Sempra Energy donates $2 million to fight climate change
Sempra Energy is donating $2 million to the Salk Institute to advance plant-based carbon capture and sequestration research, education and implementation in a five-year project to tackle the climate crisis.
As the world's population increases to 10 billion, there is "incredible urgency" to address the changing climate, said Salk Professor Wolfgang Busch, co-director of the Institute's Harnessing Plants Initiative (HPI).
HPI aims to develop crop plants that have significant global acreages to store long-lasting carbon in the soil. It is an innovative, scalable and bold approach to fight climate change by optimizing a plant's natural ability to capture and store carbon and adapt to diverse climate conditions.
HPI estimates that if, worldwide, 70 percent of the target crops are converted into carbon-sequestration-enhanced crop plants, 1.5 to 6 gigatons of CO2 can be sequestered per year, the equivalent of up to as much as one-third of human-caused CO2 emissions that accumulate in the atmosphere each year.
Salk researchers aim to develop these Salk Ideal Plants on land in South California to mitigate the disastrous effects of climate change by drawing down significant amounts of the excess carbon in our atmosphere while also providing more food, fuel and fibre for the growing population.
"At Sempra Energy, we support partnerships designed to produce sustainable and responsible change, and we believe the Salk Institute is an ideal partner to make true progress in the fight against climate change," said Kevin Sagara, group president of Sempra Energy and advisory committee member of HPI.
"This project has the potential to help remove significant amounts of carbon from entering our atmosphere and aligns with Sempra Energy's portfolio to advance the global energy transition to lower-carbon energy sources."
San-Diego based Sempra Energy recorded $60 billion in total assets at the end of 2019 and has 35 million customers worldwide.
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.