Innovation and technology: approaching net zero, investments in hydrogen are essential.
Anticipating the future has never been more important. This is true at all levels, planetary, nationwide, organizational and even individual.
The technology landscape is evolving and exciting trends are emerging to enable the transition to net zero. We need rapid change to drive a transformation of our global energy system in line with the 1.5 degree goal.
Investment and innovation in hydrogen and carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies will be crucial to decarbonize global manufacturing sectors and hard-to-reduce industries including chemicals, cement, steel and iron.
Clean and renewable fuels like hydrogen will support the transition of the transport sector and the decarbonisation of aviation, using electric and hydrogen-powered aircraft for shorter flights. Electric ferries are used for shorter trips in shipping, while hydrogen and ammonia are alternative options for long-distance shipping.
Our domestic heat also needs to be switched to a combination of heat pumps and hydrogen (partly reusing existing gas infrastructure). The changeover for our home does not end with heating.
The construction industry is developing low-carbon cement, while carbon-negative materials from biochar (made from 90% atmospheric carbon) can be used in construction, interiors and furniture. There are also ways to reuse many building materials, including iron and steel, to reduce emissions by up to 70% during construction.
As these technologies advance, the pace is too slow. The International Energy Agency (IEA) notes that most clean energy technologies are lagging behind. However, recommendations and roadmaps clearly show what needs to be done and how.
Our recent Technology Driving Green Energy Growth report, published in partnership with the Technology Leadership Board and Accenture, highlights three key recommendations to support the rapid, early industrial deployment of emerging net-zero technologies in the UK that will benefit the world can be applied:
- Industry should be supported and motivated to rapidly test and deploy technologies to drive improvements in efficiency, modularity and scalability that will reduce the tiered costs of offshore wind solutions, electrolysers, carbon capture technologies and innovative materials.
- Government funding and encouragement for the deployment of test and demonstration centers would mitigate risks, standardize and scale up promising technologies.
- An infrastructure plan should be drawn up to transport, transmit, store and manage new energy feedstocks such as hydrogen, ammonia, renewable electricity and CO2.
READ the latest news shaping the hydrogen market at Hydrogen Central
Innovation and Technology: Towards Net Zero, November 1, 2022