Now that we have secured the funding, my most important task as project director will be to bring out the best in the PhD students. A specific challenge will be to make them work as a cross-disciplinary team. I will also focus on outreach and valorisation to give NEON maximum positive impact for the consortium members and the societal challenges of climate change, sustainable energy and smart mobility. My research focus will be the integral model (link) that should bring everything together in a quantified way. This was the unique selling point of NEON and it already was my area of expertise before I wrote the NEON proposal.
Link to other neon research
The integral model that I work on with Floor Alkemade and Maarten Steinbuch, needs input from all the other work packages to make it’s scenarios better. For example: the people working on solar, wind, electricity grids, batteries, electric vehicles and chargers must help us to set the right parameters in the model. This technical expertise is really important in order to have not only a sensible methodology but also sensible results. I think the human factors are even more important and often overlooked in energy and mobility models. So I would love to find out with Reint-Jan Renes what drives the humans who must buy and use the sustainable technologies we envision. I hope Saskia Lavrijsen will be able to tell us what regulation is needed and how current regulation sets boundaries for scenarios. In order for scenarios to work you also have to think about standardization: that can make or break markets and technical solutions and fortunately we have Rudi Bekkers to guide us on that. Finally we have to ask: what kind of future do we want? And I’m looking forward to working with Derk Loorbach and others on choosing scenarios that help to create a society that’s not only sustainable but also just and joyful.