Description of the Action
The MODENERLANDS Action aims to merge and systematise the efforts of the European Research and Development (R&D) groups working on Sustainable Energy and the related technologies, in particular wind and wave energy sources, by proposing pathways for incorporation and by promoting the relevant synergies in Research, Education and Training in order to enhance Sustainability in the built environment.
MODENERLANDS revisits safe, smart, modular, cost-effective and socially valuable high-performance sustainable Energy Islands for consideration in the plans, design and development of the future sustainable energy infrastructure. Looking forward to future development, MODENERLANDS will work with Modularised Construction of Offshore Floating Platforms aiming at easily extending their size and capacity according to future energy needs. The concept of Modular Energy Island will act as a platform to maximise collection and conversion of the renewable energy sources and efficiently transfer them to the network, exploring cutting-edge Green Hydrogen related technologies for efficient energy storage and transportation.
MODENERLANDS will promote synergies that will offer breakthrough scientific developments leading to new concepts and R&D outcome and thereby contributing to the strengthening of the European research and innovation capacities on Sustainable Energy Applications along the European Green Deal lines. The proposed European Network will develop a European-based scientific and technological network with strong scientific multi-/inter-disciplinary features that will work on the exploitation of the research outcomes related to Modular Sustainable Energy Islands by integrating all related stakeholders, thereby intensifying the links among scientific and research groups and Sustainable Energy industry.
The recent communication of European Commission “European Green Deal” defines strong will of the European Union to immediately and efficiently respond to the climate and environmental- related challenges that are this generation’s defining task. This is a new growth strategy that aims to transform the EU into a fair and prosperous society, with a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy where there are no net emissions of greenhouse gases in 2050, where the environment and health of citizens are protected, and where economic growth is decoupled from resource use. According to the Green Deal that is the investment pillar of the Sustainable Europe Investment Plan, a sustainable Europe requires significant investment effort across all sectors of the economy and in particular in SUSTAINABLE ENERGY. Aiming to successfully reach the 2030 climate and energy targets being at least 40% cuts in greenhouse gas emissions with reference to 1990 levels and at least 32% share for renewable energy, additional investments of EUR 260 billion a year by 2030 will be required. The Commission already confirmed its intention to present an impact assessed plan to strongly increase the EU’s climate ambition for 2030; therefore, additional investments will be necessary to achieve the broader environmental objectives that the EU has set itself.
It is expected that within the next 10 years, 1 trillion Euros will be invested by the EU countries to the European Green Plan policies and to the respective Sustainable Energy infrastructure that will be principally supported by a well-planned funding strategy by European Commission, the InvestEU Fund. Besides the strategic decisions of the EU and UN to proceed for a Sustainable Future in the built environment, sustainable energy Technology has seen in the last decades a very fast growing much beyond the early-stage concepts of Ocean Thermal Energy.
In addition, innovative technologies have been recently developed to store the produced sustainable energy locally and then, transfer it whilst smart systems to improve network efficiency has been investigated and developed.Nowadays there are more than 350,000 wind turbines spinning around the globe with about 10% of them combined to alternative sustainable energy systems (photovoltaics, wave and tidal energy systems etc.). Due to continuous technological advances, the concept of floating offshore Energy Islands (i.e. offshore wind power combined to other renewable energy sources and energy storage) seems to have recently become far more cost effective and much more widespread than expected, and Energy Islands are foreseen to become during the next decade the top source of Sustainable Energy generating capacity in Europe, in the USA and Canada, and the 2nd largest in China. However, less than 10% of the world’s electricity was harvested by wind energy infrastructure last year that obviously is not sufficient to trigger a shift of the global economy away from the climate-warming fossil fuels that still supply most of the world’s energy.
Research Coordination Objectives
- Collection and systematisation of the existing theoretical frameworks on resources (e.g. waves, wind), the respective Climate Change impact and the respective floating Sustainable Energy Islands including their design and the respective Guidelines and Codes
- Thorough discussion within the Working Groups, at the Strategic Workshops and the MODENERLANDS International Conference, scientific analysis and synthesis of the respective outcome within a techno-economic and socio-ecological framework
- Study of the means and strategies to promote Sustainable Energy islands representing the most promising form of sustainable energy using high-performance technological innovations, thus leading to enhancement of the resilience characteristics of the future urban environment
- Dissemination of the research results to partners, stakeholders, researchers across Europe and around the globe, and training of a new generation of Early Career Investigators (ECIs), engineers, scientists, technicians, territorial planners, economists, and the municipality or government officials who in the near future will found themselves in front of promising large scale similar projects and will be able to successfully treat and advance them to fulfil EU ambitious CO2 emissions minimisation.
- to facilitate sharing of knowledge of new technologies and potentials related to the Modular Sustainable Energy Islands perspectives that include theoretical and technical sustainable energy aspects including socio-ecological and techno-economic issues towards the enhancement of environmental resilience, as well as the related Education. This way a research community is built fostering scientific dialogue, knowledge exchange and the development of a consolidated framework about the wider impact of Energy Islands by experts from multiple expertise, and enhancing knowledge and collaboration among research centres, universities, NGOs and the Sustainable Energy related industry sectors
- to train Early Career Investigators (ECIs) to become technical and policy Experts in Floating Sustainable Energy Islands who will not only be able to lead the necessary industrial developments in the Sustainable Energy sector but also have a thorough understanding of the necessary conditions for widespread adoption of the relevant energy technology in its context that takes into account sustainability and environmental resilience criteria.