"Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."

The Report of the U.N. Brundtland Commission, Our Common Future, 1987
"Then I say the Earth belongs to each generation during its course, fully and in its right no generation can contract debts greater than may be paid during the course of its existence"

Thomas Jefferson, September 6, 1789
"If there are to be problems, may they come during my life-time so that I can resolve them and give my children the chance of a good life."

Kenyan proverb
Islands as References of Circular Economy Models: Potentials and Challenges
Tue / 06.09. @ 11:30
The strategic value of Islands as natural laboratories for the implementation of innovative sustainable development models has been generally undervalued so far. Their isolation generates big technical and socioeconomic challenges, which strengthens their position as excellent test beds for new sustainable solutions. In the energy sector, the “insular dimension” makes Islands potential frontrunners in low carbon initiatives (e.g. showcases of innovative energy storage solutions, needed if strategies for maximum penetration of renewable energy sources are to be successfully implemented). The same may apply to the water sector, where desalination systems, considered as non-critical/deferrable loads, could contribute through Demand Management to peak shaving of an island electrical demand curve. Islands need also to advance in implementing solutions in the waste sector, aiming at a general goal of 100% recycling/energy recovery. Furthermore, Islands may be perfect exponents of  blue economy models (coastal environment preservation, biotechnology based on generally rich biodiversity and excellence of natural resources, etc.), small scale sustainable technologies (e.g. bioenergy, mainly exploited at large scale so far), and can also constitute excellent observatories of climate change impact indicators. The presentation will examine the potentials and challenges of Islands as references of circular economy models (100% renewable energies, 100% sustainability of the water cycle, 100% waste recycling/energy recovery, etc.) and also how other regions worldwide (continental as well as remote ones of less developed countries) may benefit from this vision. This analysis will be carried out based on the experience accumulated during the last 20 years in the Canary Islands (Spain), and particularly on two of them: a) El Hierro (10.000 inhabitants), an island fully committed to sustainable development, where in 2014 a power station capable to supply the entire island exclusively by renewable energies was successfully put in operation; and b) La Graciosa (<1.000 inhabitants), where several initiatives are being undertaken in order to convert it in the next 100% sustainable Canary island.

Mr. Gonzalo Piernavieja Izquierdo
Instituto Tecnológico de Canarias
Canary Islands, Spain

Gonzalo Piernavieja holds a Degree in Physics (University of Munich, Germany) and a Masters Degree in Energy and Environmental Management (Technical University of Berlin, Germany). His professional career started at Munich's energy supply company (Stadtwerke München), where he contributed to set up one of the first grid connected photovoltaic installations in Germany (1991/2). In 1993 he returned to the Canary Islands to work as manager in renewable energy and water projects at the Process Engineering Department of the Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. In 1996 he joined the Canary Islands Institute of Technology (ITC) as Coordinator of the Solar Energy Department. Currently, Mr. Piernavieja is the Director of ITC's R&D&I Division, which carries out applied research activities in emerging technological fields (renewable energies, water technologies, biotechnology, environmental technologies, biomedical-, mechanical- and software-engineering). The Division has 9 Departments with a total staff of 110 persons; its Renewable Energies Department carries out energy planning consultancy services to the Regional Government of the Canary Islands and other institutions.

Role and value of flexibility in facilitating secure and cost effective transition to a lower carbon energy system
Mon / 05.09. @ 11:30
In the context of the key challenges associated with decarbonisation of energy system this talk will examine the importance of flexibility and system integration in facilitating cost effective and secure transition to lower carbon energy systems. This will involve presenting quantitative evidence associated with the benefits that emerging flexible technologies can provide, covering time scales from real time system operation to multi-year investment horizons across local and international energy infrastructures. Furthermore, the importance of the whole-systems approach will be discussed, particularly in the context of effectiveness of the future energy infrastructure operation and development, while considering uncertainties in deployment of low carbon technologies. The presentation will also identify associated market, regulation and policy challenges that will need to be addressed to ensure security and effectiveness of future low carbon energy systems.

Prof. Goran Strbac
Imperial College
London, United Kingdom

Goran Strbac is a Professor of Energy Systems, with extensive experience in advanced modelling and analysis of operation, planning, security and economics of energy systems. He led the development of novel advanced analysis approaches and methodologies that have been extensively used to inform industry, governments and regulatory bodies abut the role and value of emerging new technologies and systems in supporting cost effective evolution to smart low carbon future. He is a member of the Steering Committee of the SmartGrids European Technology Platform, co-chair of EU WG on Sustainable Districts and Built Environment of Smart Cities, Director of the UK Centre for Grid Scale Energy Storage, participates in working groups and committees within CIGRE, CIRED IET, IEEE and IEA.

Water, Energy and Environment in the scope of the Circular Economy
Wed / 07.09. @ 11:30
The objective of the presentation is to discuss the Research and Innovation aspects of the new European package on Circular Economy. The European Commission has recently adopted an ambitious Circular Economy Package to stimulate Europe's transition towards a circular economy. This Package establishes a concrete and ambitious programme of action, with measures covering the whole cycle: from production and consumption to waste management and the market for secondary raw materials. The proposed actions will contribute to "closing the loop" of product lifecycles through greater recycling and re-use, and bring benefits for both the environment and the economy. This new plan to make Europe’s economy cleaner and more competitive contains ambitious measures to cut resource use, reduce waste and boost recycling with a positive effect as far as Water, Energy and Environment. Innovation plays a key part in this systemic change. In order to rethink our ways of producing and consuming, and to transform waste into high value-added products, new technologies, processes, services and business models are need. The Horizon 2020 work programme includes a major initiative: "Industry 2020 in the circular economy", which will grant over €650 million for innovative demonstration projects that support the objectives of the circular economy and industrial competitiveness in the EU in a wide range of industrial and service activities, including process industries, manufacturing, and new business models. It also explores a pilot approach to help innovators facing regulatory obstacles, by setting up agreements with stakeholders and public authorities ('innovation deals'). This initiative adds to a wide range of existing Horizon 2020 programmes supporting innovative projects relevant to the circular economy, in fields such as waste prevention and management, food waste, remanufacturing, sustainable process industry, industrial symbiosis, and the bio economy.  Important R&I funding opportunities are also available under the Cohesion Policy, LIFE, COSME and the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). The presentation starts with a brief description of the Circular Economy package and of the Horizon 2020 Program. The importance of Research and Innovation in the Circular Economy Package is discussed and the way Circular Economy is included in Horizon 2020 is described. The synergies between Horizon2020 and other funds such as Cohesion Funds, LIFE, COSME and the EFSI are debated. The pilot approach for "innovation deals" to identify and address potential regulatory obstacles for innovators will be described.

Prof. Maria da Graça Carvalho
Instituto Superior Técnico
Lisbon, Portugal

Maria da Graça Carvalho is currently member of the European Parliament (2019-2024). In the European Parliament she is a full Member of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) and a substitute Member on the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) and substitute member on Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM). She follows as well the parliamentary Delegations for relations with the United States, for relations with the countries of Central America and Delegation to the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly. In the past, Maria da Graça Carvalho has also served as member of the European Parliament in the EPP group from 2009-2014. She sat on the Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) Committee as a full member and was a substitute member of the Committee on Budgets. In the Budget Committee, she acted during the 5 years as permanent EPP shadow rapporteur for the science and innovation budget and as rapporteur for the space budget. As a MEP, she was appointed rapporteur of the Specific Programme Implementing HORIZON 2020 and of the report on Simplification of the Rules of Participation in the European Programs for Research and Innovation. In 2011, she was awarded the Prize for the best MEP in the area of Research and Innovation. Maria da Graça Carvalho has been a Member of the Scientific Advice Mechanism Unit of the Directorate-General Research and Innovation of the European Commission from 2016 until 2019. She was a senior advisor of Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation from November 2014 to December 2015. She was Principal Adviser of President of the European Commission in the areas of Science, Innovation, Energy, Environment and Climate Change from 2006 to 2009. She was Minister of Science and Higher Education of the XV Constitutional Government and Minister of Science, Innovation and Higher Education of the XVI Constitutional Government of Portugal. She is a Full Professor at Instituto Superior Técnico (University of Lisbon) and she has acquired 30 years of experience in research in the areas of energy, climate change and science, technology and innovation policy. She has published 130 articles in international scientific journals and more than 300 articles in books and conference proceedings. She is, herself, the author of two books and the editor of 17 books and special editions of international scientific journals in the field of energy. She is a member of 22 scientific associations and fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), of the World Academy of Art and Science (WAAS) and has been a Deputy President of the Portuguese Institute of Engineers and remains a fellow of the Portuguese Institute of Engineers, of the Portuguese Academy of Science, of the Royal Academy of Engineers of Spain, a founder of the Portuguese Academy of Engineers and an Honorary Member of Academy Europaea. She has been an active collaborator of EASAC-European Academies Science Advisory Council and the Euro CASE-European Council of Applied Sciences Technologies and Engineering since the outset. She has been awarded the title of “Great Official of the Order of Public Instruction” by the President of Republic of Portugal and she was honoured with the “Great Cross of the International Order of Merit of the Discoverer of Brazil”. She is member of the Chancellery of the Orders of Merit of the Portuguese Republic.


Benchmarking the performance of cities across energy, water and environment systems
related metrics presents an opportunity to trigger policy learning, action, and cooperation to bring cities closer to sustainable development.