{{ content.logo.text }}

  • {{searchSuggestions.title}}


Economic activities often produce side effects, external consequences or externalities which are considered as a hurdle to the good functioning of the system or the eco-system. They can even become life-threatening as for example carbon dioxide (CO2) emission but can also be put to positive use. Space technologies and data can play a significant part in solving these problems and by re-using these externalities and building sustainable synergies between different sectors.

ENEL Green Power’s partner ESA has issued an open competitive tender for a feasibility study offering up to 200K Euro zero equity funding per activity to investigate the technical feasibility and economic viability of space based applications in support of Interconnected Systems for Positive Impact, and define a roadmap for services implementation and demonstration.

ENEL Green Power has supported ESA to define use cases on Agrivoltaic and on Biodiversity in Wind Farms which are relevant for the application area  called Sector hybridization and Collocated Facilities respectively.  

For additional information on how to apply, you will be redirected to the ESA website at “Sustainable Synergies: Interconnected Systems for Positive Impact | ESA Business Applications”.




The scientific method involves applying rigorous testing of hypotheses and the analyses of data to refine experimental findings. The experimenter will change just one factor, known as the “independent variable”, which requires isolating the system under study to measure and analyse the specific behaviours we are interested in. We grow to understand that frictionless movements do not exist in real life and that most objects suffer energy losses in the form of heat that the experimenter would prefer to avoid as they are more difficult to measure. Those side effects are called interferences, external consequences, or externalities. They are often considered as a hurdle to the good functioning of the system or eco-system under study.

The Internet, climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic have highlighted that now more than ever we live in an interconnected world. This has always been the case as we can witness that all ecosystems are interconnected, living organisms and geological events influence and interact with each other. In the recent past we can see innovations that implements synergies between systems. One example are parking lots and solar panels. Solar panels produce electricity and have as externality to produce shade below them. Car owners in sunny areas want to protect their vehicles from insulation damages, and therefore the integration of both generates a positive impact. There are numerous other examples that are in development: aquaculture feed re-use, subway heat re-use, collocated wind/fish farms, biological insecticides, etc

Space assets have a great role to play in the management of these interconnected systems. Satellite-based Internet of Things (IoT) is key to monitor the complex evolutions of these systems such as the water content in a remote integrated fish farm. Precise positioning can be a requirement to locate mobile IoT sensors. Satellite Earth Observation (SatEO) can provide unique information about the macro-behaviour of the systems, such as energy dissipation, geographical growth, or movement.



This call for Feasibility Studies aims to promote the operational and commercial roll-out of services addressing interconnected systems for positive impact where at least two systems considered “isolated”, including eco-systems, are operated in a synergistic manner so that externalities are re-used or recycled and with the use of at least one space assets. The intended contractors are businesses operating in one of the field (e.g. solar panel installers, for the example above) or system integrators. The selected studies will conduct a thorough analysis of the concept they present, the actors involved and main components of the systems and will determine the technical feasibility and viability of a commercial service that will manage the resulting synergistic service.



Because of the broad reach and openness of the proposed concept this open call for studies is eligible to any industrial sector. The proposed solutions could belong to one of the following three categories:

  • Sector hybridisation: hybridisation relates to inter-connection with another sector (with respect to the original sector). This depicts the case where a technological solution already exists for a specific application, and it is then evolved to serve another sector/other community.

A relevant use case is the experimental agrivoltaic (APV) launched by Enel Green Power in January 2021 aimed at investigating the coexistence of agro-zoological solutions in large standard photovoltaic (PV) plants. A holistic vision has been adopted to mitigate their environmental/ecological impacts and social footprint, leading to the concept of Sustainable Solar Park. The results harvested so far have been very promising, both in terms of the feasibility of integrating solar installations with crops and in terms of mutual benefits. 

Another relevant use case is the excess generation of heat by subways (e.g. users, machines) that can be collected to heat homes in the surroundings. In this example the transport sector has hybridised the housing sector. 

  • Circularity of resources: as every industrial process generates primary products and secondary products, what is outputted in excess is considered waste. For example, the petrol refinery process generates oil and gas as primary products. Plastics and fertilisers were produced later during the 20th century as secondary products through an innovation process that is like what is suggested in this call. Still today a significant part of the refinery process generates CO2 and chemical liquids than are either dumped or stored. An innovation in this category would aim to collect and transform this waste into positive outputs even within the same sector.

A relevant use case is the carbon farming as industries can profit from agriculture as a carbon sink and by CO2 certificates that they can buy, and agriculture can profit from resilient ecosystems and increased soil fertility and an additional income source (that could be presented as a second harvest for the farmer).

  • Collocated facilities: this category of interconnected solutions recognises that the space occupied by technological solutions, buildings or factories can be shared to not only occupy less space but also to reduce maintenance cost and offer synergetic advantages. 

Relevant use case is the safeguarding of biodiversity in wind farms. In this context, EGP has launched a biodiversity safeguard validation campaign in 2022 in Italy and Spain, first and then also in South Africa. These initiatives are focused on the improvement of wind parks sustainability, testing innovative tools and sensors to protect avi- & bat-fauna. The tests include different innovative and automatic tools, based on proximity sensors. In particular, high-resolution cameras, night vision (thermal imaging cameras), microphones technology and radar systems to detect birds and/or bats, estimating their distribution, numbers, behaviors, species and deterrent effectiveness.  Expected results will be available at the end of 2023, after at least one year of monitoring.

Other relevant use case could be linked to develop solar parking lots: solar panels cast shade for the cars below .



The innovation in the field of synergetic applications will benefit greatly from the combined use of satellite communication and positioning, as well as earth observation imagery. 

  • Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) are essential in the development of interconnected solutions to track the position of vehicles, vessels, or any moving element of the solution. GNSS is also necessary to locate the position of sensors that measure physical parameters within or in the proximity of such facilities. 
  • Satellite Telecommunications (SatCom) allow to digitally connect remote premises that conduct collocated activities, such an offshore mussel wind farm to conduct all necessary activities related to maintenance, reporting, alerting and market forecast. Satellite IoT is also key to monitor and report on the physical parameters measured in hybrid vicinities especially during the installation and trial phases. 
  •  Satellite Earth Observation (EO) allows the holistic monitoring of sites where such solutions will be deployed and ensure that the externalities (especially environmental) are absent or reduced according to the term of the solution deployed (e.g. reduced CO2 emission as CO2 is reused or reduced heat emission as heat is recycled). The capabilities of EO satellites are unique to detect and measure these externalities and to ensure that the solution proposed does have a positive impact.



The feasibility study shall eventually aim at proposing pre-operational demonstration project(s) to be performed consecutively to the feasibility study – potentially as ESA co-funded Demonstration Project within the Business Applications - Space Solutions Programme, in preparation for the operational services. Details on study deliverables are available in the tender documentation (http://emits.sso.esa.int).


Challenge Rules

All proposers are invited to read carefully the instruction available at ESA dedicated web page and download the official tender documentation from ESA STAR (https://esastar-publication-ext.sso.esa.int).




For this call, companies or organisations residing in the following Member States will be eligible to apply: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovania, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom​​​.

The applicable funding level of the individual prime - or subcontractors is subject to authorisation by the involved National Delegation(s). Therefore, bidding teams are requested to obtain a Letter of Authorisation from all the respective national delegations before submitting the Proposal.



Responding to an open competitive Invitation to Tender (ITT) requires the submission of a Proposal. The Proposal will be evaluated according to ESA regulations and procedures. The consequential evaluation of proposals results in a recommendation for a winning bid. In the case that several proposals of good quality targeting different and/or complementary aspects are submitted, the Agency reserves the right to place parallel contracts for each of the open competitive ITTs in coordination with the relevant national delegations.

The proposals will be admitted until May 15th, 2023 at 13:00 (local time in Amsterdam) and ESA will start the evaluation after this date.


What happens next?



How to Apply

The Prime and all subcontractors must register as potential bidders via esa-star (https://esastar-publication-ext.sso.esa.int), download the official tender documents and submit their Proposal. The registration process needs to be started as soon as possible, as it will take time to complete. Submit your proposal during the opening duration of the call : March 15th 2023 to May 15th 2023.

ESA will evaluate the proposals received.


About the seeker

The European Space Agency (ESA) is Europe’s gateway to space. Its mission is to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space continues to deliver benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world. ESA is an international organisation with 22 Member States. By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, it can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country.

ESA Space Solutions

ESA Space Solutions aims at reaching commercial exploitation of space assets, data and capabilities addressing incubation, proving technical feasibility and business development. This includes the development of operational services for a wide range of users through the combination of different systems, and support in creating viable companies as well as to existing companies.