All Roads Lead to Net Zero, Not Just the Easy Ones

At-a-Glance:

In May, the International Energy Agency published a report that details the pathway to net-zero emissions in the global energy system. The IEA was born of an oil crisis and its long-term mandate has been the security of the energy supply, to include enough fossil fuel to run the power, transport, and industrial processes of developed economies. It’s a redefinition of a guiding principle for the global energy system—from securing adequate supply to minimizing, or even zeroing out, the impacts of demand. To learn more, read All Roads Lead to Net Zero, Not Just the Easy Ones.” Reading this article may require a subscription from the news outlet.

Key Takeaways:

  • Aluminum is one of the world’s most ubiquitous metals, used in everything from consumer goods to electronics to infrastructure.
    • Producing it is energy-intensive, and at the moment, more than two-thirds of its energy consumption comes from coal and natural gas.
    • Aluminum is responsible for about 4% of industrial emissions and 1% of all global emissions.
  • Alcoa, Rio Tinto, Apple, the government of Canada, and the provincial government of Quebec have invested in a developing process that uses inert anodes—which don’t produce CO₂—and zero-carbon power to drive emissions to zero.
  • BNEF ran the numbers and the production costs with this method could be lower than with traditional methods—and significantly lower than with processes that use carbon offsets to cancel out their CO₂ emissions.

Path to 100% Perspective:

Clean energy investments around the world have been growing at more than $300 billion annually over the course of the past five years. McKinsey’s Global Energy Perspective 2019 predicts that by 2035, renewable energy generation will account for 50% of the world’s total generation. That, in turn, is expected to substantially increase the demand for several metals such as copper, aluminium, bauxite, iron, lead, graphite, tin, nickel and zinc which are used to produce renewable energy.

Stockpiles of various metals, to include aluminum, are deplenishing, while the time to find new reserves is increasing. This could lead to a situation where the production of metals will not be able to keep up with increasing demand. The Rocky Mountain Institute’s Renewable Resources at Mines tracker, estimates there are 57 mines across 21 countries with a total installed renewable energy capacity of 1178 MW.

 

Photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel on Unsplash

Apple Spends 15% of Debut Euro Green Bond in First Year Projects

At-a-Glance:

Apple Inc. spent 15% of the 2 billion euros ($2.2 billion) of green bonds it raised in late 2019 within a year, mostly on renewable energy projects, according to its annual impact report released on March 17. To learn more, read Apple Spends 15% of Debut Euro Green Bond in First Year Projects.”  Reading this article may require a subscription from the news outlet.

Key Takeaways:

  • The tech giant had allocated almost $330 million of the euro green bond proceeds by September 2020.
  • Just over $310 million was funneled to renewable energy, with the rest going to low-carbon design and engineering, energy efficiency and so-called carbon mitigation and sequestration projects.
  • Spending included power purchase agreements with wind farms in the U.S. and the opening of a solar project in Denmark.
  • Apple previously issued two other dollar green bonds in 2016 and 2017, amounting to $2.5 billion. Both are fully allocated.

Path to 100% Perspective:

Since Apple was founded in April 1976, it has been solidified through a series of successes and failures that have carved out a trailblazing place for the technology company. Apple continues to look for ways to remain unique, innovative and progressive by investing in a renewable energy future. Circular economy practices are becoming increasingly popular as organizations seek sustainability, responsibility and reliability in the days and years ahead.

 

 

Photo by Amanda Yum on Unsplash