The Hard-to-Abate sectors need innovation solutions to reach Net-Zero Co2 Emissions

I have been looking at those Hard-to-Abate sectors for reaching Net-Zero Co2 Emissions like the cement, steel, plastics, aviation, shipping, and heavy road transport within our need for a global energy transition. These are the really big carbon emitters and it is argued that they could achieve, using known technologies already under development a pathway to complete carbonization over the next decades. It is going to require significant public policy will and private investment to drive both the present incremental solutions and push for the breakthrough ones. Innovation is really needed here.

There are six innovation areas of electrification, hydrogen, biochemistry and synthetic chemistry, material efficiency and circularity, alongside new materials and the ability to carbon capture and carbon use that need to have innovative solutions. Working on the innovations within these six critical areas does have a real chance of fully decarbonizing these harder-to abate sctors of the world’s economy.

Yet, let’s step back just a little and get some clarifications out of the way. They help frame this story.

In understanding the energy transition that is well underway, there are many companies and countries all proudly claiming dates for achieving their carbon neutral targets. Most of these centers around 2030, but where I keep coming back to is the discussions around Net-Zero carbon emissions. Is this a mission impossible? For me, all I hear about are the cities and companies all proudly announcing their target goals for achieving carbon-neutral, yet is this good enough in this rapidly warming world. I think not. Continue reading

So are we doing enough in the Energy and Urbanization Transition?

In a recent SIEW Opening Keynote Address,  was an opening view by Cedrik Neike, a member of the Managing Board of Siemens AG and CEO Smart Infrastructure on “Accelerating Energy Transformation”, He asked the question to the audience: Are we doing enough?

Sadly he only had ten minutes. It would have been good to have this opening challenge expanded out so we can all recognize many of the areas that we are not doing enough in our need for the necessary energy transition.

Mr. Neike spoke of the battle we have in the energy and urbanization transformation, the need to accelerate the transition.

So his question sparked my thinking here that in my view, there are four parts to any Urban Transition. Continue reading

The energy transition we are undertaking

Sources FT Guide: The Energy Transition
https://www.ft.com/reports/energy-transition-guide

In recent months I have become totally “wrapped up” in the energy transition occurring across the world. The whole transformation we are undertaking is not just for our energy sake; it is for more for our climate sake and having a sustainable future.

Energy is one of the critical drivers of our well-being, providing one of the essentials to survive and thrive. We need water, food, air, shelter, and sleep, and our source of energy underpins all of these as the energy transition in its solutions are aimed at cleaning up our climate and environment before it is too late and give us more energy to power the next growth cycle.

We are suffering increasingly from polluted air; we need increasing intensive farming. We are living in a very crowded planet where our shelter (home) becomes our “place to be or simply survive” Our water supplies need consistent refiltering as freshwater is increasingly growing in shorter supply. Humans need their sleep, and it is the environment that enables that, and as 70% of the world’s population by 2050 will live in cities, all are becoming  “highly dependent” on energy to fuel the system. Continue reading

The Digitalization of Energy

We are on the cusp of a new digital era in energy. Digital technology has been involved in the energy system for decades.

What is new, is the pace of digitalization occurring through technological innovation, providing solutions that enable the energy system to be transformed?

Digitalization across the energy landscape is determining the system-wide changes of connectivity; it is linking, monitoring, aggregating, and controlling assets to cause a fundamental “blurring” between who supplies and who consumes energy.

The old paradigm of central grids will undoubtedly continue to provide the energy infrastructure backbone and keep balancing the electricity transmission network, but there will be significant differences at the local level (final point of supply) to trade energy through different grid edge designs and services.

Digitalization brings us closer to the end-user – knowing your grid edge and how to respond Continue reading

Continuing the Energy Transition Journey

This week I have had one of those most intense periods of researching and then absorbing the material around different energy issues.

Everywhere you turn, you stumble across reports on one aspect or another of the energy transformation we are undertaking.

I am looking at this energy transition through the eyes of the innovator, as it offers so much in new solutions and designs that any innovator would love to be part of.

Energy is tackling one of the world’s toughest tasks, turning our existing energy system, reliant on fossil fuels into one based on renewables, is an enormously complex set of challenges in its goal of decarbonizing it.

There is such an innovation landscape of solutions that are contributing to the world achieving a more renewable-powered future. Technology innovation, suggested new business models, outline proposals for changing policies, processes, and market design all are being “sketched out.” It is overwhelming, but innovative solutions need to be continuously refreshed to reflect this consistent inflow of understanding, relating to the energy transition that is being undertaken. It is evident innovation must be way broader than just technological RD&D.

During this past week, I have been working through specific aspects of the energy transition model. Continue reading

Accelerating Innovation in the Energy Transition Journey

What fascinates me presently is the energy transition currently being undertaken, due to the enormous amount of innovation options being considered and applied. New technologies are changing the very nature of how energy is going to be produced and delivered over the next ten to twenty years.

When you consider how vital energy is to society anywhere in the world, you realize what a significant time this is to curb the carbonization and radically resign the system based on renewables and green electricity. It might sound obvious, but having access to energy is crucial to our daily lives; it powers everything we do. Not just in the home, in our business lives, in our ability to function, it enables us to be productive or simply “plugged-in.”

We are undergoing such a revolution that will have an impact on all of our lives. During the next ten to twenty years, we are in a race to transform our energy system, one that moves from fossil fuel reliant to clean fuels based on renewable energy. We need to decarbonize and make energy greener. Continue reading

Increasing innovation focus on the end-user segments within the energy transition story

When you investigate and research the energy transition that is underway, the higher focus to date has been on the progress to replace fossil fuel with renewable power generation technologies. As crucial renewable energy solutions (wind, solar) are falling in price comparison, we are beginning to see clean energy solutions for industry, for the environment, and society, as a whole. Energy transition and moving to renewable power generation, though, it is not happening fast enough.

We need to focus more on the active implementation of renewable energy solutions sooner than later. We are in an increasing race to work towards achievable goals to reduce global warming in the very ambitious time scales of the UN Paris climate agreement in 2016. This comprehensive agreement is to keep the global average temperature rise remaining below the two-degree Celsius agreed by 2050.

Presently we are failing behind this “two-degree pathway” deemed as essential, and we are currently forecasted to release more carbon and gases into the atmosphere, and that has severe repercussions for our planet.  Governments will need to introduce more substantive policies to meet the emission targets they signed up too and society, industry and us, as individuals will have to undergo adjustments to accommodate this in our habits, consumption, and usage.

It is not just replacing energy sources; it is all about solution renewal end-to-end Continue reading