On August 9, 2021, the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published an alarming benchmark report on the state of the planet. Apart from the carbon dioxide assessment, the report evaluated methane gas, unveiling some staggering statistics: it turns out that concentrations of methane in the atmosphere today are higher than they have been in 800,000 years.
Add to this global energy consumption figures that are projected to almost double by 2050 – and you will see an urgent demand to take drastic steps on slashing methane emissions and seeking alternative energy sources.
As the world is going through climate transformations, the effects brought by the extreme weather – record-breaking temperatures, increased precipitation and forest fires – all add up to a devastating portrait of climate change. The symptoms of it will only be intensifying unless we act to stop loading the atmosphere with carbon. According to the IPCC report, a continued rise in temperatures will lead to more wildfires, floods and water shortages over the next 30 years.
Scientists agree that innovation is the critical element in mitigating the climate crisis. Things have already been set in motion in this regard: many countries worldwide began searching for new energy sources to provide a more affordable and sustainable alternative to oil and gas.
As a country well-placed to speed the clean energy transition in Europe, Lithuania has made an impressive leap in the green energy transition in recent years, according to the International Energy Agency.
While some areas still need to be addressed to reach climate neutrality by 2050, the development of green energy in Lithuania has been gaining traction. The country's government has been actively promoting the renewable energy sector, making the green technology industry a big share of the country's exports.
That is why it is no surprise that Lithuania makes a perfect location to spark a conversation on alternative renewable energy sources in Europe. The changing climate demands tangible solutions to ensure sustainability for the environment in the future and now more than ever, experts’ gaze is focused on sustainable tomorrow. What energy will be powering our homes in the future? What unexpected areas should we tap to find new energy sources?
To provide actionable answers and ready-to-use solutions to these questions, the Intelligent Energy Lab, an innovative platform based in Vilnius, Lithuania, launches a new initiative – a three-day hackathon, taking place on September 21-23, 2021, alongside the annual Energy Tech Summit event.
According to the event organisers, the Intelligent Energy Lab hackathon aims to connect district heating and cooling teams from energy companies, start-ups, expert managers, engineers and IT product developers under the virtual and physical roof.
Featuring experts from multiple global energy companies, the hackathon will become a platform for collaborative work, where participants will discuss how to implement the existing innovative ideas in one of Europe's greenest capitals and offer high-value energy engineering solutions to make a carbon-free future a reality.
Hackathon winners will be awarded a prize worth 200,000 euros: the winning team will get the opportunity to settle in Vilnius City Innovation Industrial Park (VCIIP), sign a long-term cooperation agreement with Vilnius City and establish a company in a land plot with fully developed infrastructure to create solutions that foster positive change.