By Published On: December 16th, 2022Categories: 2022, All, Policy Roadmap, Technical & Environmental Sciences

EASA Expert Group: Environment, Climate, and Energy -Toward Clean Energy production

Coordinator: Sergio Orlandi (Dean Sergio Orlandi class VI)

Members of the Expert Group:

Prof. Dr. Marco Aiello VI; Prof. Dr. Marco Amabili VI; Prof. Dr. Pierangelo Angelini VI; Prof. Dr. Mauro      Cappelli VI; Prof. Dr. Martin Grambow VI; Prof. Dr. Krzysztof Kowalczyk VI; Prof. Dr. Ortwin Renn VI; Prof. Dr. Artur Pawlowski VI; Prof. Dr. Lucjan Pawlowski VI; Prof. Dr. Marcel VAN DE VOORDE VI; Prof. Dr. Peter Wilderer VI.


1.1 Recommendations for Action- Background and Action

  1. The Conference of Parties (COP) 26 saw the participation of 90% of the world countries, including Brazil, which declared its commitment to reduce its emissions by 50%.
  2. Looking at energy production, for the transition to be possible by the middle of the century, there is a need to develop technologies that are not yet fully available. It is time to work.
  3. Firstly we have to go over our use of resources and energy with the aim to save those by better efficiency, reuse, repairing and modesty behavior.
  4. Renewable energies will have to be implemented as far as possible without forgetting that each source, in order to be considered the main one, needs to present itself as safe, abundant, and reliable.
  5. At the same time, hydroelectricity will find a great development in the coming years, especially thanks to the investments that China is dedicating to this form of energy production, defined by many as the only renewable energy capable of providing continuous and uninterrupted power.
  6. The development of technologies in favor of Biofuels, Biomass or techniques such as Waste to Fuel will be equally important. Currently, it is mainly used to produce compost for agriculture and, to a lesser extent, biogas. An increasingly important sector, but with a rising cost for the community.
  7. Hydrogen, especially green, will be a vector that could play an important role in the years to come, although it is still difficult to define its contours well due to the technological developments it needs to reduce costs.
  8. The energy transition can be the right opportunity to overcome the ideological obstacles linked to the only energy with zero emissions that can act as a baseload for the electricity system: nuclear energy.
  9. Nuclear power has a considerable advantage: it is able to supply large quantities of energy in a constant (24 hours a day) and controllable way. The same can also be done by hydroelectric and geothermal plants, which however require specific territorial characteristics that not all countries have.
  10. Most of the technologies that today provide baseload are fossil fuel power plants that will have to be gradually replaced to achieve the emission reduction target. It would be natural to think that renewable sources such as wind and solar can be good substitutes.
  11. Betting everything on fossil fuel power plants, however, would entail considerable technical difficulties: since they are variable and scarcely predictable sources (the wind does not always blow, the sun is not there at night and sometimes the sky is cloudy), they should be accompanied by numerous storage systems for the energy and / or complementary technologies capable of compensating for a possible drop in production, quickly and without producing CO2.
  12. An energy system with a high amount of variable renewable energy would considerably increase energy costs for individual citizens and industries. Additionally, global development towards sustainability and resilient landscapes is needed to tackle the negative effect of the Anthropozene. For that we need financial margins. If the goal is to reduce emissions, where large amounts of hydroelectric and geothermal energy are not available, nuclear is therefore one of the most efficient solutions to replace fossil fuel power plants in the production of energy suitable for baseload.
  13. Last not least also renewable energy causes additional costs – more intensive agriculture including water-use, intensive use of natural Rivers by hydro-power- plants, changes in the landscape – which may concern other high values and aims of holistic sustainable approach.
  14. Nuclear energy can at least fill the time – gap of development of a mainly renewable - resource based energy concept. It guarantees the stability of the electricity grids that other renewable sources are unlikely to be able to offer, and also makes it possible to reduce the dependence of a given country on the energy imports necessary to meet its energy needs (e.g. imports of electricity from neighboring countries, fossil fuels from third countries, etc.).
  15. Nuclear energy sources comprise fusion and fission technologies. In the frame of fission technologies, attention is paid at Small Modular Reactors good for energy production for local / private needs integrating Generation III+ and IV with passive shutdown mechanism up to subcritical reactors at Thorium coupling a Fission Subcritical Reactor with Cyclotron working also as waste transmuter.
  16. Achieving climate goals would theoretically be possible even without further investment in nuclear energy. However, excluding this energy source from the energy mix would require a much larger mobilization of resources. If between now and 2040 it were decided to stop any investment in nuclear power, it would be necessary to compensate for the lack of electricity production with a quantity of wind and solar energy equal to five times the total installed capacity in the last 20 years globally. This is the main reason why European Union cannot miss the opportunity to introduce the Nuclear Energy into the Taxonomy.


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