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.

12 thoughts on “Mission Innovation for Clean Energy Solutions”

  1. Because we are at a regulatory transition point in many main markets which brings unclarity while wind and solar generation are already falling below that of fossil fuels. When this phase is over renewables will become the prime energy source for capacity addition globally.

  2. Until there is grid level storage that is also compatible with the grid (lithium batteries are not), nuclear power is the only solution that will be ready soon enough and can be inexpensive enough. And inexpensive enough to avoid he intolerable setback of the third world’s escape from poverty. Millions in the 3rd world will die this century if the World Bank continues to deny loans for coal plants – these will need to replaced with nuclear plants.

    Third and Fourth Gen Nuclear will be the safest power generation mode (by far – it already is thousands of times safer than wind and solar) and Nuclear is by far the least demanding of natural resources and of land area use. Solar and Wind is horrible in resources utilization (and killing of large birds and is risking the extinction of some bat species). And the costs and ACTUAL power generation performance is a big issue (as opposed to the very misleading peak power promises which were always a lie).

    Take an honest look at Germany. Their very aggressive and unexpectedly expensive efforts have reduced emissions by only a tiny fraction of their expectations…and has resulted in an unreliable base load delivery system. Latest projections to reach emissions goals will require around $750 monthly from every German household…FOREVER. That ain’t gonna happen.

    The real killer is: If all of Asia doesn’t build around 300 Nuclear plants IN THE NEXT DECADE, the UN Emissions goals cannot be met.

  3. We are close to peak CO2 release? If that’s the case it’s only because we’re running out of oil.

    From 2010 to 2016 the share of renewables as part of the total global energy mix advanced 0.9% (IEA).

  4. Why would ‘renewable deliveries start accelerating again’, when once you’ve passed a trivial percentage of the total energy production, the costs of trying to integrate unreliable, unplanned, and usually simultaneous inputs to the grid rise asymptotically ? Solar in Germany, Italy, Spain, Greece, and Japan has risen sharply, driven by feed-in tariffs and renewables mandates, to single digit figures for percentage of annual grid power. By that stage, summer midday gluts are becoming problematic, while evening and winter power falls off a cliff. ‘Batteries are falling in cost all the time’, we’re told, but not that they’d have to fall by orders of magnitude to match reliable baseload. If you think we’re near peak CO2 production, you’re deluding yourself – the rate of increase is still climbing, and methane levels are rising even faster.

  5. Did anyone misread that title to think this was some kind of meeting for mormon/christian priests?

  6. This is what is so nice about renewables, that we are at least two decades away from reaching levels where adding more has a significant added cost. Likely when we be at that point we will have the proper safe clean base options to continue. Yes till that point Natural gas consumption will continue to rise globally, but coal and oil for power generation are already on the retreat. Overall we are already close to co2 release levels peak. We will pass it once renewable deliveries start accelerating again as expected.

  7. And that’s how you can tell it’s hogwash.

    Renewables without nuclear power are coal, oil and gas’ best friends. They don’t provide energy security, and their intermittent output ends up requiring more coal, oil and gas power plants.

    People just won’t relinquish the safety and comfort of having electrical power 24/24. Simply because from such availability can depend their lives and livelihoods.

  8. Quoting “installed capacity” again. 60% by 2040 – so maybe around 21% of actual generation, up from about 17% now. With about 7% currently hydro and unlikely to increase generation, its fraction probably falls to ~6% as consumption increases about 15%. So the “other” renewables (mostly wind, solar PV and biomass) will go from about 10% to about 15% of total generation – a 50% increase in those other renewables capacity.

    With nuclear sticking around 20%, fossil fuels will fall from around 63% to around 60% of production – but with about 15% higher electric consumption, that’s about a 9% increase in fossil fuel use by 2040.

  9. Why should that outlook change, the unbound risks to business that tech pose have not changed.

  10. This is a good reflection of how the world energy market considers the best way to move forward. Naturally, not word about nuclear energy.

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