Business

Bob Perciasepe's statement on fuel economy standards review

Statement of Bob Perciasepe
President, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES)

March 15, 2017

On the administration’s re-evaluation of the fuel economy standards for model years 2022-2025:

Federal fuel economy standards are improving air quality, reducing U.S. reliance on oil imports, and saving drivers money.

Working together, industry and the government crafted a roadmap for fuel economy standards through 2025. Automakers have been meeting the standards, with stronger and lighter materials, hybrid-electric drivetrains, alternative fuels, and other technological innovations. These innovations have occurred at the same time automobile sales in the U.S. have reached record highs and employment is increasing in high technology vehicles. As other nations seek greater fuel efficiency, U.S. automakers should not risk losing their growing competitive global advantage.

Moving to re-evaluate standards for model years 2022-2025 should demonstrate that the technological innovation achieved by the auto industry can continue to advance, providing ample basis for strong standards.

It would be a mistake to use the re-evaluation to remove incentives for advancing innovation. It would also be a mistake to inhibit state and local innovation.

States should continue to lead if they desire to, and we should not harm states’ rights to choose cleaner air and innovative vehicle markets.

The administration should also look to partner with local and state governments to improve transportation systems, helping us reduce the miles we all drive every day. With local action and federal action combined, a more comprehensive approach can continue to reduce emissions, reduce oil imports and save money for every driver.

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About C2ES: The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization working to forge practical solutions to climate change. Our mission is to advance strong policy and action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote clean energy, and strengthen resilience to climate impacts. Learn more at www.c2es.org.

Companies, cities win Climate Leadership Awards for reducing their carbon footprint

Companies, Cities Receive Climate Leadership Awards for Reducing their Carbon Impact

  • Awards recognize Bank of America, Clif Bar, Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, Gap, Goldman Sachs, IBM, Lockheed Martin, NRG, Procter & Gamble and U.S. Postal Service
  • Atlanta, San Mateo County, California, honored for innovative partnerships
  • JetBlue Sustainability Director Sophia Mendelsohn, Atlanta Director of Climate Policies Dr. Jairo Garcia and California Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia honored for individual leadership

Press Release
March 2, 2017
Contact: Laura Rehrmann, 703-516-0621, press@climateleadershipconference.org

CHICAGO – Ten companies and organizations, two partnerships, and three individuals today will receive 2017 Climate Leadership Awards for their accomplishments in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and addressing climate change.

The awards, now in their sixth year, are a partnership program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, and The Climate Registry. The awards are being presented this evening at the 2017 Climate Leadership Conference in Chicago.

This year’s awardees represent a wide array of industries including finance, consumer products, retail, aviation, and technology, plus federal and local government.

Awardees have demonstrated leadership in setting and achieving goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by improving energy efficiency, expanding use of clean energy, and working with partners, suppliers, and employees.

Six of the 2017 awardees were also recognized in past years: Bank of America, Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, Gap, IBM, Lockheed Martin, and the U.S. Postal Service.

“Business and community leaders understand both the risks of climate impacts and the opportunities of a clean energy economy” said Bob Perciasepe, president of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES). “This year’s Climate Leadership Award winners are helping lead the way to a more sustainable future. We hope their accomplishments will spur others to examine their practices and follow their example.”

“The Climate Registry applauds the 2017 Climate Leadership Award winners for their outstanding dedication to reducing their carbon footprint,” said David Rosenheim, executive director of The Climate Registry. “These organizations and individuals are part of an incredibly important group of leaders who are accelerating the shift to a more sustainable future. We hope that their ability to bring about change will inspire and empower others to act.”

The 2017 Climate Leadership Award recipients are:

Organizational Leadership Award (5)

  • Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW Airport, Texas)
    The airport buys energy credits for 100 percent of its energy use, generates on-site solar energy, and uses compressed natural gas and hybrid-electric ground vehicles.
  • The Goldman Sachs Group (New York, N.Y.)
    Goldman Sachs achieved carbon neutrality across operations and business travel in 2015 and has pledged to maintain it through energy efficiency and renewable energy. It also invested nearly $12 billion in the clean energy sector in 2015, and has deployed more than $65 billion since 2006.
  • IBM (Armonk, N.Y.)
    IBM is reducing its emissions through energy efficiency, renewable energy, and an enterprise-wide IT system to analyze energy and water use. It requires suppliers to have an Environmental Management System, inventory their energy use and emissions, establish reduction plans, and publicly report their results.
  • Lockheed Martin Corporation (Bethesda, Md.)
    The company reduced greenhouse gas emissions 23 percent from 2010 to 2015 and has a reduction goal of 35 percent by 2020 through efficiency and renewable energy projects. It has conducted supplier sustainability assessments for 166 of its suppliers.
  • Procter & Gamble (Cincinnati, Ohio)
    P&G has reduced truck transportation 25 percent and is increasing its use of renewables to work toward its goal of reducing its global greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent from 2010 to 2020. Its employees have taken steps that have contributed to $20 million in local energy savings.

Supply Chain Leadership Award (2)

  • Clif Bar & Company (Emeryville, Calif.)
    The company, which powers its facilities with 100 percent green electricity, is one quarter of the way toward its 2020 goal of having 50 supply chain facilities source at least half of the electricity used on Clif Bar’s behalf with green power. Clif Bar offers suppliers free consulting on renewable energy procurement and finance.
  • United States Postal Service (Washington, D.C.)
    USPS recognizes suppliers with green business practices and requires potential suppliers to submit a detailed sustainability plan. It seeks to increase water and energy efficiency, encourage the use of alternative fuels, and buy environmentally-preferred products.

Individual Leadership Award (3)

  • Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia, California State Assembly (Sacramento, Calif.)
    Assemblymember Garcia engaged his district and other low-income and inland communities on the challenges and issues associated with addressing climate change. By bridging the gap between environmental justice, business, faith, labor, and other stakeholder communities, he has ensured state climate activities will provide more benefits to and investments in low-income communities.
  • Dr. Jairo Garcia, Director Climate Policies and Renewables, City of Atlanta
    Dr. Garcia develops and oversees municipal and citywide sustainability initiatives to reduce emissions through energy and water consumption, renewables, waste management, and urban agriculture. His efforts have led to regular reporting of greenhouse gas emissions and the installation of solar PV panels in 24 city-owned facilities. After leading the development of the city’s unanimously adopted climate action plan, he is working on a city resilience plan.
  • Ms. Sophia Mendelsohn, Director of Sustainability, JetBlue Airways (Long Island City, N.Y.)
    Ms. Mendelsohn helped conceive, negotiate, and execute a 10-year binding agreement for 330 million gallons of renewable jet fuel, one of the largest biofuel purchase agreements in aviation history. She has worked with JetBlue’s crewmembers to identify opportunities for emissions reductions by taking steps such as transitioning ground support equipment to electric vehicles and adjusting airplane idling time.

Innovative Partnership Certificate (2)

  • Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge (Atlanta, Ga.)
    The challenge is a large-scale energy efficiency program working with more than 570 local buildings totaling over 110 million square feet. The challenge has reduced energy consumption 17 percent and water consumption 20 percent from 2009 levels. The challenge, which has produced a guide for cities considering similar voluntary programs, has created or sustained 273 jobs and added $25.9 million to Atlanta’s gross regional product.
  • San Mateo County Regionally Integrated Climate Action Planning Suite (RICAPS) Initiative (San Mateo, Calif.)
    This county-wide collaboration among government agencies aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 15 percent by 2020 and 40 percent by 2030 from a 2005 baseline. All member jurisdictions are drafting or have adopted climate action plans. County-wide energy use has been reduced by 26.5 million kWh since 2009. The program inventories emissions and provides support and advice on energy efficiency projects, small business outreach, building codes, EV charging, sustainable purchasing, water conservation, and more.

Excellence in Greenhouse Gas Management/Goal Achievement Award (2)

  • Bank of America (Charlotte, N.C.)
    Through thousands of energy efficiency projects, Bank of America has reduced greenhouse gas emissions from its global operations 37 percent from 2010 through 2015, more than twice its goal. By installing LED lighting and occupancy sensors, decommissioning unneeded equipment, and optimizing HVAC controls, the company reduced emissions and saved more than $140 million since 2010.
  • The Goldman Sachs Group (New York, N.Y.)
    In 2015, the company achieved carbon neutrality across its operations and business travel and has pledged to maintain it. Goldman Sachs reached its goal through renewable energy and energy efficiency measures and by supporting emissions reduction projects. Its energy-efficient building system upgrades resulted in significant energy and cost savings.

Excellence in Greenhouse Gas Management/Goal Setting Certificate (3)

  • Bank of America (Charlotte, N.C.)
    Bank of America, which has twice set and exceeded emissions reduction goals, has set a new goal to cut emissions from its global operations in half from 2010 levels by 2020 through increased energy efficiency at buildings and data centers. The company also set goals to purchase 100 percent renewable electricity, reduce energy use 40 percent, and maintain at least 20 percent LEED-certified space by 2020.
  • Gap Inc. (San Francisco, Calif.)
    Gap Inc., which has twice set and exceeded emissions reduction goals, has set a new target to cut emissions in half from 2015 levels by the end of 2020. Gap plans to expand its energy usage tracking and efficiency initiatives in lighting and HVAC and explore on-site solar at its distribution centers.
  • NRG Energy (Princeton, N.J.)
    NRG Energy has set a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for U.S. operations 50 percent between 2014 and 2030, and 90 percent by 2050. NRG plans to enhance power plant performance, capture and store carbon emissions from fossil-fired power plants; retrofit coal-fired power plants to accept natural gas; and deploy new renewable energy generation.

Get more information on this year’s Climate Leadership Award winners.

The Climate Leadership Conference, now in its sixth year, is organized by two nonprofit groups, The Climate Registry (TCR) and the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES). This year's conference, March 1-3, features more than 60 speakers and 300 attendees. Learn more at Climate Leadership Conference.

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About C2ES: The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization working to forge practical solutions to climate change. Our mission is to advance strong policy and action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote clean energy, and strengthen resilience to climate impacts. Learn more at http://www.c2es.org.

About TCR: The Climate Registry is a non-profit organization governed by U.S. states and Canadian provinces and territories. We design and operate voluntary and compliance GHG reporting programs globally, and assist organizations in measuring, verifying and reporting the carbon in their operations so they can manage and reduce it. Established in 2007 as a 501 (c)(3), The Registry’s GHG accounting, verification, and carbon management tools and resources are utilized by hundreds of its members and partner organizations. Learn more at http://www.theclimateregistry.org.

C2ES Events at the 6th Annual Climate Leadership Conference

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Mariott Chicago DowntownChicago9 a.m. -- 11 a.m.How Cities Are Driving a New Climate Future11 a.m. -- 12:30 p.m.What Makes Infrastructure Resilient?

Climate Leadership ConferenceThe Center for Climate and Energy Solutions and The Climate Registry co-convene the Climate Leadership Conference each year around the prestigious Climate Leadership Awards. The CLC is dedicated to professionals addressing global climate change through policy, innovation, and business solutions.

Climate Leadership Conference
March 1-3, 2017 at the Marriott Downtown Chicago

See Our Speakers
Register Here
 

C2ES will host or co-host the following events at the 2017 Climate Leadership Conference.

March 1, 2017
9 a.m. -- 11 a.m.

How Cities Are Driving a New Climate Future

Hosted by: C2ES and the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative

This event highlights two important aspects of local climate action: 1) how cities and their leaders are using their platform to facilitate transformative climate solutions, and 2) how cities and private actors are implementing local solutions. Speakers will engage attendees in a discussion about how cities are driving the new climate future through political leadership and action, and present tangible ideas that attendees can take home and put into practice. Who should attend? Local leaders, practitioners and private sector partners.

March 1, 2017
11 a.m. -- 12:30 p.m.

What Makes Infrastructure Resilient?

Hosted by: C2ES

What makes infrastructure resilient? Cities and businesses across the country are taking action to strengthen the resilience of their buildings, transportation systems, energy and water services, and telecommunication systems to climate change. This session will explore issues associated with resilient infrastructure, including challenges and barriers, priorities, innovative solutions, and opportunities for collaboration. Facilitated discussions will allow participants to discuss some of these issues based on their own experiences, and exchange ideas about infrastructure needs and opportunities.

Speakers

Darcy Immerman
Senior Vice President, Resiliency
AECOM
 
Emilie Mazzacurati
Founder & CEO
Four Twenty Seven
 
Michael Mondshine
Vice President
WSP | Parsons Brinkerhoff
 
Katy Maher
Resilience Project Coordinator
C2ES
 
Janet Peace, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President, Policy and Business Strategy
C2ES

 

Year Ahead: We must strengthen climate action wherever possible

When I wrote a blog a year ago taking stock of the strengthening climate change effort, I reflected on a year of unprecedented progress, capped by the Paris Agreement, and outlined ways we could build on those successes.

At the beginning of the new U.S. administration, the outlook is unfortunately far different.  Now, our challenge is to preserve as much of this progress as we can, and to devise new strategies to continue strengthening climate action wherever possible.

Despite coming setbacks, it’s worth reminding ourselves that we have a solid base to work from. Thanks in part to strong policies, but also to growing market forces, the U.S. is on the path to a clean-energy transition, and the continued momentum is strong.

A few examples, just since the election:

·      Some of the world’s wealthiest entrepreneurs, including Bill Gates, Richard Branson, and Mark Zuckerberg, launched a billion-dollar fund to invest in cutting-edge clean energy technologies.

The new policy landscape won’t be clear for some time and is likely to evolve. But as we monitor the early signs, and take soundings with policymakers and stakeholders around the country and around the world, we are coming to a clearer view of immediate imperatives, and of opportunities that may lie ahead.

One imperative is ensuring that the United States remains a reliable partner in the global climate effort – by staying in the Paris Agreement, and by working constructively with other countries to establish sound rules for its implementation. 

We were encouraged to hear Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson note the importance of the United States staying at the table. Indeed, the Paris Agreement reflects long-standing bipartisan principles. It fully preserves national sovereignty while providing a means of holding other countries accountable. U.S. businesses benefit from full access to the clean energy markets the agreement helps drive.

We were encouraged also to hear EPA Administrator nominee Scott Pruitt express respect for the “endangerment finding” underpinning the regulation of greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act. What is critical is how EPA chooses to fulfill the inherent legal obligation to regulate emissions, starting with the power sector.

While the Clean Power Plan appears unlikely to survive, decarbonization of the power sector is already underway. Thanks to improved energy efficiency and a more diverse energy mix, emissions dropped more than 20 percent over the last decade. Last year was the third in a row that renewables accounted for more than half of new U.S. power capacity.

Continued tax credits enjoying strong bipartisan support will help sustain that growth.  State-level conversations on lower carbon energy policies are continuing as states, cities and utilities find economic opportunity in modernizing the power sector. But the imperative remains: We need an overarching federal framework to deliver sustained, cost-effective emission reductions. We urge the new administration and Congress to get on with the job.

In the near term, we see opportunities for bipartisan steps that benefit both the climate and the economy and strengthen the foundation for a longer-term clean energy transition. These include:

Incentivizing carbon capture, use and storage.

Carbon capture technologies like those deployed this month in Texas are essential to meeting the climate challenge. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was among the bipartisan sponsors of a bill last year to help advance these technologies by supporting the use of captured CO2 in enhanced oil recovery, as recommended by a coalition of industry, labor, and environmental groups we help lead. We expect similar legislation in this Congress.

Advancing nuclear energy.

Bipartisan bills have already been introduced in the House and Senate to spur advanced nuclear technologies. Nuclear is our largest source of zero-carbon energy and the only one that provides continuous baseload power. It will have to play a significant role in any realistic long-term climate strategy.

Modernizing our infrastructure.

A viable infrastructure package could open significant opportunities to address climate change while creating jobs and growth. Examples include:

  • A modernized electric grid that can better distribute renewable power and is more climate-resilient.
  • Expanded charging and refueling networks for electric, natural gas and hydrogen vehicles.
  • Roads and bridges that can better withstand more frequent extreme weather.

One reason we’re confident of continued momentum is that the vast majority of the American people support it. In a Yale survey conducted after the election, nearly 70 percent favored staying in the Paris Agreement. And 70 percent – including a majority of Republicans – supported strict carbon limits on existing coal plants.

Business leaders, too, recognize the growing risks of climate impacts, and the opportunities to create new products, services and jobs.

And a growing number of cities are finding they can save money and create jobs by encouraging energy efficiency and clean energy and transportation.

At C2ES, while we are bracing for setbacks, and are prepared to defend against reversing course, we also will continue working as hard as ever to bring diverse interests together to make progress wherever we can. We face significant new challenges. But from the local to the global level, we’ve got strong momentum. And we can’t turn back.

 

How about using that captured carbon?

carbon shoes

These "shoes without a footprint" were made from carbon that was captured from power production.

Photo courtesy NRG

Imagine if the carbon dioxide (CO2) that emerges from smokestacks at coal- and natural gas-fired power plants and steel and cement facilities could actually be used for something.

Some innovators are imagining just that.

For even more creative ideas, just look at the semi-finalists for the $20 million NRG COSIA Carbon X Prize.

Research teams from around the world submitted ideas for using CO2 in building materials, paint, fertilizers, plastics, and even toothpaste. Other ideas include CO2-based fuels and carbon nanotubes that could be used to make environmentally sustainable lithium-ion and sodium-ion batteries. The prize will be awarded in 2020 after the top ideas are tested in real-world conditions.

Carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels is contributing to a changing climate that is bringing more frequent and intense heat waves, downpours, and drought and rising sea levels. Capturing CO2 from power plants and industrial sources will help reduce these harmful emissions.

In the U.S., we have been capturing CO2 from manmade sources such as commercial-scale natural gas processing plants since the early 1970s. We can offset the costs of capturing and storing carbon dioxide and increase the number of carbon capture projects if we put the CO2 to work.

One way this is already being done is with carbon dioxide enhanced oil recovery (CO2-EOR), where pressurized CO2 is pumped into already developed oil fields to get out more of the oil. CO2-EOR boosts domestic energy production, makes use of already developed oil fields, and stores carbon dioxide underground.

C2ES co-convenes a coalition of industry, labor, and environmental groups encouraging greater deployment of carbon capture technology for CO2-EOR. There’s bipartisan support for incentivizing technologies to capture carbon dioxide from manmade sources and put it to use in marketable ways.

The U.S. produces 300,000 barrels per day, or nearly 3.5 percent of our annual domestic oil production, through CO2-EOR. But we’re mostly using CO2 that isn’t from manmade sources.

For every barrel of oil produced using manmade CO2, there is a net CO2 storage of 0.19 metric tons even considering the emissions from the oil, according to the International Energy Agency and Clean Air Task Force. In other words, EOR using power plant CO2 results in a 63 percent net reduction of the total injected volume of CO2 or a 37 percent reduction in the life cycle emissions from oil.

At the end of 2016, NRG completed construction on Petra Nova, the first American retrofit of a coal-fired power plant to capture CO2 emissions, which are then used for EOR. The Texas project was on schedule and on budget. It’s capturing more than 90 percent of the CO2 from a 240 MW slipstream of flue gas from an existing coal unit at the WA Parish plant. It’s now the largest project of its kind in the world.

Finding more ways to turn carbon dioxide from an energy and industrial sector waste product to a useful commodity could spur the development of new technologies and products while limiting climate-altering pollutants. There’s promise, but also scientific, regulatory, and market challenges.

The Global CO2 Initiative, which advocates a mix of policy, research funding, collaboration, and infrastructure improvements to accelerate commercial deployment, estimates that the size of the global CO2 non-EOR utilization market could be as large as $700 billion by 2030. Aside from EOR, we could be using 7 billion metric tons of CO2 per year for fuels, concrete, polymers and more. That’s about 15 percent of current global CO2 emissions.

The new administration and new Congress need to consider how best to incentivize continued research, development, and commercial-scale application of CO2 utilization. With the right policy incentives, the U.S. can take a leadership role in this vital technology.

Microgrid Momentum: Building Efficient, Resilient Power

Promoted in Energy Efficiency section: 
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9-11:30 a.m.The George Washington UniversityLerner Hall, First FloorWatch video of the event

Microgrid Momentum:
Building Efficient, Resilient Power

Hosted by

The George Washington University

and

Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES)

Wednesday, March 8, 2017
9:00 AM - 11:30 AM

The George Washington University

Lerner Hall, First Floor

2000 H St, NW
(Southwest corner of 20th and H streets)
Washington, DC

Registration for this event is full

Watch video of the event

Microgrids are an innovative solution to reduce emissions, improve electricity system reliability and resilience, and tighten grid security. But financial, legal and technological barriers can slow their deployment.

Please join C2ES, GW and business and city leaders as we examine the opportunities and challenges of successful microgrid deployment.

 

Opening Remarks

Lee Paddock
Associate Dean for Environmental Studies, The George Washington University Law School

 

Building Resilient, Secure Microgrids

Shalom Flank
Microgrid Architect, Urban Ingenuity

Sudipta Lahiri
Senior Consultant, Energy Advisory, DNV GL

Joel Langill
Critical Infrastructure Protection, AECOM

Moderator
Janet Peace
Senior Vice President, Policy and Business Strategy, C2ES

 

Breaking Down Regulatory & Financial Barriers

Tom Fenimore
Technology Development Manager, Duke Energy

Pete Fuller
Vice President, Market & Regulatory Policy, NRG Energy

Kyle Haas
Energy Policy and Compliance Analyst
District of Columbia Department of Energy and Environment

Kevin Self
Senior Vice President, Strategy, Business Development & Government Relations, Schneider Electric North America

Moderator
Donna Attanasio
Senior Advisor for Energy Law Programs, The George Washington University Law School

 

Support for this project was made available by the Duke Energy Renewables Innovation Fund at George Washington University. 

 

C2ES again ranks among top environmental think tanks

Press Release
January 26, 2017
Contact Laura Rehrmann, rehrmannl@c2es.org

C2ES again ranks among top environmental think tanks

WASHINGTON -- The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) is honored to be recognized once again as one of the world’s leading environmental think tanks.

C2ES ranked fourth among environment policy think tanks in the University of Pennsylvania’s 2016 Global Go To Think Tank Index, based on a worldwide survey of more than 2,500 scholars, academics, public and private donors, policymakers, and journalists.

C2ES was also recently named the top U.S. energy and environment think tank by Prospect magazine for helping lay the groundwork for the Paris Agreement.

“C2ES’s consistently high ranking is a tribute to our unique ability to bring together diverse stakeholders to achieve practical, commonsense solutions,” said C2ES President Bob Perciasepe. “We work with companies, cities, states, and national governments to develop and implement economically sound, innovative policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote clean energy, and strengthen resilience to climate impacts.”

“I congratulate and thank our outstanding staffers, supporters, partners, and board members, including Board Chairman Ted Roosevelt IV, who have helped C2ES achieve and maintain our success,” Perciasepe said.

This is the 10th year for the University of Pennsylvania’s Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program to rank the world’s 6,846 leading think tanks. According to the report, the top environmental think tanks “excel in research, analysis and public engagement on a wide range of policy issues with the aim of advancing debate, facilitating cooperation between relevant actors, maintaining public support and funding, and improving the overall quality of life.”

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About C2ES: The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization working to forge practical solutions to climate change. Our mission is to advance strong policy and action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote clean energy, and strengthen resilience to climate impacts. Learn more at www.c2es.org.

Bob Perciasepe on NRG Petra Nova CCUS project

Statement of Bob Perciasepe
President, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions

January 10, 2017

On the completion of the first retrofit of a U.S. coal-fired power plant to capture carbon dioxide emissions:

The completion of NRG’s Petra Nova carbon capture project in Texas, on schedule and under budget, is an example of innovative clean energy solutions.

There’s no cost-effective scenario for achieving the emission cuts we need globally – from both the power and industrial sectors -- without carbon capture.

As with wind and solar technologies, the costs of carbon capture will likely fall as more projects come online. Leadership in carbon capture technologies also gives the United States a first-mover advantage in a globally important market.

The Petra Nova project uses the captured CO2 for enhanced oil recovery, increasing production from already developed domestic oil fields while storing the carbon dioxide underground and creating U.S. jobs.

More research and development is needed in other ways to turn manmade carbon dioxide from a climate liability to a marketable commodity. NRG is leading the way here too, with its sponsorship of the $20 million NRG COSIA Carbon X-Prize, which has already identified promising ideas to re-use CO2 in building materials, fuels, paint and plastics.

There’s an opportunity in 2017 to build on bipartisan support in Congress, and support from both industry and labor, to incentivize investment in carbon capture projects and infrastructure. We congratulate NRG on their Petra Nova project, and look forward to continuing to work with lawmakers at the federal and state level on ways to encourage similar projects.

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About C2ES: The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization working to forge practical solutions to climate change. Our mission is to advance strong policy and action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote clean energy, and strengthen resilience to climate impacts. Learn more at www.c2es.org.

Bob Perciasepe on Google's milestone of 100 percent renewable energy

Statement of Bob Perciasepe
President, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions

December 6, 2016

On Google's announcement that it will power its operations with 100 percent renewable energy:

We congratulate Google on achieving its goal of powering its global operations with 100 percent renewable energy.

Google’s achievement is further evidence of the continuing momentum of America’s clean-energy transition. Companies like Google are investing billions of dollars in clean energy and efficiency because it makes sound business sense. Hundreds of companies have not only made commitments like these, but reaffirmed their support for the Paris Agreement and U.S. policies that address climate change.

Businesses like Google are taking climate action because they understand the costs of inaction and see the economic benefits of a clean-energy economy.  Google’s commitment to 100 percent renewable shows that leading companies are committed to making long-term investments that are good for the environment, their consumers and their bottom lines.

Financing carbon capture: Corporate partners lead the way

Addressing climate change will require tremendous investment in low- and zero-carbon energy technologies. Estimates are as high as $1 trillion per year through 2030.

Some of that investment must be in carbon capture technology, which can reduce emissions from both the power and industrial sectors. Carbon capture could provide 13 percent of global emissions reductions through 2050.

Innovative corporate partnerships will play a critical role in launching this investment. That’s because partnerships can bring together the right combination of resources, talent, and experience and combine technical knowhow with business-oriented analyses of commercial viability. To solve our emissions challenges, innovation will be key, not just in technology, but also in investment models and business partnerships.

NET Power

One example of an innovative corporate partnership that is bringing carbon capture technology into the field is the NET Power demonstration project in La Porte, Texas.

The NET Power project, which is expected to come online in 2017, will be the first in the world to use supercritical CO2 (when the gas has the density of a liquid), instead of steam, to drive a turbine. It will make electricity from natural gas using patented technology that captures almost all carbon- and non-carbon emissions at no additional cost: it has equipment costs and fuel usage that are equivalent to or better than best-in-class conventional natural gas combined cycle power plants without carbon capture.  The technology is also capable of very low or no levels of water usage.

Each partner in the project brings a unique competency: 8 Rivers is the technology expert, contributing its invention and engineering oversight capabilities. Exelon Corporation contributes its sizeable network of business contacts, financial resources, project development support, and operations and maintenance expertise and may adopt the technology for commercial use in its operations. CB&I provides engineering, procurement and construction services, as well as financial assistance and experience with sales. Finally, Toshiba provides specialized expertise in high-pressure turbines.

During a recent C2ES webinar on financing carbon capture, some of the partners explained why the collaboration model works better than the venture capital model of investment in this case.

From the investor perspective, corporate partnerships are viewed as more mature transactions “both as an investment opportunity, but also as a technology that we think is ready for us to deploy when the time comes,” said David Brown, senior vice president of federal government affairs and public policy at Exelon.

From the developer perspective, NET Power CEO Bill Brown said, “Normally, too many startup firms don’t have market definition as a critical part of their first stage. They should. By reaching out to the customers [like Exelon] to begin with, we were able to get a very good focus on the market.”

What’s Next

More capital is being committed to a low-carbon future:

  • A year ago, 20 nations launched Mission Innovation to double their cumulative annual spending on clean energy research from $10 billion to $20 billion, with CO2 capture utilization and storage being one of the “R&D Focus Areas.”
  • As a complement, leading entrepreneurs launched the Breakthrough Energy Coalition and pledged to invest billions in early-stage clean energy technology.

On Nov. 4, the CEOs of 10 oil and gas companies announced the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative which aims to direct $1 billion over the next decade to accelerate the development of technologies that could reduce greenhouse gas emissions on a significant scale, including carbon capture, use and storage.
As this private capital is mobilized, innovative corporate partnerships can combine business experience and commercial viability with government contributions to research and development to advance the commercial deployment of clean energy technology quickly.

The potential benefits for accelerated clean energy technology deployment are substantial. By reducing the cost of capture, the NET Power project may create an opportunity for U.S. innovation to help achieve emissions reductions globally.

Also, reducing the cost of capture lets us explore re-use of CO2, an area of increasing focus. Launched in January, the Global CO2 Initiative aims to enable the capture and re-use of 10 percent of annual global CO2 emissions by converting them into useful products. Its new roadmap highlights the potential for CO2 reuse in concrete, fuels (methane and liquid fuels), carbonate aggregates, polymers, and methanol.

To solve our emissions challenges, innovation will be key, not just in clean energy technology, but also in investment models and business partnerships.

NET Power demonstration project in La Porte, Texas, expected to come online in 2017.

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