Kick-off of the SUNERGY initiative

SUNRISE and ENERGY-X join forces and lead to SUNERGY, a new initiative in the area of fossil-free fuels and chemicals

Over 100 stakeholders of the Coordination and Support Actions (CSAs) SUNRISE and ENERGY-X gathered on February 5-6, 2020 in Brussels for the kick-off meeting of SUNERGY, a large-scale research and innovation (R&I) initiative in the area of fossil-free fuels and chemicals. Renewable energy experts from academia, industry and policy addressed the current opportunities and challenges towards decarbonizing the European industry and society over the next 30 years.


SUNRISE and ENERGY-X are two CSA projects funded under the Horizon 2020 call “FETFLAG-01-2018” within the research area of Energy, Environment and Climate Change. Both 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 brought together 30 committed organisations, backed by an initial supporting community of approx. 300 stakeholders from academia, industry, and society.


Large-scale R&I initiatives to decarbonize Europe


The SUNERGY launch event was organized in two sessions: a high-level lunch discussion at the European Parliament (EP) on February 5, and a public two-day conference.

During the high-level lunch discussion at the EP, hosted by the member of European Parliament Morten Helveg Petersen, representatives from both initiatives debated on how large-scale R&I initiatives in the area of fossil-free fuels and chemicals can contribute to meet the targets of the Paris Agreement with the contribute of several keynote speakers.

“The SUNERGY initiative comes at a time when greater attention to climate and energy issues and on-going developments at European level offer the right framework for action and a great opportunity to join efforts towards reversing climate change” states Bert Weckhuysen, SUNERGY coordinator.


A common vision to close the carbon and nitrogen cycles


During the public kick-off meeting, the CSAs SUNRISE and ENERGY-X presented their achievements throughout the past year, and proposed their joint vision on providing sustainable and competitive alternatives to fossil fuels by 2050. Keynote speakers like Peter Dröll (Director Prosperity, Directorate General Research & Innovation) highlighted the strong support of the European institutions towards R&I to achieve the ambitions of the European Green Deal.

“This kick-off meeting has served as a key step towards unifying the SUNRISE and ENERGY-X research communities and defining directions for a European large-scale R&I initiative around SUNERGY, within the new European R&I framework Horizon Europe” pointed out SUNERGY deputy coordinator Frédéric Chandezon.


Photo by Marc Najera on Unsplash