EERA, Brussels
September 26th

How can we create a sustainable Europe and mitigate climate change?

How do we move towards sustainable production of fuels and chemicals in Europe, and how will Horizon Europe, the next EU Framework Programme for R&I, support Europe´s high ambitions for sustainability? This was discussed at the ENERGY-X ( event, on September 26 in Brussels. During this event, ENERGY-X presented its research roadmap, highlighting research needs towards the sustainable production of fuels and chemicals and how it can contribute to Europe´s energy objectives and to mitigate climate change. The ENERGY-X research roadmap is the result of the integrated knowledge of 180+ scientists across Europe and a key step to engage the whole community towards building a climate-neutral EU.

European Commission speakers at the event were Ditte Juul Jørgensen, Director General at DG Energy and Søren Bøwadt, Deputy Head of Unit for “Materials for tomorrow”, DG Research & Innovation.  Søren Bøwadt and Philippe Schild, Senior Expert at DG Research & Innovation joined the discussion with panelists from the ENERGY-X and SUNRISE projects and the audience.

Jens Nørskov (Technical University of Denmark, DTU), ENERGY-X project coordinator, highlighted the importance of the synergy of science and engineering, scale-up strategy and stakeholders engagement in order to tackle the sustainable energy storage challenges. Jens Nørskov stated that “All European countries and relevant stakeholders have to be part of the solution“.

Søren Bøwadt also highlighted the urgency of a sustainable future, tackling climate change and helping to achieve sustainable development goals.

Bert Weckhuysen (University, UU), ENERGY-X project partner of the, emphasizes: “We have to make clear to European decision makers that support is needed to accelerate the defossilization process. Climate change is real and is happening now. We have to build on our knowledge base to give clear impulses to industrial processes, the energy and the transportation sector to preserve the world for the next generation”.

The event was also the opportunity to present SUNERGY, the joint ENERGY-X/SUNRISE initiative. ENERGY-X and SUNRISE are two H2020 ongoing projects, aimed at the development of large-scale research initiatives in energy, environment and climate change. They share goals for the conversion of renewable energies into alternative fuels and chemicals.

Climate change is one of the grand challenges of modern society and the ever-growing demand for energy and materials is a significant contributor to rising CO2 levels, making it imperative that we discover ways of producing energy sustainably. Fossil resources form the basis of our current energy supply, and we need to find suitable replacements based on the energy input from the sun in order to meet the COP 21 Paris Agreement’s goals, to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and to contribute to the ambitions of the EU Energy Union and the Energy Roadmap 2050 for a secure, sustainable, affordable, and climate-friendly energy supply for Europe.

ENERGY-X is a Coordination and Support Action under the EU’s HORIZON 2020 research programme. 13 partners from across Europe are working to develop a strategic roadmap for the efficient use of renewable energy for the production of chemical products.

ENERGY-X and SUNRISE are two out of the six CSA projects that were selected for the Horizon 2020 call “FETFLAG-01-2018” within the research area of Energy, Environment and Climate Change. Both initiatives received €1 million from the European Commission to develop a proposal for a large-scale research initiative over the course of one year, from March 2019 to February 2020. SUNRISE and ENERGY-X aim to develop sustainable approaches for the storage of renewable energy (solar and wind) through its conversion to fuels and commodity chemicals using abundant molecules such as carbon dioxide, water and nitrogen. The two projects bring together 30 committed organisations, backed by an initial supporting community of approx. 300 stakeholders from academia, industry and society.