This February, I spent three days at IEWT (Internationale Energiewirtschaftstagung) in beautiful Vienna, Austria. Even though the "I" stands, supposedly, for "International", virtually all of the attendants were either Austrian or German.The event was very successfully hosted by TU Vienna - which appears to be the alma mater of most Austrian participants.
Unsurprisingly, most of the talks tackled problems specific to the energy sector. Only a rather small 2-hour segment was dedicated to modeling. My own contribution was a 15-minute talk about BEAM-ME that was attended by 20-30 people.
BEAM-ME is a project funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) that addresses the need for efficient solution strategies for Energy System Models (ESMs). The investigated solution approaches involve changes to the formulation of the ESMs, parameter tuning to improve the performance of general-purpose LP solvers but also the development of new solution algorithms that focus on parallelization to utilize the power of High-Performance Computers (HPC). Many ESMs have a block structure that is not well exploited by general purpose LP solvers but that makes the model in general suitable for structure exploiting parallel algorithms. BEAM-ME is an ongoing research project but first results already show significant speedup potentials for particular solution approaches.
You can find the presentation to the talk here.