NETL researchers were among those who connected with the various industries and decision-makers around the world looking to embrace the latest technologies and practices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions during CERAWeek 2021.
CERAWeek is an annual energy conference organized by the information and insights company IHS Markit which brings together 5,000 global industry leaders and policymakers from more than 85 countries to discuss a range of energy-related topics. This year’s gathering from March 1-5 went virtual.
This year’s theme, “The New Map: Energy, Climate and Charting the Future,” focused on how the global energy ecosystem is being remodeled by powerful agents of change such as advanced technologies, new and emerging industries, shifting consumption patterns, growing centers of demand, the challenges posed by the novel coronavirus and an increasing urgency to reverse the course of a warming planet.
The conference offers comprehensive insight into the global and regional energy future by addressing key issues — from markets and geopolitics to technology, project costs, the environment, finance, operational excellence and cyber risks. CERAWeek features prominent speakers from energy, policy, technology and financial industries, and it fosters a culture of ideas exchange and relationship-building between industry, government and society to address the global energy future.
“NETL is all about collaboration and this event was a great opportunity for our Lab to gain a variety of perspectives from many players in many fields across a variety of topics — especially the vitally important reduction of greenhouse gas emissions,” said Peter Balash, associate director of NETL’s Strategic Systems Analysis and Engineering. “This also offers us a chance to share and evaluate our own research efforts as we work to develop the technologies that will power our future in a sustainable manner. By sharing our experiences with others, we can gain new insights and make improvements.”
Among the CERAWeek virtual sessions attended by NETL staff were “CCUS: Can It Scale?,” “Getting to Net Zero,” “The Energy System of the Future,” “Decarbonizing the Industrial Sector” and “Pathways to Net Zero in the Power Sector.”
The Lab is already hard at work developing the next generation of advanced carbon dioxide (CO2) capture concepts via NETL’s Carbon Capture Program, which will enable cost-effective implementation of carbon capture and storage technologies that can be applied to the existing fleet of power plants, new energy plants, industrial facilities and the removal of CO2 from the atmosphere. Cost-competitive carbon capture technologies have the potential to support the carbon-based sector while advancing U.S. leadership in high efficiency, low-emission generation technologies.
NETL’s Carbon Capture program includes two core research areas, Post-Combustion Capture and Pre-Combustion Capture, comprising projects ranging from conceptual engineering and materials design to 25 MW-electrical equivalent pilot testing. Additionally, the program advances technologies in emerging research fields of Capture from Industrial Sources and Negative Emissions Technologies.
NETL Director Brian Anderson participated in a panel discussion, “Voices of Innovation: National Labs” during CERAWeek. Along with Martin Keller and Thomas Zacharia, directors of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory respectively, Anderson discussed how new technologies are needed to provide affordable carbon-free energy, to integrate an increasingly complex energy system and to develop new pathways for production and recovery of materials as the global energy system shifts towards a low-carbon future.
“The network of DOE’s national laboratories is in a unique position to advance the technologies that can make this future possible,” Anderson said. “However, the challenges we face in building this sustainable future are too great for any one company or lab to tackle alone. That’s why it was so important for NETL to participate in CERAWeek, so that we could exchange ideas and forge the connections that will make achieving our goals easier.”
The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory develops and commercializes advanced technologies that provide clean energy while safeguarding the environment. NETL’s work supports DOE’s mission to ensure America’s security and prosperity by addressing its energy and environmental challenges through transformative science and technology solutions.