Challenges in Slovenia during the Transition into a Low-Carbon Society
Tuesday, 03 August 2010 00:00
The Centre of Excellence for Low-Carbon Technologies (CoE LCT) was founded with the financial support of the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund and the Republic of Slovenia in a time of dramatic shifts in the search for renewable energy sources and the efficient use of energy. We, and the entire world economy, are facing unprecedented challenges. It has become clear that the fossil fuel supplies are decreasing and that their high use is harming nature and our environment. Climate change is a fact that cannot be neglected for it is bound to cause changes in our way of life, in the habits of individuals and nations as well as migration.

Regarding the consortium, the CoE LCT incorporates all the key Slovenian potential in the area of low-carbon energy sources and their application in stationary and mobile consumers. Our purpose is to convert solar energy into electricity and store it in batteries and supercapacitors (lithium technologies), or to convert it into hydrogen for use in fuel cells (hydrogen technologies). Lithium and hydrogen technologies form a whole that will cover a wide array of consumers in the future (e.g. hybrid and electric cars, electricity for buildings, etc.).

There are 22 partners, 12 laboratories from two research institutes (National Institute of Chemistry and the Jozef Stefan Institute), the University of Ljubljana and its Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology and the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, the University of Nova Gorica and 10 industrial partners (Domel, Inea, TEŠ, HSE, Petrol, Silkem, Iskra Tela, Cinkarna, Mebius and RCVT) participating within the CoE LCT.
The advantages of the CoE LCT are an awareness of energy challenges, orientation into low-carbon technologies, multidisciplinarity and the complementary nature of the partners’ expertise covering almost all the areas necessary to develop lithium and hydrogen technologies based on primary solar energy.     CoE LCT consists of two main research pillars that cover the entire spectrum of activities ranging from basic research into new materials for converting solar energy into electricity or hydrogen, the preparation of solar energy conversion devices, material research and the preparation of prototype devices using hydrogen or electricity, to the construction of device systems and, ultimately, the marketing of new high-tech products or services. This means that the aim of all our activities at all levels is to replace the current fossil fuels and introduce the production and use of energy sources with a low percentage of carbon emissions or none at all, reducing the proportion of emissions produced by us and the wider region.

A systematic transformation into a low-carbon society can be very complex. Here at CoE LCT, we are certain that we have incorporated all the vital Slovenian potential, allowing for the harmonious, comprehensive and, most of all, systematic development of advanced technologies designed to facilitate Slovenia’s transformation into a low-carbon society. The majority of the partners involved are driving forces in their respective fields, not just in Slovenia but also from a European and even a world perspective. The CoE will remain open for any new partners and supports the possibility of joint project applications with outside partners, either in the Slovenian or the international framework.

The ultimate goal of CoE LCT is to expand its activities to cover the entire Slovenian society. This goal is actually a necessity seeing that fossil fuel supplies are limited. It is more than reasonable to rapidly pursue the development of alternatives already today.

kemijski inštitut institut jožefa stefana univerza v novi gorici domel, d.d. inea d.o.o. razvojni center za vodikove tehnologije - rcvt mebius d.o.o. termoelektrarna šoštanj holding slovenskih elektrarn, d.o.o. petrol d.d. silkem, d.o.o. fakulteta za strojništvo, univerza v ljubljani iskra tela d.d. cinkarna celje, d.d. Ljubljanska univerza Image Map