Energy Talks: Linking Science, Policy Makers, Industry and Young Researchers

Welcome to the 2022 Spring event of the EnergyVille PhD Committee: A series of seminars about energy in Belgium. With speakers from three key stakeholders - Industry, Research, and Policy Makers - we aim to create a comprehensive view of our current and future energy scene. After each seminar, discussions will be fostered over lunch - check the dates below for more delicious details!

  • Where: Room Sun in EnergyVille 1, Thor Park 8310, 3600 Genk (subject to corona restrictions)
  • When: Multiple dates in April, May and June. Check the info below for specific information.
  • For Who: This event is targeted at young researchers (PhD students and Postdocs), who will have preferential attendance in case room limit is exceeded. In this case, all registered participants will be communicated prior to the event.
  • Registration: here!

Attention! New dates will be added here once they are confirmed, keep an eye out for TamTam and other informative emails for updates!

Confirmed seminars

  • April 22nd - WeSmart and Energy Communities

Speaker:  François Bordes - WeSmart

Summary: WeSmart is developing renewable energy communities, a new European regulation within the framework of the Clean Energy Package: these energy communities go beyond energy sharing since they allow the integration of new services such as the charging of electric vehicles and the energy storage.

Time: 10.30 to 14.00 h

Lunch: 🍕All you can eat pizza! 🍕

  • April 29th - ICT Research and Innovation in the Anthropocene

Speaker: Prof. David Bol - UCLouvain

Summary: Over the 20th century, technical progress enabled a strong economic growth, the improvement of living standards and life expectancy. This progress has relied on a growing exploitation of energy sources that led to the Anthropocene where humanity is threatened by several ecological disasters including climate change and biodiversity collapse. Information and communication technologies (ICT) based on CMOS chips are no exception as they contribute to climate change with annual GHG emissions around 1100 MTCO2e. Our research shows that despite the continuous efficiency improvement in ICT illustrated by empirical scaling laws such as Moore’s, Koomey’s and Cooper’s law, the GHG emissions of ICT are increasing. Achieving strong continuous decrease in these emissions looks unrealistic with current practices in ICT research and innovation (R&I) targeting i) the growth of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), and ii) emerging technological buzz concepts such as IoT, AI, quantum and neuromorphic computing and 6G communications, regardless of the concrete  real-life applications. In particular, our work shows that a massive IoT deployment is in conflict with the Paris Agreement objectives applied to semiconductor manufacturing. Designers and scientists thus have the duty to change course in R&I to define how to conduct them in the 21st century to contribute to the fight against ecological disasters rather than to their severity. We argue that it is time for a deep socio-ecological transition in ICT R&I by adopting sobriety in addition to the mainstream quest for efficiency. We illustrate this with the concrete example of the transition initiative started in 2018 in the ECS group at UCLouvain, to inspire the audience to re-orient KPI-driven or buzz-driven research suffering from negative ecological externalities and/or vicious social detours, into research with clearer socio-ecological benefits. We provide examples in implanted electronics, vision systems, IoT sensors and wireless communications.

Time: 11.00 to 14.00 h

Lunch: 🍟Belgian Frituur🍟

  • May 13th - Flux50: Flanders as a Smart Energy Region

Speaker: Frederik Loeckx - Flux50

Summary: Flux50 is the membership organization that helps Flanders gain international recognition as a Smart Energy Region. Flux50 facilitates cross-sector collaboration between energy, IT and building companies to enhance the competitiveness of the Flemish smart energy industry in the transition towards low carbon systems.

To bring innovative and fully-integrated energy products and services to the international market, Flux50 sets up and coordinates living labs in five ‘innovator zones’: Energy harbors, Microgrids, Multi-energy solutions at district level, Energy cloud platforms, and Intelligent renovation. Flux50 brings together relevant players from industry, academia and government and provides them with project support, networking opportunities and a knowledge-sharing platform.

Time: 10.30 to 14.00 h

Lunch: 🌮 Mexican Tacos 🌮

  • May 20th - Hydrogen, Decarbonization, and a Sustainable Future

Speaker:  Pieter Vingerhoets - VITO & Hanspeter Hoschle - Carbon+alt+delete

Summary: In the first talk, Pieter Vingerhoets (VITO) will talk about the role of hydrogen in decarbonising the energy sector. The second talk will be given by Hanspeter Hoschle, CTO and co-founder of Carbon+Alt+Delete. The story of Carbon+Alt+Delete started in 2016, when a group of PhD students joined their efforts to tackle climate change and build a carbon-neutral tomorrow. Initially, they supported households in measuring, reducing and offsetting their carbon footprint. Gradually, the focus shifted to companies and organizations.

Time: 10.30 to 14.30 h

Lunch: 🍝 Pasta 🍝

  • May 30th - ENGIE Laborelec: Technical consultancy at the service of electrical energy

Speaker: Cathy Crunelle & Stijn Uytterhoeven - ENGIE Laborelec

Summary: When talking about energy and sustainability in Belgium, one company cannot go unmentioned: ENGIE is the largest producer of green electricity within the country. ENGIE Laborelec is part of the ENGIE Research and Development division, and recently took part in signing a new partnership with EnergyVille for research collaboration. Two speakers, respectively in charge of ENGIE Laborelec’s Collectivities & Homes and Hybrid & Smart Grids teams, will share their activities within the company and hopefully bring our PhD community closer to their collaboration with EnergyVille.

Time: 10.30 to 14.00 h

Lunch: 🍜 Thai/Asian 🍜

This initiative is supported by:

KU Leuven                             UHasselt