Nov 10, 2014

How the Internet is Becoming Increasingly Powered by Renewable Energy

2 min
If you’re reading this right now, chances are, you have access to the internet. Arguably the most important invention of the 20th century, the...

If you’re reading this right now, chances are, you have access to the internet. Arguably the most important invention of the 20th century, the internet appears to be changing once again, though this time it’s getting a bit greener.

The parent companies of the three largest search engines in the U.S.—Google, Yahoo, and Bing—are increasingly looking to wind energy to power their operations. These companies are increasingly entering into power purchase agreements (PPAs) with wind farms and other forms of renewable energy to make their operations carbon neutral and green energy powered.

The leader in this is most certainly Google, as it’s already carbon neutral. Now, the company is looking to make its operations 100 percent renewable.

It’s important to distinguish, though, that these tech companies aren’t buying the power directly. They’re going through utilities like everyone else. However, via the PPAs, the energy being purchased is clean and renewable. These three companies aren’t the only ones jumping on board, either.

“Apple, Facebook and Google are powering our online lives with clean energy, and building a greener offline world for everyone in the process,” Gary Cook, Greenpeace Senior IT Analyst, said. “These companies have proven over the past 24 months that wind and solar energy are ready and waiting to power the internet, and the rest of our economy, with clean electricity.”

Apple is the first company to be powered by 100 percent renewable energy. This isn’t always an easy goal to achieve, however. Utilities present a roadblock for companies, as they don’t always offer the renewable energy options companies want. Even that, however, is changing.

“ Iowa rolled out the red carpet to attract Facebook,” Greentech Media’s Bentham Paulos writes. “MidAmerican Energy worked with Facebook to ensure that the company's new Iowa data center, now under development, would be entirely powered by local wind. The project is part of the biggest purchase of wind turbines in history— a $1.9 billion, 1,050-megawatt order was placed last year with Siemens.”

So, next time you’re browsing the internet, just remember that it’s a little more green than it was before. 

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Jun 7, 2021

Trafigura and Yara International explore clean ammonia usage

Dominic Ellis
2 min
Commodity trading company Trafigura and Yara International sign MoU to explore developing ammonia as a clean fuel in shipping

Independent commodity trading company Trafigura and Yara International have signed an MoU to explore developing ammonia as a clean fuel in shipping and ammonia fuel infrastructure.

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.

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