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The SAFECONOMY Workshop will be jointly organized by Northumbria University and the KAUST Solar Center on March 22, 2023, during the KAUST Research Conference: Sustainable Energy Materials and Technologies for a Low Carbon Future.

As the UK becomes the first major economy to pass the net-zero emissions law under which the country is required to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to Net Zero by 2050; implementing energy improvement techniques alone will not be enough. Alternative fuel solutions are the key to reducing emission levels and achieving net zero by 2050. On a similar note, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia under the Saudi Vision 2030, announced by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during the Saudi Green Initiative (SGI) Forum in Riyadh on October 23, 2021, pledges to double its efforts to lower its carbon emissions from a reduction of 130 million tons to 278 million by 2030. The country’s National Renewable Energy Program announced that it plans to install 27.3 GW of solar by 2023 and 58.7 GW by 2030.

The SAFECONOMY project is well aligned with the ambitious goals set out by both countries. It will not only open new doors for alternate liquid fuel production from solar energy but also CO2 capture and reduction. The proposed project will establish the grounds for this innovative technology for commercial applications in the UK and all over the world. 

The workshop will aid in achieving the project mission i.e., “to develop solar to alternative fuel technologies for future sustainability and provide a training platform for early career researchers for green technologies design and implementation.” It will be part of the unique consortium between the leading research institutes of the UK and Saudi Arabia. The principal focus will be to:

  1. develop low-cost, efficient, and zero-carbon energy systems,
  2. provide capacity-building training for early career researchers and
  3. explore the opportunities to develop transnational education.

The invited participants have extensive research and commercialization experience that will lead to demonstrating out-of-the-box solutions for Net Zero targets.