Clean Energy for a Bright Future
The EU has identified alternative energy as one of the central responses to the challenge of climate control. Two EU-funded projects – NEMMO and eForFuel – are exploring innovative methods for enhanced alternative energy production better suited to the energy market of the 21st century
One of the keys to meeting the EU's ambitious climate objectives is decarbonization of its energy system. Important components in this process include prioritizing energy efficiency and developing a power sector based largely on renewable sources, assuring a secure and affordable EU energy supply, and a fully integrated, interconnected and digitalized EU energy market. The need is obvious – in 2017, more than 75% of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions resulted from energy production and usage while only 17.5% of its gross final energy consumption came from renewable sources.
Among the European Commission proposals aimed at achieving its 2030 climate goals are promotion of innovative technologies and modern infrastructure, enhanced energy efficiency and eco-design of products, consumer empowerment and assistance to member states in tackling energy poverty, global promotion of EU energy standards and technologies, and optimal development of Europe's offshore wind energy potential.
Israeli entities from both academia and industry are also contributing to this effort which offers lucrative business opportunities alongside enormous social and environmental value.
From Electricity to Fuel
Full replacement of fossil carbons with biorefined fuels requires the identification of essentially unlimited feedstock sources not dependent on agriculture or forestry land use. 'eForFuel' proposes to use electricity – preferably produced from renewable sources and at off peak hours – as the sole energy source for microbial growth and conversion of CO2 into fuels. The initiative aims to tackle the shortcoming of previous technologies by using completely soluble formate as a mediator between electrical current and living cells. An integrated electrobioreactor will reduce CO2 to formate at a very high rate, and the formate will then be consumed by an engineered E. coli to produce propane and isobutene – gaseous hydrocarbons that are easy to separate from the liquid broth. Using conventional chemical engineering techniques, these can be further converted into a range of products, including excellent fuel substitutes such as isooctane. The project leader, Dr. Arren Bar-Even explains: "This unique approach optimizes the advantages of both biological and chemical methods/approaches and is a truly interdisciplinary effort.
Among others, the contribution to European environment strategy is via the capture and recycling of CO2 back into the energy production process instead of damaging fossil fuel-based alternatives." Environmental assessment experts will analyze the benefits of the suggested technology, and the project vision and results will be publicized to the scientific community and the general public. The proposed technology is expected to have a transformative effect on the way we produce our chemicals and fuels.
Project Acronym: eForFuel
Grant agreement ID: 763911
EU contribution: € 4,117,207.50
Start date: 1 March 2018; End date: 28 February 2022
Topic(s): LCE-06-2017 - New knowledge and technologies
Call for proposal: H2020-LCE-2017-RES-RIA-TwoStage
Coordinator: Max-Planck-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften e. V (Germany)
Israeli participant: Weizmann Institute of Science
> CORDIS link
Decarbonization of Europe's energy system is an obvious need with 75% of current greenhouse emissions resulting from energy production. Israeli entities from both academia and industry are also contributing to this effort which offers lucrative business opportunities alongside enormous social and environmental value
Riding the Wave to Affordable Tidal Energy
Harnessing power from water is one of the oldest forms of energy generation however further technology advancements are needed to make this renewable energy source competitive with traditional energy sources that rely on fossil fuels. The EU-funded 'NEMMO' project aims to lower costs by designing larger, lighter and more durable composite turbine blades. Researchers such as Prof. Steven Frankel, Professor of Technical Engineering at the Technion and responsible for CFD on the NEMMO project, is working on ways to improve the hydrodynamic performance and active flow control of the turbine blade while others test new nano-enhanced composites and coatings to increase resistance to fatigue, impact, cavitation erosion and biofouling. "Europe's proximity to the ocean facilitates exciting new research on water flows at greater depths than before. We are pleased to collaborate with the other professionals in the consortium to advance this field", he says.
The ultimate aim is to reduce the levelised cost of energy for a 2-MW tidal turbine by 70 %, bringing it down to EUR 0.15/kWh.
'NEMMO' will design, model and test downscaled novel prototypes of larger, lighter and more durable composite blades for >2MW floating tidal turbines to reduce the LCOE of tidal energy, thereby meeting 2025 SET-Plan targets and making it competitive with fossil fuel sources. The project will then model, design and test the lifespan and resistance of the new composites for tidal turbine blades.
Project Acronym: NEMMO
Grant agreement: 815278
EU contribution: € 4,981,007.50
Start date: 1 April 2019; End date: 30 September 2022
Topic(s): LC-SC3-RES-11-2018 - Developing solutions to reduce the cost and increase performance of renewable technologies
Call for proposal: H2020-LC-SC3-2018-RES-TwoStages
Coordinator: Fundación Tecnalia Research & Innovation (Spain)
Israeli participants: Technion - Israel Institute Of Technology; SP Nano Ltd
> CORDIS link