Engie has signed a three-year cooperation agreement with EnergyVille, the energy expertise centre of KU Leuven, VITO, Imec and Hasselt University in Belgium, to work on research projects covering energy efficiency, smart grids, renewable energy, hydrogen and green gases.
The aim of the collaboration is to identify, scale up and roll out concrete solutions to accelerate the transition to a carbon-neutral future.
The partners have previously collaborated on solar energy, electrical grids, battery storage and residential energy applications.
The latest collaboration will see studies on how to reduce the energy consumption of residential homes, buildings and industry, adapt the electricity grid for more renewable energy, and how techniques for CO2 capture and green gases such as hydrogen will play a role in the energy and heat supply of industry.
EnergyVille managing director Gerrit Jan Schaeffer said: “Engie has been working successfully with EnergyVille for a long time through Engie Laborelec, which is at the forefront of the entire range of energy technologies and can also explore the various possible futures of a sustainable energy system in a thoroughly scientific way through its advanced models.
“The successful Belgian cooperation has even made Engie recently decide to bring its foreign centres of expertise on board.
“Through this structural collaboration agreement, we can significantly accelerate research: instead of looking at what is needed project by project, we can now avoid a lot of paperwork and therefore switch much faster.
“The low-regulation zone in Genk, which is coordinated by EnergyVille, also plays an important role in this upscaling process.
“This allows us to test and optimize technologies even more extensively on a large scale and with real end users.”
Engie Belgium country manager Thierry Saegeman said: “Belgium has important expertise in the field of energy systems and technologies.
“We owe this expertise, among other things, to the historical, structural cooperation between the energy sector and the academic world, which makes it possible to quickly and purposefully test the latest scientific insights against practice in the field.
“Engie wants to play a pioneering role in the energy transition towards a carbon-neutral future and therefore continuously develops innovative solutions to optimise and green the energy consumption of its residential, professional and industrial customers.
“Thanks to the collaboration with EnergyVille, we can identify successful new technologies faster, scale them up and bring them to market, accelerating the energy transition.”