Renewable Energy Institute Hosts 19th European Conference with United Nations (UNEP)

For nearly 45 years, the Renewable Energy Institute has worked together with the United Nations Environment Programme and intergovernmental organisations to promote environmental awareness and good practice in renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.

On 10th-11th June this year, the UN-REI-CSG’s 19th European Conference gathered delegates from the European Commission and Parliament, UNIDO, FAO, and international government bodies such as ATF, JSRAE, and AREA among others; as well as researchers and industry experts, at the Polytechnic University of Milan to discuss the latest developments in renewable energy and decarbonisation. Specific focus was put on technology involving heating and cooling. Improving the technology for Energy Storage and Energy Efficiency in Buildings is vital for a sustainable future, both when it comes to heating up buildings, and, in warmer climates, retaining their coolness.

Full house: Virtual attendance at the 19th European Conference, June 2021

In the continuous strive to develop and assess the latest advances of technology and solutions to tackle climate change, while focused on supporting the United Nations in reaching the renowned 17 Sustainable Development Goals, on 10th – 11th June 2021 the Renewable Energy Institute, along with Centro Studi Galileo, hosted the 19th edition of its renowned European Conference.

Thanks to the technical support provided by the prestigious Polytechnic University of Milan, after 36 years of collaboration, the European Conference took place both on-site and online, with 250 participants and 45 speakers in total from over 40 countries.

Full house: In-person attendees at the previous European Conference, June 2019
Full house: In-person attendees at the previous European Conference, June 2019

One of the most renowned conferences of the energy sector worldwide has now delivered 19 successful editions throughout almost 41 years of activity, bringing together the global leading experts to present and discuss the best available solutions for energy efficiency, refrigeration, air conditioning, heating, ventilation, and heat pumps.

With a full house of 250 participants, the 19th Conference (10th-11th June 2021) created a unique learning and exchange opportunity, thanks to presentations and debates featuring attendees from every corner of the world.  As customary per the past 40 years, it took place under the auspices of the Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea Protection, featuring a service of simultaneous translation (Italian-English).

The Renewable Energy Institute-Centro Studi Galileo European Conference, held biennially in cooperation with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the International Institute of Refrigeration (IIF-IIR), is also held in collaboration with the European Association of RAC Contractors (AREA); presided by Marco Buoni, who is also Secretary General of the Italian Association of Refrigeration Technicians (ATF).

The 19th European Conference brought to the stage the customary speeches and presidency by major Institutions, Associations, and Experts worldwide, such as United Nations Agencies (invited UNEP, UNIDO, UNDP, FAO), the European Commission (invited DG Clima), plus American, European, Asian HVACR Associations (invited AHRI, ASHRAE, EPEE, ASERCOM, Eurovent, JSRAE, JRAIA, CAR).

The focus of the debate was the latest technological innovations in the HVAC/R field, in particular, to tackle climate change, together with renewable energies, training and certification, and the latest regulatory standards and safety.

After the introduction by UNEP and IIF-IIR, the first session focused on energy efficiency, new low GWP refrigerants and their developments, perspectives, and forecasts in light of the updated EU Regulation 517/2014, while simultaneously providing in-depth analysis and updates on the Regulation itself.

In the afternoon of Thursday 10th June, during the second session of the main industries of the RACHP sector, partners presented their latest technological solutions, with overviews of new components and systems that deal with new and alternative refrigerants, tackling the challenge of environmental protection.

The Conference continued on Friday 11th June, starting with the third session dedicated to F-Gas Regulation 517/2014 and concerning European and international certifications and licenses, discussing also the worldwide Phase Down situation. The fourth session followed, featuring an interesting and up-to-date debate on new control technologies and the cold chain, cold storage, and transport; including a discussion of food conservation, with relevant contributions from the Food and Agriculture Organisation.

Presidents and speakers at the 19th European Conference, 2021
Presidents and speakers at the 19th European Conference, 2021

Prior to the conclusions, undertaken by UNEP and IIF-IIR, the 19th European Conference welcomed a final, third session focused on new efficient and renewable cooling, featuring technologies such as evaporative, district, and magnetic cooling.

Now more than ever, in this crucial moment of global change and adaptation, the Conference shed light on pivotal topics thanks to demonstrations and scientific presentations by the Presidents of major Associations worldwide, together with industry representatives; thus, is a great opportunity for the attendees to engage in a relevant debate while deepening their knowledge on the topic.

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