How the wind power sector found a vital ally in Microsoft
The energy sector does not exist in a vacuum—for any form of energy production to truly grow and thrive, there has to be both a sufficient demand and infrastructure support. Right now wind energy is finding that kind of support in Microsoft. The global tech company has invested significantly in wind power over the past two years, building up contracts to deliver 285 MW of renewable power to its data centers from two wind energy projects built offsite. It’s a progressive move for Microsoft to turn toward renewable energy reliance—and for the renewable energy sector, the support of a company with as much influence and reach as Microsoft could be an immense boost.
Microsoft’s commitment to wind power has grown organically out of investment in the company’s own growth. As green energy publication Clean Technica reports, Microsoft’s recognition of the potential of its cloud-computing has driven the company’s data center team to look for more sustainable and reliable power sources:
With Microsoft’s sustainability team leading a charge that led to an adoption of carbon neutral goals in 2012, the company has turned increasingly to wind power for the energy needed to run its data centers. Over the past two years, Microsoft has contracted 285 mW of renewable energy—enough to keep 125,000 homes in electricity—from powerful off-site wind farms.
According to Clean Technica, Microsoft was also able to close deals on these projects in record time due to a combination of factors: a dedicated team with energy industry experience assigned specifically to make these renewable energy contracts happen, the external assistance of knowledgeable partners outside the Microsoft team, and full support from Microsoft’s executive teams across the board from legal to accounting.
Microsoft’s successful integration of wind power into its data center technology has shown that it can be done—and what’s more, it can be done efficiently and rather quickly. It also shows to other companies looking to go green that investing in wind energy can be worth the effort. That’s not just good for tech businesses, it’s also good for wind power—the more people invest, the more the industry can keep building and thriving from here.
[SOURCE: Clean Technica]
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.