Could Methanol Become an Important Fuel for Energy and Mobility?


Louis Brasington
With a global demand of more than 80 million metric tons and a growth rate of 5.4%, methanol is gaining acceptance. The market is projected to be worth $54 billion by 2021. Its uses vary greatly – from adhesives and PET bottles to fleece jackets, packaging, paints and solvents. A key application is the energy market. China alone, as the largest producer and consumer, accounts for 54% of world demand. Alongside oil, gas and hydrogen, methanol is an important fuel... Read More »

2019 Energy Trends: Answers from Cleantech Innovation Leaders


Louis Brasington
At the 2019 Cleantech Forum San Francisco, we launched this year's Global Cleantech 100 Report; an assessment of the companies most likely to make a significant market impact within the next five to ten years. Forty companies in the Energy & Power sector featured on the list. And, last year investment into this sector reached $3.4 billion across 378 equity deals, $900 million more than 2017. We sat down with two of the 2019 Global Cleantech 100 companies, GreenSync and... Read More »

The Role of Green Hydrogen in Global Decarbonization


Louis Brasington
There are over 60 million tons of hydrogen produced annually, worth almost $100 billion dollars. Today, 80% of the hydrogen we produce is for three main industries: refineries, ammonia production or metal processing. Hydrogen also has the potential to be used as fuel for power and transportation. It generates zero emissions at point of use and can be produced from low-carbon electricity or from carbon-abated fossil fuels. The annual demand for hydrogen could increase tenfold by 2050 – from 8 EJ... Read More »

Virtual Reality Meets Industrial Innovation: How Technology Can Aid Creativity


Louis Brasington
Entertainment has been one of the drivers of Virtual Reality (VR) systems with popular systems from Oculus, HTV Vive and Sony’s PlayStation VR system. Commercial applications are taking the next step, Mixed Reality (XR), overlaying graphics on top of the real world led by companies like Magic Leap and Microsoft’s HoloLens. As an enabling technology, VR/XR has the potential to touch many facets of the industries we cover, including Industrial Design, Data Modelling and Visualization. To date, problems with display... Read More »

Battery Technology Show Recap: Emerging Battery Technology


Louis Brasington
Contributions from: Pirmin Ulmann, co-founder and CEO at b-science.net Last month, I was fortunate enough moderate a session at the Battery Technology Show in London. Here are takeaways from that session as well as some additional insight from our own research. Delegates from across the battery industrial supply chain participated in discussions around the technologies and business model innovations that could disrupt their markets in the next few years. Speakers included topic experts like Billy Wu, a senior lecturer at... Read More »

Are We Overdue a Building Construction Revolution?


Louis Brasington
While global labor productivity has risen by 2.8% in the past 20 years, productivity in construction reportedly has only increased by 1%, and compared to the 3.6% increase for manufacturing, is actually in decline (see Figure 1). If the construction industry could close that gap to match the global economic average, the industry's value could increase by $1.6 trillion, boosting global GDP by 2%. However, the construction industry is extensively regulated, risk averse and hard to navigate for new players.... Read More »

Infinite Drivetime: Talking Solar Cars With Lightyear


Louis Brasington
Solar-powered cars have been mostly experimental vehicles trying to break records at competitions like the World Solar Challenge in Australia. On the commercial side, the efforts have tended toward Solar Assisted Electric Vehicles (SAEVs). These vehicles have proven impractical and expensive, providing nothing more than small incremental gains to mileage. Ford and Toyota have had shots at products and to date, no system has managed to gain traction. With the coming of low cost-efficient solar cells alongside the transformation of... Read More »

European Utilities Support UN Development Goals


Louis Brasington
Last month, the United National delegates came together in New York, assessing the progress for their Sustainable Development Goals. The focus this year was on how nations can provide access to affordable and reliable energy, water, and safe and resilient cities. The meeting marked three years since the UN committed to reaching universal access to affordable and clean energy by 2030. Large energy corporates have been actively involved in the push across the globe, deploying decentralized energy systems through partnering... Read More »

Power to the People: Remote Microgrids Across Southeast Asia


Louis Brasington
Across the world around 1.3 billion people still have no access to electricity, and 87% of these people live in rural areas where extension of the grid is impracticable. Microgrids can help to provide electrification, as well as stability and resiliency to these areas, ultimately helping to pull a large portion of society out of energy poverty. [caption id="attachment_18557" align="alignright" width="395"] Active partners of the REIDS microgrid project.[/caption] One of the regions that has transformed in the past years is... Read More »

Strength in Numbers: Long Term Solutions for CO2 Reuse


Louis Brasington
Industrial clusters are geographic concentrations of interconnected companies, benefiting from shared infrastructure. For CO2 reuse, this creates a wider set of opportunities to connect elements along the carbon, capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) value chain. Standalone projects have been challenged by having to finance all the related infrastructure costs. One example is the first commercial-scale CCUS project at Boundary Dam which captures 1 million tons per year of CO2 from SaskPower's coal-fired power for use in enhanced oil recovery (EOR).... Read More »