The Energy Innovation Days 2020 event was E.ON’s first foray into the world of online conferencing. In making the event entirely virtual, the company continued its commitment to its community of innovators and provided a much-needed forum in a socially distanced world of COVID-19.
More than 5,000 attendees from 63 countries engaged in nearly 20 hours of inspiring discussions over three days. The participant feedback suggested that E.ON successfully pioneered a unique online experience that was truly inspiring in its content and delivered in a richer format than simply conference calls.
In times of COVID-19, the online event provided a safe forum where E.ON enabled the discussions among startups, utility companies, policy-makers, and customers to continue to discuss and learn the innovations in the realms of electrification, connectivity, and digitalisation in the energy sector.
Although virtual events have a much lower carbon footprint, going fully digital doesn't cut out emissions altogether. Indeed, based on a detailed estimate by Climate Extender, the impact of E.ON's Innovation Days has been calculated at approximately 13 tonnes of CO2. To put that into context – that’s the yearly carbon output of roughly three passenger vehicles. Most of this environmental footprint relates to data transfer, streaming sessions, powering attendees' electronics, and event-related travel.
Individuals and corporates play an essential role in reaching global climate targets and minimising emissions, which is why E.ON decided to make the event carbon-neutral. It has done so by offsetting its CO2 emissions through two WWF gold standard certified climate protection projects in India.
The first – the Godawari Power and Ispat Limited biomass power project – uses biomass residues like rice husk to feed renewable power into the Indian electrical grid that would otherwise have come from fossil fuels. The second project involves the construction of the OSEPL solar energy farm in Western India. Once fully operational, it will produce up to 100 MW in electricity through photovoltaic panels.
While still a little early in the planning cycle, the Energy Innovation Days 2021 are already starting to take shape. Whether it takes place online, on-site, or as a combination of both, E.ON looks forward to once again bringing the innovator community together to enable a brighter, more connected and sustainable world.