International experts will discuss energy sustainability at the AC/DC Tech 2023 forum

Climate change, Latvia’s green energy ambitions, industry innovations, business and climate neutrality, as well as the tasks of the country’s energy independence in the context of Russia’s war in Ukraine. What lessons have been learnt thus far, what global and local challenges remain, and what is the key to sustainable energy? This will be discussed by local and foreign experts at the third energy supply innovation AC/DC Tech Forum organised by AS Sadales tīkls. It will take place on 10 May at 10:00, and everyone interested will be able to follow it online – on the Facebook page and LinkedIn account of Sadales tīkls.

The forum’s main theme this year is “Sustainability in Energy”. The conference will be attended by local and international experts, among them Simon Benmarraze, the head of technology and infrastructure of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Yvonne Ruwaida, business strategist, engineer and climate change activist at one of Europe’s largest electricity and heat producers Vattenfall Distribution (Sweden), Patrik Lindvall representative of Piclo Flex, a provider of the British flexibility service platform, and Markus Hassinen, associate partner of McKinsey&Company. Raimonds Čudars, Latvia’s Minister for Climate and Energy, will deliver the opening remarks.

“How can energy be developed in such a way that it balances the needs of all parties, is capable of responding to local and global crisis situations, and is correct in the long term? These are complex questions with no simple answers; however, it is critical to raise these questions and seek answers. We will do so at this year’s forum, in the presence of the industry's most powerful experts,” Sandis Jansons, Chairman of the Board of Sadales tīkls says, outlining the content of the conference.

This year’s forum will also be divided into three parts: expert speeches and presentations, stories of experience and panel discussions. Kristaps Lamsters, researcher at the University of Latvia, Faculty of Geography and Earth Sciences, will discuss the current state of climate change and his experiences during expeditions to the polar regions, Dzintars Jaunzems, adviser to Latvijas Banka on energy and climate policy, will reflect on the role of energy demand. Jānis Priede, head of Lidl construction quality department, will share the story of how the company changed its energy policy on the way to complete climate neutrality, while Kristaps Elvis Volks, business development manager of SimpleCharge, will respond to the question “Is it easy to be an innovator in the energy sector?”

The forum will continue with four panel discussions that will be held in both English and Latvian. In the first discussion, experts from the Ministry of Climate and Energy (KEM), AS Augstsprieguma tīkls, the State Fire and Rescue Service, the Latvian Renewable Energy federation and Sadales tīkls will seek answers to the question “Is the energy industry ready for “X hour”?”. In the second panel discussion “Can we avoid a dead end in the direction of climate neutrality?” professionals from KEM, Latvijas Banka, the Latvian National Committee of the World Energy Council, SEB banka, and AS Latvenergo will discuss the challenges of achieving climate neutrality goals.

The second part of the panel discussions will be devoted to the technological advancement of the energy industry, inspired by foreign experiences. In the discussion “Global success behind flexibility services”, panellists from IRENA, Piclo Flex, Vattenfall Distribution, Kaluza and other organisations will share success stories in implementing flexibility services, using them as an alternative for investments in network reconstruction. However, representatives of electricity SSOs from all Baltic countries will meet in the final panel discussion, “Road to Baltic Energy System Transformation”.

The event programme is available here:

The AC/DC Tech Forum is organised by Sadales tīkls, the Latvian electricity distribution system operator, with the aim to facilitate discussions on the transformation of the industry among decision makers, experts of the field, market participants and start-ups, as well as to inform the general public about the challenges and the upcoming changes that can be expected in the power supply industry. The Forum is an annual industry event. The first AC/DC Tech Forum took place in 2021.