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Weekly Highlights | From the IPCC’s call to “urgent action” to energy transition measures
Weekly Highlights | From the IPCC’s call to “urgent action” to energy transition measures
illuminem
By illuminem
Aug 14 2021 · 4 min read

Illuminem Voices
Oil & Gas · Renewables · Sustainability

1. The IPCC Report Is Clear: Nothing Short of Transforming Society Will Avert Catastrophe

By The Guardian

  • Following the release of the IPCC AR6, which unequivocally points humans as the source of climate change, action is more needed than ever to limit global warming. The upcoming COP-26 will be a key milestone in defining these actions
  • Climate has already changed: science and engineering are the main tools to adapt and to increase resilience
  • A systemic approach must be taken. The role of science and innovation are central in achieving net-zero strategies, and their advances and progress must be made widely accessible to everyone

2. Big Oil Companies Push Hydrogen as Green Alternative, but Obstacles Remain

By The Wall Street Journal

  • Oil companies are pursuing green hydrogen, which they see as a longer-term goal, while also looking at applying carbon-capture technology to fossil-fuel-based hydrogen production as a way to clean up the gas in the interim
  • Historically used to help make fertilizer and chemicals, hydrogen is increasingly being pushed for trucks, planes, ships, household heating and as a way to store renewable power
  • Hydrogen is expensive because of the cost of the electricity needed to make it, as well as the cost of the electrolyzer. With both the private and public sectors investing billions of dollars into hydrogen, we can expect the fuel source to eventually become more cost-competitive

3. How Fossil Fuels Can Help Decarbonize the Economy

By Mining.com

  • Each year, more than 10 billion tons of carbon are pulled from the ground (oil, coal and natural gas). It is possible to keep producing those hydrocarbons as long as we don’t burn them
  • Hydrocarbon molecules can be splitted into hydrogen and solid carbon. The hydrogen could be used as a clean-burning fuel, while the solid carbon could become a source of materials used by a wide range of industries
  • If high-performance carbon materials were price-competitive, it would be possible to eliminate metals that today require 12% of our annual global energy (for mining, processing, and refining)

4. Sales of Hybrid Cars Are Surging. That’s a Good Sign for the Future of Electric Vehicles, Experts Say

By The Washington Post

  • While the U.S. auto industry recorded a 29% growth in sales in the first half of 2021, hybrid sales grew by 142%
  • For every 100,000 miles driven, hybrids save about 1,000 gallons of gasoline, and the release of roughly 9.8 tons of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide is averted
  • Experts agree on the following: the more that people are comfortable with hybrids, the more they might be comfortable with electric vehicles in the future

5. The U.S. Maintains Its Natural Gas Dominance

By Forbes

  • U.S. consumption has grown rapidly as power plants have turned increasingly to natural gas as both a replacement for coal-fired power and a backup for new renewable capacity
  • Among all countries, the U.S. moved into the lead for natural gas production in 2011, and has since substantially grown that lead
  • U.S. exports, both via pipeline and as liquefied natural gas (LNG), have surged over the past 10 years. The U.S. is now the 3rd largest LNG exporter (61 BCM), behind Australia (106.2 BCM) and Qatar (106.1 BCM)

6. Floating like the Wind to a Clean Energy Transition

By GreenBiz

  • Floating wind turbines are erected in the sea on floating platforms, and not drilled into the ocean like traditional offshore wind farms
  • It is estimated that floating wind has roughly double the potential capacity of bottom-fixed offshore wind, as they can be installed regardless of sea depth
  • Current estimates see 2035 as the moment when levelised costs for floating wind plants will be as competitive as bottom-fixed ones, thanks to standardisation and recycling of the turbine modules

7. Mercedes-Benz Reveals Three New EV Platforms, Expects to Electrify Entire Fleet in 2025

By Energy Trend

  • Mercedes-Benz will invest €40 billion across the next eight years into EV development
  • The German automakers have announced the release of four brand-new BEV models in 2021 and plan to electrify their entire range of vehicles by 2025
  • In addition, the company has decided to build 8 battery factories around the globe and to be carbon-neutral by 2022 across its entire manufacturing processes

8. The Gift we Should Give to the Living World? Time, and Lots of it

By The Guardian

  • Big old trees are the “keystone structures” of forests, on which many other species depend. A single species of bracket fungus harbours 246 species of beetle
  • Between 10% and 40% of the world’s forest birds and mammals needs holes in trees in which to nest or roost
  • A study in Australia showed that, following a major wildfire, the great majority of trees with holes were wiped out

9. Chinese Poly Maker Moves to Establish Natural Gas-fired Hydrogen Business

By PV Magazine

  • Chinese polysilicon manufacturer GCL-Poly will move into the hydrogen business by mobilising up to US$2.3 billion for investment
  • While the update mentioned the production of solar-powered ‘green hydrogen’ first, there followed stronger emphasis on the use of natural gas-fired hydrogen
  • No mention was made of any use of carbon capture and storage technology to mitigate the carbon emissions associated with the production from natural gas

10. Bumpy Road ahead as SEA Navigates Energy Transition but Opportunities aplenty

By Wood Mackenzie

  • South-East Asia’s energy transition is slow but steady, as SEA governments ramp up their pledges and climate strategies, and is expected to accelerate in the coming years thanks to ever-decreasing costs
  • Private players are increasingly signalling their intent to step-up efforts to mitigate emissions, but large-scale changes will however require government involvement and support to increase green investments and initiatives
  • The social concern around climate change impact is rising in the region, but the question is whether consumers are prepared to make lifestyle changes to save the planet, holding governments and companies accountable for their actions
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