Electrification is one of the megatrends of our times. An important driving force for this development is that battery storage is one of the most discussed topics of the energy transition. The mass deployment of storage could overcome one of the biggest obstacles to renewable energy – it’s cycling between oversupply and shortage. Widespread energy storage could be key to expanding the reach of renewables and speeding the transition to a carbon-free power grid.
Offshore wind accounts for only 0.3 % of today’s global power generation, with a total installed capacity of 29GW. But that is literally a drop in the ocean of its potential, according to the IEA, which says there are enough offshore wind resources globally to meet total global electricity demand 18 times over. The industry is scaling up rapidly, amid dramatic falls in cost, increases in turbine sizes, and recognition of its critical role in fostering a green hydrogen economy. The growing demand for green hydrogen is driving a rapid expansion in ocean-based power production.
Forest Carbon (LULUCF)
Land use, currently a top emitting sector, will have a key role in reducing global GHG emissions. Land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF) sectors encompass activities emitting or absorbing carbon dioxide stemming from farmlands, wetlands and forests, and all together are responsible for around 7% of global GHG emissions. The role of LULUCF activities in the mitigation of climate change has long been recognized. Activities in the LULUCF sector can provide a relatively cost-effective way of offsetting emissions, either by increasing the removals of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere (e.g. by planting trees or managing forests), or by reducing emissions (e.g. by curbing deforestation).
The shipping industry is under increasing pressure to act on the Paris Agreement and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The need for substantial emission reductions over the next decades is expected to drive technology development and the introduction of low-carbon fuels. If the shipping industry is to meet the targets for emissions reduction, new vessels will have to run on alternative marine fuels or electricity (shortsea only).
Ammonia, hydrogen, bio-fuels, ethanol and methanol are all contenders for the future marine fuel of choice. However, it is difficult to invest in zero emission vessels before the fuels are commercially available and the necessary infrastructure and value chains are in place. To speed up the process stronger instruments, such as regulations and/or carbon emission pricing, are needed to create and scale up markets for emission free marine fuels and make them profitable for the industry.