We’re very optimistic about 2023’s energy transition potential, and with good reason. The data (there is tons) confirms that renewables are here to stay, and the wave of recent legislation (Inflation Reduction Act, Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and the 2023 Omnibus Bill) showcases the clean energy ambitions of the world’s largest economy.
Worldwide energy shortages have hastened the overdue discussion on where and how we procure our energy. Now more than ever, global leaders are keenly aware of the importance of sustainable energy produced within or close to their borders.
We at 8 Rivers want to take this opportunity to make the case for how we can all work together to accelerate 2023’s clean energy efforts and expedite progress towards our collective Net Zero goals.
Below are five themes we expect will (and must) occur:
- Rapid deployment of next-generation technologies today, not tomorrow. Market implementation is the best way to evaluate new technologies, and we are seeing this with EV adoption. We also saw this with solar a decade ago. It’s exciting to see electrification and the wide-scale adoption of renewable energy.
- In 2023, 8 Rivers will challenge ourselves and our peers to take action by forming strategic partnerships to build the Net Zero infrastructure needed today. Technologies need feedback and developers; governments and brands require proof points and case studies. We must execute now to demonstrate a clear path forward.
- Making current energy production cleaner. Fossil fuels will continue to play a role in the energy transition, and their role today remains. This winter, natural gas, oil and coal will continue to heat our homes. While we transition to electrification, gasoline and diesel will power the vast majority of our passenger and medium-duty vehicles.
- The world has significant energy needs, and fossil fuels are today’s primary solution. So let’s decarbonize them! Industrial-scale energy produces significant carbon emissions. However, numerous technologies available today reduce the greenhouse gasses that their processing, storage, and distribution releases. This is exactly where 8 Rivers can help make an impact on the path to Net Zero.
- Going hydrogen color blind. The European Commission’s legislation on hydrogen and decarbonized markets promotes (low-carbon) blue hydrogen until at least 2030, so long as it achieves the same 70% GHG reduction as (renewable) green hydrogen. The proposed legislation recommends a “sound management of the EU hydrogen network [to] facilitate the trade and supply of hydrogen across EU borders.”
- To add to this directive, we should not limit ourselves to one hydrogen color when another can achieve just as low carbon intensity, as the focus should be to deploy all available means to reach Net Zero.
- The rise of Direct Air Capture (DAC) and other emerging technologies. DAC technologies aren’t as far away as some may think. 8 Rivers is developing a pair of commercial-scale Calcite DAC facilities that aim to be operational by 2026-2027 and will remove significant quantitities of carbon from the atmosphere. DAC technology has greater potential to accelerate progress towards Net Zero than any existing technology today. Therefore, we need to continue to deploy DAC immediately and scale quickly.
- Maintaining a wise global investment strategy. While we must meet the energy market where it is today, it will require smart investment to achieve Net Zero. Solar, wind, and other established renewables have benefited from billions of dollars of investments – now let’s ensure new technologies receive the same attention and funding.
- Let’s also apply systems thinking to next-generation technologies, such as DAC and hydrogen. If DAC experiences even close to the same hockey stick growth as renewables, it has the potential to change the world and energy consumption as we know it.
Though challenging, Net Zero is achievable if we invest wisely in advanced technologies capable of making a difference today.
8 Rivers will remain steadfast in our pursuit of technology-agnostic, infrastructure-scale industrial decarbonization solutions, targeted towards the sectors that are hard to decarbonize. We need to move quickly, bravely, and resolutely – and we look forward to working with our partners and industry peers to lead by example.
To learn more about 8 Rivers, our innovative climate and clean energy technologies and our progress towards delivering infrastructure-scale projects, please contact us.