Here are the key ideas that you must take away from this week:
Any socio-economic system should also be analyzed from a metabolic perspective. Understanding the input and output fluxes of both matter and energy, and their viability throughout time (so they do not exhaust or collapse), is key to understand their evolution and to make the right decisions. In this context, “information” is the magnitude at hand to increase the efficiency of processes, to promote the recuperation of materials and to adapt to the energy flux of renewables.
Natural ecosystems function as an open system for energy, and a closed one for materials, gaining in viability over time. Bio-mimetics allow us to understand how to manage energy fluxes, matter and information, and are a source of inspiration for our societies when developing technical solutions to tackle the challenge of the energy transition.
The digitalization of the energy sector drives both energy and information management towards convergence in a context of smart grids. A practical example are the micro-networks to integrate distributed energy resources (renewables, storage, demand management), connected at a low voltage and in a constant interaction with the centralized system. All around Europe the implementation of digital meters is taking place in most households. With the knowledge of the consumption curve, many services of high value for both the energy consumer and the electric system can be developed, such as a better management and reduction of CO2 emissions. In order to reach their full potential, it is necessary to have interoperable equipment and quality data that is neutrally accessible by both the citizens and the authorized third parties.