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CROWDTHERMAL e-meeting

Last week, on the 17 and 18 March, the CROWDTHERMAL partners held their second consortium meeting online due to the events of COVID-19 – the meeting was previously scheduled to be hosted in the Canary Islands. Due to the circumstances the consortium had to adapt and work around the impossibility of a face-to-face meeting.

This CROWDTHERMAL workshop led to outstanding preliminary results particularly for Work Packages 1, 2 and 3, which are currently running.  Work Package 1 focuses on studying the bottlenecks linked to geothermal energy. For that matter, IZES presented its preliminary results including D1.1 “International Review of Public perception studies”. Among the bottlenecks identified were: 1) trust in the technology and 2) perception of risks and legislative background. These results will later on feed into the Social License to Operate (SLO) which is at the centre of the CROWDTHERMAL project. A Social License to Operate refers to the ongoing acceptance of a company or industry’s standard business practices and operating procedures by its employees, stakeholders, and the general public.

Work Package 2 delivered an overview of the best practices in Europe regarding geothermal which will be a crucial document for any upcoming geothermal project mixing geothermal energy and crowdfunding. Work Package 3 unveiled its report on mitigation risks linked to geothermal energy. As pointed out by Work Package 1, risk mitigation is an important step to build trust in the technology and thus having an effective Social License to operate. The results of the questionnaire help to understand and to deal with risk mitigation for all case studies of CROWDTHERMAL (Spain, Iceland and Hungary). In addition, WP3 created a cluster of geothermal stakeholders in order to discuss an analysis for geothermal risk mitigation in the context of alternative financing schemes. The cluster identified a glaring lack of a pan-European exploration risk mitigation scheme.

As for WP4, which La Palma Research Centre leads, the team kickstarted the organisation of a social media powered platform that will support the deployment of integrated development schemes for geothermal energy utilising alternative finance and community engagement tools. Thanks to the synergic approach of the consortium, this platform will be launched in due time early 2021.

Stay tuned for more news regarding the CROWDTHERMAL project!

©European Union

Busy week in Brussels

On June 4, LPRC joined the FTA (Future-oriented Technology analysis) 2018 – Future in the making at the Square Business Centre in Brussels. The event is organised every two years by the Joint Research Centre (JRC). The conference opening was held by Vladimir Sucha, Directorate-General of JRC. The keynote speaker, Gerd Leonhard, brought a presentation on ‘Technology vs Humanity’ and reflected over the impacts that the exponential evolution of technology can have in our society and us as human beings. After the plenary, parallel sessions were held, and LPRC joined “The changing nature of work” and the “Changing the paradigm to build a sustainable future?” sessions.

After the opening keynote speech in the morning session, LPRC participated in 3 parallel sessions. The first one, about Scenario design for policy making, involved speakers from private companies, governmental bodies, and EU projects. Here, they talked about a scenario-based strategising approach, counterfactual construction of scenarios for the future, debiasing political decision making trough “value-free” scenario models, using science fiction and design to materialise scenarios, and the combination of scenarios with multi-actor multi-criteria analysis. The second session was entitled “Towards innovative approaches” and showcased many new and hybrid foresight methods that are already being used. At the last session, it was presented an in-depth review of current applications of the Horizon Scanning technique, including foresight radars and circular foresight processes. It was interesting to see how many companies, governments and EU projects are using foresight methods and future studies for various reasons and applications – and there are a lot.

On June 5, LPRC presented the !VAMOS¡ project at the “Social Acceptance in the European Raw Materials Sector” event organised by EASME. The presentation focused on the two stakeholders’ engagements that the project ¡VAMOS! had so far and general aspects of mining social acceptance, with the particular case of a novel technology as is the ¡VAMOS! one. The event brought together a diverse audience and many European projects sharing their experiences with social acceptance in the context of raw materials.

The EU Sustainable Energy Week took place between the 5th and 7th of June in Brussels. The main event, focusing on sustainable energies, was followed by many side events. One of these events, the “Upscaling Blue Energy”, hosted by IMIEU on the 7th, was attended by Tamas Miklovicz, where he presented the CHPM2030 project to the participants. Later that day, at the main venue, EFG and LPRC co-organized a session on “Decarbonisation of the heating and cooling sector: coupling efficiency and renewables with security of supply”. During the presentations, Tamas Miklovicz talked about multidisciplinary approaches for geothermal resources, including the CHPM technology, and Anita Demeny (EFG) participated in the panel discussion.

Symposium on Social License to Operate, Leuven

On the 21st of February, a symposium took place in Leuven, and LPRC was present. The event focussed on the thematic of Transitioning to a low-carbon economy and the social license to operate for mining and recycling of critical metals.

The symposium elaborated on the paradox of the “Importance of critical metals for the transition to a low carbon, cleantech-based economy versus the not-always-so-positive image of the primary mining industry”. On one hand, Europe undoubtedly needs critical metals for the transition to a desired low carbon, cleantech economy – however, it is import dependent regarding most of the metals, needed to reach this transition. On the other hand, society often has a negative image on mining, since historical extraction gave mining a bad name.

The members of the audience, who were naturally divided into “social” and “technological” groups, had a passionate discussion about this topic and its implications to society. This shows that dialogue is crucial, and not only that, but also opens minds too, in order to arrive to a common understanding between different stakeholders.

The symposium opened with two introductory talks. The first keynote was from Serge de Gheldere (Futureproofed), who proposed business-led, sustainable solutions, resulting new businesses, reduced risks, better branding and lower costs. After the keynote speech, a panel discussion took place. The afternoon session, begin with two keynote presentations from Egbert Lox (UMICORE) and Leida Rijnhout (Friends of the Earth Europe) presenting social and industrial viewpoints. The discussions continued with a panel and Q&A session with the audience.

The event closed with an concise talk from Marcin Sadowski, Head of Raw Materials sector, EC EASME,  where he presented the overall European policy approach to achieve sustainable goals.

Events

EU Raw Materials Week, 2018

The 3rd edition of the EU “Raw Materials Week” will take place from Monday 12 to Friday 16 November 2018 in Brussels. It builds up on a series of events organised by the European Commission addressing the latest news on raw materials in the EU. It will be a unique opportunity for the raw materials community to discuss and exchange on all relevant issues: policy, technology, international cooperation, framework conditions, knowledge base etc.

Some of the highlights of the RMW, which LPRC Team will follow, are the Critical Raw Materials in our everyday lifeCopernicus for Raw MaterialsResponsible Supply of Raw MaterialsEIT RawMaterials – Developing raw materials into a major strength for Europe6th annual High Level Conference of the EIP on Raw MaterialsDrivers and Solutions for Integrating Information in the EU RMKBUN Framework Classification for Sustainable Resources Management in Europe sessions.

LPRC Team will be present throughout the week! Reference and registration: eurawmaterialsweek.eu