IT’S A THRILL EVERY YEAR, BUT NOTHING BURNED DOWN THIS TIME
31. 10. 2018
Martin Hájek, The Executive Director of the Association for District Heating of the Czech Republic, could contemplate and recapitulate the 2018 District Heating and Energy Days conference in relative peace of mind, without pointless emotions and suspense. Nevertheless, he found a calm moment only after immense pressure of our editors. He probably cursed the day he had given us a contact at first, but then he kindly answered several questions.
CONSIDERING ALL THE MAIN TOPICS, WHAT BECAME OBVIOUS DURING THIS CONFERENCE?
Energy-Climatic frame 2030 is gradually getting more and more specific outlines and it is necessary to get prepared for it. District heating must accommodate new energetics trends and demands. All those changes of course bring also new opportunities we must take advantage of. The State shall offer helping hand too. For example, it should repeat successful program of free allocation of permits in exchange for clean investments. The greenhouse gas emission permits should work as economical tool for energetics transformation, not as a kind of new taxes filling the State budget. The waste management field is expecting the final approval of the legislative package to the circulation economy just any moment. It should increase the recycling and reduce the landfills considerably. It is obvious that the Czech Republic will need to build new facilities for energetic waste utilization even in case it will meet the European objectives in the recycling. The only recycling weak point is organic waste, but besides we are not at all bad in waste separation. There of course still remains a big question of further waste processing and real recycling especially of plastics. Newly we have incorporated section dedicated to accumulation of energy. This is becoming very important issue and heating plants have a new potential there. The customer care is also more and more important topic. Customers are getting more demanding and it is harder to keep them satisfied. It was apparent that many heating plants are already dealing actively with this topic and they are coming up with new ideas.
WAS THERE ANY PLEASANT SURPRISE FOR YOU (BOTH PROFESSIONAL OR PERSONAL)?
The entirely full house! We had to add chairs at the last moment. I was also pleasantly surprised by the lively interest of the participants in discussed topics. We do our best to prepare conference format so that there is enough space for discussion, but at the end it always depends on the participants if they come only to sit it through or to actively discuss. And this year was in no way short of discussions. So, I feel positive about my colleagues in heating industry – they do not sit with hands on their needs waiting for what may drop into their laps, but they try to solve problems actively. It is no wonder some issues are successfully solved this way.
ANY UNPLEASANT SURPRISES?
We nearly burned down the ALDIS building during fireworks years ago. One of the skyrockets ignited the bushes in front of building. Comparing with this event, nothing exceptional happened. The minister of trade and transport Tomáš Hüner unfortunately had to excuse himself, but that is life. Perhaps the next time.
A LITTLE INVITATION TO THE NEXT YEAR
The bar is set rather high after 2018 event, but we of course intend to move it even higher. There will be no significant changes in the basic conference format, but we will do our best to select attractive topics and to invite interesting lecturers with new ideas. Considering the finishing work on the legislative package Clean Energy for Every European and also the general turbulent development in energetics I am not afraid there will be shortage of topics. We will probably start also some partial experiment. It is always a thrill how the things turn out at the end, but the changes are necessary to move us forward.