Energy Transition Progress for Earth Day 2022
As Earth Day approaches this year, the energy transition has renewed urgency. Geopolitical events have forced a new concern into ESG discussions, adding energy continuity to the transition dialog. The outcome is that investments need to increase, timelines need to shrink, and new technologies must begin to scale.
As many companies have already confirmed, digitalization provides the solutions needed to drive efficiencies while also accelerating development timelines. This point was highlighted in the latest IPCC report on how to mitigate climate change, noting its “potential for reducing GHG emissions through energy savings across multiple sectors,” and that “Digitalization is not only an 'instrument' for resolving sustainability challenges, it is also a fundamental driver of disruptive, multiscalar change that amounts to a shift in development pathway."
For process industries, digitalization is fundamental to sustainability progress. Digital capabilities help companies drive progress toward sustainability goals, increasing efficiencies to lower emissions, delivering increased safety and reliability in operations, and accelerating innovative new energy and process alternatives.
AspenTech is working closely with customers to develop new capabilities and deliver innovative solutions to meet their sustainability targets. I share a few recent case studies and insightful summaries below:
- Efficiency: Major petrochemical producer reduces emissions and increases efficiencies through utility system optimization: SABIC Continuously Optimizes its Utility System to Reduce Emissions (aspentech.com)
- Target Net Zero: Webinar highlights 3 Ways to Drive Progress with Sustainability and Net-Zero Targets: 3 Ways to Drive Progress with Sustainability and Net-Zero Targets (aspentech.com)
- Alternative Energy: European power producer ensures reliability of wind farms with prescriptive maintenance solutions: Sardeolica Digitalizes Wind Farm Maintenance (aspentech.com)
- Hydrogen Economy: Accelerating the Hydrogen Economy through Digitalization: Accelerating the Hydrogen Economy through Digitalization (aspentech.com)
We need to continue to work together and share successes so we can progress toward important climate goals in this decade. I am optimistic that alignment on climate urgency has resumed, despite recent hurdles. In fact, for some countries the trade upheaval associated with the conflict in Europe has been a wake-up call to develop local energy capabilities and accelerate the move away from fossil fuels.
“The quicker we switch to renewables and hydrogen, combined with more energy efficiency, the quicker we will be truly independent and master our energy system,” says European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. The Commission has proposed measures to double the amount of biomethane produced from agricultural waste and other sources, and roughly triple the amount of hydrogen targeted by 2030.
Ernie Moniz, the former US DOE secretary and head of Energy Future Initiative, captured the volatility and complexity of the energy transition well in his comments at CERAWeek: "It is easier to talk about the destination than the road to get there. It is bumpy."