Online International Scientific Forum on Energy Transformation. Day 2

Friday, 12 November 2021 19:30

The second module of the three days Scientific Conference on the Transformations: Energy, Infrastructure, eMobility was held on 11 November. It was organized by the Center for Energy Business and Infrastructure at UNWE jointly with the Colorado Energy Research Collaboratory - a partnership between four leading American universities: Colorado State University, University of Colorado Boulder, Colorado School of Mines and National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

The Forum is virtual and it consists of three modules - each one on a separate date at intervals of one week. The first module was held on 4 November.

On the second day of the Forum the focus was on the IT infrastructure and cybersecurity, research, innovation and funding in the field. In the module took part the Deputy Minister of Finance Monica Dimitrova-Beecher, Georgy Ganev, CEO IBM - Bulgaria, Craig Patridge, Chair, Department of Computer Science, Colorado State University, Alice Jackson, President, Xcel Energy-Colorado, Chavdar Rissin, CFA, Citi Bank Trade Regional Head Central and Eastern Europe, Ian Lange, Director, Mineral & Energy Economics program, Assoc, Prof. Division of Economics & Business, Colorado School of Mines.

On behalf of the American partners the second module was opened by the Executive Director of Colorado Energy Research Collaboratory Mori Dobby. She welcomed the participants reminding the objectives and tasks of the partnership between the four American universities and paid attention to the major topics for discussion.

On behalf of Bulgarian co-hosts the participants were greeted by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Vladimir Zinoviev, Director of the Center for Energy Business and Infrastructure at UNWE. He reminded that the work of the Center managed by him is focused on projects and research on the economic impact of the energy sector. "We successfully launched the first module of the three-day Conference and received positive feedback on its results so I am sure that the second and third modules will also lead to positive results", pointed out Assoc. Prof. Zinoviev.

The Director of the Energy Institute - Colorado State University Brian Wilson also greeted the participants and reminded the major objectives in the work of the Institute managed by him. He summarized the topics and the results achieved during the first module of the Conference and pointed out the main topics of work for the second module.

The moderator of the first panel was the President of Xcel Energy-Colorado Alice Jackson. She presented to participants the activities of the organization managed by her and paid attention to the importance of cybersecurity and the protection of modern energy systems for process management in the energy sector.

The CEO of IBM-Bulgaria Georgy Ganev first joined the panel and reviewed the energy business environment as well as the role and development of cybersecurity in the field over the recent years in Bulgaria. The lecturer focused on the challenges facing the energy sector and the energy industry in terms of providing protection against the risks and threats of cyberattacks in the modern dynamically changing conditions.

The Chair of the Department of Computer Science at Colorado State University - Craig Patridge introduced the Department emphasizing that part of its work is focused on exploring the possibilities of protection against cyberattacks in the energy sector and the energy industry. He examined in details the problems related to the specific for the energy sector elements of the process of detecting cyberattacks and providing protection against them. What should be the control system that would be reliable in the future, how to get to the right way to build such a system were some of the major issues the lecturer spoke about in his statement.

The moderator of the second panel was the Deputy Minister of Finance Monika Dimitrova-Beecher who paid attention to the conditions and financial instruments for support of innovative projects in the energy sector in Bulgaria. "The energy sector is a great challenge especially in the context of the green deal and the transition period and part of my work as a Deputy Minister is to secure funding from various financial instruments for similar projects in the field of energy and innovation", said the Deputy Minister. "Our country is strongly committed to this transition so it is pointed also out in the Recovery and Sustainability Plan which we submitted to the EC on 15 October as this is an area of ??great importance and responsibility for the future. Processes and regulations in the energy sector and digitalisation happen fast so we need to act at the same pace to keep up. 95% of the projects we support jointly with various international banks are related to the energy sector", outlined the Deputy Financial Minister Monika Dimitrova-Beecher. As a clear example of such cooperation with the EIB she pointed out EnduroSat whose project is related to  the develop and implementation of shared satellite service.

On behalf of Bulgarian co-hosts the financing of projects in the energy sector and the energy industry was also considered in details and examples from the practice by the Citi Bank Trade Regional Head for Central and Eastern Europe Chavdar Rissin.

The Director of the Mineral & Energy Economics Program, Division of Economics & Business, Colorado School of Mines – Ian Lange focused on the financial aspects in developing and incorporating information technology in the energy sector basing on his longstanding experience in the administration of Joe Biden and Donald Trump as well as on his work in the US Environmental Protection Agency and the US Department of Energy.

The third module of the Conference will take place on 18 November at 5.00 p.m. The final discussion will focus on the future, on the electric mobility, hydrogen use and infrastructure for smart cities. Prof. Dr. Hristina Nikolova, Head of the Economics of Transport and Energy Department, UNWE,   Will Toor, Director, Colorado Energy Office, Rosen Daskalov, Founder and CEO of Sin Cars (electro vehicles), Prof. Plamen Atanassov from the University of California-Irvine, Bryan Pivovar, Senior Research Fellow at National Renewable Energy Lab /NREL/.

The event is broadcast in real time. Those who want to follow it can make a free registration on the Conference site.

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