digitalization

  • 20 November 2020

    Digital Platforms

    By Ghali Egger The need to shift to an economy that is circular and inclusive has become inevitable. At the same time there are a lot of hurdles which are hindering us from it and making this transition one of today’s greatest challenges. Among them for example there is the current linear economic model which does not value natural capital; this information does not flow with products and material down the value chain and that customers lack awareness, capacities and convenience to actively contribute to a Circular Economy.  Digital solutions like online platforms, artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of things (IoT) and blockchain are already used to support Circular Economy initiatives, but the potential is even greater. If adequately steered, data and digitally enabled solutions could contribute to a system-wide transition and further enhance connectivity and the sharing of information across the value chains; make products, processes and services more circular; and empower citizens and consumers to contribute to the transition.  For this reason, the transition to a Circular Economy and the digitalisation of the economy and society should be aligned in order to benefit the environment, society and economy.  One of the ways digitalisation can enable the Circular Economy transition is in the form of digital platforms that are used for industrial symbiosis. Industrial symbiosis is a powerful approach to accelerate and scale the Circular Economy by closing resource cycles and valuing materials that would otherwise be discarded. In fact, waste is not seen as waste any longer but as a resource at the wrong place. Materials that cannot be used anymore by a company, can constitute a secondary raw material for another company. The digital platform in turn, is enabling and facilitating the process of material exchange and data flow between the companies.  The expression “symbiosis” as per...
  • By Giovanni Tula Giovanni Tula started his speech by introducing the focus of his presentation: circular projects linked to the energy world. The goal is to understand the status of renewable energies and their dissemination at the global level, by considering the 4 macro areas: storage, efficiency, the automation, and digitalization. The starting point is the comparison of the estimates regarding the dissemination of the renewable energies developed by the World Energy Agency in 2008 and 2017. As you can see from the image above, the estimates have more than doubled, the reason is that in 2017, with circa 13 years to spare, the estimate of the 2030 has already been reached, now the expectancy is to reach 4.718 GW installed in 2030. Actually, the estimates recently made could be underestimated because the renewable energies are becoming highly competitive thank to a strong reduction of the cost of production. For example, in the solar energy field, there has been an 83% reduction in the costs of the photovoltaic panels starting from 2010 till today. In the previous image it is highlighted the evolution of renewable energy sources compared to the fossil fuel, where it is estimated that the renewable could reach 64% of the overall energy resources. The storage Among the enabling elements of this revolution there is the “storage theme”. The batteries are essential to this evolution per 3 functions: Stabilization of the electricity grid Reduction of the imbalances on the generation side Offer of the energy in time of need on the consumer side The evolution of the lithium batteries in the last years has been important such that it has gone from some MW of power and storage of some minutes to a power of hundreds MW that can last for hours. The one that is impossible...
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