ME Seminar: “Energy mutation of cities facing climate change: key role of solar energy”, Christophe Mènèzo, 1:30PM May 5 (EN)

Title: Energy mutation of cities facing climate change: key role of solar energy

Speaker: Prof. Christophe Mènèzo

Affiliation: LOCIE UMR CNRS/Université Savoie Mont Blanc, France

Date: Friday May 5th

Time: 13:30

Room: EE01


Although cities account for 80% of the world’s GDP thanks to services, trade and finance, they produce almost no resources and live on external aid.
Cities also play an enormous role in climate change and are particularly sensitive and exposed to it. Their increasing need for cooling by air conditioning may quickly lead to a vicious circle, where anthropogenic emissions will increase and aggravate local climatic effects. Moreover, the combined effects of solar radiation, temperature and pollution generate comfort and health problems for humans and biodiversity, which increase vulnerability to climate disruption. The presentation will focus more specifically on the integration of different solar technologies in buildings and cities and the monitoring of their performance in order to provide a local response where energy needs are concentrated. In urban areas, the main problem with solar energy comes from the variability induced by the shading of buildings, with areas with changing lighting throughout the day. The quality of the solar resource is also impacted by the cloudiness of the atmosphere and the fouling of collectors due to pollution, or by higher temperature levels than in rural areas due to heat island effects. There are many challenges to be faced and we will show some ways to transform urban spaces whose planning is currently based on a very striking aesthetic concept. Indeed, in a conventional urban planning, the buildings in a neighborhood have a very regular and orderly layout and height which is detrimental to solar energy access, air quality and local climate. Development paths that make it possible to reconcile the whole and that require a real mutation of the cities will be presented

Christophe Mènèzo is Full Professor at University Savoy Mont Blanc, head of LOCIE Lab and Deputy head of the Solar Academy Graduate School (EUR). He is also head of FedEsol – research CNRS federation on solar energy and is in charge of the Green/smart building topic in the French/Singaporean Network on Renewable Energy. His current research focuses on Building Integrated Solar Components (especially on photovoltaic and hybrid photovoltaic/thermal components) and on the redefinition of the envelope (roof and facades) in order to include dynamic (seasonal or daily variation) features. He is also working on the prediction of solar PV production at the scale of urban territories.