Seasons Greetings 2022
Dear ISES Members and Friends,
With this final newsletter of 2022, we take a moment to reflect on the year past.
We are thankful for the support from ISES members and partners all over the world – your continued support allows us to further strengthen the voice of solar energy in a year that has proven to be both trying and crucial for the future of the global climate!
After two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, for many of us, 2022 finally meant going back to normal, and we felt the relief and even more the excitement from our partners, colleagues, and friends from all around the world. We are proud to see how our global renewable and solar community met the challenges to build back better and more renewable over the past two years!
For ISES, this going back to normal of course meant holding our first in-person conference since we last met for the Solar World Congress 2019 in Chile.
This year’s conference, EuroSun 2022 – now the ISES and IEA SHC International Conference on Solar Energy for Building and Industry – took place in September in Kassel, Germany and was a huge success! Organized jointly with the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme for the first time, we welcomed over 480 attendees from 54 countries to Kassel.
We were especially pleased with the turnout of young researchers, as it had been a special focus of the conference to support students, PhD students and early career researchers taking their first steps into the solar scientific community. To achieve this, we offered a range of events and measures to support our young attendees.
As conference chair, I want to thank all the sponsors for their generous support and especially all participants who – after three years of pandemic-pause – made the conference a successful meeting for all.
But unfortunately, 2022 also brought the shock of war in Europe. For the first time, the purposeful destruction of energy supply has been used as a weapon of war, here against the Ukrainian people.
This war has created questions regarding energy supply, energy security, and of course the role renewables can and have to play in all of this, for Ukraine and for other countries. Unexpectedly and on devastating terms, renewable energies and energy saving measures are suddenly getting a boost. To protect the climate, there is no other way forward but to change our energy supply to renewable sources. But now another important factor comes into play: renewable energies can guarantee security of supply and reduce the risk of being politically vulnerable to intimidation and aggression.
Throughout the year we observed how at the political level, expansion plans were being strengthened and planned times for complete renewable energy supplies were being brought forward. A strong basis has been laid for the future decarbonization especially in the heating sector, on the one hand via the aim to get rid of Russian oil and gas, on the other hand the cost for fossil fuels rose so strongly that for almost all applications, renewables are now, beyond all the other advantages, also the solution with the lowest cost.
For 2023, we want to reaffirm our support for Ukraine and our call for peace supported by renewable energy for all!
As this year comes to an end, I wish you a happy holiday season and a healthy and successful New Year. I look forward to meeting many of you again in 2023.
Prof. Klaus Vajen