The workshop was hosted on 26 November, 2020. More than 85 participants gathered together online to discuss the projects and developments taking place in the Netherlands related to fossil-free fuels and chemicals, and to discuss future perspectives. The event, moderated by Linda Veldhuizen (SUNERGY Programme Coordinator) started with a brief introduction of the SUNERGY initiative by its coordinator: Prof. Bert Weckhuysen (Utrecht University).
The workshop itself started with an intense exchange in the chat, where over 40 large-scale projects and initiatives such as E-Refinery, KeroGreen and HyChain were shared that related to topics such as hydrogen production, carbon capture and carbon-based products production. In addition, participants were asked to give input on horizontal topics, including societal, efficiency and value chain approaches on the road towards fossil-free fuels and chemicals.
Next, the participants reflected on reasons for optimism and pessimism with regard to reaching the Green Deal objectives. This discussion made clear that there is a need for science and industry to work together on the upscaling, application and integration of new technologies. To support this, participants emphasised the importance of stable government policies that sets clear targets and supports this with funding and possibilities to de-risk investments. Finally with regards to societal aspects, participants saw the need to better match societal needs and to better understand how new technologies can be successfully integrated. SUNERGY’s board members, Prof. Bert Weckhuysen (Utrecht University) and Prof. Huub de Groot (Leiden University) also reflected on these points together with participants who shared their points of view from academic, industrial and governmental positions.
The last part of the workshop zoomed in on the potential role that SUNERGY could play. Key aspects mentioned are shown below:
Among the participants, around 60% represented the academic sector, 18% came from industry, 6% from governmental bodies and the rest from other sectors, including civil society. Most participants represented Dutch organisations, but there were also few more participants from different countries and European associations, curious to know about the initiative and the Netherland’s advances.
The workshop was the first in a series of events that will be organised across Europe. Next workshops will be planned in the new year for Spain, Poland and Germany. Keep an eye on our website, newsletter and social media channels to stay updated!!