Both ENERGY-X and SUNRISE communities have delivered, during the CSA period, specific documents to stablish different paths and priorities towards the conversion and storage of renewable energy into fuels and chemicals.
These documents, ENERGY-X RESEARCH NEEDS REPORT and SUNRISE TECHNOLOGICAL ROADMAP, are the result of the hard work carried out by both SUNRISE and ENERGY-X's members and supporters. Both documents integrate the knowledge of a broad interdisciplinary group of scientists and have included open consultation periods to get input from both communities.
SUNERGY initiative builds upon these previous efforts and will continue to merge the two complementary processes.
HOW CAN WE MOVE TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTION OF FUELS AND CHEMICALS IN EUROPE AND MITIGATE CLIMATE CHANGE?
The ENERGY-X report provides a scientific roadmap towards sustainable production of fuels and chemicals. It is the result of a three-day workshop, integrating the knowledge of more than 150 scientists and stakeholders. The report highlights scientific challenges in twelve areas integral to realising sustainable fuels and chemicals, and points to the related research needs from a scientific, industrial and societal perspective.
Synthetic fuels offer a promising alternative to fossil fuels as they have the highest energy density of all energy storage media; can be stored cheaply over long periods; and fit into a vast, existing infrastructure for storage, transmission, and use. The challenge is that current technologies to produce synthetic fuels sustainably are, although well established, not economically competitive. A number of scientific and technical challenges must be overcome to change that.
Modern civilization thrives on a constant flow of energy and material goods, obtained from natural resources such as fossil fuels, minerals and biomass. This leads to the production of large amounts of waste, which becomes difficult to handle.
Such a linear economic system is not sustainable having negative effects for our planet, an idea exemplified by the uncontrolled release of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere, altering climate stability with vast environmental, societal and economic consequences.
The SUNRISE technological roadmap is the result of the integrated knowledge of a broad group of scientists across Europe and a key step to engage the whole community towards building a climate neutral EU.
This roadmapping process started in May 2019 based on the development of a consolidated SUNRISE vision of a circular solar-driven economy for 2050. It spread in June at the SUNRISE Stakeholder Workshop and has been later tackled by a dedicated working group within the SUNRISE consortium.
With the release of this key outcome, SUNRISE aims at promoting a large-scale research initiative to provide short and long-term solutions to enable the transition to a circular economy powered by sunlight through the sustainable production of fuels and chemicals.
A final version of the document was released in November 2019 and, thanks to the contributions of supporters, updated versions were released in January and February 2020.