Advanced heat sources are key to decarbonisation, says LucidCatalyst : Energy & Environment

February 24, 2021

Given the scale and urgency of the clean transition required, coupled with the growth of the global energy system, all carbon-free hydrogen production options must be pursued, energy research and consulting firm LucidCatalyst stressed in its latest report. The report “Lack of connection to a liveable climate” describes how “an essential part” of the global energy system, for which there is currently “no viable alternative”, can be decarbonised and presents the six necessary measures.

“The potential of advanced heat sources for the production of large-scale, very inexpensive hydrogen and hydrogen fuels could change the global prospects for short-term decarbonization and prosperity,” the report said. “While reaching the required levels of production sounds daunting, the scalability and power density of advanced heat sources are a huge benefit. By moving to a manufacturing model with a modular design, it is possible to ship hundreds of units in multiple markets around the world each Year. “

The clean energy of these units combined with the “aggressive” use of renewable energies offers a much better chance of meeting the Paris goals of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius in the very limited time available, and maximizing the possibilities it requires therefore take action without delay.

First, this study shows how scalable, inexpensive hydrogen can be produced in the short term.

“For too long, risks associated with advanced heat sources have been viewed outside the context of risks with other technologies. In addition, all investments in clean energy should be reviewed with due regard to the risks of non-decarbonization,” the report said. To facilitate informed decision-making, the government and industry should promptly launch requests for information and get quotes for shipyard facilities and begin operating clean fuels on a refinery scale now.

Shipyards are “masters of cost, size and design integration” and their “tightly integrated design and manufacturing processes,” combined with on-site steel mills and long-term supply chain relationships, “provide the exact components and equipment needed for heavy-duty manufacturing,” the report says.

The development of the national and global market for zero-carbon hydrogen, as well as existing and emerging global and national initiatives to promote zero-carbon hydrogen, should be “technology inclusive,” it said. You should focus on key findings related to the cost and scale of production, creating markets for low carbon hydrogen, and increasing market share for low carbon fuels.

A fourth point that it highlights is access to finance. “Just as investors must take a portfolio approach to investing to mitigate risk, global efforts to limit climate change should be spread across a portfolio of technology options,” it said. Access to finance is critical to making this happen . “

Regarding “industry mobilization,” government and industry must proactively work together to demonstrate determination and ability to achieve affordable decarbonization and prosperity. This should include demonstrating hydrogen projects in conventional plants, as well as actively participating in national and international efforts to accelerate the low-cost commercialization of innovative technologies, delivery and delivery models, the report says.

Finally, the report notes that advanced heat source technology is not included in major energy modeling programs operating around the world today, and recommends that policymakers include this demonstrated technology option in modeling if it is not currently present.

“Decarbonising the global energy system, especially the fuel industry and hard-to-decarbonise sectors, requires enormous amounts of clean electricity and hydrogen. Hydrogen is a remarkably high energy carrier and the main ingredient in a number of zero-emission, drop-in, synthetic fuels “The note states that the forecast energy consumption in sectors that are difficult to decarbonize is expected to be 350 exajoules by 2050.

This report shows how existing industrial capacity in the oil and gas sector, combined with a new generation of advanced modular reactors, can be reinstated by mid-century to fully and cost-effectively decarbonize the aerospace, marine, cement and other industries.

To do that, Hydro said that hydrogen-based fuels must be produced with zero emissions at a price that is competitive with the fossil fuels they are replacing. It shows how advanced heat sources produced in high productivity environments can deliver hydrogen on a large scale for $ 1.10 / kg, with further cost reductions on scale reaching $ 0.90 / kg by 2030.

These advanced heat sources can be built quickly and to the required scale using a “gigafactory” approach to modular design and manufacture or in existing world-class shipyards.

Replacing 100 million barrels of oil a day will require an investment of $ 17 trillion, spent over 30 years from 2020 to 2050. This is less than the $ 25 trillion investment otherwise required to sustain such fossil fuels for decades to come, as opposed to a $ 70 trillion investment for a similarly sized renewable energy and fuel strategy.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News

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