What role can technological innovation play in renewable energy and energy efficiency in promoting local climate action? How can the link between various public and private actors be strengthened to promote a local energy transition based on entrepreneurship and digitalization?
These and other questions were addressed at the presentation event of the project that promotes the creation of a technological innovation Hub for renewable energy and energy efficiency in the State of Querétaro, which was held last August 20 at the Industrial Club in Queretaro. The project is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH (German Cooperation for Sustainable Development) through the Project Enhancing the Coherence of Climate and Energy Policies in Mexico (CONECC), in collaboration with the Ministry of Sustainable Development (SEDESU) of the State of Querétaro, the State Energy Cluster and the Research Laboratory in Reconfigurable Control (LiCore).
The Hub concept refers to a platform for linking and collaborating among different actors in the innovation ecosystem, in which various organizations, entrepreneurs and investors, industry, academia, government, among others, seek to develop disruptive technologies that strengthen the energy transition state and generate positive social, economic and environmental impacts for the whole population.
The event featured a welcome message from the Secretary of Sustainable Development of the State of Querétaro, Marco Antonio del Prete Tercero; the Director of the queretana start-up Solar Manager Arturo Fenton; the Director of LiCore Natalia Nila; and the CONECC Project Director Jonas Russbild. The Secretary del Prete highlighted the commitment of the state of Querétaro to promote projects aimed at promoting an equitable, sustainable, competitive and innovation-based economy, while the CONECC project highlighted the relevance that schemes such as the Hub are able to build bridges between the energy and climate change sectors .
The event also featured the presentation of Pedro López Sela, expert in entrepreneurship and innovation, who invited companies, the productive sector and the innovation ecosystem to join the project to generate sustainable and realistic collaboration ties.
This initiative seeks to generate synergies and strategic links that allow participating actors to take advantage of the technological potential and development in the State in order to develop, mature and strengthen technologies or business models aimed at increasing the use of renewable energy and the implementation of measures of energy efficiency, thus contributing to the mitigation of GHG emissions. Some examples may be technologies that promote the digitalization of the electricity sector, the use of renewable resources for electricity generation (especially solar and wind resources), smart grids, energy storage, load aggregation, energy demand control, among others.
Queretaro is a State where the integration of mechanisms such as the Hub is favorable: in 2018, the State ranked second in the State Competitiveness Index developed by the Mexican Institute for Competitiveness (IMCO), andits strengths include innovation in the economic sector, the number of scientific and technological institutions, patents and research staff.
The Hub will seek to provide conditions and solutions for linking, training, communicating and accelerating young companies that enable all the above. Therefore, it is necessary to initiate a process of dialogue and exchange with all actors of the innovation and energy ecosystem to find the most efficient ways that this may require.
GIZ provides technical support to the State of Querétaro to develop an optimal concept of governance, operation and linkage of the Hub, considering the diversity of perspectives and the different areas of action identified. The next steps are to carry out consultations and interviews with key actors in Querétaro to integrate a proposal of elements for the integration of a strategic plan of the Hub, which will be discussed in a workshop with the actors involved and that will seek to derive in a first solid proposal by the end of 2019. The process of constitution of the Hub is expected to begin towards the beginning of the year 2020.
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