In this issue:
Europe’s hydrogen storage skyrocketing
Hydrogen installed capacity is set to increase 800% across Europe in 2023, mainly driven by growth in the UK and Germany. LCP Delta is predicting electrolysis capacity will approach 2GW by the end of the year. Europe currently leads the way in green hydrogen, according to the report, but European bureaucracy combined with the US’s IRA will see that advantage shrink and other regions emerge as credible players in the international hydrogen economy.
Hydrogen infrastructure under the spotlight
Whether it’s practical, economic, or even safe to distribute hydrogen through existing gas networks is a contentious issue. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), part of the US’s Department of Energy, published a comprehensive review at the end of last year on the current state of technologies for blending hydrogen into existing natural gas infrastructures. While concluding networks should be assessed case by case, there is still much in report on materials and flow rates to inform on the merits of networking hydrogen.
Efficiency targets diluted in EU
The EU this week announced an agreed target of 11.7% energy efficiency saving by 2030. The EU Parliament passed a 14.5% target last year but the 27 countries had previously proposed 9%. The compromise target is seen as recognition of the importance of savings in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the ensuing energy crisis.
Supply chain emissions over 11 times greater than direct emissions
That’s according to CDP’s report on supply chain engagement released this week. The report also concludes 70% of companies don’t assess their supply chain for biodiversity, only 0.04% require suppliers to set science based targets and only around 1% support suppliers to reduce deforestation. On the positive side, supply chain engagement by the survey’s respondents is estimated to have saved 70 million tonnes of CO2e.
Nuclear power is “sustainable”
At least according to Jeremy Hunt, the UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, who substantiated rumours this week that the UK Government is intending to define nuclear power as sustainable in its green taxonomy, “subject to consultation”. The intent is to give the green light to nuclear investment under the same conditions as other renewables. The UK is following the EU’s precedent which included nuclear in its taxonomy last year.
Crushing the construction emissions problem
Around 50 billion tonnes of rock are crushed each year as part of the supply chain for the construction sector with virtually none of the related emissions captured. Researchers from Strathclyde University have discovered that rock crushed in a CO2 environment under the right conditions will trap much of the CO2 in a stable form with the resulting powders, in effect, producing their own, stable carbon store. It’s claimed if the new technology was implemented around the world it would reduce global emissions by 175 million tonnes a year, that’s around 0.5% of global emissions, equivalent to planting a forest the size of Germany.
Climate change becomes mainstream entertainment
Apple TV has just released the first episodes of its much anticipated “Extrapolations”. While it isn’t the first series to feature future projections of a climate changed world, it is probably the highest profile starring Meryl Streep, Forest Whitaker, Tobey Maguire, Edward Norton and many more. We mention it not for recommendation but because it does place climate change firmly on the radar of the arts and entertainment sector. Also noteworthy is that it’s penned by Scott Z Burns, known for An Inconvenient Truth (he got that one right) and Contagion (he got that one right too).