Carbon is part of the game

oktober 10, 2022  |   Blog   |    

As presented at International Power Summit in München on September 28, 2022, the flow of carbon is now part of the game for sustainable energy companies. Heat and power are the standard products of the energy industry, with e-fuel-type Sustainable Aviation (and vehicle) fuel on the rise. Energy efficiency remains the cheapest way to reduce (any) emissions. Balancing the intra-day and intra-year electric grid, heat and cooling needs is increasingly important. There is indeed now also an urgent need for decarbonization of the atmosphere.

Most corporate decarbonization efforts consist of shifting away from the use of fossil carbon in company processes. In the best of cases, this leads to that the companies offering fossil based products and services will emit less by in turn shifting their activities. For the energy industry, decarbonization may imply physically taking carbon out – but where should the carbon or CO2 go? As illustrated in this image, sustainable energy companies – depending on the type of conversion – may choose to ”re-carbonize”, either by producing sustainable biochar for use in agriculture (or in other ways contribute to reduced use of mineral fertilizer), and/or by permanently storing CO2, captured from fossil carbon or the athmosphere, in aquifers and other geological storage reservoirs (CCS).

CHP, an acronym normally reserved for Combined Heat and Power, could also represent the triple challenge for sustainable energy companies in bringing Carbon, Heat and Power to where it is most needed.

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As can be noted, bioenergy works across the three sectors. Also other conversions cross boundaries. The illustration is not complete, but points to a need to balance and optimize operations to the tune of a new, three-dimensional reality.