Welcome to a carbon-free world: Power-to-X unlocks enormous environmental and business potential
The world is striving for solutions to mitigate global warming. Using renewable energy from the power sector to reduce emissions across all sectors is the key to decarbonizing the world economy and opens up entirely new business models for energy providers.
By Marc Engelhardt
The climate crisis is palpable. Political pressure to decarbonize continues to mount in industrialized countries and curbing the greenhouse effect has become a decisive factor for energy policies worldwide. The 2015 Paris Agreement that requires net zero emissions by 2030 to 2050 has been signed by 174 countries, and already the share of electricity from renewable sources has increased to 25 percent around the globe. But the question remains: How can we reduce the 60 percent of carbon emissions outside the power sector?
Pathways to a carbon-free world
The answer to this question is Power-to-X. It allows for the conversion of renewable energy into green e-Hydrogen or synthetic e-Fuels, making it possible to couple and power other sectors like industry, heating and mobility with a sustainable energy supply. Power-to-X unlocks enormous environmental and business potential. Green e-Hydrogen can be used to provide heat to industrial or residential applications or to power vehicles that run on fuel cells. And it can be re-electrified as needed when there is a lack of renewable power in the grid, thus using the gas grid as a giant long-term storage battery.
E-Hydrogen is also the basis for further syntheses into carbon-free e-Ammonia and - by re-using CO2 - into carbon-neutral e-Hydrocarbons or e-Methanol, helping to decarbonize the entire economy. Trucks and ships will run on e-Fuels, and even planes will be powered with e-Jet Fuel. E-Ammonia is feedstock for fertilizers, e-Methanol a widely used base chemical as well. And because Power-to-X can use the existing structure for fossil fuels with hardly any adaptations, the sheer speed of change is unprecedented.
The crucial business of deep decarbonization
Power-to-X is integral to being successful in the new energy landscape. Use cases for industry and utilities are manifold, and package solutions offered by Siemens Energy make it easy for everyone to realize the full potential. If you want to know how deep decarbonization works in detail – which opportunities e-Fuels offer, and how they can be realized, and most of all: what is in it for you – then the Siemens Energy white paper on Power-to-X is a must-read.
Aug 13, 2019
Marc Engelhardt is an independent journalist based in Geneva, Switzerland
Combined picture and video credits: Getty images, independent Medien-Design