Energy service companies look to grow markets
Rebounding from a tough two years of slowing growth, the energy service company (ESCO) market in the United States is expected to resume its expansion in the coming years. The primary markets for ESCOs include K-12 schools, state and local governments, universities and colleges, and hospitals.
According to a recent report from Navigant Research, education – combining K-12 and universities/colleges – will be the largest market segment for ESCOs, representing more than $22 billion in cumulative revenue from 2013 through 2020.
For facility managers, school boards, mayors’ offices, and other K-12 stakeholders, energy is rarely the chief concern. Other priorities, such as teacher salaries and curriculum development, tend to command more attention than energy-related matters. As a result, many ESCOs find that success in the K-12 sector involves the ability to address a wide range of concerns that go beyond energy in facilities, such as replacing roofs and facades and upgrading interior furnishings, according to the report.
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“The ESCO market continues to be concentrated in municipalities, universities, schools, and hospitals, known as the ‘MUSH’ market,” says Eric Bloom, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. “K-12 schools, which present the largest opportunity for ESCOs, are designed to last for many decades, and many public school buildings in operation today are characterized by out-of-date HVAC, lighting, and control systems that could benefit considerably from system upgrades.”
The report, “The U.S. Energy Service Company Market”, examines the ESCO market in the United States, detailing drivers and barriers to the deeper penetration of energy efficiency in the U.S. economy. The report covers all ESCO sectors, including municipalities, universities, schools, and hospitals, federal, commercial and industrial, and public housing.
Market forecasts for ESCO revenue in the United States, segmented by sector and technology, extend through 2020.
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.