related metrics presents an opportunity to trigger policy learning, action, and cooperation to bring cities closer to sustainable development.
Due to the high demand it has been decided to organise this session again in 2017, this time for SDEWES 2017 in Dubrovnik. The main focus of the session is on research and demonstration in the field of energy and water efficiency for improving the sustainability in industrial and other activities. Due to the immense importance of knowledge dissemination and transfer, presentations are also invited in the field of knowledge management and especially knowledge transfer.
Industrial production and regional economies still require a considerable and continuous supply of energy delivered from natural resources – principally fossil fuels. The increase in our planet human population and its growing nutritional demands result in continuous increase of energy demands. This includes the forerunners in recent economic development such as China and India. The growing energy consumption also creates the problems with greenhouse gas emissions as well as other pollution effects including toxins and particulates.
It has become increasingly important to ensure that the production and processing industries take advantage of recent developments in energy efficiency and in the use of non-traditional energy sources. The additional environmental cost is related to the amount of emitted carbon dioxide (CO2) and may take the form of a centrally imposed tax. A workable solution to this problem would be to reduce emissions and effluents by optimising energy consumption, increasing the efficiency of materials processing, and increasing also the efficiency of energy conversion and consumption.
Although industry requires large supplies of energy to meet production targets, it is not the only sector of the world economy that is increasing its energy demands. The particular characteristics of these other sectors make optimizing for energy efficiency and cost reduction more difficult than in traditional processing industries, such as oil refining, where continuous mass production concentrated in a few locations offers an obvious potential for large energy savings. In contrast, for example, agricultural production and food processing are distributed over large areas, and these activities are not continuous but rather structured in seasonal campaigns. Energy demands in this sector are related to specific and limited time periods, so the design of efficient energy systems to meet this demand is more problematic than in traditional, steady-state industries.
In recent years there has been increased interest in the development of renewable, non-carbon-based energy sources to counter the increasing threat of greenhouse gas emissions and subsequent climatic change. These sources are characterized by spatial distribution and variations as well as temporal variations with diverse dynamics. More recently, the fluctuations and often large increases in the prices of oil and gas have further increased interest in employing alternative, non-carbon-based energy sources. These cost and environmental concerns have led to increases in the industrial sector efficiency of energy use, although the use of renewable energy sources in major industry has been sporadic at best. In contrast, domestic energy supply has moved more positively toward the integration of renewable energy sources; this movement includes solar heating, heat pumps, and wind turbines, as well as photovoltaic electricity generation. There have been already interesting scientific results on designing combined energy systems that include both industrial and residential buildings toward the end of producing a symbiotic system.
Another important issue is water – both as raw material and effluent. Fresh water is widely used in various industries. It is also frequently used in the heating and cooling utility systems (e.g., steam production, cooling water) and as a mass separating agent for various mass transfer operations (e.g., washing, extraction). Strict requirements for product quality and associated safety issues in manufacturing contribute to large amounts of high-quality water being consumed by the industry. In addition, large amounts of aqueous waste streams are released from the industrial processes, often proportional to the fresh water intake. Stringent environmental regulations coupled with a growing human population that seeks improved quality of life have led to increased demand for quality water. These developments have increased the need for improved water management and wastewater minimization. Adopting techniques to minimize water usage can effectively reduce both the demand for freshwater and the amount of effluents generated by the industry. In addition to this environmental benefit, efficient water management reduces the costs for acquiring freshwater and treating effluents.
Another key issue is the knowledge development and management. The currently dominating societal system, or pattern, of knowledge management is to document the research and demonstration outcomes in scientific articles and books. While the scientific articles can be viewed as “work in progress” or the current cutting edge of the knowledge development in the relevant areas, books are intended as a kind of summaries useful for learning and everyday reference.
As such, the books can be viewed as limited knowledge bases, containing summaries and interpretations of the research works by the book authors, as well as relevant references to other pieces of knowledge – books, scientific articles, patents, etc. When the content of a book gets outdated compared to new developments, frequently new editions of the same book are devised or new books are written in their stead.
However, as the number of research projects and scientific articles grows, there is an increasing chance that repetitions of certain research topics or re-discoveries of same principles and research results occur. While such a phenomenon is generally beneficial within small extent, its increasing rate would result in significant waste or misuse of resources dedicated to knowledge development and hinder knowledge exploitation.
This is where comes the need for employing sophisticated systems for knowledge management, which should enable key features for efficient knowledge development, update, tracking and transfer (including education). Some such features include: integrated research-training-update life cycle, increased interactivity and variety of the content delivery, Internet-based training and knowledge transfer, Emphasis should be put on Internet-based interactive working sessions (learning objects) in addition to written exercises. These will allow involving additional associations and senses in the training process further improving the quality and speed of e-learning.
This session provides a platform for development of modern technologies for energy and water efficiency and for exchanging ideas in the field, supplemented by key contributions geared towards more efficient knowledge management. They include, beside the others, the Process Integration and optimisation methodologies and their application to improving the energy and water efficiency of mainly industrial but also nonindustrial users. An additional aim is to evaluate how these methodologies can be adapted to include the integration of waste and renewable energy sources for energy conversion and water supply/purification. The session is outlining the field of energy and water efficiency, including its scope, actors, and main features. The deals with energy and water saving techniques. An increasingly prominent issue is assessing and minimizing emissions and the the environmental footprints: carbon and water footprints. The carbon footprint (CFP) is defined by the U.K. Parliamentary Office for Science and Technology as the total amount of CO2 and the other greenhouse gases emitted over the full life cycle of a process or product. IN a similar way the water footprint embodies the various water quantities used for the manufacturing and delivery of a product. For energy supply, there have been numerous studies that emphasize the “carbon neutrality” of renewable sources of energy. However, even renewable energy sources make some contribution to the overall carbon footprint, and assessment studies frequently do not account for this. The carbon footprint should also be incorporated into any product life-cycle assessment (LCA).
With limited conventional fossil fuel resources, and driven by regulatory obligations and incentives to mitigate climate change, Southern European countries are turning towards solutions including increased penetration of renewables, integration of power, cooling and water systems with flexible operation, and compatible energy storage options. At the same time, and under a different legal framework, in North Africa, renewable power and water plants have been recently installed, or are under construction, and new regulations for renewable energy promotion are introduced. Thus, the Mediterranean region concentrates on a diversity of advances and experiences in low carbon emission (LCE) technologies and regulations with common key points based on a mild climate and abundant solar resource.
On the other hand, despite the abundance of fossil fuels in the Middle East Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC), many such countries are experiencing domestic deficits of natural gas, which fuels the majority of electricity generation regionally. Domestic gas shortages have not only been induced by population and economic growth, but also by substantial gas injection in hydrocarbon reservoirs for enhanced oil recovery. With energy-intensive industries including steel, aluminum, and hydrocarbon production, as well as an extensive seawater desalination sector, several GCC countries also hold among the highest emissions per capita in the World. To reduce their dependence on both dry and liquefied natural gas imports – both at a substantial price differential with domestic gas, a broad range of gas conservation strategies is being sought. These efforts address energy efficiency enhancement of utility production and energy-intensive processes (e.g., petrochemicals, gas compression and sweetening, steam generation), development of low-energy desalination technologies compatible with high seawater salinity and turbidity, and electricity and water conservation efforts. In parallel, gradual reductions in utility subsidies are underway to stimulate conservation. Although renewable integration is progressing, focusing on solar technologies, its pace has not matched that in European regions to date. Local challenges include the need for improved grid interconnections, and policies and regulations for climate change mitigation. Pilot carbon dioxide capture projects essentially motivated by enhanced oil recovery to date have been initiated. Finally nuclear energy is either being considered or implemented in certain countries.
This special session will present and discuss strategies for sustainable provision and utilization of energy, cooling and water in centralized and distributed sectors, as well as strategies for environmental emissions control. More specifically, solicited contributions will focus on areas of interest to hot climate regions including sustainable cooling (i.e., renewable-, waste heat and waste cold driven cooling; combined power and cooling systems with flexible output), low-energy water desalination technologies (i.e., renewable-driven, low specific energy consumption, coupled power and water systems); water- and hydro-storage systems; carbon capture, utilization and storage; clean gas production from fossil sources, waste, biomass and surplus electricity.
Topics are addressed that deal with the necessities for balancing fluctuating renewable resources and by which means this can be done. Especially electricity supplies are demanding as in nowadays systems energy storage is negligible. Pure electricity storages are analyzed and compared to other storage options as heat storage and gas storages which could be accesses when coupling different energy sectors. This is accomplished to rural areas and attempts to include agricultural infrastructure into this process with its strong role in application of renewable power systems but very weak grid infrastructure. Also, the aspect of smart homes and their ability to adapt to power generation capabilities will be discussed.
The special session will cover the topics of energy storage, smart girds and smart homes.
Decarbonizing directly the energy supply chain could be done by means of low or free carbon fuels or it is possible to make the end-user prompt for the sustainable energy by changing the quality of its demand.
P2G by means of Renewable Hydrogen plays a key role in this framework, as immediate responsive storage solution or in combination with Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology to produce synthetic fuels. While, P2H could be conceived as the comprehensive strategy to modernize the high and medium temperature heating systems by electricity-driven machines to switch from Fuel-to-Heat to Electricity-to-Heat solutions. Finally, P2V is another option to increase the two-way communication between producer and consumer as demand side management strategy to smooth, reduce or change the energy load profiles, especially in urban contexts.
Therefore, a special consideration is given to this new step required to our energy systems such as Building and Cities towards Sustainability goals signed at National and International level: the multi-scalar and inter-disciplinary planning. That entails accounting for the infrastructures issues, the social involvement of energy communities, techno-economic feasibility and the role of stakeholders in the energy planning process.
This session would investigate on P2X solutions at Building, District and National scale.
The session is planned as follows:
Societal and economic consequences of the transition to circular economy and sustainable knowledge society.
The session will therefore be a forum for theoretical methods and models; but also for practical examples of analysing and measuring progress, security and obstacles in the FEW nexus sectors on the way to resilient development.
 United Nations. Transforming our world: the agenda for sustainable development. New York: United Nations; 2015.