Investing in cleantech is a matter of urgency for net zero, says experts
Climate technology experts have challenged governments and enterprises to scale-up and commercialise sustainable technologies to help the world meet its net zero goals.
Speaking at a panel today at the Tech EU Summit in Brussels, clean energy and technology experts Ann Mettler, vice president for Europe Breakthrough Energy; Arnaud Castaignet, vice president of government affairs and public relations at Skeleton Technologies; and Jake Oster, director of energy end environment policy, EMEA, at AWS weighed in on the importance of scaling up clean technologies to reign in the climate crisis.
“We will not be able to address climate change unless we scale and commercialise some of these technologies that are needed to replace fossil energy,” urged Mettler.
With goals set to reach net zero as early as 2030 to 2035, Castaignet enforced that these deadlines are “literally tomorrow, and we do not have the manufacturing capacity and technologies in Europe to be able to reach those goals.”
“We know what technologies we need to achieve net zero. We need batteries, we need electrolysers, and we need fuel cells,” said Castaignet. But, “if we do not manufacture at a much bigger scale then we will not reach our climate goals.”
“We know what challenges we need to tackle, and we need to tackle them extremely fast, and there is no miracle if we cannot invest,” insisted Castaignet.
Joining in on the conversation, AWS’s Jake Oster said that Amazon is the “world’s largest corporate renewable energy purchase today.”
“We have more than 400 renewable energy projects,” he said. To scale these up sustainably, it started “looking at the AWS Cloud, and we looked at the analogy and digitalisation and we built something we call renewable energy optimisation.”
The solutions enables AWS to monitor the data from its global wind and solar projects in real-time, and allow for much more efficient troubleshooting of its renewable power plants and thus with the energy and climate crisis.
Outside of AWS, Oster also noted how automating and digitalising workflows within renewable energy projects can speed up the timelines of implementing and scaling renewable energy projects, too.
For Mettler, the top priority this year is to stop being so dependent on natural gas and to invest more in cleaner energy solutions powered by technology.
“Yes, we’re facing a climate crisis, but we also have a war on our doorstep,” underlined Mettler. “We have become big victims of weaponised energy and natural gas in particular,” she added.
“Did you know that since the beginning of the war [Europe] subsidised the use of fossil fuel energy to the tune of €800 billion?” Mettler pointed out. “If only a fraction of that could have gone into these new emerging technologies, we would be so much better off today for climate, for industrial competitiveness, and for our own sovereignty and security.”
Speaking at the same conference, Matthieu de Lophen, founding partner of energy investment firm Nuketech, emphasised that for a more efficient scale-up of nuclear power plants, more investment needs to be done in digital technologies. “80% of the cost of nuclear power plants is in the construction, and that could be improved with digital technologies,” he said.
“Digital technologies could make construction better, faster, and more efficient,” Lophen stressed.
For more information on technologies that are available today to help measure and reduce your firm’s carbon footprint check out our Green Enterprise Technology report.
Subscribe to our Editor's weekly newsletter