In this issue:
What price carbon?
In its just-published report Long-Term Carbon Offsets Outlook 2024, BNEF predicts 2024 will be a pivotal year for the offsets market, which currently faces significant oversupply and serious questions over credibility. Reestablishing credibility is key and, if achieved, will see significant growth in volumes and prices. Under its High Quality scenario, with confidence restored, global prices reach US$20/t (NZ$33/t) in 2030, escalating to US$238/t (NZ$390/t) by 2050 with a market size of US$1.1trn (NZ$1.8trn) pa. Under its poor credibility scenario, prices will hit US$13/t (NZ$21/t) in 2030 and only reach US$14/t (NZ$23) by 2050, with the market size limited to US$34bn (NZ$56bn).
Climate reporting on the up
That’s according to the latest release from CDP which is reporting the outcomes from its tracking in 2023. For the year, CDP tracked over 21,000 companies, which is up 24% on the previous year. Despite the improvement in numbers reporting, high quality reporting still remains quite low with only 346 companies making CDP’s Climate Change A-list. Its Water Security A-list has only 101 companies and lagging in quality of reporting is reporting of forestry activities with only 30 companies on that A-list. Overall, 10 companies managed to achieve the A-listing in all three areas.
EU on the right track
There can be no doubt Europe is heading in the right direction and is leading the way in reducing emissions from fossil fuels. CO2 emissions from fossil fuels dropped 8% in 2023 and are now down to levels not seen since the early 1960s according to the Centre for Research in Energy and Clean Air (CREA). The main contributor to the decrease (accounting for more than 50% of it) are changes in the electricity generation mix, with the power sector seeing a 25% drop in emissions. Other sectors averaged a 4% drop.
Efficiency breakthrough in HDTRs
Heat-driven thermoacoustic refrigerator (HDTR) technology carries the advantages of few moving parts and the ability to use cheap, eco-friendly gases such as helium and nitrogen but have suffered from poor efficiency, with increasing temperatures associated with drop-offs in efficiency (measured by coefficient of performance, COP). Scientists from the Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry (TIPC) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences have worked on reconfiguring a kilowatt scale prototype HDTR unit and achieved a record-high experimental COP of 1.12, more than 2.5 times the efficiency of normal HDTR units. The researchers claim their technology surpasses adsorption refrigerators and single-effect absorption refrigerators in room-temperature, heat-driven refrigeration applications.
Fire extinguishing batteries
Problems with scooter, EV, phone and any other lithium batteries combusting, which we hear so much about these days, could soon be a thing of the past. A team of scientists, mostly from Hunan University (China) have developed a battery that uses fire extinguisher materials as its electrolyte. The new electrolyte is non-flammable, heat-resistant and compatible with any battery chemistry. It operates across a wide range of temperatures and doesn’t suffer the significant temperatures changes during charge and discharge that make normal lithium batteries potentially dangerous. There is no indication of when these improved batteries may be seen in commercial applications.
EVs so last decade
The early-adopters among us will soon be adding yet another electric transport option to their portfolios with the introduction of the VonMercier Arosa, an electric hovercraft. With two battery options, prices range from US$200,000 to US$249,000 (NZ$327,000-NZ$407,000). Deposits are being taken now with delivery promised in four months.