International Industrial Ecology Day 2022
10:30 - 12:00 (CET) LIVEN lab discussions: “The challenges of a sustainable energy transition” (9:30 UTC)
Hosted by Cristina Madrid, Institute for Environmental Science and technology, UAB
Integrated energy and climate policy-making is complex and usually guided by energy models. However, most energy models ignore environmental factors beyond greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and social aspects, or only consider them as an exogenous narrative do be discussed “on top” of techno-economic findings. However, issues like raw material, water availability or public opposition will halt transition progress in Europe. Modelling efforts that ignore these factors produce mathematically elegant but politically irrelevant scenario results. In this session, we present policy-making challenges and results from EC funded projects that uncover these issues and propose samples of solutions. These presentations open a discussion about how industrial ecology can contribute to achieve a truly sustainable energy transition.
|10.30-10.35||Cristina Madrid||Institute for Environmental Science and technology, UAB||Intro to session|
|10.35-10.50||Lucia Blanco||Government of Spain, Ministry of Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge, Energy Secretariat||The challenges of policy-making for the energy transition|
|10.50-11.05||Diana Süsser||Institute for European Energy and Climate Policy||Problems of a technology-centered energy transition|
|11.05-11.20||Francesco Sanvito||UT Delft||The challenge of modelling pathways in the energy transition|
|11.20-11.40||Mario Giampietro||Institute for Environmental Science and technology, UAB.||Inconvenient truths about the Energy transition|
Adjunt subdirector of Energy Prospective, Strategy and Policies
State Secretariat for Energy, Government of Spain
“The challenges of policy-making for the energy transition”
Policy-makers face the major challenge of guiding an energy transition that needs to reach climate neutrality as early as possible and no later than 2050. This transition requires a deep transformation of our energy system. At the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge, Government of Spain, we have designed the Climate and Energy Strategic Framework that sets our roadmap. However, this roadmap has been shaken by the current energy context, which has raised the need to accelerate the transition. In this talk I will discuss how the current context challenges energy policy in Spain and the tools we have to face them.
Senior Expert in Energy Policies and Transition Aspects
Institute for European Energy and Climate Policy
“The problems of a technology-centered energy transition”
Despite the growing awareness that non-technical aspects are crucial elements of a just and sustainable energy transition, most energy models are still technology-centred and only optimise costs. In this talk, I will outline why we need to shift our focus to the environmental and social impacts of the energy transition in order to make the models more politically relevant. Using concrete case study examples from the EU, I will illustrate the impact of not considering non-techno-economic factors in modelling by contrasting policy-oriented scenarios. Finally, I will present how recent innovations in energy modelling can help to overcome the current limitations.
Delft University of Technology
“Beyond the techno-economic holy grail: alternatives to envision policy-relevant energy transition pathways”
Energy model results might be extremely untransparent. This goes beyond software openness, data availability or model reproducibility. In most of the cases, results are simply driven by tecno-economic optimality that reduces the solution space to a holy grail option which is far from including the plethora of stakeholders’ interests and other dimensions such as the environmental and the social one. The talk expands on the implementation of socio-technical storylines in producing policy-relevant alternative energy system configurations and the concept of near optimal solutions. Those are key ingredients to be able to visualise possible energy transition pathways capable of informing policymakers.
Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA)
“Inconvenient truths about the Energy transition”
The talk starts with an explanation of the evident failure of past policies aimed at reducing the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. The explanation is easy to understand: simplistic analysis cannot deal with complex problems. Then examples of applications of the method of Multi-Scale Integrated Accounting of Societal and Ecosystem Metabolism (MuSIASEM) are presented to show an alternative, more effective way, to analyze the problems faced when going for a radical energy transition.