Living lab on environmental assessment for energy modelling

  • Madrid López, Cristina (Principal Investigator)
  • Lilliestam, Johan (Collaborator)
  • MARTIN, NICHOLAS (Collaborator)
  • Pfenninger, Stefan (Collaborator)
  • Süsser, Diana (Collaborator)

Project Details

Description

Energy policy and models are too focused on decarbonisation. In the two documents of the EU Energy Union Strategy (COM/2015/080) the words “water”, “biodiversity” or “raw materials” do not appear. It is well documented why sustainable energy transition pathways should consider the trade-offs between energy resources and other environmental impacts beyond air emissions but energy system models (ESMs) have not been very good at including sustainability dimensions. To solve that, a modular approach to energy modelling that can be tailored to each assessment needs has been recommended. In LIVEN we contribute an adaptation of the environmental assessment tool ENBIOS to those modular efforts.

LIVEN comes timely. The Spanish Integrated Energy and Climate National Plan (PNIEC), has been informed by the model TIMES –Sinergia, that does not include environmental parameters like water or raw materials. The modeling suite is undergoing joint evaluation with the European Commission but environmental parameters are not included in the review. The Catalan Energy and Climate Change Plan (PECAC) is coming to the end of its period and must be reviewed. The model PROENCAT used to inform it also excludes environmental parameters. Many of the strategies proposed in energy plans are implemented at local level by long-term urban development plans (PDU). The Metropolitan Area of Barcelona government is currently defining the metropolitan PDU. ENBIOS has been developed within the EU project SENTINEL as part of a bigger platform and for its use in a modular setting requires its transformation as standalone. It combines the bottom up, high resolution capabilities of LCA with the hierarchical multi-scale upscaling abilities of MuSIASEM but it does not have a regionalized perspective, essential in the determination of environmental impact hotspots. Also, ENBIOS is susceptible of adaptation to national, regional and local level but so far it has been tested only for the assessment of international regions like the EU.

LIVEN is a living lab in which we adapt ENBIOS for its use as a standalone, regionalized tool in four stages. During ENVISIONING, we explore the environmental assessment needs of Spanish energy policy makers and translate them into quantitative information requests that should be provided by ENVIRO. In the INNOVATION stage, we review the structure and methods of ENBIOS to transform it into a standalone tool capable of performing environmental assessments with a geographical reference. During the EVALUATION stage we test if the resulting ENBIOS configuration provides information that is actually relevant for decision making. In order to do so, the lab jointly identifies a set of three energy-related strategies proposed in each of the three levels PNIEC, PECAC and PDU and also define scenarios for their implementation that are then assessed with ENVIRO. Finally in the PILOT phase the lab chooses one of the three policies to run a complete assessment with high resolution to enhance transfer.

With a multidisciplinary and international team, we contribute 11 outputs that are transferable within and beyond the lab. These include the regionalized ENBIOS standalone, environmental vulnerability maps, new regionalized LCIA methods and the first Spanish geo inventory of renewable energy. All our data and software is open source/access and our efforts coordinated with international synergic initiatives.
IMPACT

LIVEN is a three year initiative that answers mostly to the call for contributing to challenges 3 (Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy) and 5 (Climate Change, Natural Resources and Raw Materials) in priorities such as the design of flexible and distributed network and management systems, efficient energy systems, environmental intelligence, waste treatment, water resource sustainability or climate change science and society.

Our work is MULTI, TRANS AND INTERDISCIPLINARY and has impacting contributions over the areas of Energy, Computer Science, Environmental science and technology, Political science and Geography. It is also a MULTISECTORIAL project, due to the very nature of the living lab where we include policy makers, industries, NOGs and modellers/scientists. The equipo de trabajo is formed by Stefan Pfenninger (Uni Delft, NL), who has extensive experience in ESMs and multilevel energy optimization and Diana Süsser and Johan Lilliestam (IASS Postdam, DE), who are experts in energy policy analysis and clean energy transitions. Our current list of EPOs include CIEMAT, Subdirectorate General of Energy Prospection, Strategy and Regulation, Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge and the Barcelona Institute of Metropolitan and Regional Studies, Government of the Barcelona Metropolitan Area (AMB).

We plan on disseminating the results at both international and national spaces in synergy with five other European initiatives: project SENTINEL (H2020), CHISTEra project SEEDS, ERC Consolidator project URBAG, The European Network of Living Labs, and relevant COST actions. Also, we plan to publish 5 papers in Q1 journals, attend 3 conferences each year plus a number of online events.

We contribute 11 outputs that are transferable within and beyond the lab. These include a dictionary of energy-environmental modelling semantics, the regionalized ENBIOS standalone, environmental vulnerability maps, new regionalized LCIA methods and the first Spanish geo inventory of renewable energy. All our data and software is open source/access and our efforts coordinated with international synergic initiatives including the projects SEEDS (ERANet), SENTINEL (H2020), URBAG (ERC cons) or the European Network of Living Labs (ENoLL) or relevant COST actions running at the time of implementation.

Last, this project aims at creating the lab and during its implementation we will actively seek ways to keep it open as a space for testing and transferring new advances in environmental modelling for energy. Further works could include gender studies, the assessment of water policies with the same nexus perspective or the inclusion of open access, modular energy system modelling tools.
StatusActive
Effective start/end date1/12/2130/11/24

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