The journey to a net-zero emissions world and beyond is not as simple as picking an end-point. First, elimination of emissions is not the only constraint the world needs to deal with. Even with energy efficiency improvements, the global appetite for energy promises to continue to grow rapidly.
Regardless of switching to zero emission electric power generation, and switching personal vehicles to electric equivalents, there are many industrial emission sources that will continue to emit for decades. In many cases next-generation non-emitting processes are still experimental or very expensive, so the legacy production methods will continue to be built.
At least part of the journey to zero will require technology that can “bolt-on” to these legacy processes. On top of that, it is virtually assured that global emissions will over-shoot the carrying capacity for a 2 C target. This will require reaching for a net-negative emissions world to return to a sustainable set of conditions.
This discussion will outline the following concepts for a curious but non-expert audience:
• CO2 Capture
• Geological storage
• CO2 utilization
• CO2 utilization – Conversion
• Direct Air Capture
• Integrated systems approaches