GREAT YARMOUTH, ENGLAND - JULY 19: The sun starts to rise behind Britain's largest offshore wind ... [+] farm off the Great Yarmouth coastline on July 19, 2006 in Norfolk, England. The 30 turbines cost GBP75million and can generate enough power for 41,000 homes are seen by supporters as a clean and green way to generate electricity and a way of cutting down on harmful green house gas emmissions. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)Getty Images
There are several key trends in cleantech innovation that made noteworthy headway in 2022. Collectively, they symbolise significant progress towards the largest industrial revolution the world has ever seen; the green industrial revolution which is increasingly becoming the hallmark of life, business, and invation in the 2020s. Transitioning to renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind, and hydroelectric power, made significant headway in 2022 towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels. These technologies are becoming increasingly cost-effective and are a key part of the solution to climate change. Renewables are the cheapest source of new power generation in nearly all markets globally, according to an S&P report. Cost of renewables continues to decline rapidly due to technological progress and government policy change catalysing new investment into renewables, which, in turn, has led to further price drops. The maturation of renewable technologies in recent years, combined with the high volatility of fossil fuel prices have increased the value of clean energy sources which create predictability in energy supplies.
In 2021, the world's largest 50 MW floating offshore wind project was commissioned off the coast of Scotland. The further commercialisation of floating offshore wind is expected to become a new game changer in the renewable energy dynamic. The first large-scale commercial auctions emerged in France and the UK this year. Green hydrogen is given the green light
Green hydrogen production scaled up significantly in 2022. Projects accounting for almost 250 GW of electrolysis capacity were proposed in 2021 compared to 70 GW in 2020 and less than 15 GW in 2019, according to the IHS Markit P2X tracker. S&P anticipates that additional manufacturing capacity will be committed in 2023 and the electrolysis pipeline will begin to mature. Over the long-term, green hydrogen could account for as much as 20% of renewable capacity globally. The Carbon Capture and Utilisation Sector (CCUS) gains traction
Carbon capture and storage: Carbon capture and storage (CCS) refers to technologies that capture carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from power plants, industrial processes, and other sources and store them underground or in other long-term storage solutions. CCS can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the impacts of climate change.
The pipeline for large-scale CCUS projects grew by 26% in 2021, with financing coming from governments as well as the private sector. CCUS could be a key technology for the decarbonisation of industries such as cement and steel. North America and Europe currently lead the CCUS market, and countries with high net-zero targets, high emissions and an understanding of storage capacity are expected to continue to develop new CCUS capacity.
Wind technology innovation evolves with larger turbines and recyclable materials
Although supply chain issues continue to plague the wind turbine market, manufacturers have invested in R&D to scale wind turbine development. As a result, the capacity of wind turbine technology has dramatically increased, from on and offshore turbines scaling up by nearly 50% in 2021 to reach 7MW and 15 MW compared to available capacity in 2018.
In 2022, manufacturers increasingly focused on minimising waste and improving recyclability of turbine blades. This follows legislation from key markets including the Netherlands and Germany banning landfill of turbine blades and France introducing requirements for recyclability in offshore tenders. This trend towards manufacturing recyclable wind turbines is expected to continue in coming years.