related metrics presents an opportunity to trigger policy learning, action, and cooperation to bring cities closer to sustainable development.
Given this complexity and the diverse challenges, this session will focus on both (a) viable data- and model-driven methodical approaches for the integrated assessment of socio-ecological FEW-nexus systems, and (b) the dynamics of decision-making in the FEW-nexus including questions about the role of actors and institutions.
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, as well as low energy buildings. 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. Efforts are invested to increase the efficiency and reduce the cost of concentrated solar power (CSP) including through low-cost, high-temperature fluids and storage systems. 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, with energy-intensive industries including steel, aluminum, and hydrocarbon production, yearly elevated space cooling loads, and an extensive seawater desalination sector, several Middle East Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC) countries hold among the highest energy consumptions and emissions per capita in the World. Despite the abundance of fossil fuels in the region, domestic gas shortages have developed among several members as a result of population and economic growth, and use of gas for reservoir injection in enhanced hydrocarbon recovery operations. Current efforts include energy efficiency enhancement of utility production, energy-intensive processes, and buildings/districts, development of low-energy desalination technologies, and other fuel and water conservation efforts. Renewable energy development focuses on solar electricity/heat production and storage. Local challenges for renewable integration include the need for improved grid interconnections, and policies and regulations for climate change mitigation, and competition with low-cost conventional fuels and energy conversion technologies. Nuclear energy is being implemented in one member state and being considered in others. In parallel, gradual reductions in utility subsidies are underway to stimulate conservation. Pilot carbon dioxide capture projects essentially motivated by enhanced oil recovery to date have been initiated.
This special session will present and discuss strategies for sustainable provision and utilization of energy, cooling and water in centralized and distributed facilities, as well as strategies for environmental emissions control. More specifically, solicited contributions will focus on areas of interest to hot climate regions including sustainable power and cooling at centralized and distributed scales (e.g., renewable-, waste-, or natural energy-driven), sustainable water desalination technologies (i.e., renewable- or waste energy-driven, low-specific energy consumption), low-energy building/district technologies, water- and hydrostorage systems, and carbon capture and utilization. This special session will build upon the session successfully organized at SDEWES 2017 in related topical areas, which gathered speakers from seven different hot climate countries in Europe and the Middle East.
Due to the high demand, it has been decided to organise this session again in 2019, this time for the 14th SDEWES 2019 in Dubrovnik - Croatia. However the focus of the session has been extended in line with the most recent research developments to focus on integrating energy, water and waste to secondary resources for improving to contribute to Smart Cities, Smart Industry and Smart Agriculture which can be powerful tool to boost the sustainability in civic, industrial, Agriculture and other activities. Due to the immense importance of knowledge dissemination and transfer, presentations are also invited into the field of knowledge management and especially knowledge transfer.
The research scope to be considered include smart cities, industrial processes and sites supply chain networks, municipalities and cities, regions and economies.
1) The main topics
Industry and regional economies require a considerable and continuous supply of energy delivered from natural resources – principally fossil fuels. The sectors of energy use are diverse – including industry, agriculture, transportation, residential and commercial activities. The growing human population and its growing nutritional needs result in the continuous growth of energy demands, accompanied by equivalent pollution effects – including climatic, as well as health issues. It has become increasingly important to ensure the processing industries take advantage of recent developments in energy and resource efficiency and in the use of non-traditional energy sources.
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 structured in seasonal campaigns, limited to specific time periods, so the design of efficient energy systems to meet such demands 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. This imposes the logistics challenge of diminishing energy returns with increasing the transportation distances. Additional dynamic effects arise from the often significant fluctuations and in the prices of oil and gas, strengthening the interest in securing alternative resource supplies from renewables. 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 of acquiring freshwater and treating effluents.
The transformation needs of residual and by-products (e.g. municipal solid waste, agriculture waste, industrial non-hazardous waste, hazardous waste, e-waste even increasing with introducing the smartness, construction and demolition waste) increases with the urbanisation and population growth. It is a critical part in closing the loop to support the transition from a linear to a circular economy. The waste of a process could be a resource to another process. The utilisation of residual and by-products as resources scale down the demand of extraction of new resources and avert the impacts created along the processing chain. Integrated secondary resources management could minimise the waste generation which is a loss of resource, disposal cost and environmental cost.
Carbon capture and storage/ sequestration offer to bridge the gaps to the ideal circular economy, as mitigating alone are not sufficient. The feasibility and potential of various negative emissions technologies such as direct air capture, enhance weathering, bioenergy with carbon capture and storage, and afforestation/deforestations are worth for research attention. This is especially the biochar, commonly viewed as a by-product of pyrolysis, which can be utilized as the energy source and soil carbon sequestration. However, the cyclical systems should have the characteristic that the environmental impacts of the circular economy are work toward sustainability.
Supply chain optimisation or management plays a significant role in utilising residual and by-products as secondary resources. Other than the cost incurs, and burdening footprints created along the transformation process, collection and transportation tend to lower the feasibility of the utilisation. The waste from the cities as well as the by-products of industry and agriculture activities have to be converted to secondary raw materials and utilised as close as possible at a resource. Supply chain optimisation could contribute to the sustainability of residual and by-products utilisation.
2) Cross-cutting issues
There are two important issues running through the mentioned topics. One is the quantification of environmental performance and the other is knowledge management and transfer. The smart concept utilises information and communication (ICT) technologies to supply information for an efficient management. ICT sector also involves in resources and energy consumption as well as waste generated, which are rising as the sector expands. Comprehensive data (real-time control, big data) will not alone lead to the efficient management. It enables or facilitates the improvement through data availability and transparency for optimisation. A proper planning and management as well as process integration play the main role in achieving the smart concept, secure the utilities and resources supply, and towards low carbon emission transition. An appropriate quantification of environmental performance is important to ensure the processes are towards sustainability and to prevent the shift of footprints.
The environmental performance of a process or activity can be assessed in various ways. The most prominent concepts used for this have been footprints – quantifying the impact of pollutant emissions; natural/ecological capital – measuring in a combined way the fresh resources and service capacities of a system (e.g. a region); eco-cost, eco-benefit and eco-profit – a scheme for quantification of the possible actions for improving the environmental performance of a process or activity. The emissions have to evaluated and impacts on a global basis, which gives rise to virtual footprints – accounting for these impacts from the consumer perspective as opposed to the goods producer perspective.
Another key issue is the knowledge management and transfer. 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. The case studies and implementation examples can be embedded within the methodology papers or be developed standalone.
This session provides a platform for the 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, besides 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 minimising emissions and the environmental footprints: GHG and water footprints.
Materials on the other hand require energy for their production, and for the operation of their stocks and their demolition. Mining and processing of metals are known to require a large amount of energy and without improving energy and material efficiencies, and changing the sources of energy supply, emissions would increase and again may limit the realization of future optimistic scenarios. These issues are discussed in the integrated assessment modeling and industrial ecology fields of research. In recent years, there is an increasing discussion on the possibility of linking the integrated assessment models, energy models, and industrial ecology models. However, there are several methodological issues that require further investigation.
This session will focus on 1) The impacts of material-energy nexus on the future resources, energy and GHG emissions, 2) The methodological and data aspects of the linkage of integrated assessment models, energy models, and material flow-stock models.
Presenters in this special session will be invited to submit their manuscript to a dedicated special issue in Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews.
The problem of biowaste management is currently expended widely beyond environmental engineering domain. The circular economy vision assumes a continuous positive development cycle that conserves natural capital, optimizes the use of scare resources and encourages the recycling of organic and inorganic substances. In those terms, imitating the real circular biologic cycle may facilitate the replacement of previously used linear strategy. In this context, the main aim can be reached only in the transversal interdisciplinary dimension that allows for a wide view on the life cycle of organic waste . Thus, the Session covers the following objectives :
Other chemicals have been proposed to support the transition to a hydrogen economy, chemicals that contain great quantities of hydrogen and can serve as energy vectors of a wide variety of renewable and conventional energy sources. One of the possible solutions could be found in hydrogen-based fuels as hydrogen carriers such as ammonia. Ammonia is the second largest chemical commodity which is also carbon-free. In addition, ammonia can be obtained from any energy resources, i.e. fossil fuels, biomass or other renewable sources, while it can be safely stored and handled relying on a commercially viable and proven existing infrastructure. A significant advantage of ammonia with respect to hydrogen is a lower cost per unit of stored energy and higher volumetric density, which allows energy storage and distribution of hydrogen at cost effective-easier to handle conditions. Stored ammonia can be sold in the market, used for industrial processes, employed as fertilizer or consumed for immediate power production. For the latter, gas turbines are potential candidates for the use of the resource in an efficient way that will enable commissioning of combined cycles to power communities around the globe while serving as sources of heat and chemical storage. Development of these systems will bring to the market a safer, zero carbon fuel that can be used for multiple purposes, thus decentralizing power generation and increasing sustainability in the communities of the future. Regarding all previously mentioned points, ammonia has been suggested as a supplement of hydrogen for remote and mobile applications and considered as energy vector for smooth transition towards a low carbon economy in future energy systems.
Therefore, this session invites presentations related to the use of ammonia as a hydrogen vector for power, cooling, heating, energy storage and human development through separation, catalysis, distribution, storage and consumption via combustion, fuel cells, propulsion/detonation or any other innovative pathway to use the chemical.
The exploitation of Blue Energy clearly opens new frontiers in the maritime sector, by creating synergies with long established traditional activities, yet opening the door to knowledge-driven innovation. It offers the opportunity to pool costs and boost several connected economic sectors. Some examples of synergic activities that are welcome in this Special Session include: BE Studies and technology design; Estimation of BE exploitable resources; Marine environment assessments for BE exploitation; Evaluation of synergies with aquaculture and/or fisheries; BE exploitation in the naval sector; Energy production from Algae; Design and management of multipurpose offshore platforms; Socio-economic assessment of BE exploitation.
The aim of the session is to connect researchers and improve collaboration in the field of applied energy modelling. The special session is aiming to foster this collaboration by establishing the common and differentiating points in energy systems of cities and islands, investigating specifics of energy modelling of both cities and islands, as well as detecting solutions that are transferable between them.
Against this background the focus of our session will be on the discussion of