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Urb-En Pact: Meet two local stakeholders involved in the energy transition

Edited on

31 May 2021
Read time: 1 minute

In Clermont Auvergne Métropole, lead partner of Urb-En Pact network, public research institutes and companies are engaged in the energy transition process and are innovating daily to achieve carbon neutrality.

How can science & innovation contribute to help cities reach the net-zero objective? How can enough energy be supplied with circular economy principles to meet the needs of the citizens, public services, companies, transport? How can new technologies help us limit our energy losses? How can social sciences shed light on our current behaviours and support local actors manage the transition?

To answer to these numerous questions, the 5th​ URB-EN PACT Transnational Meeting took place over ​two full days during the Clermont Innovation Week 2021, an ​annual event dedicated to innovation in all its forms! On the agenda: science & innovation in the energy area, including mobility, geothermal energy, citizen projects, social ​acceptability and change management, energy and buildings.

The first day of the meeting began with a roundtable to bring some scientific enlightenments to the following question: how can we overcome the negative externalities linked to city centre/periphery mobility? The stakes of this issue were introduced by European elected representatives, and a discussion on the stakeholders’ visions was held from the perspective of both academic research and consultancy. This session was followed by the presentation of solar fuel engineering research that is being conducted in Clermont by the Pascal Institute of Clermont-Ferrand. It is managed by Clermont Auvergne University and the CNRS (National Center of Scientific Research), especially in the chemical and biochemical engineering team, on the engineering of solar fuel production. Solar fuels are renewable molecules which can act as energy carriers and can be obtained from direct photo-reactive conversion just from water or CO2 and using the energy of photons coming from sunlight. These processes make it possible to convert and store solar energy into gaseous or liquid chemical fuels, especially available for mobility.

Pascal Institute

The second day started with 2 sessions dedicated to social innovation: citizen inclusion in renewable energy projects and social acceptability. To finish, Energy & Building issues with regard to climate change were discussed with a particular focus on urban heat island and innovative insulation solutions. The second day was wrapped up with the presentation of a specialized biogas production facility: Bio-Valo. Bio-Valo is a company of engineering consultants located in Riom, close to Clermont-Ferrand, that develops activities around biogas production. Bio-Valo team is currently working on two core technologies: the production of biohydrogen by dark fermentation and biological methanation. Both contribute to improving the carbon yield and the energy yield of the biogas production process.