The Catalan Water Partnership, CEEC and Leitat jointly organised on the 4th of May the conference ‘Energy and water in times of crisis: energy efficiency solutions for water management’ with the aim of finding energy efficiency solutions in water management. The conference was held in person at the DFactory building and was broadcast live.

The day began with the welcome by the head of the Energy & Engineering Department at Leitat, David Gutiérrez, and the institutional welcome by the manager of the Catalan Water Agency, Mar León. The head of the ACA emphasised that they are making progress in the decarbonisation of the water cycle, assuring that in 10 years they will invest 159 million euros so that 78% of the energy consumption of the treatment plants is covered by sustainable energy via photovoltaic, biogas and other energy efficiency measures.

Xavier Amores, director of the CWP, introduced the conference by presenting the water cluster and referring to the need to implement more efficient solutions in the face of rising energy costs. Following this line, the project manager of the Clúster de l’Energia Eficient de Catalunya, Carla Rebés, presented the AIcharge project, which consists of intelligent algorithm solutions for the electric recharge of recreational boats, in which CWP, GPASeabots, Power Innotech and Prosume also participate. The project is also funded by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism (MINCOTUR) through the second call for AEIs in 2021 as part of the Next Generation grants and the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan.

Afterwards, the CEO of LC Paper, president of the Energy Committee of PIMEC and author of the book ‘Economics in climate change’, Joan Vila, gave the opening speech of the event. Vila gave a talk on economics in climate change, in which he gave some clues about the future of energy, focusing the problem on the waste of resources. Later, in the second presentation, the head of the Industry Unit of the Catalan Energy Institute (ICAEN), Mariona Coll, presented various instruments to support energy saving and efficiency promoted by the ICAEN, of which the water sector can also be a beneficiary (CNAEs 36 and 37). Coll pointed out that of the more than 400 projects approved by the ICAEN, both to improve technologies and to implement systems that promote energy savings, only one belonged to the water sector. For this reason, he called on the sector as a whole to submit projects to the ICAEN’s funding lines.

In the final section, five successful cases of energy efficiency in water management were presented by companies associated with the CWP. Firstly, the Leitat researcher, Pau Bosch, presented the POWER2BIOMETHANE project, about the bio-valorisation of CO2 in wastewater treatment plants for the production of biomethane as an alternative source of energy. Secondly, Albert Blanco, HVAC & Water Business Development Manager, ABB, presented a project on efficient control in pumping groups in water plants. Then, the general manager of Createch360º, Angel Freixó, presented the application of intelligent control systems for the energy optimisation of WWTPs. On the other hand, Angel Teno, Technical Director – Water Division, Grupo Lente Impulso, presented the Cabo Verde case of the Integral Water Cycle with self-consumption of photovoltaic renewable energy. Finally, the Deputy Director of Amphos 21, Jorge Molinero, presented new sources of energy: green hydrogen storage in aquifers.

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