In this live studio interview held at the European Union Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW), Giancarlo Cotella, an assistant professor in spatial planning who is involved with the Milesecure 2050 project, explains the project’s aims in detail.
The Milesecure 2050 project, funded by the European Union, aims to understand and overcome the political, economical and behavioural traits and trends that prevent Europe from reducing fossil fuel consumption. The project also aims to help the region diversify its energy balance in order to gain European energy security by 2050, reduce the threat of climate change, and diminish the risk of an energy gap in the coming decades.
The project will examine scenarios using multiple perspectives which extend to 2050. By doing so, the project will evaluate policy initiatives and their long-term impact on energy security. The 2050 timeframe is used to assess the legitimacy and efficacy of policies in terms of the capacity for societies to transition to energy security and also to consider the long-term socio-economic impact of such options.
This will be achieved by a comprehensive analysis of the barriers to more sustainable and secure consumer behaviour towards energy consumption based on surveys and field studies. This in turn will lead to suggestions when it comes to formulating new policies.
“The aim is to try and understand what could be the potential impact of a transition towards a low carbon society and improved energy security,” explains Cotella. “However, the move towards renewable energy sources may not always provide energy security due to price volatility and availability of these sources.”
Cotella says that no research has been carried out on the potential trade-off’s of a low carbon society and energy security. The potential of this harmonisation between low carbon sources and energy security has yet to be discovered. This type of research will require a wide variety of expertise and this is why the project is multi-disciplinary. The various competencies within the project are translated into a systemic multi-disciplinary approach to energy security. Says Cotella, “It is exciting when all the different approaches come together to create a more holistic understanding.”