Within the context of zero-net emissions and the decarbonization of the port industry we intend to articulate where to direct innovation effort, in relation to what, what to leverage, how and why in order to successfully integrate renewable energies in the port of Valencia. Complementary to technical expertise on how to integrate renewable energies in the port from an engineering point of view, we focus on other factors that may influence such integration. We aspire to analyse the context of the port and provide insights about how and why the integration of renewable technologies not only has obvious environmental benefits deriving from decarbonisation but also other types of benefits related to social aspects, the local community, society and economy (the port is seen as part of a larger system).
The integration of renewable energies in the port touches upon environmental, economic and societal factors involving various actors throughout the supply chain from production to end-of-use/life of product-service systems and system substructures.
We adopt a lifecycle thinking. We help to understand that apart from integrating renewable energies it is important to understand how these technologies have been designed and whether they have been designed for maintainability, durability, ease of disassembly, and re-manufacturability. Being circular by design determines resource efficiency and creates material saving opportunities. Further to that, the use phase is critical as this proves how efficient the new technologies are in terms of consumption and behavioral patterns. We are planning on analysing user needs and values as social acceptance plays a critical role in the implementation of such an ambitious project.
The added value of our proposal is about how to balance technical and social needs for the successful transformation of Valencia to a green port in terms of energy sources as well as port equipment (e.g electrification of port equipment), port operations, and transportation within and around the port zone.
Having recognised the need for a systemic approach in complex projects leads to reconsider and redefine business models and relationships between suppliers, customers and strategic partners. New relationships bring big changes at multiple levels, new ways of producing, capturing and delivering value. As a result the impact is not only economic but also social and environmental. Direct and indirect benefits are created on multiple levels as a multi-stakeholder model is used.
Our team consists of two strategic researchers with backgrounds in economics and specialisation in industrial ecology. We conduct research on the design and implementation of strategies and new business models for transformation and sustainable growth. Our area of expertise is in the blue economy including the port and shipping industry. We recently worked on the Valencia port hub (Valencia, Gandia, Sagunto ports) and have generated valuable insights around barriers to sustainable transformation, as well as conclusions upon intervention points as the best places in the port system to intervene in order to have the greatest impact.