The New Age Of Energy Infrastructure
Energy is essential for almost any basic need or advancement in any society. Our economy requires the use of energy from fossil fuels. Plastic, medical equipment, and infrastructure such as water pipelines all improve people's lives in dramatic ways, and all depend upon energy for their production.
Simply finding ways to reduce energy demand will not be sufficient. Instead, successful energy policies and infrastructure must be able to both generate abundant energy and do so in environmentally friendly ways.
In order to achieve the net-zero goal of the Paris Accord, societies will need to reduce carbon-emitting areas of the energy sector and increase electrification.
Emerging Technology and CO2 Emissions
In order to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emissions, emerging technology must take the lead. These technologies in the following carbon-heavy areas can help to produce greater amounts of energy while simultaneously producing fewer amounts of CO2.
Industries tend to produce large amounts of carbon dioxide. In particular, the iron, steel, cement, and chemical industries create large amounts of carbon dioxide due to the use of fossil fuels and high temperatures. These industries stand to benefit most from technologies that capture the carbon and reduce the amount of methane that they produce.
President Biden's infrastructure bill would provide more than $2 billion in loans and grants to make CO2 reduction possible on an industrial scale. Meanwhile, certain organizations focus on reducing methane emissions, which account for 23 percent of global warming.
Historically, improving the environmental impact of power generation has focused on replacing coal-based power generation with alternatives such as solar power or wind power. This approach could be very effective, particularly as the costs for these alternatives fall and make them more affordable options for consumers.
However, there is also growing concern that the production of these alternative forms of power also be sustainable. For example, rare earth metals are used in wind power production, which could make it difficult to produce wind power over the long term. Power generation alternatives can also face challenges from other areas as well, such as permitting and land usage issues.
Two promising areas of power generation are hydrogen and battery storage. Hydrogen could provide almost a quarter of energy needs globally by 2050, while lithium-ion in batteries provides a carbon-free way to produce reliable energy.
The transportation industry is responsible for one-fifth of global carbon emissions. Electric vehicles, with related charging stations and battery storage, offer a potential solution. Today, about 12 million electric vehicles are in use, while businesses could invest $450 billion in infrastructure to create charging stations by 2040. Ultimately, the success of electric vehicles will depend upon addressing potential issues, such as increased demand for rare minerals, the rapid expansion of charging stations, and rapid charge rates for EV batteries.
Reducing carbon emissions in the field of agriculture finding renewable sources of natural gas and renewable sources of diesel/biodiesel.Changes in energy are leading to changes in energy infrastructure that can yield benefits to industries, companies, and investors.