The Energy Transition – Not beyond hope, no matter what our kids say.
A few years back, our now 20-something year old kids expressed a lack of hope for the planet. We were sitting around the dinner table, and my then 16 year old daughter responded to a discussion about yet another climate change disaster with, “...what’s the point of worrying about it anyway – the world is just going to blow up in the next fifty years.” Me and my husband Mike sat in stunned silence for a few seconds, at which point I asked our other kids, “do any of the rest of you feel that way?” My stepson weighed in...“absolutely...we don’t stand a chance.” The rest, (and there are six in all), nodded in agreement.
My mama-bear instincts kicked in – protect, explain, fix it. No way was I going to have my kids heading to bed feeling hopeless. Not to mention, no way was I going to sleep. Is this really the way they were feeling? Then and there, I decided that it was clearly time to start having these tough conversations more often, which was rather convenient. Working for a company that is making decarbonization their business could actually come in fairly useful in being able to relay some truths to them – relay to them, if at all possible, that there was hope, there is hope. Tremendous hope.
Enter CTI – Acceleware’s Clean Tech Inverter. Now I’m no scientist, nor am I an engineer – but Acceleware has plenty of those, some incredible expertise and talent, and having sat down with these people probably hundreds of times now, watching how hard they work, discussing research and development and testing that passed muster time and time again, I do have faith in them. Plenty of it, in fact. I mean we have three major oil sands partners supporting our clean heavy oil and oil sands production pilot out in Marwayne, AB at our RF XL commercial-scale pilot. Does anyone understand what a herculean feat getting that to happen was? Reams and reams of challenges, prove this, show that...provide massive amounts of detail about your ideas, prove them on paper, convince us. And we did. And government funding. $15.75 million, to be exact. That kind of money is not awarded lightly, certainly not to projects that don’t have a pretty darn solid chance of succeeding.
Just think about it.
And now – despite a technical issue that requires a bit of downtime, we have an incredible commercial-scale pilot of RF XL, and are closer than ever to showing the world that we can produce heavy oil or oil sands on intermittent electricity, with no water, no solvents, and at much lower cost. And almost zero carbon when produced with renewable power. Did I mention real zero carbon?
Now there’s some hope.
And while many (including my kids) have argued that there is no room in an energy transition for oil sands and heavy oil production – well – let’s just say that if you value the bike that you ride, the sunglasses you wear while cycling, the computer you’re using for climate change research, for that matter – then yes, there is room for heavy oil and oil production. That said, why not make it cleaner? Why not make it as clean as it can possibly be so that it can become a good part of the energy transition? And so yeah, there’s that. Why the heck not??
And then there’s our Clean Tech Inverter (CTI). Just officially announced in this news release, Acceleware Announces CTI Collaboration with Aurora Hydrogen, the CTI is basically a way to produce extremely clean and low cost heat for industrial use. We believe that this ‘heating engine’ could be used not only to produce an extremely efficient hydrogen pyrolysis reaction – which would be a massive win for the globe, but that it could be used to displace fossil fuel based crop/bulk solids dryers, and even highly economic and super clean commercial building heat. Anyone who knows anything about GHGs knows how high emitting those industries are...
Speaking of that, how much carbon do they emit? If you add up latest statistics – ones that I could dig up, anyway, these industries - commercial heating, industrial heat processes, transportation, heavy oil and oils sands production and crop/bulk solids drying account for an estimated 47 percent of global emissions. 47 percent!!
So, if our CTI could displace some of these old technologies, if people would just take the chance and go for it, imagine how hopeful a reality that could be.
Now that is encouraging. It’s real, we are working as hard as we possibly can, going as quickly as we can responsibly go, progressing technologies to change the world. To make it cleaner, better, and to make solutions available that will help everyone. An added bonus? Just think of all the clean tech energy jobs we are also creating for our kids. And yours.
Take that conversation to the table, kids. And while I’m at it, anyone reading this – please tell people to check us out. The more awareness there is, the more interest and support there is for transformative technologies like CTI, the sooner we can get going on really making strides in this Energy Transition thing.
If you’ve any questions on RF XL, please contact us. We plan to continue kicking butt.
Likewise on CTI.
Kate Tourigny is Vice President, Strategic Initiatives at Acceleware Ltd.
Kate is passionate about the near term development of clean and responsible energy, about making transformative change happen, about being in nature, about her family and friends, having big fun, and her dogs.