Space as an enabler for sustainable energy management

Joint CoR-ESA-Eurisy Workshop

Space as an enabler for sustainable energy management - local and regional perspectives

6 June 2018, 16:00 – 18:30 p.m.

Committee of the Regions, Belliard Str. 99-101, Room JDE 53, Brussels, Belgium

This workshop is organised within the EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW)

Workshop Objectives

The Committee of the Regions (CoR), the European Space Agency (ESA) and Eurisy jointly organise this workshop to analyse the needs of the energy sector, assess the possible contributions of space assets to respond to such needs, and discuss best practices to make space-based data and services available to potential users operating in the energy sector.

In particular the workshop will:

  • Explore the possibilities offered by satellite services and space assets to improve energy management, with a particular focus on local and regional needs;
  • Bring together and foster synergies among experts and policy makers from the energy, IT and space sectors;
  • Raise awareness on technological developments in the field of sustainable energy among local and regional authorities, professionals, academia and the broader public, and foster partnerships to design and implement new projects.

Policy background

Decarbonising the economy by 2050 will require huge efforts by energy companies and policymakers to achieve the goals of cutting greenhouse gas emissions while ensuring competitive and secure energy supplies. In order to reduce CO2 emissions, a considerable increase in the production and use of renewable energy is expected. Such shift represents a challenge for the European energy infrastructure and energy market design.

Stimulating innovation in new technologies, such as smart grids, can improve energy management for both consumers and businesses. Moreover, digitalising the energy distribution network can give energy users the chance to play a more proactive role in the energy market, offering them the possibility to become suppliers in a decentralised power system.

As technology develops and is taken up by the market, we need a vision for our energy future that includes a place for local communities and for local and regional authorities. The need to foster “smart cities” is mentioned within the EU Strategic Energy Technology Plan, which is the key technology pillar of the European Union’s Policy Framework for Climate and Energy for the period 2020-2030.

The Committee of the Regions considers that enabling synergies between the energy and space sectors will be crucial for the proper implementation of the EU energy policy. Indeed, the successful implementation of sustainable energy policies within the Energy Union will depend on our ability to use cutting edge technologies to better interconnect the EU internal market and to better manage, expand and integrate infrastructure across national borders in the areas of energy, transport and telecommunications.

Satellite-based data and services can effectively contribute managing energy networks, maximising national generation capacity and supporting the safe and efficient management of transmission systems. To foster the creation of synergies among the space and energy sectors, the European Space Agency has launched the “Space and Energy" initiative.

At the same time, Eurisy is implementing the “Space for Cities” initiative, aimed to promote the use of satellite-based services to make European cities safer, healthier, more efficient and sustainable.

The CoR supports initiatives aimed at creating a more interconnected Europe and would be interested in contributing towards carrying out further political work to promote energy and space synergies at local and regional levels.