Innovation Platform Number 11

The eleventh edition of The innovation platform presents expert information and the latest developments in the fields of clean energy, green technologies, electric mobility, space, scientific research, and more.

As we come to the end of the year, societal challenges such as the cost of living crisis and the war in Ukraine continue to pose major difficulties for many sectors. Additionally, this summer has seen a stark contrast between catastrophic floods and raging wildfires across the globe, underscoring the detrimental impact of climate change and the urgent need to reverse its effects. These factors have shone a spotlight on the energy sector and led to an even greater push worldwide for renewable energy and greener technologies to reduce carbon emissions.

You will find the theme of a greener world at the forefront of the wide variety of content in this edition, starting with our foreword by Wolfram Sparber, Vice-President of the Association of European Renewable Energy Research Centers (EUREC ). Reflecting on recent societal events, Wolfram details the current efforts and future direction of the European renewable energy sector.

Environment and sustainability

Our environment and sustainability section focuses on renewable energy, ranging from solar power to energy storage. Dries Acke, Policy Director at SolarPower Europe, discusses the importance of solar energy innovations to achieve energy resilience and climate stability in Europe. We also hear from Donagh Cagney, Policy Director of Ocean Energy Europe, who explains why ocean energy is well positioned to be as successful as wind and solar in the European renewable energy market.

Besides renewable energy sources, nuclear energy is another very clean and emission-free source of energy. Its use, however, is more controversial due to the potential safety and security risks associated with it. Providing an overview of important nuclear energy conversations, our nuclear energy section has articles on everything from policy and regulation to innovation and technology. Diane Cameron, Head of the Nuclear Technology Development and Economics Division of the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency, discusses the role of nuclear energy in the global march to net zero. We also get insight on the topic of small modular reactors from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and the European Commission’s Deputy Director General for Energy discusses the current and future outlook for nuclear power in Europe.

E-mobility and battery materials

Of course, an important part of the global energy transition is the shift to electric vehicles (EVs). With this, there has been an increase in demand for lithium-ion batteries, rare earth elements, and other battery metals. However, this rapid demand has been met with major challenges, including establishing stable supply chains. This edition focuses on electric mobility, battery materials and research, covering a wide variety of important related issues. Ilka von Dalwigk, Policy Manager at EIT InnoEnergy, discusses the importance of developing a domestic battery supply chain in Europe. Furthermore, EUROBAT’s Giorgio Corbetta explains how the European battery industry will play a key role in achieving the Green Deal objectives.

Research and innovation

Elsewhere in the edition, we have stories about exciting events that have happened in recent months. July saw the release of the stunning first color images from the James Webb Space Telescope. In our space and astrophysics section, you’ll find an interview with the scientific director of the European Space Agency, discussing in more detail the images and what they could tell us about the Universe. July was also an important month for the world of physics, as CERN officially launched phase 3 of its Large Hadron Collider (LHC). Before the launch, I spoke to CERN’s director of accelerators and technology, Mike Lamont, to learn more about the new capabilities of the LHC after its long shutdown. Also in our physics section, Doon Gibbs, Director of Brookhaven National Laboratory, provides an update on the physics of the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) and its future transformation into an Electron-Ion Collider (EIC).

These are just a few of the many food for thought presented in this edition. Hope you enjoy reading.

George Purcell
The innovation platform

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