Race to Net Zero
Your weekly CogX briefing on green tech and the future of energy
Offshore wind crisis, fossil fuel dispute, and AI tracking permafrost
Major oil producers stalled G20 fossil fuel phaseout plans ahead of COP28, while the offshore wind industry erased billions of pounds of planned investments due to rising interest rates.
A new survey suggests that companies are optimistic about meeting environmental targets, placing sustainability ahead of other corporate priorities like financial performance and market growth.
Meanwhile, Google will use AI to track permafrost melting in the arctic, and a new energy startup achieved a breakthrough in geothermal technology which could revolutionise the industry.
Read on for more on these topics — as well as the latest on hydrogen market forecasts, Japan’s “clean coal” power plants and climate change-induced food insecurity in the CogX Must Reads.
G20 countries struggle to agree on fossil fuel policy
Major economies failed to reach consensus on phasing down fossil fuels due to opposition from major oil producers like Saudi Arabia and Russia, stalling plans to triple renewable energy capacity by 2030. G20 countries account for over 75% of the world’s emissions, so a joint effort by the group is crucial for tackling climate change effectively.
Interest rates hit offshore wind projects
Rising costs are erasing billions in planned offshore wind investments, leading to cancellations and lost bids for major projects in Spain, the US, and the UK. With interest rates on the rise, Europe may need to invest an extra £140 billion to reach its net-zero targets by 2050, a trend likely to be seen in other parts of the world.
AI will track permafrost melting in real-time
Google teams up with climate experts to create a new AI-powered permafrost monitoring system in the Arctic. With a $5 million grant, Google aims to support the development of an open-access tool to track permafrost deterioration in real-time, helping to address greenhouse gas emissions resulting from glaciers melting.
Climate change hits global food security
Worries over global food security escalate once again as scorching temperatures wreak havoc on farms across the world. Trade bans and the continuing war in Ukraine are putting additional pressure on countries trying to keep domestic food prices in check. In parts of Europe, grain production may drop as much as 60% due to draughts, potentially leading to the worst harvest in decades.
Energy startup achieves breakthrough in geothermal technology
A geothermal energy startup, Fervo Energy, is making waves in the renewable energy sector by successfully scaling energy generation through artificial heat reservoirs. Using advanced drilling techniques, this innovative technology generates geothermal energy without the need for naturally occurring geothermal wells, expanding the industry’s future possibilities.
Is Japan’s "clean coal" the real deal — or just greenwashing?
State officials claim that retrofitted “clean coal” power plants with ammonia technology can help Japan cut carbon emissions by 46%. Critics argue that this approach is unlikely to become economically viable and only delays clear-cut policies to phase out coal power generation.
Companies ramp up environmental responsibility
86% of organisations worldwide are planning to boost sustainability budgets despite economic uncertainty, according to a new report. With 80% of global manufacturing and energy companies prioritising sustainability as their top initiative, environmental responsibility is far outpacing other corporate priorities.
Hydrogen markets set to grow
The hydrogen market is forecasted to reach £320 billion by 2030, according to a new report by MarketsandMarkets. Experts predict the global push for clean and sustainable energy solutions will significantly boost the demand for hydrogen, particularly in applications like fuel cells and combined heating and power technologies.
CogX Must Reads of the week
In case you missed it
Policy and industry experts discuss the sustainability revolution needed to tackle the climate crisis — and what challenges future generations will face if we do nothing:
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