EXPO 2015: ENEA and Cooperation for the Development present “NEXUS”, to tackle global challenges of water, energy and food


Addressing the critical challenges of the future adopting a global vision based on interdependence  and an integrated approach to the use of vital resources like food and energy.

This was the main topic at the Conference “Nexus, water, energy, food” organized  at Expo 2015 by ENEA, the DGCS (Directorate General for Development Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation) and WAME - World Access to Modern Energy, with the participation of experts from the FAO, FAD, UNIDO, the IEA and the Ministry of the Environment.

At present, over a billion people worldwide suffer from hunger and as many don’t have access to safe drinking water.

Over 2.5 billion lack access to modern forms of energy.

The future prospects are even worse: the OCSE and FAO'S projections estimate  water, energy and food demand  will increase by 55%, 80% and 60% respectively, a dramatically escalating pressure, considering that agriculture consumes 70% of fresh water worldwide and the food chain accounts for 30% of the world’s  energy consumption.

“ENEA’s innovative projects are targeted at addressing global water, food and energy issues” Massimo Iannetta, Head of the Sustainable Development and Innovation of the Industrial System Technical Unit at ENEA, points out.

ENEA shares this innovative approach envisaging the integration of progress with equitable and sustainable development, the need for which had already been highlighted during a meeting with the experts of the DGCS,  held at the Farnesina last March.

11woman.jpgAim of the event held at EXPO 2015 was presenting examples of best practices and international cooperation and technology innovation projects, addressing the issues jeopardizing the livelihoods of billions of people by adopting a global, innovative approach.

ENEA has brought to EXPO 2015 technologies, products and services to optimize and integrate the use of water, energy and soil in the agricultural and agro-food sectors,  symbolized by its Vertical Farm in the Future Food District, the first Italian made, small-scale, vertical greenhouse  combining the NEXUS themes “ water, energy, food”.

ENEA’s current technology transfer and technical support activities, carried out under numerous International Cooperation Programs, mostly implemented in Africa,  focus on environmental and economic sustainability.

To take an example out of many, the FREDDAS Project, financed by the DGCS and developed by Green Cross Italia, which made it possible to cultivate desertification prone areas in Senegal, employing  Next Generation  Photovoltaics and high-efficiency pumps.

ENEA is also collaborating with many International Organizations and United Nations Specialized Agencies and is implementing projects outside the European Union, notably in the Mediterranean Basin.

ENEA is currently involved in projects aimed at ensuring  a sustainable use of water resources in semiarid regions of the world (WATER DROP Project), the treatment and reuse of wastewater in the Mediterranean region (SWIM Project) and  the construction of a thermodynamic solar power plant in Egypt (MATS Project).

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