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"Then I say the Earth belongs to each generation during its course, fully and in its right no generation can contract debts greater than may be paid during the course of its existence"

Thomas Jefferson, September 6, 1789

"History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives"

Abba Eban

Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."

The Report of the U.N. Brundtland Commission, Our Common Future, 1987

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Scope

The main challenge for Latin American (LA) economies is to commit to, and sustain the implementation of, long-term reforms aimed at increasing competitiveness and promoting sustainable, inclusive and balanced development. An adequate response to this challenge will certainly require using the best available scientific knowledge and constant re-evaluation of the development process in light of the scientific findings. Therefore, it will be essential to enhance the scientific understanding, improve the long-term scientific assessments, strengthen the scientific capacities and ensure that the sciences are responsive to the emerging needs.

Along this line and following the success of the global Sustainable Development of Energy Water and Environment Systems (SDEWES) conferences, a regional series of biannual SDEWES conferences have been initiated to provide a venue for the researchers from the LA region, but also for world-wide researchers and specialists and those interested in learning about the sustainability of development, to present research progress and to discuss the state of the art, the future directions and priorities in the various areas of sustainable development and regional integration.

The 2nd SDEWES LA Conference will be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina in February 2020 and it will be dedicated to the improvement and dissemination of knowledge on methods, policies and technologies for increasing the sustainability of development by de-coupling growth from natural resources and replacing them with knowledge based economy, taking into account its economic, environmental and social pillars. One of the main issues of the coming decades is to improve efficiencies by integrating various life supporting systems, using excess from one, as resource in other, and in exact moment when it is beneficial to all, integrating electricity, heating, cooling, transport, water, buildings, waste, wastewater, industry, forestry and agriculture systems. Sustainability being also a perfect field for interdisciplinary and multi-cultural evaluation of complex system, the SDEWES Conference has become a significant venue for researchers in those areas to meet, and originate, discuss, share, and disseminate new ideas, continuing to successfully cover the following areas (examples in parentheses, but not confined to them), with particular focus on LA region wherever possible:

  • Sustainability comparisons and measurements (metrics and indices; multi-criteria analysis; external costs; exergy analysis; footprint methods; emergy; life cycle analysis)
  • Green economy and better governance (circular economy; low carbon development/economy; resource efficiency; water reuse; jobs and regional development; financial and regulatory mechanisms; models and tools; rebound effect; energy economics; environmental economics; development economics; sustainability economics; blue economy)
  • Smart energy systems (demand response; power-to-X; integration of power, heating/cooling, transport, water and waste sectors; smart grids; markets; dynamic electricity pricing, microgrids; prosumers; digitalisation; blockchain)
  • Energy policy (security of supply; climate change mitigation; energy transition; renewable energy support schemes; energy efficiency policy; employment creation; carbon pricing; markets; fossil fuel subsidies)
  • Smart transport systems policy and management (transport system analysis; fuel/carbon economy; transport electrification; congestion and road pricing; multimodal management; alternative fuels; social aspects; autonomous mobility; railways; shipping; aviation)
  • Water-energy nexus (water management; water system analysis; water pricing; water desalination; hydro energy; water-renewables integration, water resources; river basin management; arid areas)
  • Environmental policy and management (waste management; wastewater management; climate change mitigation; climate change adaptation; air pollution policy; water pollution policy; haze pollution and avoidance; particulates pollution and avoidance; land management; biomass management; reclamation and rewilding; social aspects; strategic environmental impact assessment; environment and corporate social responsibility; quality management systems; environment management systems; eco management and audit schemes; integrated management systems)
  • Agricultural policy (energy and water use in agriculture and food processing; food vs. biofuels; sustainability of biofuels production)
  • Social acceptance (reform; NIMBY; nuclear; wind; biofuels; hydrogen; cost based pricing; inclusion; fossil fuel subsidy; green economy and employment; gender issues; energy poverty; energy affordability)
  • Sustainable resilience of systems (resilience of energy systems; resilience of water systems; resilience of environmental systems; resilience of agricultural systems; resilience of social systems; resilience of engineering systems )
  • Sustainable tourism (green hotels; certification)
  • Urbanism (smart cities; urban planning; zoning; transport; zero energy buildings/districts; sustainable energy action plans; district heating/cooling; sustainable waste management)
  • Regional planning and cooperation (sustainable islands; regions and cities; 100% renewable regions)
  • Research, innovation and development (industry-academia partnership; quadruple helix; knowledge based society; knowledge management; learning curve; technology foresight; science diplomacy; clusters and incubators)
  • Education in sustainable development (governance; environmental awareness; higher education; engineering education)
  • Energy system analysis (energy planning; power system planning; smart energy systems; smart energy networks; natural gas system greening; 100% renewable energy systems; island energy systems; development of energy planning tools; internalizing environmental externalities; electrification of transport; long term demand planning; integration of power and district heating systems; integration of power and water systems; integration of power and transport systems; power to gas; power-to-X)
  • Renewable energy resources (biomass; hydro; wind; solar; geothermal; wave and ocean; technical and economic potentials; barriers; cost and benefits; integration)
  • Primary energy resources (oil peaking; gas as transition fuel; coal phase-out; nuclear fuels)
  • Renewable electricity generation systems (biomass; hydro; wind; photovoltaic; concentrated solar power; geothermal; blue energy; offshore wind; wave; tide; ocean thermal)
  • Thermal power plants (advanced cycles; flexible operation and cycling; carbon capture and utilisation; nuclear)
  • District heating and/or cooling in smart energy systems (integration of renewable heat; cogeneration; industrial waste/excess heat; waste to energy and CHP; power to heat; electric boilers; heat pumps; integration of CHP with district heating and electricity markets; heat maps; distribution; absorption; adsorption)
  • Nano and micro technologies and science for sustainable development of energy, water, and environment systems
  • Advanced sustainable energy conversion systems (fuel cells; thermoelectric; thermionic; organic; ORC; waste/excess heat recycling; thermoacoustic; piezoelectric; high altitude wind)
  • Low temperature renewable heat systems (waste/excess heat; solar thermal; geothermal; heat pumps)
  • Biofuels and biorefineries (biodiesel; bioethanol; biogas; second and third generation biofuels; waste to biofuels; algae; anaerobic digestion; pyrolysis; torrefaction; coproduction; BTL; biorefining; use for transportation; infrastructure; sustainability assessment)
  • Alternative fuels (hydrogen; electro-fuels; power to gas; synthetic fuels;DME; resources; production; vehicles; infrastructure)
  • Electric and hybrid vehicles (electric; plug in hybrid; hybrid; charging; batteries; infrastructure)
  • Water treatment for drinking water
  • Water desalination (distillation; reverse and forward osmosis; electrodialysis; energy recovery; discharge management; flexible desalination with variable renewables)
  • Waste and wastewater treatment and reuse (avoiding waste; composting; recycling; waste to energy; anaerobic digestion; gasification; mechanical biological treatment; mechanical heat treatment; plasma arc waste disposal; pyrolysis; RDF/SRF)
  • Modelling for pollution avoidance and energy efficiency (CFD models; air pollution spreading; water pollution spreading; heat and mass transfer modelling; combustion modelling)
  • Cogeneration, trigeneration, polygeneration (heat/cold and power; water and power; biofuels and power; transport and energy; food and energy; applications and operation strategies; photovoltaic-thermal)
  • Storage (heat/cold storage; hydrogen storage; hydropower as storage; pump storage; compressed air storage; batteries; water storage; biofuels storage; storage optimisation modelling; financial support mechanisms; power market arbitrage)
  • Electricity transmission and distribution (grid extension and robustness; long distance transmission; power quality)
  • Gas security of supply (diversification; shale gas; pipelines extension; LNG; Southern Corridor; renewable gas)
  • Energy and water efficiency in industry and mining (cement and lime; construction materials; glass; pulp and paper; food industry; metallurgy; chemical industry; process optimisation; kilns; boilers; heat exchange networks; pinch analysis; exergy and exergoeconomic analysis; energy audits; water use and waste minimisation; eco-innovation; total site integration; life cycle assessment; eco-design and eco-labelling; product cycle assessment; cleaner production; environmental impact assessment)
  • Energy efficient appliances (smart appliances; labelling and standards; user behaviour; eco-design)
  • Buildings (nearly zero energy buildings; passive buildings; smart buildings; smart metering; ICT; load and demand side management; green buildings; building codes and standards; buildings certification; HVAC; insulation; renewables integration; heat pumps; storage; sustainable architecture)
  • Energy markets (market/price coupling; liberalisation/deregulation; modelling; demand response; role of district heating; desalination and water pumping; storage; retail markets; grid parity; net metering; fuel switch)
  • Emission markets (emission trading system; cap and trade; transport participation)
  • Political aspects of sustainable development (energy democracy; long term planning; sustainable development goals; the role of political leaders and of voters; international conflict vs. sustainable development; security and sustainability; resource and political security; community and citizen participation in the energy transition)

In addition, acknowledging that regional coordination is the only feasible solution for gaining synergy effects for the small and only partially connected emerging groups of Latin America researchers’ community, the Conference will also address the following regional topics:

  • Continental Platform exploration and exploitation. Natural resources of seabed and subsoil. Extension of the Continental Platform beyond the exclusive economic zone. Development of industry linked to maritime and fisheries infrastructure. Mechanisms to control environmental conditions and their impact on biodiversity
  • Specific mineral resources (i.e.: Lithium, Copper) and its participation in the value chain. Study of its life cycle and final disposition. Energy accumulation, storage and mobility
  • Innovative water treatments for prevention of chronic diseases (i.e.: regional endemic chronic hydroarsenism, in Spanish known by the acronym HACRE)


SDEWES INDEX
Benchmarking the performance of cities across energy, water and environment systems
related metrics presents an opportunity to trigger policy learning, action, and cooperation to bring cities closer to sustainable development.

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