Micro Perspectives for Decentralized Energy Supply 2013

Event date: 27 February 2013 - 1 March 2013

Venue: Center for Technology and Society Technische Universität Berlin
City: Berlin
Country: Germany
Organisers: The Research Group Microenergy Systems in collaboration with the Centre for Technology and Society (CTS),  Innovation Centre Energy (IZE) and the Hans Böckler Foundation
Website: Micro Perspectives for Decentralized Energy Supply 2013 

Description: In 2011 the International Conference “Micro Perspectives for Decentralized Energy Supply” was established as an international forum to discuss the micro perspective of technical, economic, social and ecologic aspects of microenergy systems. A micro perspective on energy systems focuses on the end user for whom the energy system is ultimately de- signed and constructed. This perspective is of growing significance in the context of the required global tran- sition from fossil-fuel-based to renewable energy systems. 

Microenergy systems provide solutions for single households or micro enterprises (e.g. solar home systems, improved cooking stoves, biogas plants) as well as technologies for several households or communities. For a long time they have been regarded as transitional solutions towards a centralized energy supply in develop- ing countries or as a negligible niche market in developed countries. In recent years there have been growing expectations that decentralized energy systems can play an important role in shifting energy policy as well as contributing to poverty reduction, improved health, education services and quality of life. The conference aims to discuss the technical, social and economic factors and context conditions which facilitate meeting these expectations. 

The future of distributed power
Representatives, academics and researchers from a variety of disciplines will discuss new perspectives on a comprehensive, socially just and sustainable global energy supply at the international scientific conference, “Micro Perspectives for Decentralized Energy Supply” [MES], 27 February to 01 March 2013, in Berlin. What the approx. 250 scientists agree on is the concept that approaches to distributed energy solutions must be implemented with a focus on the needs of end users. For this reason, representatives from social, economic, engineering and natural sciences will discuss various aspects of decentralized energy supply at the conference, including: energy technologies in their respective geographical, economic and cultural contexts; implementation and service models; methods of quality management; planning and control mechanisms; and possibilities for evaluation of distributed energy systems. In addition, energy will be discussed in the context of preserving agricultural livelihoods vis-a-vis their interaction with ecological systems.

Networking Research – Learning from the global South
Rather than a focus on basic technological research, the conference is centered on a thematic range of interdisciplinary and practical approaches. The aim is to deepen and expand the integration of the international scientific community in the field of decentralized energy supply with the explicit inclusion of scientists from the global South;  thus far most submissions have been sent by scientists from Asian, African and South American universities. At the last MES conference in 2011, some travel scholarships to participants from these countries were awarded, which not only enabled the inclusion of valuable scientific contributions, but also fostered North-South cooperation. The conference organizers hope to augment this process at the next conference and facilitate the participation of even more academics and researchers.