Between the 01 and 03 September 2020, the solar and renewable energy community met virtually at the first online edition of the ISES EuroSun conference. EuroSun2020 was the 13th International conference for solar energy for buildings and industry to be held. Originally planned to take place in Athens at the University of West Attica, the organizers made the decision to move the conference online in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The conference was a great success, with over 215+ scientists and professionals from all over Europe and the world registering to join. Over the three days, 6 Keynote speakers shared their latest break-throughs with the global online audience. The Organizing Committee of the conference paid particular attention to gender diversity when selecting speakers (4/6 speakers were female) and bringing in new faces to the already well-established network of solar enthusiasts. In particular, the youngest keynote speaker, Ms. Kehkashan Basu, who gave the closing keynote speech was an inspiration to all attendees, speaking about her Green Hope Foundation and the role of Youth in the climate crisis, at just 19 years old.
In total, 65+ presentations were shared and 86 posters uploaded. Poster sessions featured prominently in the conference. Attendees could attend live poster video presentations. This feature received resoundingly positive feedback as often times in physical conferences, the poster sessions are not as visible.
It was not all work and no play though at the EuroSun 2020 online conference! A fun quiz was part of the program, where attendees answered some fun solar trivia questions. Each conference day also concluded with a virtual social session. This entailed of four people video chatting to each other for ten minutes before the “room” was switched to another randomly selected another four people. Participants of the conference could also connect to one-another using the “Meeting Hub” which made it possible to live chat, or video call one another at any point during the three conference days.
Aside from the technical features of the online conference, the highlights were the excellent contents of the presentations and contributions from the audience in Q&A sessions. Especially dynamic were the workshops organized each day, from organizations such as Elsevier, REN21, The Global Women’s Energy Transition Network GWNET and Solar Heat Europe.
During the conference closing session, important summaries and outcomes were presented by the theme chairs. It was also announced that the organizers will be issuing a call for hosts of the next EuroSun in 2022 in October 2020. We hope to see you there!
Arabella Liehr, liehr [at] ises [dot] org