Balance about Energy Transition period

The stay we have dedicated to renewable energies and the concept of energy transition to Faber has been one of the most special we have done this year. Special for the residents who have come to Faber but also because we hope that this stay will be the first of others that will be related to this topic, a topic that produces debates that concern us all and also future generations.

That is why we are very happy to have been able to organize this two-week stay with the five residents who were part of the working group. It has been individual work time with professionals who shared excellent curricula and projects that open doors to cutting-edge research fields. We think it’s important to remember that the residents have been here.

The first, Andrea M. Vásquez, a Peruvian of Quechua descent from the University of British Columbia, holds a bachelor’s degree in Forestry Engineering from the Peruvian Universidad Nacional Agraria de La Molina and a master’s degree from the University of British Columbia in Canada. Her collaborative PhD project deals with how western and westernized societies should respectfully behave when they interact with Indigenous Peoples and their territories – places called home – in the face of extractive industries. The analysis is done from two Amazonian Indigenous Peoples’ perspectives.

Paul Behrens is an assistant professor of Energy and Environmental Change at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands. Behrens investigates ways in which human societies can thrive within environmental constraints, focusing on energy, food and water. A Faber has worked on the use of large-scale environmental and economic models to investigate the influence of energy transition on land use.

Moon Sanghoon also came from South Korea. The purpose of her artwork is to enable the public to take energy issues seriously; remember that there are unnecessary human behaviors. But she also knows that people can’t change easily. That’s why she invented the Energy Project with the goal of making energy while we live. Faber is an interdisciplinary residence, and for us the development of science on the side of art and the humanities is important.

The fourth to arrive was Wen Hsia, who is a practicing architect and visiting professor at the University of Malaya and the Singapore University of Technology and Design. Her work project always involves promoting lateral thinking in design within himself and among the students. In fact, her project at the residence has been to write articles on ideas and thoughts of architecture and thought as a means of educating students and young designers.

Finally, Emeric Duclaux, who graduated in tropical agronomy linked to development and humanitarian actions. These activities led him to discover traditional local agriculture in Panama, Uganda and the struggles of urban slums in Manila, Philippines. Through agronomy and the social sciences, he became increasingly interested in permaculture, helping him to understand societies and their environment as systems. It worked to build alternative food production systems in urban agriculture, promoting sustainable agricultural practices and local consumption to improve the resilience of cities. Emeric is designing a model to assess the vulnerability of societies and communities to global collapse. Adopting a systemic approach, it aims to identify the key factors of the resilience of societies in a transdisciplinary approach. The more effective a system is, the less vulnerable it is.

As always, we have had educational activities related to the theme of the stay. At Paul Behrens, for example, he taught an energy use class to 12-year-old children at the Little Stem School in Olot. Students work on interesting projects related to energy efficiency and home energy. The students learned about the great amount of energy we use every day, what this energy has done for us (air travel, long life, time away from washing clothes by hand!) and why we need the transition to renewable energy.

Wen Hsia  did a talk in Pia school. She explained how process involves consultation, design, drawing documentation and construction, Wen expressed that the toughest and the most crucial part of this process is to look for the most appropriate idea.

As always, there has been time to interact with companies, associations, organizations and institutions in the area. The residents attended the conference on energy transition that took place in Can Trona on Sunday 11 March. The best description of these conferences can be found in the chronicle that the journalist Xavier Borràs gave to Nació Digital: “The cycle aims to provide citizens with energy consumption and sustainable mobility options so that, with small day-to-day actions, they can reinforce the energy transition. Climate change is an inalienable reality that is expected to intensify over the years, posing a changing and difficult human life for future generations. In order to soften it, a change in the energy model is needed that is decoupled from fossil fuels and non-renewable energies. Following this premise, the cycle takes place over two days, focusing on renewable energies and sustainable mobility.”

The group also visited the company LC Paper, where the CEO, Joan Vila, gave them a long explanation of how an almost total level of energy efficiency has been achieved. It is an enriching and meaningful experience to spend in residence. As it could not be otherwise, they also visited Wattia company, where the founding partner Franco Comino made a long explanation about what they do, the processes of creating battery networks, saving and cooperation in the world of renewable energy.

Finally, in terms of media, in this case we have the digital magazine Esguard, which came to Faber to interview each of the residents of the energy transition.

We close another Faber period in a more than satisfactory way and lay the foundations to think about how we can repeat a stay related to the energy transition. The topic will always be of interest to us and always have open discussions.