News - July 3, 2024

Answers and Insights from our Efficiency Week on Energy Systems

Written by Sabrina Cipullo

As global demands grow and environmental concerns intensify, the search for sustainable energy solutions has never been more urgent. We organised the first Efficiency Week, that provided a much-needed platform for thought leaders, innovators, and stakeholders to come together and address the pressing challenges and opportunities in transitioning to sustainable energy systems.

Accelerating the Shift to Renewable Energy and Innovations

One of the primary challenges facing the energy sector is the urgent need to reduce carbon emissions. Fossil fuels, while historically dominant, contribute significantly to greenhouse gases and environmental degradation. Transitioning to cleaner, renewable sources such as solar, wind, and hydroelectric power is essential to mitigate climate change effects. Nathalie Hemeleers, Director of EU Affairs at the Solar Impulse Foundation, emphasised the crucial role of legislation and public finance in driving this shift. "Public funds must be used strategically to leverage private investments and reduce risks associated with high-capital energy projects", she explained. Effective policies, such as carbon pricing mechanisms and subsidies for clean energy adoption, are vital in promoting investment in renewable infrastructure and creating a competitive market environment.

Despite these challenges, technological advancements in renewable energy and storage systems are paving the way for a more sustainable future. Renewable energy technologies have seen remarkable progress, with solar and wind power becoming increasingly competitive in terms of cost and efficiency.

Ignacio Huici of EIT InnoEnergy highlighted the critical role of energy storage solutions, such as advanced batteries and pumped hydro storage, in addressing intermittency issues and maximising renewable energy utilisation. "We have the talent, the innovative technologies, and the resources. Establishing a streamlined process for entrepreneurs to pilot and scale these technologies is essential", Huici stated. Additionally, innovations in digitalisation and smart grid technologies are revolutionising energy management, enabling real-time monitoring and optimisation of energy usage.

Ensuring Equitable Access and Investor Engagement

Ensuring equitable access to reliable electricity, especially in underserved regions, requires innovative strategies. Millions around the world still lack reliable access to electricity, particularly in underserved regions of the global south. This disparity not only hampers socio-economic development but also exacerbates inequalities. Huici highlighted the potential of decentralised energy solutions and the importance of reducing bureaucratic barriers to enhance grant effectiveness. Pascal Goumault of Aliaxis emphasised the importance of balancing high-tech innovations with frugal technologies to address local needs effectively.

Moreover, understanding investor priorities is essential for innovators seeking funding for sustainable energy projects. Goumault also noted the importance of building ecosystems that ensure consistency along the value chain: "collaboration among politics, technology, and local governments is mandatory for creating effective and environmentally friendly solutions". Investors look for projects that demonstrate scalability, robustness, and a clear pathway to commercial viability, making these elements critical in tailoring funding proposals. Effective communication of the benefits and successes of energy projects is essential to encourage broader adoption and demonstrate their tangible impacts on local communities and economies.

Fostering Collaboration and Policy Development

Collaboration across sectors and regions is critical for expediting the adoption of sustainable energy solutions. Hemeleers and Huici stressed the importance of integrating policies across electricity production, heating, and mobility. Developing robust policies and regulatory frameworks is crucial for fostering investment in clean energy infrastructure. Hemeleers in particular mentioned the proposal of a European guarantee fund for cleantech as a significant step in this direction. Cross-sector collaboration also ensures that policies are comprehensive and inclusive of various energy domains, from electricity production to heating and mobility. Building global ecosystems that foster knowledge sharing and innovation is key to tackling the complexities of the energy transition. "A holistic approach that includes stakeholders from politics, technology, and local governments is essential", she added. 

Dr. Thomas Gibon, Research & Technology Associate at LIST, summed up the positive aspect of the energy transition: "The energy transition inherently promotes efficiency. One megajoule of renewable electricity can displace three megajoules of fossil fuels. However, tackling this requires a systemic approach, addressing issues in buildings, mobility, and various sectors".

Successful Implementation Stories in Energy Systems

In the second part, the focus was shifted towards real-world success stories, providing insights into the energy sector and showcasing impactful implementations. These examples not only illustrate the potential of innovative technologies but also demonstrate how they address specific challenges within the sector.

Services Industriels de Lausanne have implemented SynchroGuard by Zaphiro Technologies, a smart grid solution. This technology enables the city's utilities company to enhance power reliability and boost renewable energy integration. By improving the stability and efficiency of the power grid, SynchroGuard addresses the critical issue of integrating renewable energy sources into existing infrastructures, thus ensuring a more resilient and reliable energy supply.

Across the Channel, Pivot Developments has implemented Zypho® Energy Saving (Aliaxis) in Sussex. This shower drain heat recovery system is designed to be 50% more energy efficient and cheaper to run than mainstream UK alternatives. By capturing and reusing heat from shower water, Zypho® significantly reduces energy consumption in households. This not only lowers utility bills but also contributes to broader energy efficiency goals, highlighting a practical and scalable solution to reduce overall energy demand.

These success stories exemplify how innovative solutions can effectively respond to the challenges faced by the energy sector. By enhancing grid stability, improving energy efficiency, and integrating renewable sources, these implementations showcase the tangible benefits of embracing new technologies. They also underscore the importance of collaborative efforts among various stakeholders to drive sustainable change in the energy landscape.


The Efficiency Week underlined the need for a multifaceted approach to navigating the future of energy. By embracing renewable energy sources, leveraging technological innovations, and fostering collaboration, the energy sector can overcome the challenges posed by climate change and energy security. The insights and discussions from Efficiency Week provide a roadmap for transforming challenges into opportunities, ultimately paving the way towards a resilient and sustainable energy future. As we look ahead, collective action and steadfast commitment from all sectors of society are paramount. Our Efficiency Week serves as a reminder that, together, we can chart a course towards an energy system that meets the needs of present and future generations. 

Join us in this journey, and be part of the solution in creating a sustainable and equitable energy landscape. 

Key Insights from our Efficiency Week Webinar

“The elephant in the room is our focus on supply-side policy. While decarbonizing is essential, we must also reduce our consumption. We can't just replace growing consumption with renewables.” — Nathalie Hemeleers, Director EU Affairs, Solar Impulse Foundation

“We have the talent, innovative technologies, and resources. We just need a process to help entrepreneurs pilot, realize, and scale these technologies. That's the key to success.” — Ignacio Huici, Business Development Officer, EIT InnoEnergy

“Everything is about collaboration and building ecosystems. Acting alone risks ineffective solutions. Building an ecosystem with concrete solutions across sectors is the way forward.” — Pascal Goumault, Clean Energy Director, Aliaxis

“The energy transition promotes efficiency. One megajoule of renewable electricity can displace three megajoules of fossil fuels. However, a systemic approach is essential to address issues in various sectors.” — Thomas Gibon, Research & Technology Associate, LIST

Written by Sabrina Cipullo on July 3, 2024

Do you like this article? Share it with your friends!