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Sustainable Aviation Fuels for Iceland
LucidCatalyst Insights Report July 2021 LucidCatalyst wrote this Insights Report about high-temperature geothermal, which we believe is an untapped resource that can be configured and delivered to cost-competitively decarbonize global fuels markets. This approach would use proven chemical production processes. Furthermore, the commodities being produced are ‘drop-in’ substitutes such that they do not require changes (or require relatively minor changes) to existing supply chain infrastructure or consumer behavior. Consequently, developers do not need to wait for technological, supply chain, or regulatory changes to take advantage of these opportunities. Highlights Techno-economics analysis suggests that these production facilities can produce zero-carbon hydrogen and value-added, hydrogen-based commodities (ammonia, CO2-neutral synthetic fuels, etc.) cost-competitively and at a scale relevant to target markets. In the scenarios analysed, these strategies enabled the production of commodities for global markets at the following costs: Jet A: $82/bbl (compared to $90/bbl average for past 10 yrs) Ammonia: $230/tonne (compared to $300/t long-term average for ammonia) Equivalent to approximately $420 per metric tonne of very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO), which is within its typical trading range Hydrogen: less than $1/kg Electricity: $24/MWh for baseload and $39/MWh, for 12 hours a day, 7 days a week dispatch, with NH3 and water production Desalinated water: $1.23/m3, comparable to the cost of leading desal projects Few, if any, behavior changes will be required of consumers. In some cases, no change will be necessary to supply chain infrastructure. Market pull could enable radical improvements to plant design and delivery, driving high-volume manufacturing of these production facilities.
International Symposium on the Development of Floating Nuclear Power Plants
International Atomic Energy Agency Vienna International Centre, Austria 14 and 15 November 2023 Eric Ingersoll, Chirayu Batra and Kirsty Gogan (of LucidCatalyst and Terra Praxis) attended and Kirsty gave remarks and opened the session on: The Emerging Potential of Floating Nuclear Power Plants in Vienna. Achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 will require large scale deployment of all low carbon energy sources, including nuclear power. Various studies confirm that nuclear power has a significant role to play in combating climate change and meeting increasing energy demand worldwide, but this will require that nuclear power plants be deployed at a larger scale than is currently the case. The international deployment of FNPPs offers new opportunities but also presents challenges, including the evaluation of international and national legal issues and institutional aspects. The International Atomic Energy Agency hosted the first International Symposium on the Deployment of Floating Nuclear Power Plants – Benefits and Challenge . The purpose of the event has been to explore and discuss the potential deployment of FNPPs to enhance the contribution of nuclear energy to achieving net zero carbon emissions. It focused on different aspects of FNPPs, ranging from their national deployment in territorial waters to more challenging applications that require the transport of fueled FNPPs to other countries or their deployment in international waters.
Themes and Topics included:
Past, current and potential future applications National deployment experiences Overview of national development activities Potential future FNPP deployment scenarios Production of FNPPs using existing shipyards Legal aspects — Safety, Security, Safeguards and Liability Deployment in territorial waters (close to shore and further off shore) Deployment in international waters Licensing, regulation and transport of fueled FNPPs Applicability of international standards and guidance (e.g., IAEA safety standards and security guidance documents) Application of safeguards Further Actions Role of proponents and Member States Role of international organizations
Kirsty Gogan gave expert remarks and moderated the Opening Session:
"THE EMERGING POTENTIAL OF FLOATING NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS"
The session included experts: Ms Aline Des Cloizeaux, Director, Division of Nuclear Power, IAEA Ms Laura Holgate, Ambassador and Resident Representative to the IAEA, USA Mr Sangim Park, Vice President, HD Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering Co., Ltd., Republic of Korea (left to right) Kirsty Gogan, Aline DES CLOIZEAUX, Laura Holgate and Sangmin Park
Kirsty Gogan's presentation > Watch video of sessions > View program > Learn more
Shell's Chief Scientist on the Energy Transition
In this video by Shell’s Chief Scientist, Dirk Smit, on “how we can transform to a net-zero emissions energy system,” he cites LucidCatalyst's work on off-shore production platforms for producing zero-carbon energy and fuels. See 15:20 to view our renderings of this concept. Please scroll to the beginning in order to watch this entire insightful video.
‘Over Our Dead Bodies’: Backlash Builds Against $3 Trillion Clean-Energy Push
Ballooning size of wind and solar projects draws local ire as they march closer to populated areas By Jennifer Hiller | Photographs by Dominick Williams The Wall Street Journal
May 8, 2023 Note from LucidCatalyst: Our work is cited in this important WSJ article. Our 2022 study of wind ordinances in Iowa "found that 16 of 99 counties had prohibitive ordinances or moratoria against new projects, most of them approved in the previous four years. Accounting for these moratoria and existing setback requirements, approximately half to three-quarters of land with good wind resources would be precluded from project development consideration, according to a study by the nonprofit policy firm ClearPath and consulting group LucidCatalyst." To put a finer point on the range, the lower bound (47%) reflects existing setback requirements and the upper bound (77%) assumes that all Iowa counties ultimately adopt the most "permissive" setback requirement (i.e., the minimum setback requirement that exists and doesn't significantly impact wind development activity). About a 1/3 of Iowa's 99 counties still don't have set back requirements but they're very likely on the way. ... County-by-county battles are raging as wind and solar projects balloon in size, edge closer to cities and encounter mounting pushback in communities from Niagara Falls to the Great Plains and beyond. Projects have slowed. Even in states with a long history of building renewables, developers don’t know if they can get local permits or how long it might take. ... The U.S., though, is a patchwork of state and local governments with different rules on development, and opposition to projects has mounted for myriad reasons. Increasingly, many communities are concerned that the rapidly expanding size of wind and solar farms will irreparably alter the complexion of where they live. ... In Iowa, which has the second-highest installed wind power capacity in the country after Texas, a 2022 study of wind ordinances found that 16 of 99 counties had prohibitive rules or a ban against new projects, most of them approved in the previous four years. Between moratoriums and requirements for setbacks between turbines and things such as neighboring property lines, roads or buildings, developers won’t even consider projects on around half to three quarters of land with good wind resources, according to a study by the nonprofit research firm ClearPath and consulting group LucidCatalyst . Despite soaring demand and available capital even before the Inflation Reduction Act was passed, U.S. clean power installations dipped 16% last year and 12% over 2020, according to the American Clean Power Association. It was the worst year for land-based wind installations since 2018. Many projects will eventually get built, say developers and analysts, but they could take longer and cost more than expected. At the federal level, there is some bipartisan support for speeding up permitting for transmission or pipeline projects, and Sen. Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, has relaunched a legislative effort that stalled last year . Some states are pushing back on their own against local roadblocks. ... Some opponents don’t like the idea of locally produced energy getting exported out of the state, or that the government is singling out particular technologies for special tax treatment. Other objections are more tangible. Communities often complain about the rhythmic blinking red lights that flash atop turbines at night or the whooshing noise of blades. They also raise concerns about taking farmland out of production or the impact on wildlife. ... > Read full article > Link to Iowa wind study
Energy 2050 Summit: Accelerating the Energy Transition
The British Museum, London, UK 28th - 29th November 2023 Kirsty Gogan is pleased to be speaking at this summit, which will bring together the energy community to discuss the most exciting opportunities of a low carbon future and the pertinent issues affecting the transition. The aim of the conference is bringing together energy decision-makers to accelerate the energy transition. The Energy 2050 Summit offers a strategic outlook, insight and collaboration to build a bridge towards net zero.Open to senior energy executives and decision-makers, policy makers, investors, strategists, new technology providers and global governments. > Learn More Eric Ingersoll gave the keynote address at the Energy 2050 Summit in 2021: Missing Link to a Liveable Climate about clean synthetic fuels. See the video below.
Launching Repowering Coal initiative at COP27
Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt 7 - 17 November, 2022 Representing TerraPraxis at COP27 in in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, Kirsty Gogan and Eric Ingersoll launched a global Repowering Coal initiative to enable every coal plant owner in the world to assess their coal plant for conversion to clean energy. The team hosted events alongside global climate leaders and partner Microsoft. > Read more and watch videos of events Eric Ingersoll, Kirsty Gogan, and Brad Smith (Microsoft President and Vice Chair), at the launch of the TerraPraxis new EVALUATE application. Eric Ingersoll and Conor Kelly (of Microsoft) presenting the Repowering Coal initiative at COP27. Kirsty Gogan and Eric Ingersoll at COP27.
Nuclear Power Gets New Push in U.S., Winning Converts
With challenges in meeting clean energy goals and new electricity demands, politicians in both parties seek to prolong and even expand reactor use. By Ivan Penn The New York Times July 5, 2022 Driven by the difficulty of meeting clean energy goals and by surging electricity demands, a growing number of political leaders are taking a fresh look at nuclear power — both extending the life of existing reactors and building new ones. Even past skeptics, largely Democrats, have come around to the idea — notably in California, where the state’s sole remaining nuclear plant, Diablo Canyon, is scheduled to close in 2025. The search for clean energy has given nuclear power a spark that has drawn bipartisan support that added billions in funding for existing and new projects. But critics of the nuclear industry argue that a veneer of clean energy has not changed the concerns about the technology, including aging facilities in need of potentially costly improvements, the challenge of nuclear waste disposal and steep cost overruns for new projects that are years late — if they reach completion. ... President Biden wants to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from the power industry by 2035, and he said a Supreme Court ruling last week limiting federal regulatory authority would not halt such efforts. But the supply chain issues that have hurt wind and solar power development have presented the latest hurdle to reaching that goal. As a stopgap, the Biden administration has established a $6 billion fund to help troubled nuclear plant operators keep their reactors running and make them more economically competitive against cheaper resources like solar and wind power. The application deadline is Tuesday, though it might be extended and the requirements amended to broaden eligibility. “The Biden administration has been very clear that we will get to the net zero goals,” Kathryn Huff, assistant secretary for nuclear energy at the Department of Energy, said at a recent conference of the American Nuclear Society. “They’re incredibly aggressive goals, and nuclear is a part of that solution, a very big part potentially.” In addition to the $6 billion fund, the administration is providing $2.5 billion for two projects meant to demonstrate new nuclear technology, in Washington State and Wyoming. A separate bipartisan measure introduced last year is aimed at preserving and expanding nuclear energy in the United States. The bill, whose backers include Senators Shelley Moore Capito, Republican of West Virginia, and Cory Booker, Democrat of New Jersey, would provide financial assistance like tax credits, according to the Tax Foundation, a nonprofit tax policy organization. Ms. Capito has argued that coal-fired power plants, which have been closing as the nation moves away from fossil fuel sources, could become sites for nuclear reactors. That would provide benefits for places like her home state, which has produced coal and relied on it as fuel for power generators. “Ultimately, you get to a point where you need something that’s not weather dependent, something like nuclear to make the grid reliable,” said John Kotek, who ran the Office of Nuclear Energy during the Obama administration and is now vice president for policy at the Nuclear Energy Institute, a trade association. “There are other technologies that are candidates to play that role, but if you look at what is available today across the widest scale, that’s nuclear energy.” The rising costs of other sources of power have made nuclear energy more competitive around the world, including in the United States, which has the largest fleet of nuclear plants of any country. They produce about 20 percent of the nation’s electricity and 50 percent of the clean energy. The United States maintains 92 reactors, though a dozen have closed over the last decade — including, a month ago, the Palisades Nuclear Generating Station in Michigan, about 55 miles southwest of Grand Rapids. The owner, Entergy, decided to shut the plant after a power-purchase agreement with a utility expired. Entergy said it could not find buyers for the plant, and decommissioning has gone too far to bring it back online, even with the money from the federal government. Diablo Canyon is next on the decommissioning list, but Gov. Gavin Newsom has proposed extending its life. The plant, on California’s central coast, supplies almost 10 percent of the state’s electricity. Pacific Gas & Electric, which owns the plant, announced in 2016 that it planned to close it when its licenses expired, saying it would focus more on solar and wind power as renewable energy sources. > Read the full article > Read report by Stanford, MIT and LucidCatalyst that provides research and analysis for supporting Diablo Canyon to remain open Justin Aborn, a Senior Consultant at LucidCatalyst, LLC, performed the analysis in and wrote Chapters 3 and 4 of the report.
World Utilities Congress 2022
Conference on 9-11 May 2022
Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates Kirsty Gogan and Eric Ingersoll, Co-founders and Managing Directors at LucidCatalyst, participated in the World Utilities Congress in Abu Dhabi (UAE). The conference programme will enable the global utilities industry to share insights and strategies as companies worldwide implement proactive measures to digitalise their power and water systems, control emissions and attract long-term capital investments. On Day 1 of the conference, Kirsty Gogan moderated the global leadership panel: Masterclass: Successful delivery of a nuclear new build megaproject When it launched its peaceful nuclear energy program, the UAE was the first in 27 years to join the global nuclear industry. The Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant has broken the mould for the successful construction and delivery of nuclear projects worldwide by delivering in one of the shortest timeframes globally, in accordance with the highest standards of quality and safety. What are the keys to successfully delivering a highly complex nuclear energy plant megaproject? How can other nations around the world duplicate this blueprint for success and decarbonize their energy sectors using nuclear energy? On Day 2, Kirsty Gogan was a speaker on the panel: The latest innovations and advances within the nuclear sector – what does the future hold? Research capability and technical expertise in nuclear science are needed to maintain a high-level performance and support innovation to develop future-generation nuclear technology. Dozens of nuclear companies are designing advanced reactors that will reshape how we think about nuclear energy and improve deployment timelines. What are the recent R&D advances in the nuclear industry? What R&D investments are needed to field a new generation of nuclear energy technologies? Can SMRs increase access to nuclear energy in new and developing markets? What does it take for R&D technologies to be commercialised? How can the nuclear industry support the production of clean hydrogen? > Visit conference website
A longer life for Diablo Canyon? Newsom touts nuke extension
By MICHAEL R. BLOOD April 29, 2022 LOS ANGELES (AP) — Facing possible electricity shortages, California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday raised the possibility that the state’s sole remaining nuclear power plant might continue operating beyond a planned closing by 2025, an idea that could revive a decades-old fight over earthquake safety at the site. ... Newsom’s idea was welcomed by the American Nuclear Society, which represents professionals in nuclear science and technology. Diablo Canyon “has an essential role to play in California’s clean and secure energy future,” the group said. Research from scientists at Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology [and LucidCatalyst] has concluded that delaying Diablo Canyon’s retirement to 2035 would save California $2.6 billion in power system costs, reduce the chances of brownouts and lower carbon emissions. When the research was presented in November, former U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said the nation is not positioned in the near-term to go to 100% renewable energy. ... > Read full article > Read report by Stanford, MIT and LucidCatalyst that provides research and analysis for supporting Diablo Canyon to remain open Justin Aborn, a Senior Consultant at LucidCatalyst, LLC, performed the analysis in and wrote Chapters 3 and 4 of the report.
California promised to close its last nuclear plant. Now Newsom is reconsidering
BY SAMMY ROTH Los Angeles Times April 29, 2022 With the threat of power shortages looming and the climate crisis worsening, Gov. Gavin Newsom may attempt to delay the long-planned closure of California’s largest electricity source: the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant. Newsom told the L.A. Times editorial board Thursday that the state would seek out a share of $6 billion in federal funds meant to rescue nuclear reactors facing closure, money the Biden administration announced this month. Diablo Canyon owner Pacific Gas & Electric is preparing to shutter the plant — which generated 6% of the state’s power last year — by 2025. “The requirement is by May 19 to submit an application, or you miss the opportunity to draw down any federal funds if you want to extend the life of that plant,” Newsom said. “We would be remiss not to put that on the table as an option.” ... Nuclear plants are America’s largest source of climate-friendly power, generating 19% of the country’s electricity last year. That’s almost as much as solar panels, wind turbines, hydropower dams and all other zero-carbon energy sources combined.
A recent UC Berkeley poll co-sponsored by The Times found that 44% of California voters support building more nuclear reactors in in the Golden State, with 37% opposed and 19% undecided — a significant change from the 1980s and 1990s. The poll also found that 39% of voters oppose shutting down Diablo Canyon, with 33% supporting closure and 28% unsure. Nuclear supporters say closing plants such as Diablo would make it far more difficult to achieve President Biden’s goal of 100% clean energy by 2035, and to mostly eliminate planet-warming emissions by midcentury — which is necessary to avert the worst impacts of climate change, including more dangerous heat waves, wildfires and floods, according to scientists. Nuclear plants can produce power around the clock. The stunning growth of lithium-ion battery storage has made it easier and cheaper for solar panels and wind turbines to do the same, but those renewables still play much less of a role when the sun isn’t shining and wind isn’t blowing, at least for now. The U.S. Commerce Department, meanwhile, is considering tariffs on imported solar panels , which could hinder construction of clean energy projects that California is counting on to avoid blackouts the next few summers, as Diablo and several gas-fired power plants shut down. Newsom said in a letter to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo this week that her department’s tariff inquiry has delayed at least 4,350 megawatts of solar-plus-storage projects — about twice the capacity of Diablo Canyon. The governor said he’s been thinking about keeping Diablo open longer since August 2020, when California’s main electric grid operator was forced to implement rolling blackouts during an intense heat wave. Temperatures stayed high after sundown, leaving the state without enough electricity to keep air conditioners humming after solar farms stopped producing. A few hundred thousand homes and businesses lost power over two evenings, none of them for longer than 2½ hours at a time, officials said. The state only narrowly avoided more power shortfalls during another heat storm a few weeks later, highlighting the fragility of an electric grid undergoing a rapid transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. Newsom spokesperson Anthony York said the governor’s decision to reconsider Diablo Canyon’s closure timeline was driven by projections of possible power shortages in the next few years. Those projections, he said, came from the California Independent System Operator, which oversees the electric grid for most of the state. ... Supporting nuclear is a key climate priority for the Biden administration. But federal officials hadn’t seemed optimistic PG&E would apply for a share of the Energy Department’s $6-billion nuclear bailout fund . During a visit to Southern California last week, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm told reporters she’s “not sure that the community [around] Diablo Canyon is on board yet.” > Read full article > Read report by Stanford, MIT and LucidCatalyst that provides research and analysis for supporting Diablo Canyon to remain open Justin Aborn, a Senior Consultant at LucidCatalyst, LLC, performed the analysis in and wrote Chapters 3 and 4 of the report.
Wars are dangerous, reactors much less so
Nuclear Newswire March 30, 2022 By Jacopo Buongiorno, Steven Nesbit, Malcolm Grimston, Lake Barrett, Matthew L. Wald, and Andrew Whittaker The authors of this article, experts in nuclear engineering, set the record straight and explain the risks of nuclear power plants in war zones, which is surprisingly small. "Nuclear reactors cannot 'explode' like a nuclear weapon, because of their fundamental differences in materials and designs." Furthermore, "nuclear power plants must, by law, be able to withstand a broad range of natural disasters, such as earthquakes, tornadoes, wildfires, and floods, as well as terrorist attacks. Ukraine’s nuclear power plants have multiple layers of protection." It is important to note that while "Civilian infrastructure isn’t built to withstand military assault. Nuclear power plants, however, are exceptionally hardened facilities, as we have seen. By comparison, other power plants, dams, ports, chemical plants, the food supply chain, long-span bridges, the electric grid, oil and gas pipelines, and the internet, just to mention a few, are much softer targets. An attack on these targets could inflict considerably greater suffering and disruption to the civilian population and the environment." > Read full article Note that two of this article's authors are advisors to LucidCatalyst: Jacopo Buongiorno (Director of Nuclear Engineering at MIT) and Andrew Whittaker (U Buffalo-expert in nuclear seismic isolation). About the authors Jacopo Buongiorno, Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Steven Nesbit, President, American Nuclear Society Malcolm Grimston, Honorary Senior Research Fellow, Imperial College Centre for Environmental Policy and Technology, London Lake Barrett, Nuclear Engineer and Independent Energy Consultant Matthew L. Wald, Energy Analyst and Consultant Andrew Whittaker, Professor of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, University at Buffalo
Designing the terawatt transition
Kirsty Gogan and Eric Ingersoll, Managing Directors at LucidCatalyst, examine the role the global shipbuilding industry could play in producing low-cost hydrogen as the world looks towards zero-carbon fuels. Lloyd's Register February 16, 2022 In November 2021, political leaders, investors and industry stakeholders gathered at COP26 in Glasgow with the same mission: to try and accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement. In other words, continue the search for zero-carbon alternatives to today’s fossil fuels. At TerraPraxis, we gathered key industry stakeholders , representing several trillion dollars in potential market demand, who revealed new near-term climate-scale strategies to compete on price and performance with fossils fuels. This then saw customers, investors and political leaders announce strategies to accelerate the affordable repowering of two Terawatts of coal and delivery of 100 million barrels per day of carbon neutral liquid fuels. These large-scale solutions repurpose trillions of dollars of existing infrastructure, known to supply reliable energy but without the emissions, and thus advance groundbreaking progress towards becoming net-zero by 2050. However, despite the progress already made in driving down emissions in the power sector, projections show that fossil fuels will continue to supply the bulk of global energy by mid-century, and coincides with the high-risk 4°C trajectory, in which substantial areas of the planet will become uninhabitable. Meanwhile, 840 million people have no access to electricity today, and nearly 3 billion people depend on inefficient and highly polluting cooking systems, resulting in nearly 4 million premature deaths each year, according to Sustainable Energy For All (2021). To address these multiple crises, the supply chain will require the extensive deployment of electrification, efficiency, renewables, and other clean technologies, and in turn need a significant growth in energy access in global mitigation strategies. Nuclear energy has been identified as being a necessary component of climate mitigation roadmaps by international institutions, such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, International Energy Agency and European Commission, but has also been dismissed as being too expensive and slow. While, nuclear power has its benefits and drawbacks, there is much we can learn from the renewables industry and its success as a template for broader and deeper emissions reductions. And there is the potential to transform today’s costly and cumbersome projects to modernised, manufactured products using nuclear technology which can be achieved by looking to other large-scale, high-productivity industries, such as shipping and aviation where innovative delivery models for “designed-for-purpose” facilities built by shipyards can quickly achieve significantly lower costs and large-scale deployment of clean technologies. In this article, we look at the Terawatt-scale opportunity for advanced reactors, also referred to as ‘advanced heat sources’, which can contribute towards very low cost hydrogen and synthetic fuels production to address hard-to-abate sectors, including aviation and shipping, as well as the cement production industry. ... > Read full article