Italian research at the service of "low carbon" energies

On the occasion of the celebrations of the Italian World Research Day of 2022, the Italian Embassy in Paris in collaboration with the Alumni Polimi Paris, Alumni Polito Paris and RECIF associations organized an event aimed at highlighting the contribution of Italian researchers, including those operating in French institutions and companies, and Italian research bodies on 'low carbon' energy issues and the potential of bilateral collaborations.

On this day, the great engineering and management challenges related to the efficient integration into the electricity grid of immediately available energy sources were addressed, as well as the scientific perspectives for developing new technologies, long-term 'game changers'.

The research necessary to respond to these challenges is very complex: from mathematical models for the optimal management of energy flows to big data for consumption and production up to the need to fully exploit both the new communication technologies for smart grids and the technologies of innovative transport and storage systems. Furthermore, the intermittent nature of renewables and their lack of physical inertia necessarily imply also having a back-up production capacity that can be adjusted at will, for the "sunless and windless" moments, which is capable of supporting network stability when needed.

Today in many countries this capacity is ensured by fossil fuels, which must be abandoned 'whatever it takes'. The fourth generation nuclear fission could be an intermediate stage, while fusion promises an inexhaustible energy without waste and without operation or proliferation risks, suitable for guaranteeing the stability of the network, but it is questionable how far we are from these two solutions.

These issues were addressed in a round table with some of the major R&D players in the sectors of interest.

Credits header:

AlumniPolimi Parigi

Alumni Politecnico di Milano Parigi is the association consisting of more than 500 alumni of the Politecnico di Milano living and working in Paris and in the Île de France region that relies on a network of more than a thousand professionals in France.