2012, December 27 -closing: next time, see Activities 2013
Global climate policy. The criticism on the UNFCCC functioning has grown, and workable alternatives are necessary. The column on climate policy design "Het belangrijkste komt laatst: wie redt het klimaat?" is published in the first number of the Dutch language journal Tijdschrift voor Omgevingsrecht en Omgevingsbeleid. The paper The urgency of a light climate policy needs updating and improvement to get acceptance by an A journal. A research that started with investment appraisal in sustainable buildings has been extended in more conceptual work on societal decision-making and on revocability of investments and reversibility of impacts. The article is published in the first 2013 issue of Ecological Economics.
Renewable energy. The special IPCC report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation has been published by Cambridge University Press (I contributed to seven parts of this volume). The article with Volkmar Lauber "Assessing the performance of renewable electricity support instruments" is published by Energy Policy (2012 Vol.45: 635-644), after a quite controversial review process. At IRENEC2012 (Istanbul) I deliver the oral presentation "Balancing Incumbent and Opposite Perspectives on Key Issues in the 100% Renewable Electricity Transition".
Nuclear Phase-out & Electricity sector. Given my involvement since 1981 in discussing the future of the electricity sector, the role of nuclear power and power supply planning, the phase-out of nuclear power in Belgium takes some attention nowadays. I edited a brief comment in Dutch on the present state of the analysis and the governmental decision of July 4th, 2012. Since mid August the Belgian nuclear control agency FANC created animosity by focusing public attention on small cracks in the reactor vessel of DOEL 3. FANC's attitude and declarations were not in line with its mandate. The daily De Standaard asked for my opinion. Because celebrities often state that nuclear power is a necessary technology in addressing climate change it remains important to deepen and broaden the debate on the real performance and sustainability value of nuclear power. In Basel (August 2012) and in Venice (September 2012) I present papers on nuclear issues.
Energy Efficiency. The paper delivered at eceee-2011 summer school has been reworked to a journal article and is published by Energy Efficiency as "Financial appraisal of energy efficiency investments: Why the Good may be the Worst Enemy of the Best." An abstract on measuring the energy savings of CHP plants was accepted by eceee-2012, but I withdrew it by lack of time to edit the article in due time. More applied: I am involved in the shallow renovation of a farm house dating from 1950. Because the house has no cavity walls, proper insulation is only feasible for the new roof. Also the central heating system is overhauled with separate circuits by room and a new LPG burner installed. A 25 m2 kitchen-living room is thoroughly renovated and fully insulated (floor, walls, roof) because it was the former bakery with an open fireplace, in very bad condition. It is appropriate to fully heat the 25m2 living space during winter, and selectively or modestly heat the remainder of the house, as part of a future sustainable lifestyle. An economics vision on energy efficiency policies was presented during an IES lecture at the VUB on November, 14th.
February 1st a funded 4-year research project on advanced ORC (Organic Rankine Cycles) started, where we are the economics partner of advanced technical groups at the Universities of Ghent and Liège, the Highschool West-Vlaanderen (HOWEST) and the global company Atlas Copco. More information at www.orcnext.be
From March onwards I (again) engaged as chair of the board of CENERGIE, a consulting engineering company on energy efficiency and efficient buildings. For a couple of months this will override part of my academic work, until a new equilibrium is installed.
In 2012 the UA Faculty of Applied Economics started to assign a yearly price for the best college lecturer and one for the best performing researcher. The latter was awarded to me for my research performance during the year 2011.
Lectures and contributions:
2012 February 23: University Ghent - Institute for International Studies: The Urgency of a Light Climate Policy
2012 May 03: Universiteit Antwerpen - ACTUA: De Kwestie Atoomenergie, gekaderd in de klimaatcrisis en haar energieoplossingen.
2012 May 06: Antwerpen - Het Groene Boek: paneldebat over De Grote Transitie
2012 June 02: Antwerpen - Radio Centraal: Kernuitstap en Vlaams groene stroom beleid (interview)
2012 June 7: Universiteit Antwerpen: Kernenergie, deelgenoot in een duurzame energievoorziening?, in Kernenergie één jaar na Fukushima: wie is er nog mee? http://www.ua.ac.be/fukushima/programma Een verslag van de bijdrage is van de hand van Jan Bosteels in ARGUS Milieu Zie ook de videoopnames van de lezingen.
2012 June 28-30: Istanbul - IRENEC2012: Balancing incumbent and opposite perspectives on key issues in the 100% renewable electricity transition
2012 July 10: Brussels - Greenpeace & Academie Wetenschappen: De Duitse energieomwenteling als voorbeeld voor België (What can Belgium learn from the German energy transition) - lezing: Nuclear Phase-out: Choose & Act
2012 August 29-31: Basel - 3rd International Sustainability Conference: The sustainability of nuclear power: facts and faith
2012 September 9-12: Venice - 12th IAEE European Conference: Can electricity rents extend Belgium's nuclear power life?
2012 November 5-9: Vigo (Spain) - IPCC AR5 WG3, third lead author meeting
2012 November 14: Brussels, VUB IES lectures: The role of energy efficiency in achieving decarbonization, and the policies required for effective action.
2012 December 3: Hemiksem, MiNaRaad: (Kern)energie en Klimaat in crisis?
2012 December 7: Antwerp, Plantijn Hogeschool: Energie voor een Duurzame Ontwikkeling.