SUSTAINABILITY

Sustainability must be global or it will not be at all. Our planet is a physical system that, hence, can be studied as so are the ecosystems, the atmosphere, the hydrosphere or the Earth crust. Furthermore, all natural resources like minerals, biomass, water or fertile soils are physical systems. All of them, all, and due to human activities, are degrading alarmingly fast.

Science and technology must join social sciences such as Economics, Sociology, Law or Politics itself to drastically change the course of this degradation. Efficiency, sufficiency and resilience in the social use of all the scare natural resources (not only energy) must be understood and assessed to avoid a full collapse because of the non-linear behavior of many of the planet’s subsystems. Climate change is one of them, but not the only one. Science and technology do not lead to a better word if they are not governed by well-defined ethic values and principles.

In light of the above, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all 193 UN Member States on 25 September 2015, stressed the common determination to take bold and transformative steps towards a better future for all of us; and includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and 169 targets. These Agenda aims both at diminishing inequality in all of its dimensions and at maintaining our civilization in harmony with the environment, proposing more sustainable cities, fighting climate change and preserving all systems that support life. 

As Research Center, we align our objectives with the SDGs to evaluate, monitor and suggest public strategies in order to contribute to create an economy that truly serves equality and dignity of all people to manage our common home that we call planet Earth.

Sustainable mobility

Around 50% of the world's population lives in cities and urban environments, and this figure could increase up to 70% by 2050. This concentration of the global population has implied a growth in the size of cities, which in most cases has unfortunately followed models of sectorized cities. This sectorization has caused a generalized increase in daily mobility needs, both in the time spent in trips and in the average distance traveled in them. As a result, transport sector is currently responsible for 39% of energy consumption, despite the technological efforts made on different aspects.

Climate change, depletion and excessive energy dependence on fossil fuels and poor air quality in cities have placed urban mobility in the spotlight, becoming one of the most emerging priorities of all institutional agendas. Improving this scenario requires priority actions to be aimed at achieving better and more innovative planning of urban mobility and transport in cities, while taking into account technological developments to reduce environmental impacts of the sector. Progress in planning must place people at the center of mobility; it is of vital importance to understand its behavior and how it can be modified at the whim of sustainability. Actions and improvement methods that are developed must take into account both the environmental impact of urban mobility, as well as the actual costs of non-polluting transport systems and their sustainability. In this way, it will be possible to achieve an optimal integration of mobility strategies in urban strategic plans, which will also reduce mobility needs in cities.

On the other hand, the large-scale implementation of the electric vehicle requires the development and implementation of new charging methods. The conductive and inductive load, at low powers for daily use and high powers for occasional use, must satisfy the need of private users and professionals in a wide range of situations, while ensuring the greatest possible interoperability to avoid installations redundant or low usage.

However, an uncontrolled incursion of the electric vehicle and the necessary infrastructure implies a great challenge for the distribution and transport networks. Therefore, the electric vehicle must be an opportunity that allows the development and implementation of integrated renewable generation and storage systems, configuring a new set of elements that must be part of the smartgrid, which even allows the improvement of quality and safety supply of the distribution network itself, also taking advantage of the V2X possibilities of the vehicle.

In addition, the management of the new vehicles, charging points and energy systems, opens a new sector of user management services and flexibility offers towards the distribution network, allowing new business models to be explored.

Bioclimatic architecture and sustainable urbanism

Sustainable architecture tries to combine several technologies to achieve comfort in buildings with the minimum cost in fuel. It consists of building according to the existing microclimate so that comfort is basically achieved by supporting the environmental conditions with adequate orientation, with collector enclosures, with thermal mass and good thermal insulation that do not ignore the needs of cooling in summer. The bioclimatic design is reinforced by a correct urban planning, what gives this matter a special interest, especially among public administrations.

Ecología industrial

"Industrial ecology" consists of studying the energy and raw material needs of a community (including all possible consumers: from industry to domestic needs) together, so that the material and energy flows that in a conventional approach are said to be waste can be valorized in another process. It is an innovative vision that has become more and more important within the last 10 years. Prestigious universities, such as Yale and Princeton in the US and Delft and Chalmers, are offering master and postgraduate programs, and generating a great deal of scientific publications in this line.

Most remarkable RENEWABLE ENERGY projects

1. “VULKANO. Novel integrated refurbishment solution as a key path towards creating eco-efficient and competitive furnaces”

Financing entity: European Commission, H2020 Programme

Code: H2020-SPIRE-2016 – 723803

2. "CIRCPACK. Towards circular economy in the plastic packaging value chain"

Financing entity: European Commission, H2020 Programme

Code: H2020-CIRC01-2016- 730423

3. “SHIP2FAIR. Solar Heat for Industrial Process towards Food and Agro Industries commitment in Renewables”

Financing entity: European Commission, H2020 Programme

Code: H2020-LCE-2016-2017

4. "EMBRACED. Establishing a Multi-purpose Biorefinery for the Recycling of the organic content of AHP waste in a Circular Economy Domain"

Financing entity: European Commission, H2020 Programme

Code: H2020-BBI-JTI-2016- 745746

5. “BAoBaB. Blue Acid/Base Battery Storage and recovery of renewable electrical energy by reversible salt water dissociation”

Financing entity: European Commission, H2020 Programme

Code: H2020-LCE01-2016-731187

6. “FieldFOOD. Integration of PEF in food processing for improving food quality, safety and competitiveness”

Financing entity: European Commission, H2020 Programme

Code: H2020-SFS-2014-2 - 635632

7. “VINySOST. Nuevas estrategias vitivinícolas para la gestión sostenible de la producción en grandes superficies y el incremento de la competitividad de las bodegas en el mercado internacional”

Financing Entity: CDTI (Programa CIEN)

8. “S-PARCS. Envisioning and Testing New models of Sustainable Energy Cooperation and Services in Industrial Parks"

Financing entity: European Commission, H2020 Programme Code: H2020-EE-2017-CSA-PPI

9. “VICTORIA. Vehicle iniciative consortium for transport operation & road inductive applications"

Financing entity: Endesa

10. “SIRVE. Sistemas Integrados para la Recarga de Vehículos Eléctricos

Financing entity: Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Competitividad

Code: IPT-2011-1861-920000

11. Unplugged Wireless Charging For Electric Vehicles. 01/10/12 - 31/03/15

12. Feasibility Analysis And Development Of On-Road Charging Solutions For Future Electric Vehicles. 08/01/14 - 30/06/16