Power of Renewables takes centre stage at Middle East Electricity 2019
Directors of the multi award-winning documentary ‘Point of No Return’ will put the growing influence and versatility of renewables firmly in focus at Middle East Electricity 2019 – the leading international trade event for the power industry, which runs from March 5-7 at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).
Noel Dockstader and Quinn Kanaly, the duo behind the documentary that follows the record-breaking 26,000-mile Solar Impulse – the first round-the-world flight powered by solar, will host two special interactive screenings of their movie, which has garnered 10 awards at film festivals around the globe. The screenings will show up to 45-minutes of footage and include Q&A sessions with the show’s exhibitors and visitors.
The special free-to-attend sessions will take place at 11am and 2pm on March 7, with the film and its directors offering great insight into the exploits of the Solar Impulse pilots, psychiatrist and balloonist Bertrand Piccard, and engineer and jet fighter pilot André Borschberg, on a journey that flew the duo into aviation record books.
Described by former US Vice President and environmental campaigner Al Gore as being “at the cutting edge of exploration and renewable energy”, the documentary follows the journey of Solar Impulse, an aircraft which many observers initially wrote off as “impossible’ due to its extreme fragility.
The dangerous and historic trip, which was filmed in 16 locations, including Abu Dhabi, Muscat and Cairo, was a test of technology and the pilots’ endurance as they battled with technical failures, unplanned landings and stormy weather.
According to the directors, the documentary is “a story of hope, courage, and perseverance that gets to the heart of what it will take to solve the biggest environmental threat humans have ever faced.”
Informa Exhibitions, organisers of Middle East Electricity, chose to part-screen the film hosted by its directors to press home the potential of clean energy at an event that has the future of the power industry at its core.
“There could not be a better setting for this,” said Claudia Konieczna, Exhibition Director – Informa Industrial Group. “This film has taken awards across eight nations and sends a powerful message of what is possible. The film will play to a Middle East Electricity audience at the forefront of future power solutions delivery - and solar and renewables are integral to that. With this screening and Q&A with the directors, the message of Solar Impulse is coming home to a region which analysts attribute with speeding up the solar energy conversion movement. In a regional climate of economic diversification plans, all six GCC states are now prioritising renewables with the UAE leading the way and aiming to generate 75% of its electricity from renewables by 2050.”
Such is the interest in solar that it will have its own dedicated sector at Middle East Electricity 2019, which also features specialised segments devoted to power generation; transmission and distribution; lighting, and energy storage and management.
“The Solar sector at Middle East Electricity spans three entire halls of renewables, energy management and innovative storage solutions, with brands across the world displaying their answers to every capacity challenge,” added Konieczna. “It will form the largest gathering of solar industry professionals in the Middle East and Africa, offering the most effective trade-focused platform for buyers to meet international manufacturers and distributors.”
Solar will also feature heavily in Middle East Electricity’s comprehensive knowledge programme with a dedicated Intersolar Conference on March 5 focusing on photovoltaics, PV production technologies, and solar thermal technologies. It will explore renewable energy storage solutions, from residential and commercial applications to large-scale storage systems for stabilising the grid. Other focal points include products and solutions for smart renewable energy, energy management, e-mobility and uninterruptible power supply (UPS).
Informa has lined up no less than 94 hours of free conferences and seminars for the Middle East Electricity 2019 programme which will feature case-study-led sessions to keep delegates up-to-date with technology trends and projects.
More than 1,600 leading manufacturers and suppliers are committed to Middle East Electricity 2019, which is being held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Maktoum Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Deputy Ruler and is hosted by the UAE Ministry of Energy.
Carbon dioxide removal revenues worth £2bn a year by 2030
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