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AWEC 2024 organization continues providing content in the run-up to the Conference to let all the people involved on board know more about the presentations we are going to live first-hand in Madrid. This time is the turn for Romain Gellée from ENGIE Laborelec and Christophe Merlo from Storengy Deutschland who are presenting the Aquilon project. We leave you to enjoy it.

1           Introduction

The transition to renewable energy sources is an urgent global imperative, driving innovation and partnership across industries. One such groundbreaking endeavor is the Aquilon project, a collaboration between Storengy Deutschland GmbH and ENGIE Laborelec. At its core, Aquilon aims to revolutionize energy provision by developing a 100% renewable-powered, continuous energy system for the Peckensen gas storage site in Germany.

2          Innovative Approach of Aquilon

Aquilon represents a paradigm shift in sustainable energy solutions, integrating Airborne Wind Energy (AWE), solar photovoltaic (PV) technology, and a Redox-flow Battery (RFB) storage system. This innovative approach not only promises complete greenhouse gas emission reduction at an industrial site but also showcases the potential of novel technologies to reshape the energy landscape.

3          Challenges in Technology Development and Asset Integration

However, the journey towards realizing Aquilon’s vision comes with challenges. As with any pioneering venture, hurdles in technology development and asset integration look large. ENGIE Laborelec, with its expertise in energy systems and management, plays a pivotal role in coordinating these components into a cohesive and efficient energy provision scheme. Central to this endeavor is the implementation of an intelligent Energy Management System (EMS), ensuring optimal performance and seamless integration of diverse energy sources.

4          Permitting Challenges for Innovative Green Technology

One of the most significant obstacles faced by projects like Aquilon is the arduous process of securing permits for innovative green technology. Regulatory frameworks often lag behind technological advancements, posing significant barriers to the deployment of emerging solutions. Stakeholder concerns and unfamiliarity with novel technologies can further exacerbate resistance, leading to prolonged approval processes.

5          Navigating Regulatory Landscapes and Environmental Evaluation Procedures

Moreover, navigating the diverse regulatory landscapes and inconsistent environmental evaluation procedures across different jurisdictions adds another layer of complexity to the permitting process. This fragmented regulatory environment can block progress and innovation, delaying the deployment of sustainable solutions urgently needed to address climate change.

6          Strategies for Overcoming Challenges

To overcome these challenges, proactive engagement, collaboration, and flexibility in regulatory frameworks are essential. Stakeholder outreach and education play a crucial role in building support and addressing concerns surrounding novel technologies like AWE. Additionally, fostering partnerships between industry stakeholders, policymakers, and regulatory bodies can facilitate dialogue and streamline the permitting process.

7          Recognition and Potential of Aquilon

The recognition of Aquilon by the EU’s Innovation Fund with grant agreements underscores its potential to drive significant progress toward a sustainable energy future. By overcoming regulatory hurdles and harnessing the collective expertise of stakeholders, projects like Aquilon can pave the way for the widespread adoption of innovative renewable energy solutions.

8          Conclusion

In conclusion, while challenges in advancing Airborne Wind Energy Systems and similar technologies are significant, they are not impossible. With concerted effort, collaboration, and a commitment to overcoming regulatory barriers, projects like Aquilon can lead the charge towards a cleaner, more sustainable energy future.