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Weekly Highlights | From the role of Nuclear Fusion to digitalisation as a transition enabler

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By illuminem

· 5 min read

1. International Oil And Gas Industry – Role In Achieving Net-Zero Emissions

By Forbes

  • According to Hisham Zubari (Senior Advisor at National Oil and Gas Authority), the timeline of net-zero-2050 may be too soon, as replacing oil and gas operations too quickly would cause serious problems
  • If fossil fuel energy is owned and run by a national government, as it often is in this region, it will take a lot of time to transition to green sources because private companies can’t go it alone.
  • Oil and gas companies play a vital role, but other GHG emitters such as steel-making or cement companies will have to collaborate and make important investments in a “green direction” as well

2. Hydrogen: Fuel of the Future?

By The Economist

  • Technological advances are making hydrogen production more efficient and cheaper and this, along with governments’ green commitments, is helping drive a new hydrogen economy
  • According to a study by McKinsey there are more than 350 large-scale global projects underway, with the projected total investment in the hydrogen sector amounting to an estimated $500bln
  • Germany has announced a hydrogen related €7bln programme and the Chinese government plans to have 1 million fuel-cell powered vehicles on its road by 2030

3. The Race to Give Nuclear Fusion a Role in the Climate Emergency

By The Guardian

  • Following recent breakthroughs, nuclear fusion technology is a step closer to the ultimate goal: net energy gain, meaning it produces more energy than it requires
  • However, the technology still faces many challenges before rolling out nuclear fusion at scale is even possible; some estimates say it will not be available before 2050
  • Progress on the technology ultimately depends on two factors: investments and will. An analogy with the speed at which Covid-19 vaccines have been developed shows that these two factors can change everything

4. Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage: Toward Carbon Neutrality

By Kearney

  • CCUS capacity was about 50 MtCO2 per year in 2020; the forecast capacity per year in 2030 is 220 MtCO2. This projections lead to a huge shortfall of about 580 MtCO2 per year from the target set according to the IEA sustainable development scenario
  • CCUS could represent more than 25% of the emission reduction for iron and steel and more than 60% for cement by 2050
  • CCUS development is perceived to be challenging as the cancellation rate is high, with about 60% of projects terminated or cancelled for economic reasons, such as lack of funding

5. A New Breed of Crisis: War and Warming Collide in Afghanistan

By the New York Times

  • While climate change is not the main cause of the Afghan conflict, it acts as a threat multiplier by amplifying water related conflicts and putting farmers out of job due to more frequent droughts and floods
  • The conflict also funnelled more than half of the Afghan budget to war, whereas it is much needed to tackle the effects of climate change– including a warming of already 1.8°C in Afghanistan
  • This vicious relationship between climate change and war is also fuelling other conflicts around the world, such as in Somalia, Syria and Mali for example, as dire conditions affect the largely agricultural population

6. Digitalization Enables the Circular Economy Transition — it's Time to Lean into it

By GreenBiz

  • To identify and track a product companies can use physical (such as fluorescent markers or watermarks), digital (such as Radio Frequency Identification or printed electronics), or biological (such as chemical tracers or DNA markers) anchors
  • Product passports are a convenient solution to establish a common protocol and share information on the origin, durability, composition, reuse, repair, and dismantling possibilities, and end-of-life handling of a product
  • Blockchain can play a key role in ensuring traceability throughout the resource life cycle, from raw materials to the manufacturing, sales use and recycling of products

7. Electromobility Meets Battery Storage

By PV Magazine

  • A survey conducted for approximately 500 German battery installers found that a large proportion of consumers already take electric cars into account when planning their solar+storage system
  • In Germany, a subsidy of up to €900 is provided for residential EV charging stations, on condition that they charge the vehicles with renewable electricity
  • The storage electricity costs calculated are the costs incurred for 1 kWh of electricity that is first stored, and then discharged

8. The Cost Of Ignoring ESG

By Forbes

  • Most companies have developed policies on ESG and businesses that fail to consider such metrics can experience a significant financial impact
  • More than 2,000 academic studies that concluded better ESG scores translate to about a 10% lower cost of capital
  • Currently there is a sustainability reporting rate of 96% for G250 companies - the world’s largest 250 companies

9. Sun Cable: World’s Biggest Solar and Battery Project Is About to Get a lot Bigger

By Renew Economy

  • Sun Cable is the world’s biggest solar PV and battery storage project, located in Australia and backed by billionaires Mike Cannon-Brookers and Andrew Forrest
  • The project started out as a 10GW solar project in 2019, before increasing its planned capacity to 14GW and in late September the company is expected to announce the details of its further expansion
  • CEO David Griffin expects the first supply of electricity from Sun Cable to reach Darwin in 2026, the first supply to Singapore in 2027 and “full commercial operations” in 2028

10. Why Governments Are Turning to Green Banks to Accelerate the Energy Transition

By Energy Monitor

  • Green banks use public seed money to leverage private investment for projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • Over the last ten years, US green banks have generated $7bn in investment, with a record $1.69bn coming in 2020
  • The UK Green Investment Bank, invested £3.4bn ($4.7bn) between 2012 and 2017. Scotland, Australia and a coalition of countries in Africa have planned as well important investments in this field
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