This project (LC-SC3-RES-29-2019), which aims to convert solar energy into storable chemical products that provide a sustainable alternative, belongs to the Secure, clean and efficient energy sub-programme of the Horizon 2020 Programme.
To replace fossil energy with sustainable alternatives that provide the same flexibility and convenience of use, we need to store sustainable energy on a large scale and for a long time in new kind of energy storage compounds. This can be done by direct conversion of sunlight into storable chemicals that can be stored for a virtually unlimited time. At present, these processes can be performed at the level of small prototype devices at high cost. Therefore, research and innovation are needed to bring these approaches from infancy to maturity. The production of clean forms of storable chemical energy from direct sunlight is the next step.
Proposals are expected to address renewable energy technologies that will answer the challenge described in the “Converting Sunlight Innovation Challenge” of Mission Innovation, bringing them up to TRL 4 or 5. Beside the technological development, the proposal will have to clearly address the following related aspects: the potential lower environmental impact than the current technologies, possibly through a LCA analysis, the better resource efficiency, issues related to social acceptance or resistance to new energy technologies, related socioeconomic and livelihood issues, and prospective market analysis. The proposal needs to consider all three dimensions of sustainability, resource efficiency and scalability, i.e. not using materials which are uncommon, dangerous or scarce that could disable its future concept to be used at large scale.
At least one of the following technology-specific challenges has to be addressed:
- Improved light-harvesting and efficient charge separation in photocatalytic systems;
- Photoelectrochemical cells – PECs and catalyst development;
- Thermochemical pathways to energy rich chemicals (using concentrated solar light); and
- Design and engineering of devices, systems or prototypes integrating together the different processes, with day and night control and applicability for the production of chemical energy rich carriers.
- Projects will not only contribute to mitigating climate change through the production of storable chemical energy from the sun, but also enhance energy security and provide opportunities for economic development across the globe.
- Projects should show its contribution towards establishing a solid European innovation base and building a sustainable renewable energy system.
- Contributing to Mission Innovation aims, projects will deepen the international collaboration in clean energy research and development.
27th of August, 2019