MOBI-US 1st Workshop – online

Last week, LPRC actively contributed to the first MOB-US project workshop (two days event), in preparation of the first mobility window development among the networking partners.

On the first day, 30 June 2020, and after the usual introductions on the partners and the project itself, the so-called mentoring partners – LPRC is among these – presented their chapters of the guideline document, a document co-created to give best practices and possibilities for the establishment of the structured mobility pathways. LPRC presented its work on the “Skills, competence gaps and needs of the raw materials sector” tied with recommendations for implementation of future courses in the MOBI-US masters programmes. The first finished with the views and opinions of the Advisory Board, a group designed to guide and help the implementation of the project.

The second day followed discussions with presentations by the networking universities on their raw materials education programs that are going to be offered to MOBI-US students. This workshop concluded Phase 1 of the project.

A matchmaking workshop is to be held in September. The aim of this event is to get the partners together and understand their strenghts and weaknesses in teaching for common improvent. LPRC is responsible to organise this event, following our extensive experience in leading and moderating workshops.

LPRC at the “Geothermal energy in my backyard: tackling energy poverty with renewables” webinar

On June 25, took place the “Geothermal energy in my backyard: tackling energy poverty with renewables” webinar hosted by EGEC. This event tackled several issues that are particularly relevant in today’s climate.

Marion Malafosse (Policy Officer at the European Commission Directorate-General for Energy) discussed finance options laid down under the European Recovery Package, which makes available budget to advance the green and digital transition. This Package specifically reemphasizes the role of the EU Green Deal as a motor for the EU economy. In the context of carbon neutrality, heating and cooling it is expected to play a crucial role. First to decarbonise society, second to reach the industrial sector which remain to this day untouched by the green wave and third, by getting local communities involved in small scale geothermal heating projects to further increase the share of green energy in Europe.

The overarching goal of the European Commission is to reach carbon neutrality by 2050. It will soon publish its EU strategy on energy system integration. This strategy is a roadmap to assess what is necessary in the energy sector in the medium and longer term. It will not only tackle electricity and cooling, but also transport, digitalization and agriculture. The aim is to assess how these pieces will play together to reach climate neutrality. This strategy will translate into policies and calls for proposals which will greatly expand the array of opportunities in green development both for citizens and companies.

The second strategy is the Renovation Wave tackling energy efficiency for buildings. A big proportion of buildings in the EU are energy inefficient. Finding strategies to change this can lower CO2 emissions, in line with EU climate objectives. In addition to call for energy efficiency development, another likely impact of this wave is to boost local jobs and local enterprises dealing with construction.

Regarding energy poverty, the webinar showcased 3 case studies, highlighting the role geothermal energy can play for local communities. Geothermal energy is not only domestic, it is local. As such, all operations related to production, operation and consumption are made at local level, benefiting local communities by reducing costs. In addition, geothermal energy is strongly developing and new technologies open the door to hybrid technologies, complex financial solutions (prosumers) and enabling cooperation with social programmes to include all citizens.

LPRC participates in the GeoConnect³d event

On the 24 June, the European Federation of Geologists hosted the “GeoConnect³d – Framing geothermal resource management” online event. The GeoConnect³d project develops and tests a new methodological approach to prepare and disclose geological information for policy support and subsurface management. The improved approach uses two regional-level case studies – the Roer-to-Rhine region and the Pannonian Basin. These regional, cross-border case studies are chosen to be complementary and sufficiently different in geological setting and degree of implementation of subsurface exploitation and management, in order to maximize their pan-European relevance. A novel bottom-up approach introduces two concepts that increase the geological understanding of an area and are aimed at providing a coherent geological context for evaluating subsurface applications and resolving subsurface management issues.

On top of the project presentation, the main discussion was on Wallonia’s (a region in Belgium) geothermal energy potential. The project discovered tangible opportunities for geothermal development on the Mons-Chaudfontaine axis. This potential is believed to be due to the particular geological setting of the Dinantian limestones. From an operational perspective, this would translate to low to medium enthalpy plants with the added benefit of being close to local communities with high demand in heating.

Based on these promising results, further investigations will be conducted and will need to go further in the central and eastern parts of Wallonia to fully discover the promising horizons and characterize them (depth, thickness, temperature and permeability).

LPRC attends the EU Sustainable Week (part 2)

LPRC participated in this year’s EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW 2020) from the 23 to the 26 June 2020, an event hosted by the European Commission. Due to the current limitations imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic this event was held online with many talks, presentations and discussions. This event enables citizens and companies to learn and exchange about sustainable energy, digitalization and green development.

24 June 2020

On the 24, the focus of the discussions was on the Renovation Wave, LIFE clean energy transition and the European Investment Advisory Hub.

The Renovation Wave initiative is a priority under the European Green Deal and the recovery plan for the EU, aimed at increasing the rate and quality of renovation of existing buildings and thereby helping to decarbonise the building stock. Given the relatively labour-intensive nature of renovation work and the way in which this matches the “green, digital and resilient” ambition of the Commission recovery package, the Next Generation EU Communication talks of regulatory and financial support to “at least doubling the annual renovation rate of existing building stock”.

The Clean Energy Transition sub-programme of LIFE will be a continuation of the market uptake activities, currently funded under Horizon 2020. The aim is to support the objectives of EU legislation and policies in the transition towards a decarbonised energy system and a decarbonised economy. It will include capacity building and dissemination of knowledge, new skills, and innovative techniques in energy efficiency and renewable energy.

The European Investment Advisory Hub (“Advisory Hub” or “the Hub”) is a joint initiative with the European Commission, which helps project promoters, the European Union, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and other financial institutions achieve their mission and get investment projects off the ground. The Hub is often the first point of contact for those who need advisory expertise from the EIB Group and its partners to help projects to get financed. The Hub works in education, agriculture, healthcare, environment, research and innovation, energy, transport, and other sectors.

25 June 2020

The last day of the EUSEW 2020 focused on the Innovation and Modernisation Funds. Both funds will mobilise jointly some 24 billion EUR. These funding instruments will be pivotal to mobilise further investments under the Green Deal with a view to reach climate neutrality.

The Innovation Fund is one of the world’s largest funding programmes for demonstration of innovative low-carbon technologies. This body will invest €10 billion up to 2030 in Europe’s climate neutral future. Its main objectives are to avoid emissions and to boost competitiveness. The Innovation Fund will support disruptive technologies decreasing the harmful impact of energy intensive industries and support the development of renewable energies, energy storage as well as carbon capture, use and storage.

The Modernisation Fund is a dedicated funding programme to support 10 lower-income EU Member States in their transition to climate neutrality by helping to modernise their energy systems and improve energy efficiency. The beneficiary Member States are Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovakia. The Modernisation Fund will support investments In generation and use of energy from renewable sources, energy efficiency and energy storage.

Link of all presentations: https://eusew.eu/programme

LPRC attends the EU Sustainable Week (part 1)

LPRC participated in this year’s EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW 2020) from the 23 to the 26 June 2020, an event hosted by the European Commission. Due to the current limitations imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic this event was held online with many talks, presentations and discussions. This event enables citizens and companies to learn and exchange about sustainable energy, digitalization and green development.

23 June 2020

The first event was the award-winning ceremony celebrating projects and EU citizens which work to push the EU as a whole toward climate neutrality.

  • The winner in the Engagement category was Clear 2.0, a pan-European project spanning from Spain to Slovenia. The project helps citizens to become producers and consumers of renewable energy in their own homes.
  • In the Youth category, Fair (FER) won. From Zagreb, Croatia, the project teaches electrical engineering students how to do household audits to identify energy-saving solutions.
  • The Innovation award went to REMOTE – Remote area Energy Supply with Multiple Options for integrated hydrogen-based Technologies) – a project started in Italy, Greece and Norway. The project helps locally produced renewable energy to be stored.
  • The first, second and third prizes of the EaP went to Green Light Moldova; EU4Civil Society Energy Efficiency in Armenian Communities; and Biomass Energy and Energy-efficient Technologies in Georgia.
  • The Citizens’ Award went to the Dutch project cVPP, based in Eindhoven. The project helps local communities to take charge of their renewable energy generation through community-based Virtual Power Plants (cVPPs) in Belgium, the Netherlands and Ireland.
  • The three winners of the Women in Energy awards went to: Sophie Attali (Director of Guide Topten in France), Katharina Habersbrunner (Women Engage for a Common Future) and Ada Ámon (Climate Commissoner to the Mayor of Budapest).

Following the award-winning ceremony, a discussion on The EU’s support for clean energy technologies and innovation was held by European Commissioner Kadri Simson and IEA Executive Director Dr. Fatih Birol.

Commissioner Simson announced that the Clean Energy Transition – Technologies and Innovations Report will soon be released, together with the State of the Energy Union report this Autumn. Funding clean technologies has gotten a massive boost recently through the Recovery Plan for Europe that the Commission proposed a few weeks ago. The Green Deal is its growth strategy at its core. So, it is designed to help accelerate innovative investment through a number of programs:

  • The reinforced Multi Annual Financial Framework, with the proposed increase in Horizon Europe to 94 billion EUR will bring extra resources for the digital and green transitions. Horizon will allow the Commission to support the most innovative new ideas.
  • The InvestEU research and innovation window of 10 billion EUR guarantees help to scale-up private sector investments in R&I. Most importantly it will help downstream bringing the results to the market and seeing a tangible solution.
  • The European Commission also created a new Strategic Investment Facility to support private investments in European strategic value chains with a guarantee of 15 billion EUR. So, any company planning to invest in clean hydrogen technologies for example, you could use the Strategic Investment Facility for projects to scale up electrolysers or for carbon capture and storage solutions.

in July a first 1 billion EUR call under the Innovation Fund will be launched. It will fund – amongst other things – demonstration projects for innovative hydrogen-based and renewable technologies. Soon after, in September, the European Commission will adopt a Green Deal call of 1 billion EUR under Horizon 2020. Of that, more than one third will be dedicated to energy topics, including a call for a large-scale electrolyser.

The private sector also has a very important role in funding clean energy technologies. In fact, private investments still represent roughly three quarters of R&I funding. That’s why the EU will also launch a new Hydrogen Alliance, to bring public and private to the same table.

Link of all presentations: https://eusew.eu/programme

LPRC participates in the UNEXUP & PIPEBOTS webinar

LPRC’s members participated on a recent joint webinar between the UNEXUP and PIPEBOTS consortia. LPRC is integral part of UNEXUP, where it leads the efforts on communication and dissemination of the project. The UNEXUP consortium was invited to provide their vision on the technology development in aspects such as IPR (Intellectual Property Rights), development of the UX-1 robotic system and hardware and software integrations.

Participation in this online webinar allowed the team members to contribute to the discussions on the topics and at the same time collect information for outreach purposes. LPRC is extending its communication capabilities within UNEXUP and other projects alike to turn them more efficient. For this the interaction with stakeholders is of paramount importance.

Call for participation in our projects!

La Palma Research Centre is a partner in many EU-focused projects. Some of these projects are calling out for stakeholders involvement in their tasks. Find below what projects are open for participation and how you can get involved with them.

MOBI-US – The project will host an online workshop about its future Masters mobility program on the 3oth of June and 1st of July, two hours each day, from 9h to 11h. Participation is free, but requires registration.

UNEXUP – UNEXMIN’s natural follow-up, UNEXUP has an open pilot policy – if you have an underwater structure and have interest in getting it surveyed with top notch technology, then this is your oppportunity. Get in touch with the project through the contact form.

ROBOMINERS – LPRC is leading the Active clustering and roadmapping efforts. Therefore, engagement with stakeholders is a given. At this moment, the team is collecting projects and persons willing to do clustering activities (exchange information, debate) and to participate in focus groups to discuss the ROBOMINERS technology and the future of mining itself. Get in touch through the project’s contact form.

Your participation is always relevant and can shape the future of this projects now and beyond!

AGEO e-meeting – May 2020

On the 27th and 28th of May the third Consortium meeting of the Interreg Atlantic Area project AGEO was held online. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemics, the programmed El Hierro Congress and in-person meeting had to be substituted by an online two days meeting, consisting of nine parallel sessions divided in three groups addressing three of the main themes of the project: Citizen Observatories, Citizen Engagement and, Copernicus Products and Services.  A total of 52 people belonging to the 14 partners across 5 countries participated in the discussions held during the two-day event.

AGEO e-meeting – May 2020

LPRC, along with the Portuguese Association of Geologists, led the session on Citizen Engagement. During this session, partners identified the main stakeholders for each of the five pilots in order to update and optimise the capitalisation and communication strategies of the project. New approaches to planned activities and meetings were discussed in the light of the new COVID-19 situation all over the world.

AGEO e-meeting – May 2020

AGEO is a project funded by the Interreg Atlantic Area and it aims to launch several pilots on citizen observatories to highlight how citizen involvement in risk prevention can strengthen regional and national management systems. The outcome of this specific initiative will be used to formulate recommendations for the creation of future permanent observatories in response to the wide range of hazards in the European Atlantic areas – floods, fires, earthquakes, among others.

EGU 2020 online event from LPRC’s eyes

Last week, the LPRC team presented some of its projects at the EGU General Assembly 2020, an yearly event that brings together geoscientists from all over the world to discuss several geoscientific topics. This is the third time that LPRC participates in this event, following the years of 2017 and 2019.

Due to the current situation and the restrictions in place, the EGU General Assembly of this year was held online. LPRC presented five of its running projects from Monday (4th May) through Friday (8th May). The corresponding presentation materials can still be seen and commented on until the 31st of May – find more here.

During the many online sessions, LPRC presented projects from different geoscientific related areas including new mineral exploration methods, space technology for moon exploration and citizens observatories for geohazards. The interest in the presented projects was showcased by the questions that the audience – through chat-based interaction – had for the team.

Below are the number of users participating in each of the sessions where LPRC presented its projects:

  • PRO-ACT on the session “Open session on experimental and modelling techniques for the exploration and sustainable utilization of the Moon” – 46 users
  • ROBOMINERS on the session “Energy, Resources and the Environment” – 55 users
  • AGEO on the session “Hydrology, Society and Environmental change” – 168 users
  • ENGIE on the session “Enabling Women in Geoscience: Inspiration, Challenges and Best Practice” – 176 users
  • UNEXUP on the session “State-of-the-art in mineral exploration” – 66 users

LPRC was glad to once more be part of the EGU General Assembly event and able to share innovative mining solutions, how to solve challenges in space exploration, helping to monitor geohazards and bring gender equality to the geoscientific fields. The team aims to participate once again next year with new projects and more innovative ideas!

EGU 2020 online – with LPRC participation

Similarly to the past editions of 2017 and 2019, LPRC is set to participate in this year’s European Geosciences Union with presentation materials on some of the projects where the company participates. This year, due to the restrictions imposed on the COVID-19 situation, the event will be held online.

The EGU 2020 online event will have many activities and discussions running from the 4th to the 8th of May. Posters, talks and other debates will be transformed into online available materials and chat talks will be held to engage in discussion with scientists.

Below you can find the projects and materials that the LPRC members are going to present during next week’s EGU 2020 online event:

Feel free to have a look at the projects and materials provided and join the discussion at the given times – science is for everyone!