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UGent energy transition expertise confirmed with 9 new ETF projects

Ghent University is project leader or partner in 9 of the 20 newest approved Energy Transition Fund projects, raising more than 5 million euros for research.

The purpose of the Energy Transition Fund (ETF) is to encourage and support energy research, development and innovation within the federal energy jurisdiction. Every year a call is launched to submit projects within three specific topics: renewable energy sources in the North Sea and biofuels, nuclear energy applications and security of supply and grid balance.

Throughout recent years UGent has firmly established itself as a partner for research and innovation in the field of energy transition, which has again clearly been confirmed by the selection of the newest ETF projects. We are project leader or partner in no less than 9 of the 20 selected projects!

This energy expertise is mainly concentrated in the UGent valorisation consortia EnerGhentIC (energy transition) and Metals (metals) and is also supported overall through the new UGent Hydrogen Platform.

Judith Ooms | Business Developer EnerGhentIC

"The close collaboration between all UGent IOF consortia and the cross-fertilization between the various disciplines clearly pays off with this vote of confidence we received from the federal government to apply our expertise and sense of innovation to help accelerate the energy transition"

Spotlight on 4 projects

We will put the spotlight on 4 projects in which UGent is project leader and can therefore fully utilize its own expertise in the field of hydrogen and offshore wind energy.

MUSE | Combining hydrogen and offshore energy

Can we use the energy from sun and wind to make renewable molecules at sea? With MuSE* we want to explore the opportunities for producing and importing renewable molecules - such as hydrogen, methanol & methane - from offshore energy production, as we know it from wind or solar parks.

Central to this project is research into the technical and scientific obstacles and opportunities, but also the socio-economic and legal framework with the outlook towards a circular economy.

* Molecules at Sea

BLEEPID | More efficient maintenance of wind turbine blades

Wind turbine blades endure a lot in the harsh offshore environment and therefore need frequent maintenance to ensure that they continue to operate as efficiently as possible. Erosion of the blades has a major impact on maintenance costs and energy production, and may lead to microplastics in the environment.

That's why the BLEEPID* project wants to develop new techniques to optimize maintenance planning via drone inspections and thus also extend the life of the blades.

* Towards improved reliability and reduced costs of offshore wind by Blade-Leading-Edge Erosion Prediction and Drone-based Inspection

CO2MBS | Synthetic methane in our energy system

Through the CO2MBS* project we want to investigate to what extent we can reuse CO2 from e.g. gas-fired power stations to produce synthetic methane together with hydrogen, and whether we can then efficiently integrate it into our Belgian energy system.

Within this research the existing infrastructure and the planned Belgian hydrogen backbone will be taken into account, while examining how this synthetic methane will react to a.o. the existing system and material.

* Integrating CO2 capture and methanation in the Belgian Energy System

HYSource | Influence of hydrogen on our pipelines

Hydrogen will play an important role in our energy transition. But to ensure that our current pipelines are not affected by the use of hydrogen for transport and storage, research is needed into the different types of 'inhibitors' that can be added to hydrogen gas. These inhibitors must ensure that the corrosion of the metal pipes is kept under control. This research is central to the HYSource* project.

* Mitigating Hydrogen uptake from different Sources in gas pipelines for hydrogen transmission

Other selected projects

In addition to these four projects in which Ghent University acts a project leader within the consortium, we are also involved as project partners in the following projects:

  • CIREC: Secure and Circular Material flows for Electricity Security of Supply => Research into the impact of material flows and availability for electrical security of supply

  • NOHENTRY: Re-use of existing pipeline systems for H2 transport via surface functionalizations inhibiting Hydrogen entry => Research into treating the inner surface of pipelines and compressors for use with hydrogen

  • ECOFLEX: ECOsystem to leverage local FLEXibility from multi-energy and e-mobility assets for grid balancing and securing energy supply => Research into grid flexibility with the introduction of energy through smart energy management and smart charging of e-vehicles

  • Sea2Socket: Short chain from sea to socket => Research into a business model for citizen cooperatives in offshore wind

  • EcoMPV: Eco-designing Marine PhotoVoltaic installations => Research into the impact of solar panel installations at sea

More information:

The call for projects for the Energy Transition Fund of FPS Economy (ETF) generated more than 60 project proposals this year. On 10th June, the federal council of ministers decided to grant funds to 20 of these projects for a total amount of more than 24.500.000 euros.

Numbers and contact details for each project


  • Project partners: UGent, UCLouvain

  • Timing: 3 years

  • Total project budget: 1,7 million euro

  • Contact person within UGent:










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