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Weekly Highlights | From the value of a sustainable brand to green companies

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By illuminem

· 5 min read

1. Global Hydrogen Review 2021

By the International Energy Agency

  • In the IEA’s Net Zero by 2050 (NZE Scenario) hydrogen targets 10% of total final energy consumption. This is all supplied from low-carbon sources
  • The levelised cost of hydrogen production from renewable energy is still way too high. Producing H2 through natural gas ranges from USD 0.5 to USD 1.7 per kg; using CCUS technologies the cost increases to around USD 1 to USD 2 per kg; using renewable electricity it costs USD 3 to USD 8 per kg
  • If all the announced industrial plans are realised, by 2030: hydrogen demand could grow to 105 Mt (vs more than 200 Mt in the NZE Scenario); low-carbon hydrogen production could reach more than 17 Mt (oneeighth of the production level required in the NZE Scenario); electrolysis capacity could rise to 90 GW (vs 850 GW in the NZE Scenario)

2. How Sustainable Brands Add Value

By Bain&Company

  • Bain&Company tries to understand what underpins a consumer’s perception of value, by identifying 30 fundamentals Elements of Value that fall into 4 categories
  • The survey studied more than 8000 European consumers and over 60 brands across eight consumer goods categories
  • It has been found that brands that scores highest on sustainability Elements of Value generated 5 times the revenue growth of companies scoring lowest

3. An Energy Sector Roadmap to Carbon Neutrality in China

By the International Energy Agency

  • Being the largest energy consumer and carbon emitter (one third of global emissions), there is no plausible way to stay under 1.5°C of warming without China
  • As the Chinese energy sector accounts for almost 90% of its emissions, the energy transition must drive its transition to carbon neutrality; three key areas need to be tackled before 2030, namely energy efficiency, renewables and reducing coal use
  • While every sector must take part in the transition, investments needed rest within the financial capacities of China. Furthermore, innovation is essential for the transition to succeed

4. Global Natural Gas Crunch Roils Consumers and Industry

The New York Times

  • The world is worried about running short of natural gas, and the impact is being felt in surging utility bills, shuttered factories and desperation as winter approaches
  • Moreover, the pandemic and other factors have caused companies to delay investment in new fossil fuel projects, including LNG terminals (only about a third of the volumes of additional LNG will come on the market over the next 3 years)
  • The pressure in the natural gas markets is pushing oil prices higher as well. Indeed, there is a large incentive in some industries to burn oil (lately about $75 to $80 a barrel) instead of gas for electric power, stoking demand

5. Ranked: The 50 Companies That Use the Highest Percentage of Green Energy

By the Visual Capitalist

  • As green energy becomes more affordable, major businesses like Google, Wells and Apple are embracing it. Also institutional investors are nudging companies in that direction, incorporating ESG in their portfolios.
  • The Estee Lauder Companies Inc. ranks first in the top 15 U.S. companies that use the highest percentage of green energy, with a 139% of Green Power use corresponding to almost 92 GWh
  • In addition to the use of green power for operations, major companies are also looking at the bigger picture and setting targets to achieve carbon neutrality

6. Winter Is Coming: Can Energy Catastrophe Be Averted?

By Forbes

  • Bank of America says that the upcoming cold winter, higher aviation demand and potential gas-to-oil switching in power generation are the factors that could create a further run-up in oil prices (>100$ over the winter)
  • The energy crisis in Western Europe this summer has been brought on by premature retirements of hundreds of coal and natural gas power plants in favor of massive over-reliance on wind power and, to a lesser extent, solar
  • Thus we see the consequence of a mass decision to attempt to violate the laws of physics by trying to replace high-density energy sources with low-density energy sources

7. Recent Events Complicate the Idea Fossil Fuels Are more ‘Reliable’ than Renewables

By Energy Monitor

  • Higher-than-expected post-Covid gas demand, Chinese generators now switching from coal to gas and Europe’s reliance on Russia are all factors which caused the soaring cost of gas (and, as a consequence, of oil)
  • Producing green hydrogen when power sources are at their strongest offers another potential means of storing energy for use when solar and wind output is low

8. The End of Oil, Explained

By Vox

  • Oil represents today 33% of primary energy sources
  • The current goal is not to get to zero carbon emissions, but to NET zero carbon emissions, implying that carbon offsetting will play a very important role
  • Oil will be around for a long time, but will be used by countries and people who have no other options but to use it (i.e. developing countries)

9.  ‘Blah, blah, blah’: Greta Thunberg Lambasts Leaders over Climate Crisis

By The Guardian

  • “Build back better. Blah, Blah, Blah. Green economy. Blah blah blah. Net zero by 2050. Blah, blah, blah” said Greta Thunberg in her speech to the Youth4Climate summit in Milan, on Tuesday
  • Officials from the UN, UK and US said Cop26 would not produce the breakthrough needed to fulfil the aspirations of the Paris agreement but the broader goal of the conference “keeping 1.5C alive” - was still possible
  • Large numbers of youth climate protesters took to the streets on Friday in almost 100 countries across the world, including 100,000 in Berlin, where Thunberg spoke

10. Norway Could Be 'a Giant Battery' for the UK

By SkyNews

  • Norway is one of the world’s biggest producers of oil and gas but it’s water that provides almost all its domestic power
  • Norway produces so much green energy that some will now be exported to Britain through a cable under the North Sea, the longest in the world
  • One of the big challenges in the shift to renewable energy is the intermittency of supply, but hydropower could help fill the gap. In effect, Norway can be a giant battery for the UK
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