Interview with Lydia Vamvakeridou Lyroudia, leader of the WG Water & Energy
Why is it important to have a new Working Group dedicated to the theme of ‘Water & Energy’?
The interlinkage between Energy and Water is reflected in several domains and services, across the water cycle. Traditionally Energy and Water are interlinked components of the wider water-energy-food Nexus. The water sector can produce energy (e.g. hydropower), but also is a major energy consumer. Energy is being consumed in the water sector for water treatment, water supply, water distribution, waste water collection and waste water treatment.
Energy is also needed for irrigation (e.g. groundwater pumping, sprinklers) and industrial use of water (e.g. cooling), while both sectors are critical infrastructures. The links and relations of the two industries are also reflected in the context of circular economy, a current and on growing field of interest for innovation and technologies, where energy is being produced out of waste water treatment processes. Given the strong interlinkages of the two sectors, it is very important to have a WG on these themes.
What are the main priorities of the Working Group?
What are you currently working on and what are you expecting to deliver within the upcoming year?
The Water and Energy Working group is preparing a report in the form of a white paper on energy optimisation for water systems and the water industry. It is a domain with several applications in the water sector, prevalent in the operational management of water distribution systems, waste water systems, but also for irrigation systems.
In the same context, we are looking into the technologies involved in renewable and zero-emission energy (e.g. geothermal energy), pointing out the gaps and needs for a larger scale development implementation of these technologies. For the latter, we already submitted to the WE management group in December 2019 a proposal for a call needed in the domain of geothermal energy applications. It was a pleasure that in the most recent call by the EC, (FET-PROACT-07-2020, which opened on March 26) geothermal energy was included in one of the calls.