The Chair of Energy Sustainability at the UB promotes research into the production, supply and use of the energy needed to maintain social welfare and development, placing special emphasis on economic, environmental and social aspects. The Chair pursues the following aims:
1. To develop a research programme in energy and environmental matters.
In that sense, various research topics are being developed by the Chair, with special emphasis on the following: R&D in the energy sector, energy efficiency, energy markets, renewable energies, electricity and gas transmission and distribution, and power sector regulation in general.
2. To promote research in energy and environmental topics through the establishment of a permanent research group.
In that sense, in 2014 the Emerging Research Group of the Government of Catalonia (2014SGR531), it recognizes the excellent research carried out and brings institutional acknowledgment.
3. To encourage scientific debate through seminars and the visiting professors program in areas related to the Chair’s activities.
Highlight the tremendous effort made by the Chair through the seminars and visiting professors program in which more than 25 university professors coming from relevant national and international institutions have already participated.
4. To collaborate in an international framework with top-class universities and research centers with a proven track record.
The Chair has created collaborative networks with universities and research centres such as Erasmus University of Rotterdam and Warwick Business School. Moreover, it takes part in international research projects.
5. To promote the publication of research studies in JCR journals in the areas covered by the Chair.
The research group has recurrently published articles in journals acknowledged by the Journal Citation Report (JCR) since its creation.
6. To organize international scientific congresses in research areas covered by the Chair.
An International Academic Symposium is organized annually with great success. They have included the participation of leading experts in sustainability and energy topics from the academic world.
7. To support the publication of monographs disseminating its activities.
The Chair has published a book titled “Foreign Investment and Energy Sector in Latin America”, edited by Civitas.
This group is evolving into a high quality research institution, with international scientific recognition, so that its projects and team members meet the demanding conditions of ICREA (the Catalan Institute for Research and Advanced Studies) and the National Plan for Scientific Research, Development and Technological Innovation. Its scientific work is expected to meet the standards of the academic journals acknowledged by the JCR network (Journal Citation Reports).
The annual assessments of the research group’s scientific activity will include the number of articles accepted in journals recognized by the JCR as an indicator of the quality of research undertaken, as well as participation in conferences and accredited international workshops.
The Chair, led by professor Maria Teresa Costa Campi and affiliated to the IEB, was created by an agreement between the University of Barcelona and the Foundation for Energy and Environmental Sustainability (FUNSEAM), whose members are the Repsol Foundation, Enagas, the ACS Foundation, CEPSA, CLH, Endesa, Naturgy, Red Eléctrica de España and EDP renováveis.
R&D in the energy sector
This line of research examines entrepreneurial commitment to R+D and its degree of technological innovation, through an analysis of the firms involved and of the relations between market structure, regulation and innovation. The methodology applied will involve the creation and specification of the corresponding models and their estimation using contributions from the new empirical industrial economics.
Energy and Environment
There is a global concern about the rise of greenhouse gas emissions and their impact on Climate Change. Considering that the power sector is responsible for one of the highest share of these emissions justifies the greater attention being paid to environmental issues within the sector. This research focuses on the study of possible actions regarding the supply and demand side of the sector attaining objectives as climate change mitigation and environmental policy. This topic will also focus on investment and costs of emissions.
Competitive wholesale and retail energy markets face major challenges in the context of ever increasingly more decarbonized and integrated systems. This research topic is devoted to the analysis of the wholesale and retail effects of the increasing penetration of renewables, the provision of flexibility required to face intermittency from both reliability and adequacy perspectives, and the evolving integration of national and supranational markets.
Current network segments of the sector need to deal with new conditions that have arisen as a consequence of the major changes which occurred during the past decades, both within the networks and in liberalized activities. Moving from a passive role to a more active function, the networks have acquired an increasing relevance when providing continuous stability to the system. This research is oriented to the study of transmission and distribution networks, as isolated components and as integrated parts of the system that are affected by and influence the rest of the sector.
Power sector regulation
Within the context of a sector where liberalized and regulated activities coexist, analysing the effect of regulatory and policy changes is crucial for a better understanding of their implications. This research involves the ex-ante and ex-post evaluation of the impact exerted by regulations and policies in the power sector, with special attention paid to the welfare consequences.