CAETS Annual Conference 2021 „Engineering a better world: The Future of Energy”
Munich, 05 October 2021
Organised by the Argentinian Academy of Engineering Sciences, the CAETS Annual Conference 2021 took place virtually at the end of September. This year’s CAETS symposium focused on “The Future of Energy”. More than 450 experts from science, industry and politics from 32 countries discussed trends and challenges in the expansion and integration of renewable energies as well as the role of conventional energy sources in the energy system of the future.
As the opening speaker of the “Renewables” session, Ulrich Wagner, Member of acatech, delivered a speech on “New Energy System Modelling”. He outlined the structure and trend of greenhouse gas emissions in Germany, presented the potential energy mix for the year 2050 and emphasised the importance of analysing scenarios for the long-term development of energy systems.
In the session “Oil and Gas”, Frank Behrendt, Member of acatech, described the effects of the stricter EU climate targets on the automotive industry in his speech entitled “Oil Scenarios: Future Components” and explained the qualitative requirements for renewable petrol. He also presented the Fischer-Tropsch synthesis and the methanol-to-gasoline (MtG) process as two options for the production of BtL fuels. It emerged from the subsequent panel discussion that the success of the transformation of the economy towards climate neutrality depends to a large extent on the political, economic and social conditions at regional and national level.
The CAETS working groups on energy and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) also met during the annual conference. Both Ulrich Wagner and Frank Behrendt are actively involved as members of the Energy Working Group in the preparation of the CAETS Energy Report 2022 on the topic of “Decarbonising End-Use Sectors”. This work is coordinated by the French Academy of Engineering Sciences.
Under the leadership of the British Academy of Engineering Sciences, the SDGs Working Group is working intensively on sustainable development issues and is currently drafting a public statement for the UN Climate Change Conference 2021 (COP26) in Glasgow. At the meeting of the SDGs working group on 15 September, Frank Behrendt presented acatech’s work on sustainable issues with a very positive response. In addition to the numerous initiatives to promote the SDGs, acatech’s two-pillar model, i.e., the synergy of science and the manufacturing industry within the academy, was also positively highlighted by the CAETS community.
CAETS Communication Prizes awarded for the first time
Following the CAETS Symposium, the first CAETS Communication Prizes were awarded in a virtual ceremony. The CAETS Communication Prizes, initiated in Spring 2021, recognize effective audio-visual communication to a general audience of how applied technology and engineering has been or can be used to address a real-world problem, and the resulting benefits to the economy or society. This year, the prize in the “Engineering Success Story” category went to Jing Cheng, Chinese Academy of Engineering, for his description of the Fully Integrated Chip Laboratory System for SARS-CoV-2 Nucleic Acid Detection. Kaz Vermeer from the Netherlands received the prize in the category “High Potential Innovation” for a video clip on a method he developed to predict crop yields. Frank Behrendt attended the award ceremony as a jury member.
French Academy of Engineering Sciences took over the CATES Presidency
At the CAETS Council Meeting on 24 September, the French Academy of Engineering Sciences took over the CAETS Presidency from the Argentinian Academy and announced that the next CAETS Annual Meeting will be held in Paris in September 2022 on “Breakthrough Technologies for Health Care”. The focus of CAETS 2022 will be, inter alia, the usage of information and communication technologies for health care as well as the ethical issues related to innovative medical technology.