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Kirsty Gogan & Dr. Rita Baranwal. Deep Decarbonisation Advocates. Nuclear Energy Powerhouses
Energy Disruptors, Trailblazers 05, Podcast This week our trailblazers are two inspirational powerhouses creating a new set of possibilities around nuclear. Holly joins Kirsty Gogan, cofounder of Terra Praxis and Managing Partner at LucidCatalyst, and Dr. Rita Baranwal, former Assistant Secretary for the Office of Nuclear Energy in the U.S. Department of Energy, and now VP of nuclear at the Electric Power Research Institute to talk energy access, decarbonisation challenges and being trailblazers in the industry. In this compelling and utterly optimistic discussion, two formidable nuclear energy experts explain why nuclear is so often left out of the conversation and, more importantly, why we have no choice but to include it in the mix of transition fuels to get us to a net-zero future. "The biggest barrier is trying to get the many entities involved in nuclear technology development to collaborate. Whether that looks like joint ventures or mergers in terms of the private industry space, something has to give. We cannot succeed if we have 60+ companies competing at the same time." RITA BARANWAL "By thinking creatively and applying the tools we have available to us in very new ways, we not only increase our chances of actually decarbonizing in time but we also increase our chances of doing it cost effectively and in a way that will be publicly acceptable." KIRSTY GOGAN > Visit site, watch video or listen to podcast
Innovation & Investment in Energy Summit
The Frontier Energy Network 24 June 2021 LucidCatalyst was pleased to co-sponsor and participate in the Innovation & Investment in Energy Summit 2021. The Report is now available for download (see link at bottom of page). To mark the success of this #landmark Summit designed to create pathways to #decarbonisation; this Report features key insights and discussions as well as profiles of the #innovation#cleantech#climatetech innovators that took part. WATCH EVENT TRAILER
Welcome to the Innovation & Investment in Energy Summit: Unlocking Innovation and Finance for Energy Welcome to the Innovation & Investment in Energy Summit, a senior-level forum for those changing the face of the global energy sector. As the energy industry accelerates towards a lower carbon future what will the energy mix be and who will finance the changes? What innovations will speed up the track to net zero? Is there a silver bullet or will a hybrid approach prevail? What role will the fossil fuel industry play in the investment in innovation and investment for the future? In-depth panel discussions with live audience-driven Q&A, keynote presentations and face to face networking. Join this event to stay on the cutting edge of what’s next for energy. Kirsty Gogan presented findings from LucidCatalyst's Missing Link report The Innovation & Investment in Energy Summit Report is available to download from the Frontier Energy website (link below). The Report summarises the key points from each Session and the Members briefing that followed the main event. > Download the report > Visit the Frontier Energy website for more information
UK Modelling Report 'Decouples Energy from Emissions'
World Nuclear News 21 June 2021 Diverse, scalable and low-cost applications for nuclear technologies have for the first time been fully represented across the whole energy system in a new modelling report published last week by the UK's National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL). The work, which was completed through the Advanced Fuel Cycle Programme (AFCP), reveals potential routes to de-risk and lower the cost of achieving net zero. AFCP is led by NNL in partnership with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy as part of the GBP505 million (USD702 million) Energy Innovation Programme. The modelling, which was conducted with independent specialists from Energy Systems Catapult and LucidCatalyst, includes the role of nuclear in providing not only electricity but also heat, hydrogen and synthetic fuels. It adds to the national and international dataset that considers pathways to decarbonisation, and has already been used to underpin AFCP's net-zero roadmap, which will be published later this year. "To enable the deep decarbonisation that is required to meet net zero, it is clear that we need to completely and utterly transform the totality of our energy system," Fiona Rayment, NNL's chief science and technology officer, said. "The challenge our sector needs to overcome is not technical, but economic; by co-generating zero-carbon electricity with a new supply of green hydrogen, fuels and heat, nuclear can make a vital, and commercially viable, contribution to the UK’s future energy mix." The analysis shows that to meet net zero, the UK needs to vastly increase the production of three zero-carbon energy vectors - electricity, hydrogen and district heating, Scott Milne, head of insights at Energy Systems Catapult, said. "The modelling explores the cost and performance parameters that would need to be achieved by a range of nuclear technologies in order to contribute - alongside renewables and carbon, capture & storage - to the rapid scale-up of those three energy vectors," he said. "Our analysis shows how nuclear can help to minimise the overall physical footprint of the energy system and contribute to achieving net zero at least cost to society." ... > Read full article
TerraPower circles 2023 for Natrium construction permit
World Nuclear News 18 June 2021 TerraPower hopes to apply for a construction permit in August 2023 and an operating licence in March 2026 for its Natrium fast reactor, according to a regulatory engagement plan (REP) it has sent to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). How a Natrium plant may appear (Image: TerraPower) The company said it favours separate applications over a combined licence for "the ability to start construction earlier". The plan, which was submitted together with a letter dated 8 June from Ryan Sprengel, TerraPower's license application development manager, was made public on 16 June. Sprengel wrote that the plan was provided for information and outlines proposed interactions with the NRC associated with the Natrium reactor, which is a TerraPower and GE-Hitachi (GEH) technology. The primary purpose of the REP is "to reduce regulatory uncertainty", TerraPower said, "to facilitate the NRC’s understanding of Natrium technology and its safety case as early in the regulatory process as possible". "TerraPower was founded a decade ago by Bill Gates and a group of like-minded visionaries that decided the private sector needed to act in developing advanced nuclear energy to meet growing electricity needs, mitigate climate change, and lift billions out of poverty," the plan says. "An expert group of scientists and engineers was formed to analyse all energy generation technology options from a total systems perspective. After a thorough examination of all known and some heretofore unknown reactor concepts, including lead-cooled reactors and small modular helium cooled reactors, TerraPower decided to focus development on improving the sodium cooled reactor design that met all of the stated objectives of TerraPower’s founding principles," it adds. TerraPower and GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy Americas joined forces in 2019 to develop the Natrium technology, which features a sodium-cooled fast reactor combined with a molten salt energy storage system. The ratings for the Natrium reactor will be 840 MWt and the energy island will have the capability to produce up to 500 MWe. ... > Read full article
NNL Unveils Transformative Nuclear for Net Zero Modelling
National Nuclear Lab News June 17, 2021 NNL has published a ground-breaking new modelling report demonstrating the role nuclear can play in delivering the UK’s net zero goals. This is the first time that such diverse, scalable and low-cost applications for nuclear technologies have been fully represented across the whole energy system. By including such a range of applications for nuclear technology within the model – which in itself is innovative by assessing the whole energy system, not just the power sector – this work reveals potential routes to de-risk and lower the cost of achieving net zero. The modelling, which was conducted with independent specialists from Energy Systems Catapult and LucidCatalyst, considers the whole energy system on the path to net zero. This includes the role of nuclear in providing not just electricity but also heat, hydrogen and synthetic fuels. This work was completed through the £46m Advanced Fuel Cycle Programme (AFCP), which is led by NNL in partnership with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) as part of the £505m Energy Innovation Programme. By adding to the national and international dataset that considers pathways to decarbonisation, this modelling provides government and industry with crucial information to support their decision-making. It has already been used to underpin AFCP’s net zero roadmap, which will be published later this year. Dr Fiona Rayment, Chief Science and Technology Officer of NNL, said: “To enable the deep decarbonisation that is required to meet net zero, it is clear that we need to completely and utterly transform the totality of our energy system. The challenge our sector needs to overcome is not technical, but economic; by co-generating zero-carbon electricity with a new supply of green hydrogen, fuels and heat, nuclear can make a vital, and commercially viable, contribution to the UK’s future energy mix. Until now, full UK energy system modelling showing the role of nuclear beyond the generation of electricity – including hydrogen and synthetic fuels – has not existed. This first-of-its-kind study adds considerably to the developing database of future UK energy system scenarios and provides evidence needed by decision-makers to inform future UK energy strategy and policy.” Scott Milne, Head of Insights at Energy Systems Catapult, said: “Our analysis shows that to meet net zero in the UK we need to vastly increase the production of three zero carbon energy vectors – electricity, hydrogen and district heating. The modelling we performed for NNL explores the cost and performance parameters that would need to be achieved by a range of nuclear technologies in order to contribute – alongside renewables and carbon, capture & storage – to the rapid scale-up of those three energy vectors. Across the range of technology options explored in the modelling, the ability to deliver flexible co-generation of multiple energy vectors from individual reactors, offers particular value. Our analysis shows how nuclear can help to minimise the overall physical footprint of the energy system and contribute to achieving net zero at least cost to society.” Kirsty Gogan, Managing Director at LucidCatalyst, said: “This modelling presents valuable new insights for the UK’s net zero transition. These opportunities were either grossly under-represented in – or completely absent from – previous energy system modelling. Including their transformative potential offers a radical new perspective on our prospects for affordable and rapid decarbonisation.” Eric Ingersoll, Managing Director at LucidCatalyst said: “If we can produce clean drop-in substitute fuels at scale, this reduces the extent of transformation required. This is a major benefit in terms of lowering the overall investment, disruption and behaviour change required to maintain energy services. Essentially, this offers an opportunity to decouple energy from emissions without increasing cost or decreasing performance.” > View article > View report
The Rational View: Kirsty Gogan and Eric Ingersoll on Nuclear Hydrogen
The Rational View podcast with Dr. Al Scott June 12, 2021 Professional astrophysicist Dr. Al Scott addresses politically and socially divisive issues with insightful evidence-based analysis of the facts. Dr. Scott shows listeners how to apply the tools of science to polarizing issues discovering the most rational path to an optimistic vision of the future. See my podcast page https://therationalview.podbean.com/# In this episode I welcome the co-founders of TerraPraxis, Kirsty Gogan and Eric Ingersoll. TerraPraxis is a non-profit organisation focused on action for climate and prosperity. They have come up with a new idea that could revolutionize the battle against fossil fuels and carbon emissions. Using the heat and electricity from advanced nuclear reactors allows one to create hydrogen more efficiently than by non-thermal electrolysis. This carbon-free hydrogen can be used to create synthetic fuels and could contribute to reversing the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. ... > Listen to podcast
Nuclear Innovation Highlighted at CEM12
04 June 2021 Leaders in the nuclear sector yesterday discussed how nuclear energy can contribute to reducing carbon emissions in the fight against climate change during a panel discussion on the side lines of the 12th Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM12) being hosted by Chile. They said technological breakthroughs and innovations can extend nuclear energy's contribution to climate action and accelerate strategies to cleaner energy. The discussion was moderated by Kirsty Gogan, managing partner at LucidCatalyst and a co-founder of TerraPraxis. The discussion panelists (Image: IAEA) The side event – Net Zero Emissions Pathways with Nuclear Innovation – was sponsored by the Clean Energy Ministerial's Nuclear Innovation: Clean Energy Future (NICE Future) initiative. The discussion panel comprised World Nuclear Association Director General Sama Bilbao y León, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi, OECD Nuclear Energy Agency Director-General William Magwood and International Energy Agency Executive Director Fatih Birol. "Maintaining our current nuclear fleet through licence extensions is the easiest thing we can do to have a huge impact in our decarbonisation goals," Bilbao y León said. "We depend on this resource and for us to lose this capacity would take us a big step backwards in the clean energy transition." Grossi said the long-term operation of nuclear power plants is a growing trend and the public needs to be given assurances that it is not only efficient and climate-friendly but also safe. He said the IAEA is stepping up its support to provide reviews and advice to governments and operators for them to ensure safe, secure and effective long-term operation activities. He also said developing countries were "showing a tremendous interest and appetite in nuclear energy options as they move into the global climate framework and set zero emission goals". After agreeing to and endorsing goals to address climate change, governments now need "to look in their carbon mitigation toolboxes, in which nuclear energy is an option", he said. Nuclear energy innovations are often misconstrued, he said, as a future energy alternative, when in reality nuclear already contributes around one-third of global low-carbon electricity generation. Magwood said that there was a narrow window now for the nuclear industry to bring new technologies to market if they are to make a contribution to the energy transition. "Many say nuclear is too far away in the timeframe of the climate crisis. I can tell you that's not the case and there are technologies that could be on the market within the next five years that could help." With regards to emerging technologies like microreactors and small modular reactors, Magwood said the nuclear industry needs to prove these technologies by bringing them to market and making sure they can be cost-effective and built to schedule. ... > Read full article
CEM Event: Flexible Nuclear Campaign for Nuclear-Renewables Integration
Monday, May 31, 2021 7:00 AM – Sunday, June 6, 2021 11:55 PM REGISTER Kirsty Gogan and Eric Ingersoll were pleased to present at the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) where our partner organization, TerraPraxis, hosted a discussion about the Flexible Nuclear Campaign (FNC) for Nuclear-Renewables Integration. The Nuclear Innovation: Clean Energy Future (NICE Future) initiative is in year 2 of its FNC for Nuclear-Renewables Integration. The discussion will focus on nuclear technology’s system flexibility benefits, presenting new applications that target hard-to-decarbonize sectors and enable re-use of existing infrastructure without emissions. This will include the opportunity to cost-competitively repower coal fleets to make them cleaner and more flexible than today, while expanding clean energy jobs. This event seeks to raise the profile of the FNC and shine a light on the transformative potential for nuclear energy to accelerate decarbonization and an equitable energy transition. The discussion will include the following renowned experts (in order of appearance): Rich POWELL (moderator), Executive Director of ClearPath Maria KORSNICK, President and CEO of the Nuclear Energy Institute Rumina VELSHI, President and CEO of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission Shannon BRAGG-SITTON, Lead, Integrated Energy Systems at the Idaho National Laboratory Diana MUSYOKA, Environmental Scientist at Nuclear Power Energy Agency (NuPEA) from Kenya Stephane FEUTRY, Senior Advisor for Operation at EDF Staffan QVIST, Consultant at Qvist Consulting Limited Zbigniew KUBACKI, Advisor to the Minister at the Ministry of Climate of Poland Eric INGERSOLL, Co-Founder of TerraPraxis Kirsty GOGAN, Co-Founder of TerraPraxis Lauren LATHEM, Research Engineer at Southern Company Carol GREGORIS, Project Director for Darlington New Nuclear Project at Ontario Power Generation Jessica LOVERING, Co-Founder of the Good Energy Collective Isabelle BOEMEKE, Nuclear Energy Influencer and Fashion Model
One Big Energy Bet Could End California's Drought, But Really
With the climate changing and droughts on the rise, big changes are needed in order to save the state INVERSE May 8, 2021 Artist rendering of a solar canal system for California.Solar Aquagrid LLC CLIMATE CHANGE AND WATER SCARCITIES are front and center in the western U.S. The region’s climate is warming, a severe multi-year drought is underway, and groundwater supplies are being overpumped in many locations. Western states are pursuing many strategies to adapt to these stresses and prepare for the future. These include measures to promote renewable energy development, conserve water, and manage natural and working lands more sustainably. ... California’s aging power infrastructure has contributed to catastrophic wildfires and multi-day outages. Building smart solar developments on canals and other disturbed lands can make power and water infrastructure more resilient while saving water, reducing costs, and helping to fight climate change. We believe it’s a model that should be considered across the country — and the planet. > Read full article This article was originally published on The Conversation by Roger Bales and Brandi McKuin at University of California, Merced and University of California, Santa Cruz. Read the original article here.
De-Risking The Energy Transition
Webinar – Thursday 6th May at 1pm (BST) Top Tier Impact Strategies (TTIS) – Anj Chadha, Moderator
LucidCatalyst – Kirsty Gogan, Eric Ingersoll, and John Herter, Panelists The latest UN Emissions Gap Report 2020 has stated that, despite a brief dip in carbon dioxide emissions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the world is still heading for a temperature rise in excess of 3°C this century — far beyond the Paris Agreement goals of limiting global warming to well below 2°C and pursuing 1.5°C. To stabilise temperature rises below 2°C, the world must reach Net Zero by mid-century or earlier, which is not just a slogan, it’s an imperative of climate physics. To get on the path to stabilise temperatures at 1.5°C, emissions need to fall by a minimum of 8% year on year over the next two decades. To put that into context, total CO2 emissions for 2020 (when COVID-19 shut down our economies) decreased by around 5-7%. Reducing emissions at the pace and scale required demands wholesale structural change, including utilisation of all currently available low-carbon technologies and new innovations. The challenges may be unevenly spread across sectors, especially for the hard to decarbonise sectors such as industry, shipping, and aviation — but all must contribute. Top Tier Impact Strategies (TTIS), an ESG advisory business, has partnered with LucidCatalyst, an energy consultancy, to shed light on the enormous challenges of this imperative energy transition, including the opportunities for utilising low-carbon technologies in various sectors. This four-part webinar series will begin with an essential topic: ‘De-risking the energy transition’, which will address the following questions: How much does the world need to do (and by when) in terms of energy transition to stay on track to hit the Paris Agreement targets? How much land will be needed for the clean energy infrastructure required by mid-century? How easy will it be to secure this land? How is public support for renewable projects evolving over time?
– How might this impact the ability to turn over our energy infrastructure in a timely manner given the urgency of emissions reductions (i.e., 45% reductions by 2030) to keep warming below 1.5°C, for example? How might transmission infrastructure fundamentally create bottlenecks for renewables deployment? What will be necessary to decarbonise the global liquid fuels industry? How do the risks and challenges of the energy transition affect private companies and how might it inform their corporate strategy? LucidCatalyst will be sharing examples of their recent work to answer these questions.
Foratom Highlights Nuclear's Role in EU hydrogen Economy
WNN 4 May 2021 Nuclear provides a perfect solution for the generation of large quantities of low-carbon and affordable hydrogen, the European nuclear trade body Foratom said today in a position paper. This, it said, will be key as Europe aims to transform all parts of its economy, including transport and industry. The position paper makes a number of policy recommendations aimed at recognising the contribution nuclear energy can make in decarbonising such areas. Image from Foratom Foratom says the EU has set itself the "very ambitious" target of decarbonising its economy by 2050. "Achieving this will require a massive transformation of the energy, industry, transport and building sectors," it says. "Whilst solutions already exist to decarbonise the power sector by 2050, hard-to-decarbonise sectors such as transport and industry remain a challenge." On 8 July last year, the European Commission adopted the EU Hydrogen Strategy, which sets out how hydrogen can support the decarbonisation of industry, transport, power generation and buildings. The strategy addresses the investments, regulation, market creation, and research and innovation required to enable this. The strategy says that between 2020 and 2024 the European Commission will support the installation of at least 6 GW of renewable hydrogen electrolysers in the EU, and the production of up to 1 million tonnes of renewable hydrogen. From 2025 to 2030, there needs to be at least 40 GW of renewable hydrogen electrolysers and the production of up to 10 million tonnes of renewable hydrogen in the EU. From 2030 to 2050, renewable hydrogen technologies should reach maturity and be deployed at large scale across all hard-to-decarbonise sectors, it says. The strategy defines 'renewable hydrogen' as "hydrogen produced through the electrolysis of water (in an electrolyser, powered by electricity), and with the electricity stemming from renewable sources. It says 'low-carbon hydrogen' "encompasses fossil-based hydrogen with carbon capture and electricity-based hydrogen, with significantly reduced full life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions compared to existing hydrogen production." The strategy, however, did not specifically mention nuclear power among low-carbon electricity sources. Foratom questions whether, given the variable nature of renewable energy sources and the volume of installed capacity needed to provide a continuous supply of electricity to produce this hydrogen, there will be sufficient renewable electricity available to meet demand. In addition, it says this may not be the most cost-effective approach. "Nuclear will definitely play an important role, even if it is not mentioned," the organisation says in its new position paper, titled Nuclear Hydrogen Production - A Key Low-Carbon Technology for a Decarbonised Europe.
Nuclear enables environmentalists to talk about 'plenty'
WNN 30 April 2021 Caring about the environment has traditionally focused on the scarcity of natural resources, but with nuclear power a healthier world can also mean abundance for all, environmentalist Ben Heard said today at the Atoms for Humanity discussion on Why Humanity Needs Nuclear produced by Russia's Rosatom. Heard is an advocate for nuclear power in his native Australia, through his directorship of environmental NGO Bright New World. Kirsty Gogan and Ben Heard at the Atoms for Humanity discussion The discussion centred on the social, environmental and global partnerships aspects of the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It was moderated by Kirsty Gogan, managing partner at LucidCatalyst and a co-founder of TerraPraxis. Asked about SDGs 13, 14 and 15, which concern, respectively, climate change, life under water and life on land, Heard first described how his own environmentalism had changed once he came to understand the benefits of nuclear energy. "It was 10 years ago this year that I first spoke up publicly to say that I had changed my mind on this particular issue; an issue that had felt really consequential to my identity as someone who really cared about the environment," he said. This change required personal reflection and a consideration of the professional exposure it would entail. "It turned out to be a really positive experience in a lot of ways. It brought me into contact with a whole new world and a great many new people who were starting to think in these ways as well. Even better than that, it really opened up my thinking and my ideas to realise that, if we can take the energy challenge and meet it with something that we can really scale up, then we can also tackle so many of these other sustainability and conservation challenges in really intelligent and exciting ways to make a better world. "It was really transformational in my thinking - how to preserve the environment, how to care for the world around us - that has been very challenging, very difficult, sometimes confrontational, but ultimately very rewarding. And I'm glad to see and sense that there's a real change now in thinking that's becoming much more widespread and that gives me real hope for what's going to happen next." Three decades ago, the main environmental concerns, he said, were deforestation, acid rain and air pollution. "Climate change came a little later and became something very all-encompassing, and it is. It is already impacting biomes all over the planet and it's going to impact the chemistry of our oceans," he said. "I'm struck by the fact that it was climate change that got me interested in nuclear technologies." The word 'clean' applies to nuclear energy in a 'holistic' way, he said. For example, the absence of air pollution and what that means for the health of people, settlements and ecosystems. Another important benefit of nuclear energy, in contrast to some other clean energy technologies, concerns land use. "The last thing I want to see us doing is liquidating scarce natural landscapes in the name of tackling climate change. It seems to be in tension with the values that we're trying to address. The beauty of nuclear technology is that it takes that tension out of the picture. We can have that energy at scale, and the clean air and the clean water, and preserve our landscapes, and actually help to begin restoring them, which is for me extremely powerful." He described the role of nuclear energy in clean energy systems as "where really beautiful synergies start to happen". ... A recording of Why Humanity Needs Nuclear is here. > Read the full article