Jun 30, 2014

Israel Voted Best Place on the Planet for Clean Tech Entrepreneurs

Green Tech
3 min
According to a study released by Cleantech Group and the World Wildlife Fund, Israel is the best place for clean technology entrepreneurs to blossom...

According to a study released by Cleantech Group and the World Wildlife Fund, Israel is the best place for clean technology entrepreneurs to blossom.  The study determined that the nation has exactly what it takes to foster innovation, citing the examples set by wastewater engineers Emefcy and Seed technology firm Kajima.

Founded in 2008 and based in Caesarea, Emefcy develops advanced energy efficient wastewater treatment technologies for municipal and industrial plants.  Kaiima, a leading genetics and breeding technology company headquartered in the lower Galilee, raised more than $65 million in equity in September of 2013.

Finland rated the second best and America finished third, while there are signs that China, India and Brazil are beginning to offer improving markets for new businesses.

World Wildlife Fund’s head of climate Samantha Smith commented on the study by saying, “International climate change negotiations are not delivering sufficiently on the challenge to avoid catastrophic climate change, which make accelerated investments in solutions by business, financial institutions, countries and cities even more crucial.  Understanding these innovation processes is important in order to accelerate increase of the ‘good’ as a complement to the establishment of national climate targets and carbon caps that address a more rapid decrease of the ‘bad.’”

The study covered 40 countries, including all of the G20.  The study centered on 15 indicators relating to a country’s ability to create and commercialize innovation.  “The result is an index which measures each one’s potential—relative to their economic size—to produce entrepreneurial clean tech start-up companies who will commercialize clean technology innovations over the next ten years,” said Richard Youngman, managing director of Europe and Asia for Cleantech Group.

Other companies that made the top 10 include Sweden (4), Denmark (5), the UK (6) and Ireland (10).  Ireland anticipates that clean tech jobs will grow to 80,000 in the country by the year 2020.

While China (19), India (21) and Brazil (25) scored somewhat poorly, the report indicates that their positions will improve due to the strong potential for growth and development, given their high levels of pollution. Saudi Arabia (33) and Russia—last on the list at 40—receive praise for their efforts, as both countries have demonstrated significant moves towards clean technology over the last few years.

According to a press release from the World Wildlife Fund, the index used in the study demonstrates that countries can get ahead if they “are able to adapt to the growing demand for renewable energy (at home and abroad); are connecting start-ups with multiple channels (e.g. multinational corporates, public procurement) to increase their success rates; and are increasing international engagement to spur widespread adoption of clean technologies.”

Michele Parad, senior analyst for the Cleantech Group, spoke of the potential for clean technology improvements by saying “many of the exciting opportunities ahead in further development and scaling up of the most innovative clean tech solutions to the global market lie in increased strategic cooperation between Start-Up Generators and Strong Commercializers.”

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Jul 29, 2021

Carbon dioxide removal revenues worth £2bn a year by 2030

Dominic Ellis
4 min
Engineered greenhouse gas removals will become "a major new infrastructure sector" in the coming decades says the UK's National Infrastructure Commission

Carbon dioxide removal revenues could reach £2bn a year by 2030 in the UK with costs per megatonne totalling up to £400 million, according to the National Infrastructure Commission

Engineered greenhouse gas removals will become "a major new infrastructure sector" in the coming decades - although costs are uncertain given removal technologies are in their infancy - and revenues could match that of the UK’s water sector by 2050. The Commission’s analysis suggests engineered removals technologies need to have capacity to remove five to ten megatonnes of carbon dioxide no later than 2030, and between 40 and 100 megatonnes by 2050.

The Commission states technologies fit into two categories: extracting carbon dioxide directly out of the air; and bioenergy with carbon capture technology – processing biomass to recapture carbon dioxide absorbed as the fuel grew. In both cases, the captured CO2 is then stored permanently out of the atmosphere, typically under the seabed.

The report sets out how the engineered removal and storage of carbon dioxide offers the most realistic way to mitigate the final slice of emissions expected to remain by the 2040s from sources that don’t currently have a decarbonisation solution, like aviation and agriculture. 

It stresses that the potential of these technologies is “not an excuse to delay necessary action elsewhere” and cannot replace efforts to reduce emissions from sectors like road transport or power, where removals would be a more expensive alternative.  

The critical role these technologies will play in meeting climate targets means government must rapidly kick start the sector so that it becomes viable by the 2030s, according to the report, which was commissioned by government in November 2020. 

Early movement by the UK to develop the expertise and capacity in greenhouse gas removal technologies could create a comparative advantage, with the prospect of other countries needing to procure the knowledge and skills the UK develops.

The Commission recommends that government should support the development of this new sector in the short term with policies that drive delivery of these technologies and create demand through obligations on polluting industries, which will over time enable a competitive market to develop. Robust independent regulation must also be put in place from the start to help build public and investor confidence.

While the burden of these costs could be shared by different parts of industries required to pay for removals or in part shared with government, the report acknowledges that, over the longer term, the aim should be to have polluting sectors pay for removals they need to reach carbon targets.

Polluting industries are likely to pass a proportion of the costs onto consumers. While those with bigger household expenditures will pay more than those on lower incomes, the report underlines that government will need to identify ways of protecting vulnerable consumers and to decide where in relevant industry supply chains the costs should fall.

Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission, Sir John Armitt, said taking steps to clean our air is something we’re going to have to get used to, just as we already manage our wastewater and household refuse. 

"While engineered removals will not be everyone’s favourite device in the toolkit, they are there for the hardest jobs. And in the overall project of mitigating our impact on the planet for the sake of generations to come, we need every tool we can find," he said.

“But to get close to having the sector operating where and when we need it to, the government needs to get ahead of the game now. The adaptive approach to market building we recommend will create the best environment for emerging technologies to develop quickly and show their worth, avoiding the need for government to pick winners. We know from the dramatic fall in the cost of renewables that this approach works and we must apply the lessons learned to this novel, but necessary, technology.” 

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and International Energy Agency estimate a global capacity for engineered removals of 2,000 to 16,000 megatonnes of carbon dioxide each year by 2050 will be needed in order to meet global reduction targets. 

Yesterday Summit Carbon Solutions received "a strategic investment" from John Deere to advance a major CCUS project (click here). The project will accelerate decarbonisation efforts across the agriculture industry by enabling the production of low carbon ethanol, resulting in the production of more sustainable food, feed, and fuel. Summit Carbon Solutions has partnered with 31 biorefineries across the Midwest United States to capture and permanently sequester their CO2 emissions.  

Cory Reed, President, Agriculture & Turf Division of John Deere, said: "Carbon neutral ethanol would have a positive impact on the environment and bolster the long-term sustainability of the agriculture industry. The work Summit Carbon Solutions is doing will be critical in delivering on these goals."

McKinsey highlights a number of CCUS methods which can drive CO2 to net zero:

  • Today’s leader: Enhanced oil recovery Among CO2 uses by industry, enhanced oil recovery leads the field. It accounts for around 90 percent of all CO2 usage today
  • Cementing in CO2 for the ages New processes could lock up CO2 permanently in concrete, “storing” CO2 in buildings, sidewalks, or anywhere else concrete is used
  • Carbon neutral fuel for jets Technically, CO2 could be used to create virtually any type of fuel. Through a chemical reaction, CO2 captured from industry can be combined with hydrogen to create synthetic gasoline, jet fuel, and diesel
  • Capturing CO2 from ambient air - anywhere Direct air capture (DAC) could push CO2 emissions into negative territory in a big way
  • The biomass-energy cycle: CO2 neutral or even negative Bioenergy with carbon capture and storage relies on nature to remove CO2 from the atmosphere for use elsewhere

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