Winning the energy transition battle - BePOSITIVE
02 April 2019

Winning the energy transition battle

Joining with the sectors and acting for the energy transition is the very reason for BEPOSITIVE’s existence. The path to a carbon-free world is strewn with complex issues. In its latest, 2019 edition, the Exhibition took up this challenge and demonstrated the vibrancy of the whole chain, coming down firmly on the side of promising subjects and answers: digital solutions, training, hydrogen, lighting, and many more.

Digital, the key to optimized energy use

Digital really came to the fore at BePOSITIVE, with an overwhelming majority across all sectors of the 651 exhibitors featuring connected solutions in their offerings. Added to this was a programme of round-the-table talks, conferences, and TV stages heavily involved in the subject.

With developments in renewable energy production and distribution leading to the introduction of hybrid technologies using combined solutions, digital is the inevitable option for managing decentralized production, controlling appliances, keeping track, implementing predictive maintenance, and even storing excess energy produced for own consumption in a “battery cloud”. There’s certainly no shortage of innovations, all of them with a connected dimension.  

« Digital in buildings provides an almost unlimited source of potential for services to users, not least in the field of energy consumption management »

Emmanuel François, , Chairman of the Smart Building Alliance.

The keyword is interoperability. A requirement that motivates all manufacturers, who these days are determined to take proprietary protocols to a place where they offer open systems capable of communicating with each other. This upsurge in interoperability, very much in view at the Exhibition, goes hand in hand with new businesses and trades, like that of integrator, a genuine trusted third party tasked with checking out the compatibility of digital systems and managing service integration. 

The energy transition will therefore either be digital or not happen, a belief put forward by AuRA Digital Solaire chairman Pascal Richard :

Now that solar has become competitive, digital tackles the question of intermittence, with real-time solving of the electricity equation. In large cities and desert areas alike, it will enable assets to be managed collaboratively and efficiently !

Stakeholders will have to step up a grade 

It’s a key requirement and a strong conviction of BePOSITIVE: the energy and digital transition and the prospect of forthcoming environmental regulations is causing an upheaval in traditional approaches. Stakeholders at all levels must advance, learn new methods, and experiment with solutions. 

 The “BePOSITIVE House”, a bona fide laboratory at the hub of the exhibition, was busy all through the event.  Across a six-point itinerary covering air tightness, ventilation, joinery, solar features, insulation, and design issues, visitors were able to test, to do, to question, and even to link a BIM digital model to an installation site. PACTE¹ manager Sabine Basili is quick to remind us that « It’s no good having a good product if it is badly installed, lowering its performance. » 

To address the training issue, PACTE has developed a whole palette of innovative solutions. Some of them with stands at the exhibition have already won over professionals, like “MOOC high-performance renovation”, sponsored by the town of Chambéry’s ASDER training centre, which attracted over 15,000 participants. In charge of this facility, Remi Cognet emphasises quite rightly that « It isn’t the aggregate performance of solutions that gives a building its performance but rather the performance of interactions between these solutions ».

« It isn’t the aggregate performance of solutions that gives a building its performance but rather the performance of interactions between these solutions ».

Rémy Cognet, ASDER

The energy transition also means learning to work with others !

Future directions with new solutions and technologies 

With APHYPAC, ADEME, and the HyVolution H2 Meetings, the Exhibition promoted hydrogen to a big issue of the 2019 edition. This synergetic energy source is making great steps forward, boosted by the National Hydrogen Plan. It has multiple applications in transportation, industry, and CHP as well as in the storage of intermittent renewable energy production. A big interest of this energy vehicle is its ability to store energy over long periods, bringing it into use exactly when needed, thus helping improve transport grid flexibility. 

Some good innovations were unveiled at BePositive, like the Smart Energy Hub—developed by the Sylfen company and implementing mixed hydrogen tank/battery storage for surpluses, management of surplus energy flows and production on a single-building scale—or like the carbon-free, biomass-sourced hydrogen production technology from the Haffner company. And we mustn’t forget the live presentation of applications including vehicles and hydrogen-fuelled generator sets from Powidian ! 

Another major energy transition lever exists in the shape of lighting, which as Lighting Syndicate chairman Julien Arnal points out, represents 10% of national energy consumption.
Taking on a new dimension thanks to LED technology, it has become a key lever in energy savings, meriting inclusion in the French 2020 environmental regulations. At the core of BePOSITIVE, the Lighting Days exhibition showed that beyond the issue of energy savings, the lighting sector is a high innovation potential sector in its own right. Li-Fi and especially integrated sensors pave the way to all sorts of possibilities whereby collected data is used to reconcile comfort, safety, and services to users. The smart, sustainable town will be a town of luminaries !

Rendez-vous in February 2021 for the next edition of the BePOSITIVE exhibition !

¹ action programme on construction quality and the energy transition.

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