How space technologies improve sustainable energy management  

What potential have space technologies to contribute to Europe's energy transition? To what extent can satellite applications enable more sustainable energy management systems? In which ways can satellite applications support cities and regions in the daily management of urban services? These are some of the questions addressed at a workshop organised by the European Committee of the Regions, the European Space Agency and EURISY, a non-profit organisation which aims at bringing satellite services and space applications more accessible to public bodies and businesses. The event is part of the EU Sustainable Energy Week 2018.

Decarbonising the economy by 2050 will require huge efforts by energy companies and policymakers to achieve the goals of cutting greenhouse gas emissions while ensuring competitive and secure energy supplies. The Committee of the Regions considers that enabling synergies between the energy and space sectors are crucial for reaching the climate and energy targets, both at the EU and international levels.

With a particular focus on local and regional needs, ENVE's workshop assessed the possible contributions of space assets to respond to the needs of the energy sector and discuss best practices to make space-based data and services available to potential users operating in the energy sector.

The event was chaired by CoR member Daiva Matonienė (LT/ECR), Member of the Šiauliai City Council, former Vice Minister of Environment of Lithuania and rapporteur on ‘renewable energy and the internal energy market in electricity’ , adopted in July 2017.

In her opening speech, Daiva Matonienė said: "Space technologies can play a great role in reaching the EU's energy and climate objectives but its potential must be maximized through innovative mechanisms that attract private investments. Space policy needs to be solidly based on a long-term strategy. Success will be ours if public authorities of all levels closely cooperate with businesses to further develop space industry public-private partnerships."

Kai-Uwe Schrogl, Chief Strategy Officer at European Space Agency (ESA) addressed the audience and thanked the European Committee of the Regions for his commitment to bring space technologies closer to citizens and raising awareness to its members on the benefits that space applications can have on urban services, from energy to transport management, weather forecasts or the analysis of air pollution, amongst many others.

The European Committee of the Regions adopted an opinion on a 'Space Strategy for Europe' in October 2017 led by rapporteur Andres Jaadla (EE/ALDE). Amongst its requests, the CoR asks the European Commission that a CoR representative becomes a full permanent member of the Copernicus user forum.

Dominique Tilmans, President of EURISY said: "We have the goal to make the space sector more accessible to local and regional authorities. Cities must be better aware of the extent to which satellite technologies and space applications can support them in the daily management of multiple services."

The event was the occasion to showcase concrete applications of space technologies.

Juha-Pekka Luntama from the European Space Agency (ESA) presented 'Monitoring Space Weather. Using space assets to secure energy systems.'

Kåre Rudsar from Statnett, Norway, presented 'The threats of space weather to energy systems - how can space assets support energy operators.'

Jo Van Valckenborg presented 'The Image processing Chain and the Solar Potential Map for Flanders' which combines space and IT capabilities to foster the use of solar energy in the Flemish university city.

Joyca Leplae from the Environmental Department of the City of Ghent presented how the city of Ghent has developed a strategy to boost energy-efficient renovations.

The event concluded with a round table discussion on the 'challenges and opportunities to create synergies between the space and energy sectors'.

Contact: David Crous | david.crous@cor.europa.eu | +32 (0) 470 88 10 37