Mission Innovation for Clean Energy Solutions

At the 4th Mission Innovation (MI) Ministerial meeting, Mission Innovation (MI) [European countries, Canada, China and the USA] members announced bold new projects and collaborations that will push clean energy research and innovation forward with the aim of bringing affordable, reliable clean energy to communities around the world.

Canada announced Breakthrough Energy Solutions Canada, a new initiative with Breakthrough Energy, which will support Canadian firms avoid the valley of death and commercialize their technologies to reach domestic and global markets with low carbon solutions. Additionally, the European Commission announced the launch of Breakthrough Energy Europe, a €100M fund that will help bring to market new clean energy technologies.

Launched at MI-3, MI’s “Avoided Emissions Framework” showcased 100 solutions that have the potential to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions almost 3 billion tonnes of CO2 per year by 2030. A new goal of bringing 1000 solutions to MI-5 was also announced.

Smart Grids

At MI-4 (May 28, 2019), the Smart Grids Innovation Accelerator (SGIA) was presented to MI Ministers by Italy, with the strong support of China, India and IC1 members.

Co-leads: China, India, Italy
Participants: Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, European Union, Finland, France, Germany, Indonesia, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States

World electrical energy consumption is increasing at the rate of 1.4%/year, with an associated increase in greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions that are negatively affecting the climate around the globe. Thus, a fundamental transformation of the world’s power systems is under way to deliver zero-emissions power to an increasingly electricity-hungry world.

For example, eighteen cities in the United States have committed to maximizing the amount of energy they use from renewable energy, up from 25% today. Meeting this challenge requires a transition from the power grid that today relies on coal and gas power plants, to a future grid that can be largely powered by decentralized renewable energy sources, and which can dynamically adjust supply and demand in order to handle the intermittency of solar and wind power.

While the challenges are significant, so are the opportunities. By 2040, it is expected that zero-emission energy sources will make up 60% of installed capacity. Wind and solar will account for more than 60% of the new power generating capacity added worldwide. This represents more than 8 terawatts of generation capacity and about 7 trillion USD of the $11 trillion USD invested.3

CO2 Capture

Globally, the total CO2 capture capacity of the 22 current projects (in operation or construction) is about 40 million tonnes per annum. The IEA’s Energy Technology Perspectives report released in 2016 estimates that CCUS could provide 12% of the GHG emission reductions in the power sector needed to meet a 2°C scenario by 2050, or about 3.5 gigatonnes of abatement per year. In this scenario, 6.4 gigatonnes of CO2 are captured in 2050 in the power and industrial sectors combined.