"Then I say the Earth belongs to each generation during its course, fully and in its right no generation can contract debts greater than may be paid during the course of its existence"

Thomas Jefferson, September 6, 1789

"History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives"

Abba Eban

"You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete."

Buckminster Fuller, philosopher, futurist and global thinker (1895 - 1983)


Invited lectures

Sustainable energy communities: concepts, models, and technologic solutions

Today’s societies face huge challenges regarding their energy needs. Energy is required for economic development and for human comfort, but climate changes are harming the planet and raising health issues and must be mitigated by sustainable energy production and use. Energy communities and active citizens participation are emerging in the scope of the huge sustainability challenges faced by the power and energy sector and should act as important factors for ensuring sustainable development. 

This talk addresses concepts and models to enable the efficient operation of sustainable energy communities ensuring the efficient use of energy resources and the intensive use of renewable energy.  Relevant business models and technologic solutions will be presented, including models for energy transactions and service provision based on for distributed intelligence, aggregation, and local electricity markets. The proposed models will be illustrated with case studies based on real data and pilots.

Prof. Zita Vale
Engineering School of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto
Porto, Portugal

Zita Vale is Full Professor of the Department of Electrical Engineering of the of the Institute of Engineering – Polytechnic of Porto (ISEP). She received her diploma in Electrical Engineering in 1986, her PhD in 1993, and her Habilitation in 2003, from University of Porto. She works in the area of Power and Energy Systems, with special interest in the application of Artificial Intelligence techniques. She has been involved in more than 60 funded projects related to the development and use of Knowledge-Based systems, Multi-Agent systems, Neural networks, Particle Swarm Intelligence, and Data Mining. The main application fields of these projects comprise: - Smart Grids, accommodating an intensive use of Renewable Energy Sources, Distributed Energy Resources (DER), namely Distributed Generation (DG), storage, electrical vehicles, including the ones with gridable capability (V2G), and demand flexibility. Real-time management and simulation of energy resources, considering electrical networks, buildings, and diverse Internet of Things (IoT) and Machine to Machine (M2M) approaches are relevant aspects of her work in this field; - Electricity markets, addressing decision-support for market participants, prices and tariffs, ancillary services, energy transactions, service provision, and market simulation in the scope of wholesale and local markets. The integration of DER, demand response, and EVs in electricity markets, Transactive Energy (TE), and Peer-to-Peer approaches are important aspects of her work. Her work also focuses on the conception, development and test of new business models for market participants and aggregation models for energy resources and the respective management and operation methods. The results of her research are published in more than 200 journal papers. Professor Zita Vale actively participates in several technical working groups and committees, namely from IEEE. Zita Vale is co-Editor-in-Chief of Applied Energy and has editing responsibilities in several other journals. She also has regular activity as reviewer and evaluator for papers and for project proposals and monitoring, from different funding agencies around the world.

Benchmarking the performance of cities across energy, water and environment systems
related metrics presents an opportunity to trigger policy learning, action, and cooperation to bring cities closer to sustainable development.