Sunday, May 19, 2024

Climate change and global decarbonization

I follow The Daily Difference Newsletterwhere the winners of the Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) Pioneers 2024 Awards were announced on May 3.

BNEF Pioneers is a program that identifies "game-changing innovations with the potential to accelerate global decarbonization and halt climate change.”

In 2024 the program focused on the following three areas, and other projects were allowed to apply in a Wild Card category:

·       Helping the deployment of clean energy
·       Decarbonizing the construction industry
·        Creating alternative fuels

Of the 240 companies from around the world that applied to be considered, 11 were selected to receive awards this year. 

I thought I was keeping up pretty well with climate change mitigation research   ̶  reading online, and in newspapers and magazines    ̶  and have written a book, Inventing the Future (shown above), as well as several blog posts on related topics

However, when I tried guessing what specific research would be included before reading the Daily Difference article, I barely came close on only four of them (identified with asterisks in the outline below). 

Although I agree with the aims of the first, second, and fourth of these project categories, I remain somewhat dubious about the objectives of the third. 

1. Deployment of clean energy:

  •  envelio - intelligent power grid design
  • PVcase - PV site selection and design
  • TS Conductor - high performance conductors for modern power grids

2. Decarbonizing the construction industry:

3. Creating alternative fuels:

  •  CoverCress - advanced breeding and gene editing to create climate-smart winter-growth cover crop that can be refined to produce ethanol.*
  • XFuel - conversion technology producing waste-derived bio synthetic fuel.*

4. Wild Cards – outside these categories:

  • ElementZero - converts metal ores to pure metal with zero carbon emissions
  • Li-Metal  creating scalable technologies for next-generation batteries
  • NatureMetrics  scalable nature intelligence & biodiversity metrics powered by eDNA

Climate change and decarbonization research is a much wider field than I imagined.  And it’s growing exponentially!