The Need for Speed: Increasing the Pace of Technology Development to combat Climate Change

Exergy's applies novel approaches to technology scaling challenges. Positioned as a bridge between industry needs and technology developers, we design, build, and deploy faster.

The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres opened COP26 this month once said, “we are in a race against time to adapt to a rapidly changing climate.” While the sweeping changes across business and society required to meet a 1.5 degree Celsius target are broadly recognized, one massive opportunity is the development and deployment of new technologies to support industrial decarbonization efforts. Industries such as cement, oil and gas, steel, and mining account for more than 25 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions through the consumption of fossil fuel energy or process-specific emissions and more than half of the technologies necessary to reduce their emissions have not been developed or commercialized yet.

GHG reductions from energy efficiency, digitization, and electrification are broadly understood and seem to be the go-to when discussing how we limit emissions. However, pathways for deep reductions in industrial operations are less clear and often require completely new processes and technologies.

Although technologies for such as hydrogen, carbon capture, biofuels, industrial electrification, or geothermal do exist today, cost and long lead times - often decades long – can be huge barriers. So, how do we get these technologies in play faster and cost effectively typical timeframes for developing these types of technologies are decades and we no longer have the luxury of time. This “need for speed” means a new way of technology development

Scaling quicker to fail fast

A new technology may show promise at early stage development, but, there can be a host of scaling challenges moving from bench to field. The ability to ramp up quickly, enables them to fail fast, and work through issues faster too. Scaling up faster also enables the consideration of unknowns like required ancillary equipment for larger-scale deployment, which can kill the economics of a project. Quick iterations and redesigns can provide technology providers a competitive advantage.

Enabling speed in innovation is why Exergy was created. We apply novel approaches to technology scaling challenges. Positioned as a bridge between industry needs and technology developers, we design, build, and deploy faster. We do this through our unique combination of agile engineering for rapid design feedback, additive manufacturing for onsite novel design solutions, and 3D digital solutions for design and field deployment. We’re highly collaborative with our clients and provide creative solutions at every stage.

Industry needs new ideas and approaches when net zero commitments must be backed with nearer-term action. Charting new pathways with industry, identifying new technology options, and working directly with technology providers to scale more quickly, Exergy is designing and building the future of energy in Canada and abroad.

Matt McCulloch is Exergy's VP of New Energy Technologies.

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