Recent news items suggest that the world is moving faster towards decarbonization, and companies need to act urgently rather than relying on hypothetical plans, as published on Oil Price.
Clean ammonia project with royal blessings
Cepsa and Yara have joined forces, with the presence of the kings of Spain and the Netherlands, to transport green ammonia produced by Cepsa in Spain to Yara’s facilities in the Netherlands for regional use. Additionally, a hydrogen pipeline project between the Iberian Peninsula and France is scheduled for 2030, aiming to reduce European natural gas consumption and kick-start the hydrogen market. These projects are subsidized to increase hydrogen availability and lower production costs, potentially impacting global gas sales.
Better ways to make green hydrogen
Researchers in the US and Australia have made breakthroughs in hydrogen production from seawater and developed a superior solar cell for water splitting, reducing costs and increasing efficiency. Prior to these developments, experts believed green hydrogen would be competitive with fossil fuels in areas with low-cost renewables by 2030. However, the green hydrogen industry is already taking action and building facilities. As the market develops and economies of scale kick in, costs are expected to further decrease, driving higher demand for green hydrogen.
More efficient solar cells
European and Australian laboratories are striving to surpass the 31% efficiency level in perovskite/tandem solar cells, which far exceeds the 15-20% efficiency of many current cells. Photovoltaic solar output has shown rapid growth at 22% annually over the past five years, accounting for about 5% of total US electric generation. Further advancements and efficiency improvements in solar technology could significantly reduce reliance on fossil fuels for electricity generation and encourage greater adoption of solar power, empowering users to reduce their dependence on the traditional grid.
Better outlook for superconductors
Superconductors and nuclear fusion have long been considered promising technologies for the future, but they have faced challenges in practical implementation. High-temperature superconductors, while capable of carrying more electricity, have been too expensive for widespread use in the electricity industry. However, the potential emergence of compact fusion reactors has created a new market for high-temperature superconductors, as these reactors would require them in their construction. Experts suggest that increased demand from fusion reactor manufacturers could lead to a significant drop in superconductor prices, making fusion reactors more viable and creating a positive cycle of increased demand. This could also encourage the use of superconductors in the power grid, reducing line losses and possibly facilitating the development of new transmission networks.
Toyota commits to solid-state batteries
Previously, the solid-state battery faced scepticism, with critics pointing out the limitations of lithium-ion batteries. However, Toyota has announced plans to introduce solid-state lithium batteries in its cars by 2027, promising twice the driving range and half the charging time of existing batteries, as well as a smaller size. Electric vehicle adoption has increased significantly worldwide, with Europe and the US accounting for 7% of new vehicle sales, and China reaching 33%. Toyota’s success in implementing solid-state batteries could have a profound impact on the electric vehicle market, further boosting its rapid growth.
Decarbonization and Disruption
Some critics argue that carbon-dioxide-reducing investments relying on subsidies distort the market and may not be financially sound. However, governments are providing subsidies to change the market trajectory, and many are taking advantage of these opportunities. Fixed-cost businesses in the renewable energy, hydrogen, and electric transmission sectors dominate the energy-production-transport ecosystem, leading to sustained operation as long as prices exceed variable costs. Fossil fuel lobbyists may believe they have politicians under control, but the rise of new technologies and entrepreneurial opportunities can challenge their influence. The economics of new technologies ensure their staying power, potentially leading to faster decarbonization before 2050.
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Source: Oil Price