Workshop – Brussels

Workshop: Energy & Space – Overcoming the challenge of limited space and water to achieve a decarbonised energy system

RGI’s Energy & Space Workshop discussed the challenges of limited resources to reach a decarbonised future and how to address them. During the event, the results of analysis about the needed space and water for different decarbonisation scenarios were presented, and invited experts shared their perspectives on how to plan energy systems while considering resources’ constraints and applying different planning tools and approaches.

The European Union has committed to decarbonise by 2050, in line with the Paris Agreement.

To accomplish this goal, the transformation of the energy sector towards a renewables-based system is playing a key role in European strategies for decarbonisation, but renewable energy sources and the accompanying transmission infrastructure will require space both on land and sea.

Space is a limited and valuable resource that can be used in a multitude of ways, including nature and biodiversity protection, urban and industrial development, energy infrastructure, agriculture, among others. This holds true also for water, the availability of which has decreased throughout the years.

Thus, a sound planning on how to adequately optimise available resources is necessary to minimise social and environmental impacts, ensuring a fair and nature-friendly energy transition.

To achieve the climate and energy targets set out for 2030, 2040 and 2050, different pathways could be taken, but some questions remain unanswered, such as:

  • What are the challenges laying ahead?
  • How the challenges related to a limited availability of space and water can be addressed?
  • What are available tools that can be helpful for the system and spatial planning?
  • How can we address existing constraints related to implementation of a decarbonised energy system?

Drawing from these questions, RGI commissioned the Reiner Lemoine Institute (RLI) to analyse the requirements of space and water to achieve a decarbonised future, as well as the differences and implications stemming from the implementation of different decarbonisation scenarios.

During the Energy & Space Workshop: Overcoming the challenge of limited water and space to achieve a decarbonised energy system, the results of this analysis were presented and different experts shared their views during the panel discussion sessions. A final interactive session involved participants in productive conversations about four topics:

  • Optimisation and bottlenecks for planning the future energy system
  • Onshore wind energy planning
  • Offshore wind infrastructure planning
  • Stakeholder engagement throughout energy infrastructure project steps

The programme for the day, as well as invited speakers are detailed below.


The analysis, launched during our Energy&Space workshop can now be accessed below.

*If you received the printed version of our Summary Report, please be aware that some of calculations from the PAC Scenario 2050 area requirements have minor inconsistencies. The digital version of the report is updated with the correct results.



Stephanie Bätjer and Andrzej Ceglarz, RGI

Keynote Session

Birgit Schachler and Paul Dubielzig, RLI



Best Practice Fair: Practices' Pitches

Gilytics and Swissgrid, BirdLife, The Nature Conservancy, REN, RSE, SolarPower Europe

Panel 2: Speakers' Presentations

ENSTO-E, Gilytics, WWF European Policy Office, European Commission - DG Environment


During the workshop, Illustrator Zsofi Lang summarised the discussions in a mural art, which also allowed participants to add elements to the illustration. You can see this collaborative graphic recording effort in our timelapse video.


  View all the photos from the event on our Flickr gallery here


09:30 | Registration

10:00 | Welcome and Setting the Scene

Workshop goal, relevance and context

Andrzej Ceglarz

Programme Manager - Socio-Energy Systems
Renewables Grid Initiative

Stephanie Bätjer

Programme Manager - Communication
Renewables Grid Initiative

10:20 | Space and Energy Infrastructure Planning

Understanding needs for decarbonisation

Birgit Schachler

Researcher, Transformation of Energy Systems
Reiner Lemoine Institute

Paul Dubielzig

Researcher, Transformation of Energy Systems
Reiner Lemoine Institute

Dimitris Tsekeris

Energy Scenarios Project Manager
CAN Europe

Francesco Celozzi

Long Term Planning Senior Specialist and ONDP Project Manager

11:10 | Best Practice Fair

Introduction and practice pitches (Part I)

11:20 | Panel Discussion

Defining resource optimisation standards in energy system planning

Andrzej Ceglarz

Programme Manager - Socio-Energy Systems
Renewables Grid Initiative

Birgit Schachler

Researcher, Transformation of Energy Systems
Reiner Lemoine Institute

Georgios Savvidis

Engineer for Energy Market Analyses

Lara Welder

Unit Lead - Modelling
Climate Analytics

12:30 | Best Practice Fair

Practice pitches (Part II)

12:40 | Lunch Break

+ Explore the Best Practice Fair

14:00 | Panel Discussion

Applying a holistic system approach to spatial planning – on land and at sea

Cristina Simioli

Programme Manager - Offshore Energy and Nature
Renewables Grid Initiative


Francesco Celozzi

Long Term Planning Senior Specialist and ONDP Project Manager

Stefania Charisiadou

Policy Officer - Nature Conservation Unit
European Commission, DG ENV

Arnaud Van Dooren

Climate & Energy Policy Officer

Salvador Bayarri

Software Team Lead

15:15 | Coffee Break

15:30 | Interactive Session

Perspectives on needs, constrains and opportunities for energy system planning

17:00 | Wrap-up & Outlook


Nathália Pimentel
Manager - Communication

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t: +49 30 2332 11035

Damiano Ottavi
Manager - Energy Systems

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t: +49 30 2332 11028

Stephanie Bätjer
Director - Communication

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t: +49 30 2332 11017

RGI gratefully acknowledges the EU LIFE funding support:

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Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the LIFE Programme. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.