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Energy Systems and Business Models for a Sustainable Urban Transformation

11/28/2017, 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM | New York, NY

Energy Systems and Business Models for a Sustainable Urban Transformation

• HFT Stuttgart with CITYtrans project within BMBF campaign "Shaping the Future - Building the City of Tomorrow"

On November 28Th, 2017, the German Center for Research and Innovation (GCRI) New York and the University of Applied Sciences Stuttgart hosted an expert panel titled “Energy Systems and Business Models for a Sustainable Urban Transformation” at Grand Central Tech in New York City.

Gerrit Roessler, the program manager of the GCRI, started the evening’s program with an introduction to the center, its mission, and its supporters. Next, the director of the Urban Tech Hub, Robinson Hernandez, welcomed the audience to the Grand Central Tech’s space and gave an overview of the Urban Tech Hub’s collaboration with the city of New York to create a smart city.

Mr. Hernandez opened the floor to the first speaker, Ursula Eicker, professor and head of the HFT Stuttgart University of Applied Science Centre for Sustainable Energy Technology. Professor Eicker discussed urban models and their data’s applicability toward generating energy-efficient buildings. By clarifying the complexity of how cities develop and how their energy concepts work, Prof. Eicker laid the foundation for the need of sustainable urban transformation.

Richard Graves is the chief impact officer and co-founder of CleanChoice Energy, the first supplier to provide only 100% renewable energy. Mr. Graves focused in this presentation on clean energy through the eyes of a consumer, clarifying that most people will choose to pursue clean energy options when given clear direction for the process involved.

Bernd Thomas, professor at Reutlingen University and head of the Reutlingen Research Institute, spoke on energy management, specifically focusing on thermal energy and how a building’s infrastructure itself can store energy like a battery. “The role of the building will change in the future,” he claimed, as cities include more microgrids into sustainable design.

Gavin Gratson, a business development associate, and Michel Beguin, a clean energy engineer at BlocPower, spoke about their building platform that scales clean energy in American cities, identifying where modification for better air quality exists. Together, Mr. Gratson and Mr. Beguin explained the methodology of BlocPower’s projects and available tools for urban planners and investors.

Dieter Hertweck, professor at the Herman Hollerith Research Centre and Graduate School for Digital Business (HHZ), displayed business models for complex and simple environments, describing what business models look like for diverse urban planning cases.

Lastly, Felix Thumm, an engineer and project leader at Transsolar, presented global warming, green buildings, and climate responsive design, all through “efficiency driven by design” and optimizing spaces for their “foundational purpose.” Mr. Thumm ended the presentation with an emphasis that climate engineering will prove itself financially laudable as soon as it becomes incorporated into modern architecture.

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