Job Announcement
April 30 2020
ref. MSC-IF-1-2020 (topics)

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowships at Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (Focus on Topics)

9. Financing the Global Energy Transition
The world has embarked into a global energy transformation, driven by decarbonization policies and by quick developments in low-carbon technologies. The Paris Agreement marked an historical step forward in global efforts to respond to the challenge of global warming. For the first time, developed and developing countries have committed themselves to act to limit the increase in the average global temperature to well below 2°C compared to pre-industrial levels. This reinforces the decarbonization measures already in place in several parts of the world, primarily in Europe. Meanwhile, technological advances have increased the competitiveness of solar and wind energy technologies, batteries and electric cars. The convergence of these two elements has already begun to reshape the global energy system, and has made clear that a global energy transition is both technically feasible and economically beneficial. However, the global energy transition will require substantial additional investment in low-carbon technologies compared to current and planned policies. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency, in order to achieve the Paris Agreement’s targets, between 2015 and 2050 cumulative investment in the energy system will need to increase from USD 93 trillion under a business-as-usual scenario to USD 120 trillion. That is: additional investment of USD 27 trillion over the period will be needed. The energy investment mix will also need to change, notably from fossil fuels to investments into renewable energy, energy efficiency, power grid, energy storage and clean transport. The global energy transition might then push established players – such as utilities and oil&gas companies – to adopt new investment strategies, and it might also lead to the emergence of new investments tools and sustainable finance mechanisms, spanning from new metrics for financial climate-related disclosure to green bonds. As a result, markets and industries might thus be transformed to match the operating characteristics and investment risk profile of the new low-carbon world.

10. Transport in sub-Saharan Africa: analysis and modelling of future pathways Sub-Saharan Africa is a rapidly growing and urbanising region
Local mobility trends have however so far been scarcely analysed, and few pathways of future evolution have been explored. Yet, the paradigms that will emerge over the next decade will set path-dependencies and they will determine the sectoral impact on both regional and global sustainable development prospects The proposed area of research concerns the analysis of future mobility scenarios, to be applied at national and/or regional level for the sub-Saharan Africa region. The research will consist of the development and application of a transport demand and supply model (or the adaptation of existing models and their calibration). The analysis will aim at assessing future pathways of transport demand and modal choice in relation to infrastructure, with the final objective of evaluating the implications for energy demand and environmental pollution, including local pollutants and greenhouse gases. A strong focus on the policy relevance of the modelling activity is required. Flexibility over the sectoral or granularity of the analysis is guaranteed depending on the research activity proposed by the candidate, as well as her/his educational background. The selected candidates will be expected to publish research papers in top field journals and present the results of the analysis at international conferences.

13. Decarbonisation scenario for the energy sector: how far we can push our ambitions to be coherent with current technological limitations?
Deep insight from evidence based research and modelling In the framework of the climatic emergency the need for decreasing the anthropogenic contribution to greenhouse gases emission is crucial. This challenge is even more complex when combined with the urgency to provide equitable development for all, since it leads to the paradigm of sustainable development which is the new concept aiming at “Prosperity” for both “People” and “Planet”. Furthermore, in light of the current pandemic situation future pathways undergo even more uncertainties due to the sudden changes in lifestyles. In this context, the decarbonisation of the power sector is clearly identified by the scientific community as one “must have” action in the portfolio of both the mitigating and adaptation actions. The main identified solution is represented by the progressive replacement of fossil fuel energy sources with renewable energy. The feasibility of different decarbonisation scenarios needs to be tested by means of accurate, reliable and open energy system models. Energy modelling is strongly influenced by the assumptions made in the model setting phase and used for identifying the potential scenarios. Moreover, a great variety of models exists, which may be based on different working logics, structure and diverse objective functions. Some of these models, adopting an integrated approach, may be able to capture, beyond the main feature of the energy system, the indirect and induced consequences on other productive sectors and the whole environmental burden associated to the adoption of a given power technology mix. The use of a particular category of model, together with the adoption of different sets of assumptions, can strongly influence the outputs of the modelling and the results of the study. In this study, we propose an extended and updated review of the scientific literature that aims at proposing a 100% renewable energy system, taking into account the adopted model, the underlining assumptions and the proposed scenarios. A taxonomy for reading and critically analysing the results will be proposed. Starting from this critical review, it will be possible to identify strengths and weaknesses of the reviewed studies and understand the feasibility of a 100% renewable scenario. Based on this analysis, FEEM will propose its own renewable scenarios at global level. In this framework, peculiarities of developing regions, most efficient technological configurations, as well as the related environmental and socioeconomic implications and the needed investments, will be included in the analysis. The proposed integrated modelling framework will have the goal of being able to inform policy makers with a set of scenarios providing effective advices for the needed transition.

14. Challenges and opportunities for advanced biofuels for the European road transport Biofuels have the potential of contributing to the decarbonization of the transport sector, especially in some specific segments that are hard to decarbonize, such as aviation and long-haul freight transport. Nevertheless, the production of biofuels usually involves a complex supply chain, with environmental impacts that are strongly variable depending on the feedstock and the type of fuel that is produced. In some cases, the carbon emissions savings on a well-to-wheels perspective in comparison with traditional fossil fuels remain limited. The development of advanced biofuels is increasingly seen as a potential solution to lower these environmental impacts and to the need of arable land that could be used for food production. More research is needed to properly compare the different supply chains of the advanced biofuels that are currently under research and development, to quantify the expected impact and to compare it with other low-carbon technologies. The research activities will be carried on in collaboration with Eni, which has a significant experience in the production of biofuels for the transport sector. The comparative analysis of different advanced biofuels pathways will thus involve the quantification of the impacts over the different stages of the production chain, supported by the available information from real production plants. The final goal of this study is to assess the emissions reduction potential of the most promising pathways, and to highlight which are the most critical stages of the production system, the challenges for their development and the potential risks for their deployment. This bottom-up analysis could provide information and indicators supporting the definition of future scenarios for biofuels uses at national and international level.

FEEM Newsletter & Update

Subscribe to stay connected.

Your personal data will be processed by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei. – data Controller – with the aim of emailing the FEEM newsletter & Update. The use of Your email address is necessary for the implementation of the newsletter service. You are invited to read the Privacy Policy in order to obtain additional information about the protection of Your rights.

This Website uses technical cookies and cookie analytics, as well as “third party” profiling cookies.
If you close this banner or you decide to continue navigating on this Website, you express consent to the use of cookies. If you need additional information or you wish to express selective choices on the use of cookies, please refer to the   Cookie PolicyI agree