CNR, INFN, ITT and Politecnico di Torino consortium 2010The aim of the European Parliament’s “climate-energy pack”, whose target is to increase up to 20% renewable energy consumptions within the 2020, attributes to biomass a basic role in the future energy scenarios. Therefore, the use of bioenergies represents, currently, an interesting opportunity not only for environmental and economic benefits, but also for a local development. The seminar illustrates the present opportunities to develop the three energy chains of wood biomass, biogas and liquid biofuels, as well as to illustrate some of the most interesting experiences realised in Regione Veneto. During the seminar, much time is devoted to the presentation of two softwares, realised by Itabia and CRPA, for the feasibility evaluation and the technical-economic analysis concerning the realisation of energy conversion plants, with particular attention to biogas. production.
National Academy of Technologies of France (NATF) 2014EDP Sciences 2014 Strong variations of atmospheric concentrations of the potent greenhouse gas methane have accompanied glacial and interglacial periods - influencing timetable and magnitude of past and present climate changes. The report describes and analyses natural and human-related sources and sinks of atmospheric methane with particular attention to potentially massive emissions from thawing permafrost and clathrates. The methane fluxes between main reservoirs and the atmosphere is measured via ground-based networks or from outer space. As atmospheric methane is destroyed over time (half-life ~7 years), its GHG-efficiency is not straight-forward. While fossil fuel exploitation is an important methane source, emissions could be limited at reasonable cost. Feedbacks from wetlands and soils are more difficult to control. Recommendations are made in areas such as agricultural practices, waste- and landfill management, biomass combustion, exploitation of coal, natural gas and oil. The potential exploitation of methane from permafrost and marine clathrates should be closely followed.
Belgium Academies (ARB) 2009This report on the state of Belgian research in the European context is the result of an initiative of BACAS, the Belgian Royal Academy Council for Applied Science. It is aimed at providing elements of reflection in the area of science and research policy for the 2010 Belgian Presidency of the European Union. The report is based on both a quantitative assessment of Belgian research from international statistics and a qualitative evaluation obtained from responses to a questionnaire sent to individuals and organisations, public and private, involved in the planning, management and/or execution of research in Belgium. As shown by various performance indicators, the Belgian R&D system occupies an honourable place in the European context, in terms of expenditures per unit GDP, number of researchers and doctoral graduates per 1000 employees, scientific publications, number of applications for patents and overall innovation performance, as well as participation in European programmes. On the negative side is the slowdown in growth of research funding, even before the current economic crisis. The Lisbon/Barcelona target of 3% of GNP for 2010 will be missed by a wide margin, as it was only 1.83% in 2006. The main strengths of the R&D system, as seen through the replies to the questionnaire, are considered to be, first, the internationally recognised high quality of university education and research, and of other public and private research, second, the various initiatives at federal and regional levels to support fundamental and applied research, third, the fiscal measures to stimulate employment of researchers. Weaknesses are the under-funding of public research and higher education, the “atomisation” resulting from the complexity of structures and decision making at the various political levels, the dearth of permanent research positions, the insufficient mobility of researchers, the fact that much of private research is done in foreign-owned companies, the unsatisfactory state of large scientific infrastructures. The assessment leads to recommendations concerning public and private research funding, improved coordination between the different levels of government, increasing the attractiveness of research careers, as well as reducing the administrative load in the EU programmes and the reinforcement of the European Research Area.
Belgium Academies (ARB) 2010This report was compiled by a group of members of the “Technology & Society” section of the “Académie royale de Belgique” to express their alarm at the decline of industrial activity in numerous European countries as well as the social consequences of it. The de-industrialization of Europe is not impacting all countries to the same extent. The loss of traditional industries is sometimes partially offset by the creation of new industries through this too varies from one country to country and indeed from one region to another. Overall in Europe, however, the reality of the phenomenon is undeniable. In order to curb the de-industrialization of Europe, the report lists several recommendations to be urgently considered and implemented.