As we push forward with our fight against climate change, we should consider it as a potential solution in our portfolio – and one that may become necessary to reach our climate targets.
ENGIE Research & Innovation releases its annual Emerging Technologies report toThis 2023 edition is a new call for global collaboration between companies and industries to implement solutions that have the potential to change the game and limit global warming.
Jan Mertens and Elodie Le Cadre, who co-directed this new edition with a network of experts within ENGIE Research and Innovation, present the 2023 report and the reasons behind the choice of new trends and technologies presented.
Jan Mertens : The latest IPPC WGIII report, published in spring 2022, leaves no scientific doubt that the current climate change is man-induced. The sense of urgency increased further over the summer 2022 due to more extreme weather events such as wildfires and floods worldwide, and an exceptionally severe drought in Europe.
The challenge lies not so much in developing technologies from scratch but rather in upscaling what already exists in labs at universities, research centers, start-ups and companies. The ‘industrialisation’ of those technologies poses a great challenge: just showing that a technology works in the lab or small pilot is not sufficiently convincing for a company to take up the technology and deploy it massively.
Elodie le Cadre : Based on the work carried out by the scientific community on climate, the energy industry as well as its entire supply chain now have the responsibility to implement sustainable technological solutions to contain our greenhouse gas emissions in the short term.. This is a mission with very important challenges and we have identified in literature an increase in scientific works and publications in 2022. This is why we have chosen to synthesise and simplify them in the first new chapter of our 2023 edition entitled 'Emerging Trends'.
We have focused on photovoltaic panels, which have reached a record level of installation in 2022, reaching 1 TerraWatt peakh worldwide, and the massive development of batteries. Both require materials, some of which are already ‘critical’ today and we list the solutions identified to date to mitigate this criticality.
In parallel, as Jan Mertens reminds us, for the first time the IPCC has mentioned the use of carbon dioxide removal technologies to reach our carbon neutrality goals. These solutions are part of the geo-engineering family, which is becoming no longer a taboo subject. Nevertheless, it raises many controversies which we have identified in the light of scientific evidence, most important one being that it should never be used as an excuse to continue using fossil fuels!
ELC : The acceleration of the energy transition will take place under strong political, social and economic constraints as all countries have to act at the same time with limited resources on Earth. Whether it is for the elimination of greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere or for carbon neutral technologies. Today the focus is on the materials needed for the massive construction in a record time of all new carbon neutral energy technologies or the means of storing renewable energy.
We are vigilant about this and try to bring in this new edition, our scientific analysis and our point of view of the future energy industry thanks to the expertise of all the research teams of ENGIE Research and Innovation. All our reports are the result of a collaborative work resulting from numerous exchanges with our worldwide experts in these technologies in order to bring a positive and constructive enlightening on the energy transition. We wish you a pleasant reading!
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