Emerging Sustainable Technologies 2021: our experts’ vision

By ENGIE - 14 December 2021 - 11:06

Reaching carbon neutrality by 2050 is a daunting challenge. Even though we already have technologies to make many activities such as electricity production and personal mobility carbon neutral, we still have a long way to go in so called “hard to abate sectors”. As a leader in energy innovation, ENGIE is always exploring the New Frontier of technology for itself and for our clients, to speed up the path to carbon neutrality.


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This Emerging Sustainable Technologies 2021 document present topical areas that we at ENGIE think will offer non-trivial benefits for energy transition. ENGIE does not only keep a close eye on their development but also has the ambition to help bring some of these technologies to the market at an increased pace through piloting and demonstrating.

How did you select the technologies presented?

Jan Mertens ENGIE

The answer with Prof. Dr. Jan Mertens, Chief Science Officer at ENGIE


We decided to trust the insights of our ENGIE experts in a wide variety of domains to compile this selection and give an industrial point of view of their development. This approach implies a degree of subjectivity, reflecting our unique ENGIE expertise in game-changing scientific and technological trends in energy-related activities.


What happened to the technologies featured in previous reports? 

Elodie Le Cadre ENGIE

The answer with Dr. Elodie Le Cadre-Loret, Lead Science Advisor at ENGIE


For the first time, we look back at technologies we highlighted in previous editions of this report. A qualitative evaluation is given based on our experts’ insights into the technologies that are constantly evolving. In this second part of the report, we illustrate how many of these technologies have rapidly gained in maturity, enhancing their potential to speed up our pathway to carbon neutrality and prove the roadmaps wrong.


Others, meanwhile, either mature at a slower speed or fail to live up to the expectations they raised at the time -- a reminder how notoriously difficult it is to accurately evaluate the potential of new technologies. It also means we must be ready to change direction if early hopes are not fulfilled.

No technology has the potential to rise to this challenge on its own. It is therefore essential to explore a variety of solutions relating to energy production, transport, storage, and use.

The challenge is also too vast for a single company/sector to handle on their own – working together is key. The main purpose of this document is to help inspire a new sense of collaboration between all the players in this hugely important endeavour.