The roots, which can be called prehistoric, date back to 1980-1990. Air quality measurements in Maribor showed a lot of pollution. In the years 1985 and 1986, the municipality opted for action and sought interlocutors. Among others at the University. The response came from Technical Faculties, department of Electrical Engineering, in the Power Engineering Laboratory. The overall result was the Decree on Combustion Devices, which banned new installations and the reconstruction of old ones on oil. This was the first such decree in Slovenia. The results were impressive: SO2 emissions decreased by more than 95%.
The following documented cooperation with the Municipality Maribor and company for district heating is an article of our laboratory at the expert consultation Energy and Savings, October 30, 1991: Power Engineering of Maribor City yesterday, today and tomorrow. The initiative for this meeting was given by the Vice-President of the Assembly of the City of Maribor, Mr. Boris Sovič, for the evaluation of the importance of the problem of efficient energy supply at the local level. The date was selected before the World Savings Day. They planned to have annual meetings on the World Savings Day.
History. With the article Utilization of energy in Slovenian industry, we participated in the Symposium on Energy Efficiency Measures in the Industry, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, Bled, September 30 - October 4, 1991. Mr. Boris Sovič, Vice-President of the City Assembly of Maribor, has contacted the Mr. Frederic Romig, president of UNECE.
In 1992, the Maribor Chamber of Trade organized an Energy Fair in Maribor. Mr. Sovič suggested that the Assembly should, due to the fair, move the meeting, initially planed at the World Savings Day, to May. Due to previous collaboration, the initiative came directly to our laboratory: why wouldn't you organize the meeting.
Research The restructuring of municipal power engineering (the holder was the Electric Power Industry of Slovenia - EGS) was underway, and there was not much time to organize the meeting. Together with the EGS we decided only for invited lectures on the topic of Power Engineering. Thus, the first meeting in 1992 was given the name Komunalna energetika - Power Engineering. The name was accepted and later we did not change it, despite the comments about the narrowness. In fact, all energy is eventually consumed in municipalities. Factories, businesses and crafts also fall under the municipality. The name has proved to be a visionary, since local energy supply is one of the cornerstones of energy transition
The present. For the year 1993, we launched three themes Delimitation of urban heating: hot water, gas, electricity, rest, Information System for the needs of municipal energy utilities and energy management. We have contacted the ECE UN who took us under our umbrella (unfortunately not financially) - as their event they advertised us across Europe. In this and subsequent years, they sent a representative, usually with a contribution to the topic.
The response was excellent for our little Slovenia: we received more than 40 contributions from Turkey to Belgium and over 200 participants. We found out that most experts understand a foreign language, but not all the features of technical expressions. So we decided to simultaneously translate and print all contributions in the foreign language of the speaker and the Slovene translation. We asked Slovenian authors for translation into English.
In 1993, we organized a dinner at the Bellevue Hotel on Pohorje (which was a big logistical problem) and the result was not the best, since everyone talked only with neighbors. For the following years, we decided to use Vinag's wine cellar, where mixing (standing) was much easier.
Unfortunately, the energy fair moved to Celje. The move was the result of a decision by the leadership of the then regional and national chambers of commerce, although this was opposed by the section of installers at the same chamber and also by the local community. However, despite attempts, closer cooperation with the Energy Fair in Celje did not happened, because they wanted to have lectures in Celje. By losing simultaneous fairs, the meeteing lost a large part of the charge.
prof. dr. Jože Voršič, mag. Boris Sovič
Power Engineering Laboratory at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science with the help of associates from various companies and institutions, continued with the annual international expert meeting Komunalna energetika - Power Engineering. The most frequently included partners were: Faculty of Mechanical Engineering University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering University of Maribor, Faculty of Electrical Engineering Ljubljana, Elektroinštitut Milan Vidmar Ljubljana, Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering University of Maribor, Energy Agency for Podravje - ENERGAP, Dravske elektrarne Maribor and others.
A fairly constant structure and method of carrying out the meeting has also been established. On the first day the emphasis is ton the topical issues, which are presented by visible experts from the field and representatives of the ministries, followed by a round table where, in addition to those mentioned, participants are also present. The following day, the following topics are addressed in the thematic sections: Renewable Energy Sources, Efficient Use of Energy, Smart Buildings, Networks and Cities, Transport and Electromobility, Energy Devices and Appliances, Electric Power Networks and others.
In these years, in a few hundred articles, we discussed various topics related to energy supply at the level of local communities, nation wide and beyond. The articles also discussed the latest research achievements in this field. Since energy supply is a fundamental need of a modern man, we will continue to work with the organization of the International Expert Meeting Komunalna energetika / Power Engineering.
prof. dr. Jože Pihler