.

Share this page