Decarbonizing Coal to Secure a Sustainable Energy Future

EDGE, Technology

The global energy transition is perhaps the biggest challenge of our era, but Oceanit is actively working on developing technologies to decarbonize current energy production methods. These technologies give us the time needed to forge a path to sustainable and renewable energies.

Our planet, Earth, is currently home to nearly 8 billion people. This population, which has increased from 7 billion in just 12 years, is on its upward trajectory. Estimates suggest that over the next 50 years, an additional 3 billion humans will call Earth their home. With this rise in the human population comes increased demands for life-sustaining resources such as food production, shelter, transportation, and more. All these necessities share a common requirement: a matching increase in the energy supply.

In an ideal Earth, our energy demands would be met entirely through clean, sustainable, and renewable resources. Society would harness energy from wind turbines, solar panels, geothermal power, and hydroelectric dams, transitioned away from fossil fuels. Climate-conscious officials, like those recently elected in Brazil and Australia, would have prioritized environmental concerns on a global scale.

However, the transition to cleaner energy has encountered unexpected setbacks in recent years, hampering efforts to create a cleaner environment. In fact, global coal power generation reached a twenty-year high in 2021, primarily driven by emerging economies and nations, as well as by armed conflicts in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. These trends indicate that coal consumption will continue to grow in the coming years, despite widespread knowledge of its harmful environmental impacts.

In 2015, countries convened at the Paris Accords to limit global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius this century, with an ideal maximum target of no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius. However, at the global climate summit COP26 in 2021, China and India refused to phase out coal usage. The consequences of this decision alone could result in a global temperature increase of  2.4-degree Celsius throughout the century, according to the Climate Action Tracker.

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