The potential of a sustainable production of fuels and key chemicals

The potential of a sustainable production of fuels and key chemicals

This was the name of the lunchtime conference organized by the Directorate General for Energy (DG Energy) on October 24, 2019. The goal was to present SUNRISE and ENERGY-X initiatives and roadmaps, as well as its upcoming joint initiative within the scope of a smart integration for developing new technologies to produce sustainable fuels and chemicals contributing to a carbon-neutral EU energy system.

Key technologies towards a clean-energy Europe

Ditte Juul-Jørgensen, Director General of DG Energy kicked-off the meeting, with attendees from several DGs (Energy; Research and Innovation; Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs; and Climate Action), by emphasizing the very ambitious targets that the EU Commission has set to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, following its long-term strategy. “Research and innovation are key to develop the new technologies needed,” she stated.

SUNRISE partner Maximilian Fleischer, Siemens Chief Key Expert for Energy Technologies explained afterwards how “a new energy system is coming up with more and more renewable energy shares.” He also said that the second phase of this energy transition would be moving toward a chemical storage.

Still, Fleischer stressed about the current bottlenecks to reach the next stage -carbon dioxide capture and scale-up of technologies- and the importance of the economic viability of new technologies to tackle these. “New technologies need to be cost-effective, efficient and socially adopted and used”, he concluded.

Horizon Europe – the way forward

Carina Faber, project leader of SUNRISE Technological Roadmap, took the stage to introduce this project and the roadmap work, highlighting how the initiative proposes a portfolio of technologies with different TRLs (Technology Readiness Levels) from short to long-term goals.

She explained that in the last months, SUNRISE has reviewed current bibliography and collected stakeholders’ input to generate the roadmap and that the initiative has also initiated contacts with Mission Innovation IC5 and SUNRISE supporter CO2 Value Europe to bring this roadmap to an international and more industrial level.

On the other hand, Dr. Simon Perraud, deputy director of the research funding programmes at CEA Liten, presented ENERGY-X project and its scientific roadmap, Research Needs Report. Besides addressing the fact that chemical storage would be key for aviation and long-distance transport, he also focused on the relevance of catalysts’ development, scale-up, and societal engagement towards a climate neutral EU.

Dr Frédéric Chandezon, deputy coordinator of the upcoming SUNRISE/ENERGY-X joint initiative, took the chance to talk about the future joint project. He pointed out that, together, both projects have reached supports from more than 300 organisations at international level, so far.

The conference closed with a Q&A session with panelists from both initiatives. While SUNRISE was represented by the initiative’s coordinator Huub de Groot (ULeiden), Frédéric Chandezon (CEA), Joanna Kargul (UWarsaw), Carina Faber (UCLouvain) and Maximilian Fleischer (SIEMENS); Simon Perraud (CEA) and Javier Pérez-Ramírez (ETH Zürich) spoke on behalf of ENERGY-X.

Wondering about the highlights of our lunchtime conference with ENERGY-X at DG Energy? Check out our Twitter reporting wrap-up