Heavy industry requires deep decarbonization, but the businesses in question are, for the most part, in hard-to-abate sectors such as power generation, oil and gas production, metals and mining, and chemicals. To operate, they need masses of energy which means non-carbon solutions like solar and batteries won’t work, as they don’t provide anything like the energy density required.
The good news is that new technologies and fuel sources such as carbon capture, sequestration, and even green hydrogen are emerging that can help this tough sector to decarbonize. And these projects are already well underway: at GE, we’re working on over 100 carbon capture and sequestration projects, and over 300 hydrogen projects.
But, even though we’re seeing the emergence of this asset class globally, they’re currently still in their earliest stage and aren’t yet broadly scalable or cost effective.
What lies below these technologies are a series of risks that the owners and technology companies related to these assets need to manage and mitigate to drive the ability to finance, construct and ultimately achieve long-term operational excellence.
Primarily, those risks relate to how you capture, transport and store the carbon effectively for long-term sequestration, and then have long-term reporting, monitoring and verification of that activity. Likewise, with green hydrogen, the major challenge is being able to produce, transport and then burn it effectively in the most efficient manner with the least amount of risk.