The aviation sector plays a vital role in a global context where modern societies need to move towards environmental sustainability. Transition to reduce its environmental footprint (i.e., impacts on ecosystems, human health, and natural resources) stemming from activities in the entire value chain of aircraft has become high on political and industrial agenda. This transition must go hand in hand with the technological transformation of aircraft systems, moving away from fossil-based fuels to alternative energy sources, like biofuels, hydrogen, or electricity via batteries.
Project GENESIS, funded by the EU Commission under the Clean Sky 2 Programme, aims to tackle these challenges. GENESIS stands for “Gauging the environmental sustainability of electric aircraft systems”. Its primary purpose is to develop a technology and sustainability roadmap to support the ambitions of the European aviation industry for transitioning towards environmentally sustainable and competitive electric and hybrid aircraft systems. Several powertrain technology alternatives are explored, including conventional batteries, fuel cells, and hybrid combinations, all with three-time perspectives over the period 2020-2050.
Organized around the multidisciplinary and complementary expertise of its consortium members, GENESIS has the following key objectives (each reflecting the three technical work packages of GENESIS):
1. Develop a conceptual design for all-electric and hybrid 50 PAX regional class aircraft associated with top-level aircraft requirements and scenarios.
2. Perform technology foresight analyses on crucial elements of the aircraft system, focusing on the powertrain architecture and energy storage alternatives.
3. Build life cycle inventories for each relevant technology process within the aircraft life cycle (from resource extraction, through manufacturing and use, up to end-of-life), and use them to perform prospective life cycle assessments of future aircraft system configurations and scenarios.
GENESIS has received funding from the Clean Sky 2 Joint Undertaking (JU) under grant agreement No 101007968. The JU receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and the Clean Sky 2 JU members other than the Union.
The GENESIS project consortium, led by Technical University of Denmark (project coordinator), consists of nine partners from industry and academia, complemented with a subcontractor providing airport-related expertise:
- Technical University of Denmark (coordinator)
- University of Naples Federico II – Italy
- Delft University of Technology – The Netherlands
- FAU Erlangen - Nuremberg - Chair of Power Electronics – Germany
- Bern University of Applied Sciences – Switzerland
- SmartUp Engineering s.r.l. – Italy
- Mahytec – FranceAccurec Recycling GmbH – Germany
- Proton Motor Fuel Cell GmbH – Germany
- The Rotterdam-The Hague Innovation Airport – The Netherlands (subcontractor)