Thousands of sensors in heating and air conditioning units, cooling fans and lamps save Microsoft millions every year. Darrel Smith, Corporate Director of Buildings and Energy, and his team have fully networked the company’s 200 hectare campus in Redmont, Washington, and now control energy consumption with the aid of special software. Why? "Because smart buildings make smart cities," explains Smith, "and smart cities will change everything."
Darrel Smith will explain exactly what he means by this at the 15th "Life Needs Power" energy forum. "Smart City: Challenges and potential of the future city as a place to be" is the title of the discussion on April 15, where Smith will be joined by Dr. Jörg Benze (T-Systems Multimedia Solutions), Klaus lligmann (City of Munich), Prashant Kumar Sandhi (VDE|DKE), Dr. Rainer Speh (VDE|ETG) and Dr. Antonello Monti from RWTH Aachen University.
What sort of marketing design and what business models will be viable in the future? What direction is power generation going in and what are the implications for power grids? And what role does energy efficiency play in the transition to renewables? From April 13 to 17 the major challenges for our energy system will be debated in Hall 12. This year the topics will range from the integration of renewable energy, expansion of the grid, the role of energy in mobile technologies to the strategic outlook for energy policy.
The forum's official patron is Sigmar Gabriel, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy. "The transition to renewables is a path we can share to a secure, environmentally safe future." At the same time, it is an opportunity to enhance Germany’s attractiveness as a place to do business. Energy efficiency, he points out, is also important. According to the Minister, "We need to find ways of using less energy by adopting modern energy-saving technologies and changing our own behavior."
Leading experts from industry, the energy sector, the scientific community, research and government will discuss the generation, storage, transmission and distribution of electric power. On Monday Dr. Robert Schlögl from the Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society will explain the German Federal government’s strategic research agenda. "System services in the year 2030" is the topic of the Dortmund professor Christian Rehtanz on Tuesday. On the final day of the forum Ferdinand Gubina from Slovenia will be joined by experts from Austria, Israel, Romania, Germany and Switzerland as they seek to identify elements of a common energy strategy.
Life needs Power is organized by the Forum for Future Energy, the VDE Energy Engineering Society (VDE|ETG), the German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers’ Association (ZVEI), Deutsche Messe AG and EW Medien und Kongresse GmbH. The opening keynote on Monday, April 13 will be delivered at 10 a.m. by Matthias Machnig, Undersecretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. "In 2014 the Energy Forum had 2500 people in the audience. This year we are expecting at least the same number," says Wolfgang Glaunsinger, one of the organizers as well as Managing Director of the VDE's Energy Management Society.