ECOSENS: what role is there for nuclear power in the decarbonisation process?

The Politecnico di Milano with the Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering, is a partner of the project funded by HORIZON-EURATOM

 

The Politecnico di Milano is a partner in the ECOSENS (Economic and Social Considerations for the Future of Nuclear Energy in Society) project funded under the research and training programme of the European Community HORIZON-EURATOM.

The project aims to analyse citizens’ opinions and perceptions of risk, the benefits and potential related to the use of nuclear technologies (current and future) in relation to the main social challenges: climate crisis, sustainable energy policies and energy security.

In order to identify the possible role of nuclear energy within the decarbonisation objectives set for 2050, the sustainability of current technologies and the integration of new generation reactors (III + and IV) will be assessed with reference to the future energy market and social developments taking place.

The Department of Management Engineering will be supported by that of Energy in the development of an economic model based on the “system of provision approach” to create and calculate indicators relevant to the evaluation of nuclear systems, including the “social discount rate” (reflecting uncertainties about the socio-environmental costs and benefits of the project) and the impact on sustainability.

The research work will lead to the drafting of guidelines for the evaluation of new nuclear infrastructures with a view to improving their sustainability.

The research group of the Politecnico is coordinated by Professor Giorgio Locatelli of the Department of Management Engineering.

Green Deal @polimi

 

SER Social Energy Renovations

The H2020 project to finance sustainable construction in the service sector has begun

 

Financing sustainable building renovations in the service sector with an innovative tool that will accelerate the ecological transition and counteract energy poverty: This is the objective of the European project SER-Social Energy Renovations, which sees the participation of the Italian CGM Finance, the School of Management of the Politecnico di MilanoENEA, and Fratello Sole, a consortium of non-profit entities dedicated to fighting energy poverty. Other partners include the Spanish company GNE Finance, the project leader, Secours Catholique-Caritas France, and the Bulgarian branch of Econoler.

Financed under the Horizon 2020 programme, the project will last three years, in which a de-risking mechanism will be designed and developed to reduce the risk associated with financing and allow access to credit, even for subjects with limited economic capacity. The mechanism will include analysis and technical standardization when defining interventions to make buildings more energy efficient.

The projects will be consolidated and subject to social impact assessment and then financed, allowing investors to access safe, effective investments in line with ESG criteria. It will also allow social companies to carry out green renovations at accessible prices with the necessary technical assistance.

ENEA and Fratello Sole will involve service entities and select buildings used for non-profit activities, intervening with energy-efficient and sustainable restorations. Energy renovation will be carried out by Fratello Sole Energie Solidali – ESCo, a joint venture between Fratello Sole Scarl and Iren Energia.

Within the project, the School of Management will identify indicators to assess and analyse the social impact of the financed projects.

“The question of evaluating social impact is as current as it is complex, growing from a topic of interest to few people into an integral part of business strategy and an essential issue in finance”, explains Mario Calderini, Professor of Social Innovation in the Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering.
He adds: “This project aims to improve not only the environmental impact generated by building efficiency interventions, but also the social impact generated by service-sector organizations, which will be able to offer better services due to the benefits of such interventions.” 

Finally, Secours Catholique-Caritas France, together with the Bulgarian branch of the energy efficiency consultation company Econoler, will explore the possibility of replicating of this tool in other European countries.