On June 26 and 27, Tecnatom’s Patricia Romero and Javier González participated in the II International Energy Engineering Conference which took place at the School of Mining Engineering at the Polytechnic University of Madrid.
Tecnatom gave two talks: one about Electric Power Failure Simulators on the “Islands” and another about the “SOLCEP” Efficiency Monitoring System. The questions and comments that ensued showed the audience’s interest in simulation solutions in general and how they could be used for optimization (in the first talk); as well as their interest in the overall handling of plant efficiency, the “SOLCEP” Monitoring System’s implementation time, and its relationship with the what-if scenario simulator (in the second talk).
In general, the conference falls under the recent INECP – Integrated National Energy and Climate Plan. Thus, some of the main, recurring themes in the talks were climate change, decarbonization, energy poverty, topics relating to buildings’ energy efficiency, and factory electrical consumption optimization. Other important themes at the conference were natural gas and the existing grid, biomethane, and hydrogen as ways to help achieve the goal of decarbonization and means for accumulating renewable energy.
And, of course, also present at the conference were themes and solutions revolving around digitization, machine learning, smart cities, and smart grids, as well as transport solutions and new business models.
Among the more technical presentations that could be of interest to Tecnatom in terms of the digital transformation, the following were noteworthy: a project on the use of drones and image processing for inventorying tree species and for evaluating the wear of photovoltaic panels, as well as a project on using BIM (building information modeling) and IOT (internet of things) technologies undertaken at the Rey Juan Carlos University. This project featured the creation of a digital twin of the University.
In terms of new business models, worthy of mention are Energy Service Enterprises (ESE) and Energy Performance Contracting, as well as the integration of the producer/consumer/accumulator, PPA Contracts (Power Purchase Agreement), and Energy Audits for buildings and factories.
During one of the plenary sessions, one of Tecnatom’s attendees reflected about the absence of nuclear energy and their opinion that it should be a key factor for the decarbonization of the economy and electric transport. This is because, while the contribution of renewable energies is growing, they are not capable of substituting fossil-fuel based primary energy consumption; after all, natural gas continues to emit CO2 and biofuels are only carbon neutral.
Particularly striking due to its social scope and the numbers presented was the talk on energy poverty in Spain by the Red Cross – a talk in which there was a call for technicians able to provide solutions to disadvantaged families to become volunteers so as to help said families to cut down on their energy consumption and apply for social assistance to cover their energy costs.