DNV GL points the way to energy’s future
The Norwegian organisation has identified solid-state batteries, high-temperature heat pumps and green hydrogen as the triumvirate of future energy which will finally wean the globe off fossil fuels.
Stating that the evolving sector is gearing up for low CO2 emission production techniques via wind, solar and other renewable sources, DNV GL believes that government incentives to drive the change - already present in today’s market - could expedite the change.
Discussing the advancing uptake of renewable energy (wind and solar), Lucy Craig, VP of Technology and Innovation at DNV GL, said, “Twenty years later, these forms of green power generation are not only safe and reliable but have also become cost-competitive.”
“We require equally decisive and binding policy actions to get emerging technologies [...] off the ground and build momentum for a similar success to that of core decarbonization technologies.”
Exploring the options
Solid-state batteries: The uptake of EVs in recent times has gone hand-in-hand with the development of lithium-ion batteries, with major car manufacturers like Ford, Porsche and Mercedes recently announcing expanded EV model ranges for 2020 and beyond.
Current batteries possess an energy density of 250Wh/kg, with some companies even breaking through into 300Wh/kg territory. However, DNV GL believes that a 400 or even 500Wh/kg battery may be possible by 2030.
High-temperature heat pumps: According to DNV GL’s report the “technological advancement of heat pumps could meet the energy demands for industrial processes that require a temperature of up to 200°C.”
Predicting that such pumps could become available commercially by 2023, this innovation could reduce global emissions caused by the heating sector by 30%.
Green hydrogen: As distinct from ‘blue hydrogen’, wherein carbon emissions are captured and repurposed, ‘green hydrogen’ is generated from renewable sources and do not require CO2 at any point during production.
In the expectation that demand for green hydrogen will surge, “DNV GL expects that capital costs for electrolysers will reduce significantly and they will operate mainly when electricity prices are low,” the report says.
Trafigura and Yara International explore clean ammonia usage
Reducing shipping emissions is a vital component of the fight against global climate change, yet Greenhouse Gas emissions from the global maritime sector are increasing - and at odds with the IMO's strategy to cut absolute emissions by at least 50% by 2050.
How more than 70,000 ships can decrease their reliance on carbon-based sources is one of transport's most pressing decarbonisation challenges.
Yara and Trafigura intend to collaborate on initiatives that will establish themselves in the clean ammonia value chain. Under the MoU announced today, Trafigura and Yara intend to work together in the following areas:
- The supply of clean ammonia by Yara to Trafigura Group companies
- Exploration of joint R&D initiatives for clean ammonia application as a marine fuel
- Development of new clean ammonia assets including marine fuel infrastructure and market opportunities
Magnus Krogh Ankarstrand, President of Yara Clean Ammonia, said the agreement is a good example of cross-industry collaboration to develop and promote zero-emission fuel in the form of clean ammonia for the shipping industry. "Building clean ammonia value chains is critical to facilitate the transition to zero emission fuels by enabling the hydrogen economy – not least within trade and distribution where both Yara and Trafigura have leading capabilities. Demand and supply of clean ammonia need to be developed in tandem," he said.
There is a growing consensus that hydrogen-based fuels will ultimately be the shipping fuels of the future, but clear and comprehensive regulation is essential, according to Jose Maria Larocca, Executive Director and Co-Head of Oil Trading for Trafigura.
Ammonia has a number of properties that require "further investigation," according to Wartsila. "It ignites and burns poorly compared to other fuels and is toxic and corrosive, making safe handling and storage important. Burning ammonia could also lead to higher NOx emissions unless controlled either by aftertreatment or by optimising the combustion process," it notes.
Trafigura has co-sponsored the R&D of MAN Energy Solutions’ ammonia-fuelled engine for maritime vessels, has performed in-depth studies of transport fuels with reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and has published a white paper on the need for a global carbon levy for shipping fuels to be introduced by International Maritime Organization.
Oslo-based Yara produces roughly 8.5 million tonnes of ammonia annually and employs a fleet of 11 ammonia carriers, including 5 fully owned ships, and owns 18 marine ammonia terminals with 580 kt of storage capacity – enabling it to produce and deliver ammonia across the globe.
It recently established a new clean ammonia unit to capture growth opportunities in emission-free fuel for shipping and power, carbon-free fertilizer and ammonia for industrial applications.