Plenary session 2 – The future of energy

Thursday 16 June, 8:45 – 10:45
@DEM, Eco A and Eco 5

Chair: Janne Mercedes Prinsen (NMBU)

The Future of Energy

Nuclear Fusion

Niek Lopes Cardozo (Eindhoven University of Technology)

Abundant (and possibly cheap) energy. Would it be ‘good news’?

Mario Giampietro (Universitat Autonoma Barcelona)
Emilio Padoa Schioppa (Università di Milano – Bicocca)

Energy sufficiency

Yamina Sahed (Université Paul Sabatier Toulouse III)

In the preface of the proceedings of a workshop organised 12 years ago we read:

Let’s assume for a moment that the miraculous discovery of a “silver bullet” capable of producing an unlimited supply of energy at very low cost will make it possible to run the economy without any significant downsizing. Still, a business-as-usual economy capable of pursuing the goal of perpetual growth will keep increasing the number of cars, the amount of land covered by roads and parking lots, the extraction of minerals for industrial activities, the number of sediments moved to the oceans by agricultural production […]

(Proceedings of the 7th Biennial International Workshop in Energy Studies)

Nuclear energy from fusion is attracting large and increasing amounts of investments, also from the private sector. Is fusion such a “silver bullet”? Is Georgecu Roegen’s Prometheus III coming closer?

Niek Lopez Cardozo will provide his answer to this question by illustrating the advancement in fusion research and development, while Emilio Padoa-Schioppa and Mario Giampietro (who was among the organisers of the abovementioned workshop), will try to envision life and society in a Promethean III era. Would abundant and cheap energy be good news? Finally, Saheb will bring us to earth, focusing on a paradigm shift towards energy sufficiency.

Guest speakers

Niek Lopez Cardoso (Eindhoven University of Technology)

Niek Lopes Cardozo is professor of Science and Technology of Nuclear Fusion at Eindhoven’s University of Technology, the Netherlands, where he initiated the dedicated, interdisciplinary MSc programme on nuclear fusion. Before focusing on the education and training of the ‘ITER generation’, he directed the Dutch fusion research programme and served on many European scientific and managerial fusion committees. He received the Royal Shell prize for sustainable development and energy for his scientific work in nuclear fusion as well as his efforts in outreach. In parallel to his work as a researcher and educator he has been active in science policy. From 2017 to 2020 he was member of the Executive Board of NWO, the Dutch National Research Council, chairing the Science Domain. In the preceding 7 years he chaired the Dutch Organisation for Fundamental Research on Matter (FOM). Climate change and the energy transition have been long time interests (and concerns). In recent years his research has focused on the socio- and techno-economics of the energy transition, and the potential role of fusion energy therein.

Mario Giampietro (Universitat Autonoma Barcelona)

Mario Giampietro is ICREA Research Professor at the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain. He works on integrated assessment of sustainability issues using new concepts developed in complex systems theory. He has developed a novel scientific approach, Multi-Scale Integrated Analysis of Societal and Ecosystem Metabolism (MuSIASEM), integrating biophysical and socioeconomic variables across multiple scales, thus establishing a link between the metabolism of socio-economic systems and the potential constraints of the natural environment. Recent research focuses on the nexus between land use, food, energy, and water concerning sustainable development goals. He has (co)authored over one hundred fifty publications, including six books, on research themes such as multi-criteria analysis of sustainability; multi-scale integrated assessment of scenarios and technological changes; alternative energy sources; bio-complexity; science for governance. He coordinated the EU-funded project ‘Moving towards Adaptive Governance in Complexity: Informing NexusSecurity’ (MAGIC – (2016-2020).

Emilio Padoa-Schioppa (Università di Milano-Bicocca)

Emilio Padoa-Schioppa is associate professor of ecology at University of Milano-Bicocca. His main research interests are linked to landscape ecology (assessment and evaluation of ecosystem services, habitat mapping, ecological network planning) and conservation biology (distribution and conservation of herpetofauna), and he teaches “Landscape ecology” (Environmental Sciences, University of Milano-Bicocca), Biology and Didactic of Biology (Science of Primary Formation, University of Milano-Bicocca), Introduction to Sustainability, Ecosystem Services and Advanced Human ecology (Doctoral School of University of Milano-Bicocca). He’s president of the Italian Society of Landscape Ecology. He is the author of several scientific papers, technical reports, and chapters of books. In 2014 wrote a textbook on didactic Biology and in 2021 a divulgation book on the Anthropocene (The Anthropocene a new epoch for the Earth, a new challenge for humanity, Il Mulino, in Italian).

Yamina Saheb (Université Paul Sabatier Toulouse III)

Dr. Yamina Saheb is a Senior Energy Policy Analyst at OpenExp, a lead author of the IPCC WGIII 6th assessment report on climate mitigation, and a lecturer at Sciences Po (Paris) on climate risks. Before this position, Yamina was the Head of the Energy Efficiency Unit at the International Energy Charter. She also worked as a Policy and Scientific Officer at the Renewables and Energy Efficiency Unit at the Institute of Energy and Transport of the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission (EC). Before joining the JRC, Yamina worked as a Senior Energy Policy Analyst at the International Energy Agency (IEA). Yamina holds a Ph.D. in Energy Engineering, a master’s degree in Landscape Architecture and Development Economics, and an Engineering degree in Building technologies.