European Training For Energy Community Managers (EU-NETS)

EU-NETS addresses the emerging topic of the Energy Communities, with the objective to develop a new training path for managers and professionals that will work to create, develop and manage these new entities, that will play an important role in the energy and climate transition. In order to make the transition to a sustainable economy and to establish a real climate policy, it is crucial to change the energy system into a fully sustainable one. This transition is also a great opportunity to achieve the goal of energy democracy. For example sun and wind, on the contrary of fossil fuels, are available all over the world and this allows for decentralized and connected systems, based on cooperation. Citizens cooperatives and local authorities can play a crucial role here, developing public-civil partnerships.

EU Directives 2018/2001 and 2019/944 introduce the concept of Energy Community. Energy Community is a community of users (private, public, or mixed) located in a specific area, in which end users (citizens, businesses, public administration, etc.), market players (utilities, etc.), designers, planners and politicians actively cooperate to develop high levels of “smart” energy supply, favoring the optimization of the use of renewable sources and technological innovation in distributed generation and enabling the application efficiency measures, in order to obtain benefits on economy, sustainability and energy security.

The creation and the management of these communities will require the development of new professional figures that in the coming years will be responsible for leading the design, development, implementation and management of energy programs for the entire community and leading the Community’s goal of reducing community-wide greenhouse gas emissions.

The objective of EU-NETS project is to outline the characteristics and qualifications necessary to guarantee to the new professional profile the abilities, the skills and the competences to implement its duties and the optimal management of energy communities according to the EQF scheme.

The EU-NETS project will be implemented in Italy, Greece and Spain, three Countries which present a similar scenario in terms of Energy Communities potential development and which has the same needs to support the creation of a professional figure able to manage this new entity.

Externalities of Energy. Extension of Accounting Framework and Policy Applications (ExternE-Pol)

The objective of NewExt is to improve the assessment of externalities by providing new methodological elements for integration into the existing accounting framework of external costs. The external costs accounting framework developed by the ExternE projects has been widely accepted and successfully applied for support decision making in energy and environmental policy. However, there are areas, for which a need for further research was identified. Uncertainties result from lacking empirical data on the monetary valuation of mortality effects, from the omission of impacts on ecosystems due to acidification and eutrofication and from the insufficient knowledge about the impacts of global warming.

In addition, contamination of water and soil and accidents in energy chains other than nuclear has not been taken into account. It is the aim of this project to close these gaps and so improve the quality of external cost estimates. Description of work: The work comprises the following four major work packages: An empirical survey is conducted in the UK, Italy and France on the monetary valuation of the reduction of life expectancy. With this survey, the valuation of chronic, latent and future mortality risks (one of the most important impacts related to energy fuel cycles) will be improved; the questionnaire elicits willingness to pay for avoiding reductions of life expectancy in Europe. The standard-price approach is introduced to complement the welfare-based estimates of externalities by taking into account abatement costs for achieving policy based environmental sustainability targets. This allows deriving external cost estimates for impact categories like impacts on ecosystem, which have not been covered in previous assessments of external costs. Furthermore, marginal avoidance costs for global warming impacts are prepared.

A methodological framework for the modelling of multi-compartment (air/water/soil) impact pathways is developed. Human exposure to heavy metals and organic substances via accumulation in water and soil and the food chain is modelled. In a fourth work package, a methodology for the assessment of externalities from major accidents in non-nuclear fuel chains is developed. For this, a worldwide database on energy related accidents is revised and updated. Results will be compared with those from the nuclear fuel chain. In a last step, the new methodologies will be incorporated into the framework for estimating external costs and the change of external costs due to these new developments will be examined for a number of electricity producing technologies.

Expected Results and Exploitation Plans: This project produces a set of new methodological “building blocks” for integration into the existing accounting framework developed by ExternE. One result is, by testing the new elements and by re-calculating external costs for some reference power plants, the evaluation how new figures may effect the major policy conclusions of previous work. Besides that, dissemination of the new results to current users of the accounting framework, but furthermore to a broader scientific community and policy makers are regarded as essential.

For more information: cordis.europa.eu

Tools for sustainability. Development and Application of an Integrated Framework (SusTools)

Using the best elements of life cycle analysis, sustainability indicators, impact pathway analysis, risk analysis, cost-benefit analysis, and multi-criteria analysis (MCA), an integrated approach will be developed that can be applied in a coherent manner to a wide range of policy issues. This approach will be tested with 4 case studies, to provide a quantitative assessment of the environmental and socio-economic consequences of possible policies in the EU:

  • Reducing air quality impacts of transport,
  • Reducing the impacts of nitrate fertilizer,
  • Examining the options for treating waste that remains after source reduction and recycling, and
  • Reducing the impacts of selected hazardous chemicals.

The weighting of the criteria of the MCA will be determined by the stakeholder involvement and dissemination phrase of the project.

For more information: cordis.europa.eu

Cost Assessment for Sustainable Energy Systems (CASES)

This project was research project running from April 2006 to September 2008 and supported by a grant of the 6th Framework Programme of the European Commission (Sustainable Development, Global Change and Ecosystems). It was a multi-partner and multi-disciplinary project.

The research involved 26 partners which are amongst Europe’s leading centres for research (e.g. universities and research institutes) on the subject. It was co-ordinated by FONDAZIONE ENI ENRICO MATTEI, Italy.

The CASES Co-ordination Action had three principal objectives:

  1. To compile detailed estimates of both external and internal costs of energy production for different energy sources for the EU-25 Countries and for some non-EU Countries under energy scenario s to 2030;
  2. To evaluate policy options for improving the efficiency of energy use, taking account of the full cost data;
  3. To disseminate research findings to energy sector producers and users and the policy making community.

These objectives reflected the general requirement of the Sustainable Energy Systems Work Programme to address “questions of socio-environmental damages of energy production and consumption” and “to make a comparative cost analysis for present and future energy generation alternative s”. The CASES CA was also relevant to the commitments undertaken by the European Union within the Kyoto Protocol. A detailed knowledge of the full cost structure of energy production within the EU-25 and some key non-EU countries is crucial to reach efficient decisions concerning emission reduction plans and JI/DCM projects. Objective I was met in a series of 7 inter-linked work packages that, in a dynamic way, evaluate and compare system costs associated with alternative energy technologies, including social and environmental damage costs. Objective II was met in a series of 4 work packages that evaluate alternative policy instruments to internalize environment related externalities in the EU Member States and in selected non-EU countries. Objective III was met through two stakeholder meetings that serve to validate and disseminate the projects outputs, and through a final conference presenting the results of the CA, and finally through a variety of dissemination means appropriate to the likely different audiences. The success of the project was judged in terms of the acceptability of the estimated energy costs by the scientific and policy communities and by the use of these costings in a policy context.

For more information: cordis.europa.eu

Advancing Knowledge-Intensive Entrepreneurship and Innovation for Economic Growth and Social Well-being in Europe (AEGIS)

AEGIS is a research project running from January 2009 to September 2012 and supported by a grant of the 7th Framework Programme of the European Commission (Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities). The AEGIS is a multi-partner and multi-disciplinary project.

The research involves 4 partners which are amongst Europe’s leading centres for research (e.g. universities and research institutes) on this area.

AEGIS project is co-ordinated by the Planet S.A. from Greece.

The AEGIS project aimed to study the interactions between knowledge, innovation, economic growth and social well-being in Europe. It focused on knowledge-intensive entrepreneurship as a necessary mechanism and an agent of change mediating between the creation of knowledge and its transformation into economic activity. Knowledge-intensive entrepreneurship is perceived herein as a core interface between two interdependent systems: the knowledge generation and diffusion system, on the one hand, and the productive system, on the other. Both systems shape and are shaped by the broader social context – including customs, culture and institutions – thus also pointing at the linkage of entrepreneurship to that context.

The project had three main objectives (research thrusts). At the micro level, it purported to study in depth the very act of knowledge-intensive entrepreneurship, its defining characteristics, boundaries, scope and incentives. At the macro level, it studied the link between knowledge entrepreneurship, economic growth and social wellbeing, also extending to the socio-economic processes that help transform the “animal spirits” (John Maynard Keynes) into a self-reinforcing process for broader societal prosperity. The way the boarder socio-economic environment stokes “animal spirits” and benefits from them was studied within the contexts of various shades of capitalism in Europe and elsewhere, expanding beyond the growth accounting and endogenous growth approaches and issues to novel concepts of knowledge-intensive entrepreneurship in growth and further, into the underlying issues of social wellbeing such as inclusion, cohesion, equity, opportunities, and social care. Finally, at the policy level, the project took a systematic approach aiming at an organic integration of diverse sets of policies that influence the creation and growth of innovative entrepreneurial ventures based on knowledge generation and diffusion.

For more information: cordis.europa.eu