The first steps of the urgently needed transformation towards a sustainable and decarbonized energy supply have already been taken – but the pressure is growing. While demand for energy will increase exponentially in coming years, the climate targets require a real rethink and specific solutions that extend beyond each player’s own sector.


Our ‘Energy meets Industries’ event, which took place on October 19 at the Bayer Baykomm Communication Center in Leverkusen, brought together top decision-makers from the fields of production and logistics, infrastructure and real estate.

Through frank and open discussions and dialog – combined with fascinating panel discussions featuring high-caliber experts and engaging pitches from innovative start-ups – we addressed the following question:


The fact is that we have to make greater use of our domestic potential and pursue new approaches to sector coupling. That is the prerequisite for a successful electricity and heating transition over coming years.

Together, we discussed the following key questions:

  • What contribution do energy suppliers make to the green transformation of industry?
  • What is needed for the green heating transition to finally gain momentum?
  • Can green hydrogen live up to the expectation of being a panacea?

In keeping with the principle of ‘entrepreneurs taking action’, top experts and decision-makers put their heads together, contributed their needs and experiences, and jointly developed solutions for the electricity and heating transition.

Specifically, the participants agreed on the following key statements:

We, the undersigned, are therefore striving to implement the electricity and heating transition both in society and across all sectors of the economy. It cannot and must not be the case that every sector, let alone every company or every building, pursues their own solutions in isolation. In our view, the following seven points are essential to achieve a fast, efficient and sustainable energy transition with sector coupling as the central instrument.

1. Put sector coupling first – coordinate joint action!
2. Sustainability is licensed to operate – sustainability is a civic duty!  
3. Accelerate – and overcome the inertia of the overall system!
4. Wind, sun and geothermal energy don’t bill us for their services. So: Advance sustainable energies – both at a central and local level!
5. Talking is silver, active networking is gold – capitalize on close collaboration between the private and public sectors!
6. Future-proof transmission and distribution grids are essential to provide the necessary flexibility
7. Move on – use the mobility sector as a central lever!


‘Promote sustainability as an industry’ – a keynote by Dr. Armin Knors, Head of Engineering and Technology, Bayer AG

  • ​Humanity has clearly exceeded its planetary boundaries.
  • Decarbonization without deindustrialization
  • We won’t be able to achieve the transition without technical innovations​

‘On the current status of the energy transition’ – a keynote by Dr. Marie-Luise Wolff, Chair of the Board of Entega AG and President of the German Association of Energy and Water Industries​

  • ‘Business as usual’ is not an acceptable strategy​
  • The hydrogen infrastructure is also being planned, but there is still a lack of coordination with the power plant strategy 
  • Renewable energy and infrastructure expansion + sector coupling + digitization​ = 20 years of construction sites in every local authority, company and household​

‘The Big Picture: Climate neutrality as a goal’ – a keynote by Professor Hans Sommer, Chairman of the Consortiumand founder of Drees & Sommer​

  • Humans must not be parasites, but must develop a symbiotic relationship with Earth.
  • Paths to the solution: We must stop removing fossil carbon from the geosphere, while removing more CO2 from the atmosphere.
  • Ecology is not possible without economy: Industry must work with government to develop a joint strategy. We need targeted investment in innovative technologies. 
  • This requires that the active players to devise a promising joint plan – in which the organization of cooperation is both simple and pragmatic.

In his fascinating keynote speech on the main day, Professor Sommer emphasized that “In the long term, humanity could become technologically climate-positive.” He thus underscored the enormous relevance of the active players having a promising joint plan. And importantly, the organization of cooperation must be simple and pragmatic.

Panel 1: Green hydrogen as a panacea?
Panel 2: Decarbonization as a challenge
Panel 3: Energy mix of the future


“I’ve never heard of that before, I’d like to find out more about it in a discussion,” was by far the most frequent comment when our four invited founders of innovative startups took to the stage. Because one thing is clear: You can’t have transformation without innovation!

In fascinating three-minute pitches, we gained insights into four startups that really have their finger on the pulse:

  • Moritz Wobith, GLOBE Fuel Cell Systems: Develops digitally networked, hydrogen-powered fuel cell systems
  • Dr. Frank Rattey, Planeteers: Sequesters CO2 in the water and unlocks the potential of the oceans as the largest carbon sink on our planet
  • Baptiste Légeret: TES – Tree Energy Solutions: Installs solar panels and wind turbines to produce green hydrogen and then combines it with recycled CO2 to produce e-NG (electric natural gas)
  • Casten Gieseler, Skermjan: Removes CO2 from the atmosphere and increases biodiversity with the aid of innovative technologies


Playfully presenting paths towards the city of the future: What could the previously discussed approaches look like in practice? Our theme tables – the core of our event – presented this in a playful way. To this end, representatives of different sectors literally sat together at a table and openly discussed possible solutions. Once again, this showed that the individual solutions already exist. What is needed is holistic coupling of the sectors to use synergies effectively and create a comprehensive solution ranging from the building and the district to the city.

Many thanks to all participants who enriched ‘Energy meets Industries’ with fascinating keynotes, open dialogs and lively discussions. It was an inspiring event that gave all of us encouragement and one that we will remember for a long time to come.

It once again demonstrated the importance of cross-sector exchange – which is why we don’t want this event to be a ‘one-hit wonder’.

Next year, ‘Energy meets Industries’ will be held for the second time: On November 6 and 7, 2024 at Entega AG and the Merck Group. 

We look forward to it!


Head of Engineering & Technology at Bayer AG Dr. Armin Knors
Managing Director, Erdwärme Grünwald Andreas Lederle
Managing Director, E.ON Energy Solutions GmbH Patrick Schneckenburger
Chairman of the Consortium and Founder, Drees & Sommer Prof. Dr. Hans Sommer
Chair of the Management Board, ENTEGA AG Dr. Marie-Luise Wolff


Dierk Mutschler

Member of the Executive Board, Drees & Sommer

Götz Schönfeld

Senior Manager Business Transformation, Drees & Sommer

Dr. Alexander Stubinitzky

Senior Expert, Drees & Sommer

Matthias Lisson

Managing Director, Hy2gen Deutschland GmbH

Dr. Philipp Biallass

Hydrogen Commercial – Head of Business Development, RWE Generation SE

Dr. Olaf Breuer

Head of Sustainability und Business Integration, Evonik

Dr. Stefan Kaufmann

Senior Advisor, Hydrogen Business

Christoph Gawlik

Partner, Drees & Sommer

Frank Stührenberg

CEO, Phoenix Contact

Nico Neumann

COO, Deutsche Aircraft

Petru-Catalin Scafaru

Head of Production System and Production Technology, Schaeffler Group

Matthias Bürk

Head of Darmstadt site, Merck

Henrik Töpelt

Associate Partner, Drees & Sommer

Andreas Lederle

Managing Director, Erdwärme Grünwald

Patrick Schneckenburger

Managing Director, E.ON Energy Solutions

Andreas Schneider

Head of Real Estate and Site Development, Mainsite Group

Sven Partzsch

General Manager, TES – Tree Energy Solutions

Moritz Wobith

Sales Business Development Manager, GLOBE Fuel Cell Systems

Dr. Frank Rattey

Managing Director, Planeteers

Baptiste Légeret

Business Development, TES – Tree Energy Solutions

Carsten Gieseler

Managing Director, Skermjan


Drees & Sommer
Lorena Lüdorf
+49 711 1317 1552