Towards a sustainable energy supply for everyone

Friday October 27 Ad van Wijk took his leave as a professorFuture Energy Systems at the Technical University Delft. A day full of sharing knowledge, inspiration and energy with a royal touch.

We need all perspectives

Frank Wouters (Reliance) kickstarted the Symposium ‘Green energy for all’ by showing that worldwide countries are accelerating fast on shifting to renewable energy, perhaps even quicker than expected. Frank Wouters was followed up by a panel in which Jorgo Chatzimarkakis (Hydrogen Europe), Marjan Minnesma (Urgenda), Nienke Homan (VNCI), Cornelius Matthes (Dii Desert Energy) and Alice Krekt (NLHydrogen) teamed up to discuss what is necessary to achieve a successful transition to renewable energy. A lot passed by like an international approach and support from the government, but most of all they concluded it is about mindset and a social transition rather than a technological one.

Pragmatic science

After the coffeebreak Bart Biebuyck took us through research and scientific activities in Europe. International scientists Zofia Lukszo, Axelle Viré, Ankica Kovač and Mikaa Blugeon-Mered emphasized during the panel discussion, that scientists today also need to be political and pragmatic in order to get green energy moving forward.


During the Symposium Ad van Wijk MissieH2 medal got the MissieH2 golden medal, as a surprise. This golden medal puts frontrunners in hydrogen in the spotlights. MissieH2 rewarded Ad with a lifetime achievement award for his unbridled commitment to hydrogen in the Netherlands.

Student dream team’s Hydromotion, Forze, Ecorunner and AeroDelft pitched in between the speeches about the possibilities and superpowers of their hydrogen teams. Diederik Samsom talked about working together with Ad van Wijk and why we need the visionary view and perseverance, which we saw reflected in Ad van Wijk’s work.

Next generation

At the symposium a new book ‘Green energy for all – how hydrogen and electricity carry our future’ was launched. Ad van Wijk has written this book together with co-authors Jos Boere and Els van der Roest. The authors launched their book by handing over the first copy to the next generation, the student dream teams, with the message to go on with their mission to make a sustainable energy supply for everyone possible.

Lunch turned out to be one big reunion of people involved in renewable energy worldwide. Business people, students and scientist, they all blended perfectly during the break. During the break there were tours at The Green Village, the field lab for sustainable innovation of TU Delft that Ad van Wijk initiated at the start of his professorship.

Royal intermezzo

At 15.00, it was the turn of Ad van Wijk himself. He started his farewell speech ‘A sustainable energy supply for everyone’ but was interrupted for a live connection with the Tweede Maasvlakte in Rotterdam, where, at that very moment, His Majesty the King of the Netherlands performed the starting ceremony for the construction of the Dutch hydrogen network. From the screen in the hall, King Willem-Alexander, Ulco Vermeulen (Gasunie) and Nienke Homan (VNCI) addressed Ad van Wijk. After this special interlude, Ad van Wijk continued his speech.

5 recommendations to scale up and speed up

His farewell speech concluded with an urgent call ‘to scale up and speed up’ the realization of a sustainable energy supply for everyone. Professor Ad van Wijk formulated 5 recommendations how to scale up and speed up:

  1. Focus on large-scale implementation, not pilots
  2. Good is not the enemy of better
  3. We need all options
  4. Infrastructure and storage first
  5. Develop deserts and oceans in a fair way

The future generation will fix it

At the end of his farewell speech Ad van Wijk asked himself the question, will we realize a sustainable energy supply for everyone in my life time? Children from all over the world, responded to him full of optimism, that they will fix it. It will be fine!

A memorable day

Former rector magnificus of TU Delft, emeritus professorKarel Luyben and dean of the faculty Technology Policy and Management, professor Aukje Hasselt closed the afternoon with their addresses to professor Ad van Wijk. The end of a memorable day in many ways, but above all a beautiful, energetic and positive day towards a sustainable energy supply for everyone

Go to the photo gallery

Watch back the Symposium ‘Green energy for all’

Watch back the Valedictory address ‘A sustainable energy supply for everyone’

Read the Valedictory speech of Ad van Wijk