CO2 Smart Grid
A collective of 22 investing partners is working on the world’s first-ever CO2 smart grid.
OpportunityCO2 is at the core of our climate problems. Can we turn it into something useful?
The large amount of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere as a result of human activity is causing climate change. These emissions are threatening our quality of life and our security, as well as that of future generations. This has been endorsed by national governments and international authorities, for example during the COP21 climate conference in Paris. Commitments were made there to significantly reduce emissions. In the Netherlands, for example, the objective is a 85-95 percent reduction by the year 2050.
The big question is: How?
Clearly, we need to reduce the amount of CO2 we emit, for example by investing in clean energy generation and industry. However, that transition is going to take a while, certainly in sectors like the steel industry. The good news is that we can store CO2 (that’s called CCS) and we can even put it to good use (called CCU). In order to make that a reality, we have joined forces with 22 partners to create the CO2 Smart Grid!
We were inspired by the following examples of CO2 as raw material:
There are many ways to use CO2 in the production of construction materials. Preferably this would involve binding it to the materials, then it can be stored for the long-term. Ruwbouwgroep in Harderwijk is a company that does just that. Their Compensatiesteen bricks consist for 25% of bound CO2!Website Ruwbouwgroep
CO2 is already an essential ingredient in many chemical processes. At Covestro in Germany, for example, they are even replacing crude oil with CO2 as a raw ingredient in the production of mattresses.Website Covestro
The world of fuels is a potentially huge market for recycled carbon. For example, by increasing the efficacy of photosynthesis using bacteria, efforts are underway to create (substitutes for) kerosene, ethanol and diesel. A very broad and interesting development!Must read
A more concrete application is the use of CO2 in the food industry. For instance, the Dutch company OCAP is currently pumping huge amounts of CO2 (0.6 megatons annually) into greenhouses as a fertilizer. It enhances the plants’ photosynthesis and prevents the need to use natural gas!Website OCAP
We will accelerate this development in the Netherlands!
The western region of the Netherlands offers the perfect opportunity to start this transformation. Multiple large industrial plants produce CO2 that can be captured. Large quantities of CO2 are already being supplied to clusters of greenhouse horticulture enterprises through underground structures. That infrastructure can be efficiently expanded and extended to include storage and buffers. The proximity of Europe’s largest and fourth largest sea ports, the rapidly expanding spectrum of CO2 applications (horticulture, biochemistry, construction materials) and the right public context all combine to create the perfect momentum for the world’s first-ever CO2 Smart Grid.
In order to capture as much CO2 as possible to prevent it from ending up in the atmosphere. And at the same time to take steps towards a circular economy.