$15 trillion global hydrogen investment needed to 2050-research

At-a-Glance:

Decarbonizing energy and other industries globally using hydrogen will require investment of almost $15 trillion between now and 2050, the Energy Transitions Commission (ETC) said in a report in April. The ETC is an international coalition of executives from the energy industry committed to achieving net zero emissions by mid-century, a goal set by the Paris climate agreement. To learn more, read $15 trillion global hydrogen investment needed to 2050-research.”

Key Takeaways:

  • Hydrogen use is forecast to grow to 500-800 million tons a year by mid-century, accounting for 15-20% of total final energy demand, from 115 million tons currently.
  • Producing green hydrogen will need zero-carbon electricity supply to increase by 30,000 terawatt hours (TWh) by 2050, on top of 90,000 TWh needed for decarbonization generally, the ETC said.
  • Around 85% of the required investment would be in electricity generation and 15% in electrolysers, hydrogen production facilities and transport and storage infrastructure.
  • Large-scale geological storage will be needed for the hydrogen produced, given the limited capacity and large costs of compressed hydrogen containers. Salt caverns will offer the lowest cost but if 5% of total annual hydrogen use in 2050 needs to be stored, it needs about 4,000 typical size salt caverns, compared with only about 100 in use for natural gas today, the report said.

Path to 100% Perspective:

As coal, diesel and legacy natural gas plants are retired to achieve ambitious decarbonization goals, the need for new dispatchable capacity is necessary for reliability and resiliency in future power systems. Short-duration and long-duration energy storage are both necessary in future power systems and they each have different roles. Long-duration storage has been the missing piece of the decarbonization puzzle, however, the use of battery storage in this application is not economical or viable.

The most economical long-duration storage is formed with green hydrogen-based future fuels, such as hydrogen, ammonia, carbon neutral methanol and methane.These fuels can be used to generate electricity in flexible power plants. Such flexible power plants provide carbon neutral firm, dispatchable capacity to the grid at any time.

 

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FedEx CEO to testify as U.S. lawmakers make green infrastructure push

At-a-Glance:

FedEx Corp’s chief executive, Frederick Smith, testified before Congress on March 10 as U.S. lawmakers began a fast push for a massive hike in infrastructure spending and drive toward electric vehicles. “The Business Case for Climate Solutions” is expected to include PG&E testimony about more than $400 million in programs to help customers transition to EVs. To learn more, read FedEx CEO to testify as U.S. lawmakers make green infrastructure push.”

Key Takeaways:

  • In early March, FedEx announced it planned to become carbon-neutral by 2040 and will invest $2 billion in vehicle electrification, sustainable energy, and carbon sequestration. FedEx also said its entire parcel pickup and delivery fleet will be zero-emission electric vehicles by 2040.
  • FedEx is the latest among a number of corporations, automakers, and startup companies that are working to adopt electric-vehicle pickups and larger delivery vehicles.

Path to 100% Perspective:

Electric utilities and governments across the world are moving towards 100% carbon-free energy. To succeed, they need to not only increase renewable generation, but also to rapidly reduce the use of fossil fuels. Renewables and storage alone cannot rapidly decarbonize our power system fast enough. If corporations with the largest carbon footprints take the lead in optimizing power resources, renewable energy and flexible fuels others will follow as they pave the path to 100%.

 

Photo by Obi Onyeador on Unsplash

Shell enters supply deal with Amazon to provide renewable energy

At-a-Glance:

Shell Energy Europe BV has agreed to supply Amazon.com Inc. with renewable energy, which will help the U.S. online retailer power its business completely using clean energy by 2025 which is five years ahead of Amazon’s target. To learn more, read “Shell enters supply deal with Amazon to provide renewable energy.”

Key Takeaways:

  • Shell Energy Europe BV said it will provide the renewable energy from a subsidy-free offshore wind farm constructed off the coast of the Netherlands.
  • According to a press release distributed by Shell, the wind farm will be operated by The CrossWind Consortium, a joint venture between Shell and Eneco.
    • Starting in 2024, Amazon will offtake 250 megawatts (MW) from Shell and 130 MW from Eneco, for a total of 380 MW.
    • “Supplying Amazon with electricity from this offshore wind farm contributes to their net-zero pledge while progressing our own ambition to be a net-zero emissions business by 2050 or sooner,” stated Elisabeth Brinton, Executive Vice President of New Energies at Shell.

Path to 100% Perspective:

Achieving a 100% renewable energy future requires collaboration and innovation to serve organizations and utility partners. Mutually beneficial partnerships, such as the newly established agreement between Shell and Amazon, is an impactful strategy with the potential to accelerate decarbonization. Although costs continue to decline for renewables, the need for ongoing solutions to create flexible, reliable and sustainable grids continues to be the overarching challenge in reaching renewable energy goals.

 

Photo: Nicholas Jeffway on Unsplash