The SZE International Conference, which took place in Grand Hotel Bernardin, Portorož, Slovenia, from 31 March to 2 April 2019, became a meeting place for experts with backgrounds in various energy sectors, and an excellent opportunity to share examples of good practice for an exchange of opinions and experience. In 2018, the Slovenian Energy Association (SZE) found a new motivation to interconnect disciplinesthat share similar aspects. As a result, the 2019 edition of the International Conference generated enormous interest, bringing together more than 200 attendees from as many as 14 countries.

Entitled Sustainable and clean energy supply for heating and cooling, the conference addressed a number of issues associated with cogeneration; renewables; district heating; heating, ventilation and air conditioning in buildings; gas supply; and sustainable solutions for future energy supply. Presentations were delivered in 8 sessions by 48 speakers.The conference programme is available here.

In their welcome addresses and plenary lectures delivered in the introductory part of the conference on Monday, the speakers highlighted the urgent need for closer cooperation between energy sectors and systems. The SZE President, Prof. Dr Alojz Poredošemphasised that as modern energy solutions grow in complexity, they require collaboration across energy sectors. There to welcome the conference attendees were also Luigi Rossettiniof Aermec, the main sponsor of the event, Bojan Kumerof the Slovenian Ministry of infrastructure, His Excellency Paolo Trichilo, the Italian Ambassador to Slovenia, and Lajos Dániel Fehér, Head of Commercial Affairs at the Embassy of Hungary in Ljubljana.

In his plenary lecture, the Managing Director of EuroHeat & Power, Paul Voss, spoke about the process of meeting energy and climate targets and emphasised the need for quick, effective action. Alberto Cavallini, Professor Emeritus of the University of Padua and one of the world’s leading experts on refrigeration, gave an insight into the development of refrigerants of the future. In the third plenary lecture, Dr Franc Žlahtič, the Chair of the Slovenian National Committee of the World Energy Council, discussed the place of the Slovenian energy industry on the global map.

This was followed by the main panel on Energy sector coupling forsustainable and secure energy supply, chaired by Ladeja Godina Košir, with Paul Voss (EuroHeat & Power), Lars Gullev (VEKS, Denmark), Bojan Bogdanovič (EBRD, Renewable District Energy, Western Balkans), Jože Torkar (PETROL), Dr Tomaž Žagar (GEN energija), Gregor Jeglič (Bossplast), and Dr Franc Cimerman (Plinovodi).

Striving for closer cooperation of professionals in the field, the Slovenian Energy Association demonstrated its commitment by signing three agreements. In a formal ceremony that ended the first part of the International Conference, the association president Prof. Dr Alojz Poredoš signed cooperation agreements with the Slovenian Association of Electric Power Engineers (CIGRE-CIRED), represented by Prof. Dr Maks Babuder; the Slovenian Association for Energy Economics (SAEE), represented by its President Sara Jezernik; and the Hungarian District Heating Association (MaTaSzSz), represented by its Executive Head Orban Tibor.

The SZE International Conference 2019 brought together and into contact experts from Slovenia and beyond, particularly the wider region. All the attendees agreed that efficient cooperation was key to success.

At the Slovenian Energy Association, we would like to express our sincere gratitude to all conference participants, especially to speakers for sharing with us their knowledge and experience. We look forward to seeing you at the next SZE International Conference in late March 2020.


Foto Barbara Reya