Open Room

A space to keep abreast of the latest news and developments in climate change and energy transition

Towards a sustainable future

Discover the main challenges of the energy transition and see how they are being faced.

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A fair transition: what is it and who are the players

A decarbonized energy system is a priority for the future of the planet but we cannot ignore the effects that this new model may have on society, employment and the finances of the majority of people.

The need to convert waste into raw materials for the energy transition
Promoting waste recovery, both for energy generation and for the reuse of solid resources, is a key strategy for favoring change towards a more sustainable and conscious energy model.Our consumption patterns generate tons of waste every day which, if not adequately managed by means of recycling treatments, end up accumulating in landfills with consequences that are not only harmful to the environment, but also to public health. Learning how to make better use of waste and efficiently use the resources we have is now more than ever an imperative need to be addressed if we want to ensure the future of the planet and its ecosystem. In our country alone, the Spanish economy generated 105.6 million tons of waste in 2020, of which only 54.7% were destined for recycling, according to the latest data published by the INE (National Statistics Institute). In order to address this challenge we must begin to apply, from now on, new production and consumption systems based on the circular economy and on sustainable development. Not only to reduce the generation and amount of this waste, but also taking into account all the advantages that proper management thereof can contribute to such a relevant objective at present, such as advancing the energy transition.   Waste management The main objective is to evolve towards a zero waste model, a consumption system based on efficiency and optimization, which aims to lengthen the useful life of resources as much as possible. In this way, not only would the amount of new raw materials to be consumed by the users be reduced, but also the waste generated by increasing its period of use.  To implement this new paradigm in the economic and social environment, the circular economy is our greatest ally. It is a form of production and consumption based on the reuse and recycling of existing products, taking into account factors such as their design, environmental impact, and life cycle. This system is based on the implementation of a series of action principles known as "R".  These principles have been evolving and expanding over the years to meet current needs in this sphere. For example, in the 1970s reference was made to just 3Rs (reduce, reuse, and recycle) and it was not until 2017 when Jacqueline Cramer extended the range to 10Rs. Subsequently, Ellen MacArthur replaced one of the "Rs" for Rethinking, until giving rise to the 9R scheme we currently follow and which serves to ensure that the use that will be given to a product is the most effective possible. It should be noted that, although we currently refer to 9Rs, the truth is that technically they continue to be 10Rs, since one of the principles has been renamed as R0 and is not counted. With this particularity, the current lines of action are as follows:
Electric mobility: a challenge for infrastructure and the market
Addressing issues such as increasing battery autonomy, installing more charging points, or using renewable sources to generate electricity, is crucial to continue advancing towards sustainable mobility goals.  Did you know that getting around by car is an increasingly sustainable practice? One of the alternatives to reduce your mobility carbon footprint are electric vehicles that, if powered by a renewable energy source, achieve net zero carbon emissions.  The future of driving is closely linked to electromobility, which is why people are increasingly encouraged to change their travel habits with the trend being towards electrification. But in order for these changes to reach all users and bring about a real automotive revolution in the short term, there are certain technical, technological, and administrative aspects that need to evolve and be highlighted.   What types of electric cars are available?   One of the most important points about electric mobility is that there is no one, single way to enjoy all its benefits.  Different types of electrification technologies for cars can be found on the market, each with its own characteristics and features, which can be easily adapted to the needs of each driver.   First, there are battery electric vehicles (BEVs) or pure electric vehicles, which run 100% on electricity stored in a battery that needs to be recharged frequently. But we can also find fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV), which generate electricity through electrolysis, or extended range electric vehicles (E-REV), in which an additional heat engine is added.  Hybrid cars are also protagonists in this form of mobility, being a really useful alternative to facilitate the transition between this new model and the traditional one. This includes the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) with an electric motor and a combustion engine, the hybrid electric vehicle (HEV), where the electric motor assists the combustion engine, and the micro-hybrid electric vehicle (MHEV) with a mild hybrid and a heat engine.   Advantages of electric cars   Thanks to technological innovation and the many advances that are being implemented every year, vehicles powered by electricity are becoming increasingly practical, convenient, and cost-effective. Not to mention the important benefits they can bring at the environmental level and in the fight against climate change.
European action plan REPowerEU: Will we be capable of increasing energy security?
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Glossary of terms
All the terms you need to know to understand the world of energy and the energy transition, made easy for you.