Rethinking the exploitation of energy resources by focusing on efficiency and sustainability
21 July 2020 | Written by La redazione
Renewable sources and decarbonisation as a long-term strategy, energy efficiency and consumption control for the short term. Reflections of the Impactscool community on environmental sustainability and new economic models
Nicoletta Boldrini, with the contribution of Gabriella D’Elia,
Domenico Mingolla, Francesco Mettifogo, Stefano Bruzzese and Petru Capatina
Rethinking energy consumption by looking at both the medium and long term, stimulating decarbonisation strategies and programs, and at the short term by identifying actions and technologies that make it possible to use energy resources more efficiently. This is the conclusion reached by a group of Impactscool Ambassadors, stimulated to reflect and debate on the theme “Environment and new economic models”. From the free and creative sharing of ideas some ideas were born, considered fundamental for an increasingly effective and complete transition towards a sustainable approach.
Decarbonization and energy efficiency: possible actions. To stimulate global decarbonisation plans and a more conscious use of available resources, aiming at a reduction in consumption and an efficient use of energy, it is important to create information and knowledge useful to encourage virtuous behavior. of individual citizens both by corporate organizations, public bodies and institutions, as well as national and international politics.
These are the possible actions:
– Awareness: stimulating knowledge and sharing through a simple, common, global language; a sort of more structured “Greta phenomenon” that helps change the perception of the impacts of climate change in order to act on the “ethical sense” of people and decision-makers;
– Disruption: visionaries capable of thinking about the future and not the return of medium-term business are needed;
– Technology: take advantage of the technologies already available today (Internet of Things, Analytics, Artificial Intelligence) to increase the efficiency of existing systems (while waiting for a change of direction), automate as much as possible (building automation, energy monitoring, analysis consumption) and set virtuous behavior for a more efficient use of the resources available today.
The challenges to overcome. It is undeniable that in the face of change, challenges and obstacles are encountered. These are the most complex ones to unhinge:
- not complete understanding of the problem or bad perception of impacts;
- complexity of the choices to be made (which have a high level of risk);
- tendency to prioritize other issues.
Economic models to support environmental sustainability programs. Although the challenges are difficult, the benefits and opportunities deriving from a more efficient use of resources are global and widespread, in the sense that they can be grasped by individual citizens, companies, public administrations, states, continents … the whole planet would benefit from it.
New economic models should therefore be stimulated to support environmental sustainability strategies and programs, such as:
- Economic models that reward the efficiency of companies: for example lower taxes, access to incentives, financial instruments to support investments, awards for virtuous behavior, also with a view to gamification, etc .;
- Servitization: moving away from the logic of selling the product (and therefore of possession for those who buy) to focus more on selling the service with a control on the supply chain with a view to circular economy (with greater efficiency of the supply chian, product life cycle longer);
- Local economies: without cutting the benefits of globalization, reviewing production (in a broad sense, not just energy itself) with a view to efficiency (also in terms of cost), favoring territorial economies with lower global environmental impacts.
Transforming the world into what many today call climate-neutral society is an urgent challenge that we cannot avoid if we really want to contribute to building the best possible future for everyone.
All sectors of the economy and industry, as well as society, are called to play their role in this transformation, from the industry of the energy sector to the world of agriculture, passing through a redesign of mobility, buildings, urban context and ways of living it, stimulating research and industrial policies, investing in realistic and feasible technologies and projects, without forgetting social equity for a fair transition that leaves no one behind.