INNOVATION DRIVERS
CLIMATE CHANGE

Impacts are here already: melting of glaciers, reduced crop yields, alteration of ecosystems and increased prevalence of severe floods and droughts.

CLIMATE CHANGE

Global warming and associated climate changes are among the greatest challenges of our time.

Responding to this challenge requires both mitigation measures that reduce global emissions of GHGs and adaptation measures that increase climate change resilience.

The development and adoption of new technology are cornerstones in national plans for addressing climate change. For mitigation, particular emphasis is put on

  • escalating renewable power generation,
  • boosting the adoption of energy efficiency measures, and
  • developing ways to reduce GHG emissions from continued consumption of fossil fuels.

 Adaptation requires technologies that enhance the resilience of assets and infrastructure, while information and communication technology will be essential in shaping a society in which a more sustainable consumption of resources is a central tenet.

= ADAPTATION = MITIGATION = SOCIETAL CHANGES

GRID RESILIENCE

Grid resiliency programmes aim primarily at mitigating weather-related outages across grids. Innovative grid configurations are explored where cascading failures are delimited by fault isolation, distributed generation and so-called intentional islanding of critical customers. In addition the vulnerability of electrical components against extreme weather is mitigated by so-called grid hardening, such as upgrading of poles and cabling of lines.

Innovative grid configurations will explore distributed generation, fault isolation to delimit cascading failures, and intentional islanding of critical customers

COASTAL PROTECTION

Exposure to increasingly extreme weather and to progressive sea level rise will create a need for retrofitting some coastal infrastructures. This can be achieved by lifting exposed infrastructure components to higher levels, and by introducing flood protection measures such as walls and removable perimeters, or, for metro systems, by installing novel inflatable bags in tunnels to segment metro lines and prevent further flooding.

SHARING ECONOMY MODELS

Various technological, economic and social forces are driving a major trend to introduce business models and market places for asset sharing that provide consumers with on-demand access to products, services, and resources without the burdens of ownership. The growth in innovative sharing models is disrupting established sectors as diverse as transportation, travel, buildings, tools, and farming (e.g., Airbnb, Cleanweb and Uber).

The sharing economy model will expand, providing consumers with on-demand access to products, services, and resources without the burdens of ownership

URBAN INFRASTRUCTURE RESILIENCE

Urban infrastructure refers to the physical, social and governance structures needed to operate cities. This includes infrastructure for energy, mobility, telecommunication, water, sanitation and waste management. The complexity and interdependence of these structures require governance that is based on a systems view, and innovative uses of technology are necessary to boost resilience and reduce vulnerability to climate change.

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THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY

Escalating overconsumption of our planet’s resources is triggering a movement to create a circular economy where product manufacturing is based on ‘cradle to cradle’ principles, rather than linear ‘cradle-to-grave’. A circular economy is expected to spur innovations within materials, manufacturing and recycling, as well as a range of new business concepts for the reuse, repair, remanufacturing and technological upgrading of goods and components.

EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS

Satellites and remote sensing tools are increasingly being used for emergency preparedness, for instance the prediction of cyclone tracks and intensity. Remote sensing can also monitor the status of potential emergency situations, like landslide-susceptible locations. Effective deployment of these technologies for emergency preparedness will often require efficient dissemination of actionable outputs to multiple public authorities.

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LOW CARBON CITIES

Urban areas account for about 70% of global energy use and energy-related GHG emissions. Measures such as water saving and recycling programmes, energy efficiency standards for buildings, creating low carbon public transport systems, and securing a low carbon energy supply are all within the influence of cities. Cities can also stimulate climate friendly behaviour by making climate actions visible to citizens, for instance through social media.

RENEWABLE ENERGY

A great deal of technological development is focused on boosting the output from renewable energy sources. Efforts within wind and solar PV generally focus on enhancing efficiency and reducing cost, whereas novel concepts for wave, tidal and geothermal energy are more concerned with demonstrating reliability and commercial viability. The fluctuating nature of the power output from renewable sources also requires innovation within power grid design and management.

The sharing economy model will expand, providing consumers with on-demand access to products, services, and resources without the burdens of ownership

FUEL SWITCH

The quest to reduce the carbon intensity of the transport sector is causing a rising demand for low carbon engine technologies: gas engines are replacing diesel engines onboard ships; land, sea and road transport are increasingly using biofuel blends; ever more cars and ships are being built with electric or hybrid electric engines; automotive manufacturers are introducing cars with hydrogen fuel cells for light and heavy road transport.

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CARBON CAPTURE UTILIZATION AND STORAGE (CCUS)

CCUS is a key technology for reducing CO2 emissions from large point sources. While the technology per se is already technically proven at scale, the level of deployment is still low. Technology innovation efforts today are primarily targeted at lowering the price of CO2 capture, and demonstrating the reliability of CO2 geological storage and CO2 enhanced oil recovery as mechanisms for long term isolation of CO2 in the subsurface.

FUEL EFFICIENCY

All industries in the transport sector have targets for fuel efficiency improvement. This, along with the impetus to reduce costs is driving an aggressive implementation of energy efficiency measures. These include new engine technologies, enhanced hydrodynamic or aerodynamic design, and electronic systems to monitor fuel consumption and automate fuel consumption reduction measures, such as the automatic stop of idling engines.

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Aggressive energy efficiency measures will include new engine technologies, enhanced hydrodynamic or aerodynamic design, and electronic systems to monitor fuel consumption

How will climate change impact your assets and infrastructure? Explore DNV GL's Climate Change research programme

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