Enertour participants exceed the 10,000 mark
More than 10,000 visitors have so far taken part in an enertour organised by TIS innovation park in conjunction with the South Tyrol Savings Bank Foundation. This is an indication of project enertour’s huge popularity, which shows no signs of abating even in the eighth year of its existence. The enertourists come mainly from the North and the Middle of Italy, but also from Germany, Sweden, Moldavia and Japan to visit energy projects which are “made in South Tyrol”.
For eight years now, TIS and the South Tyrol Savings Bank Foundation have been offering these so-called enertours in order to showcase South Tyrol’s excellence in the area of energy. Whilst “only” just under 800 could be enticed to take part in a guided visit to technological installations in 2008, we saw a record-breaking almost 1,700 interested parties registering for enertours in 2010, the biggest number so far.
“The economic crisis was responsible for slightly lower numbers during the two subsequent years”, explains Sepp Walder who has been coordinating enertour activities since 2007. “There has, however, been renewed appeal since 2013 and applications have been on the rise again.”
2014 has thus seen the second highest number of visitors since the beginning of the initiative. Taking just the past eleven months into account, 54 different energy projects were presented and explained to enertour participants.
“Without our partners from all over South Tyrol we would never have been in a position to cope with this workload,” continues Sepp Walder. In actual fact, last year, some 18 planning offices and 15 firms from South Tyrol made their technical expertise available to the tours and ensured that the information given during the enertours was always completely up-to-date. “The aim of an enertour is, of course, to demonstrate innovative solutions in the area of energy and to inform specialists about sustainable energy systems,” explains Sepp Walder from TIS innovation park. “To do this would be impossible without the cooperation of the South Tyrol planning offices and firms, because they are responsible for the enertour destinations and thus are familiar with all the technical and economic details. In this way, we ensure that we always have something interesting on the programme,” says Walder.
But it is not just the list of places to visit which is always interesting – the ways for reaching these locations can also be novel. Since 2013, for instance, enertour has been using South Tyrol Transport’s hydrogen bus for some of its destinations. An additional fixed component of the enertour idea are the refreshment stops in authentic South Tyrol pubs and restaurants. Knowledge and technology transfer via South Tyrol Schüttelbrot (crisp bread) and Lagrein wine, as it were!
Ever since the inauguration of enertour it has been an essential component of the ClimateHouse trade fair which takes place at the end of January each year. Since 2007 the enertour team has taken around 400 visitors during the four-day event to South Tyrol’s CasaClima buildings which feature exemplary features in terms of innovation and environmental protection. Enertour will again be offering this service to the trade fair visitors in 2015.
From 2015 there will be a special enertour package for South Tyrol’s schools. Together with the South Tyrol Savings Bank Foundation and SEL AG, the Energy & Environment Area of TIS innovation park is developing the “enertour4schools” programme. “We want to demonstrate sustainable solution concepts in the field of energy to school pupils as well, and point out the opportunities which this particular section of TIS offers for the professional future of the pupils,” stresses Karl Pichler, President of the South Tyrol Savings Bank Foundation.