Planet resources for clean energy transition (circularity and trade-offs of sustainable growth)

Considering the large impact of clean energy transition on equipment needs for most sectors of economy, materials circularity is highly relevant for achieving the Green Deal and circular economy.

Climate goals and a better environment and society can only be achieved if a highest degree of openness and trust to the stakeholders is guaranteed. For this the aspect, developing policies and technologies have to take into account a whole Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of the materials value chain from an environmental, economic and social aspect. 

Despite Life Cycle Thinking being already widely accepted as a guiding principle for designing the EU product policy framework, the practical implementation of Life Cycle based decision-making has been quite limited. This is mainly because the needs of different end-users and stakeholders have not been properly acknowledged and/or effectively communicated. 

The focus of this session is therefore set on giving an overview of this concept, and on showing some solutions for the most important challenges of sustainable energy technologies, e.g. how to ensure as much as possible sustainability and circularity (recycling, re-use, recyclability by design, substitution of rare and/or critical raw materials) at cell steps of the energy value chain, from production of renewable energy over energy transport to final use.

The topic is of high relevance as directly contributing to the Commission’s president priorities on decarbonisation and on circularity. The Green Deal has also to be accomplished as soon as possible, and the EUSEW 2020 conference comes in the right moment to keep the momentum to engage stakeholders.