What Role does Innovation Play in Climate Transformation?
June 3, 2021
“Climate targets alone will not achieve climate protection. We do not have a knowledge problem, but an implementation problem”. This is what Prof. Claudia Kemfert, environmental expert and energy economist, declared on 19th May. She is referring to the International Energy Agency’s call for an immediate end to the oil era and a fundamental change in global energy production to protect our climate. In other words, we would need a climate transformation.
Energy transition – How to accelerate climate transformation?
It is by no means a secret that the energy transition is one of the key responses to climate change. Fossil fuels continue to play a highly critical role in climate protection and climate change. As long societies rely on an extensive use of oil and coal, it is almost impossible to counteract the recent climate developments and achieve positive effects in climate protection. The largest share of greenhouse gas emissions is energy-related. In Germany, a total of 739 tonnes of CO2 are emitted per year. 85% of which is energy-related. Clearly, energy plays a central role in reducing emissions and implementing the climate transformation. For this, we need to switch off fossil energy sources and deploy renewable energy across the planet as soon as possible.
Companies play a key role when it comes to climate transformation, with more than 60% of global CO2 emissions generated in the economy. Today, companies know that they will not only face current market changes, but also future opportunities and risks. There is an opportunity today to invest in the future, to transform companies in an environmentally friendly way and at the same time to minimise risks from rising costs and regulations. Forward-thinking and responsible companies are taking the initiative to reduce their carbon footprint and implement their own climate transformation. As studies by BCG and MIT show: these companies are also more successful and supported by customers, investors and employees.
Transform business models to become more sustainable and resilient
Innovation to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals
According to the Global e-Sustainability Initiative, technology has the potential to contribute to all 17 goals of the SDGs. Technology and innovation have the power to implement climate transformation and can address the key challenges of climate change, thus making an important contribution to a regenerative future. In order to achieve the German climate targets, companies are called upon to intensify their efforts and promote innovations for climate protection more intensively than before.
Being climate neutral will be an essential part of any thriving product and service. Companies will integrate sustainability performance indicators in every process and purchasing decision. In order to become climate neutral, or even climate positive, a company will need to understand not only its own emissions, but also the climate impact of purchased goods through its suppliers. Measuring, offsetting and, above all, reducing emissions is essential for a company’s own climate transformation. Innovative climate solutions that support reducing CO2 are therefore the key to success.
Especially in sectors that are difficult to decarbonise and where so-called ‘quick wins’ are simply not enough, innovation and climate solutions play key roles. For example, one can use artificial intelligence to create forest inventories that support sustainable management. IoT is improving the data-driven decision-making needed to increase energy efficiency. In addition to what “green” technologies such as wind power and bioenergy can help reduce our dependence on coal-based electricity generation.
Innovation for more competitiveness
Innovations are not only of long-term importance to achieve climate goals and protect the environment, they are also profitable for companies in the short and medium term. While innovations increase a company’s competitiveness in the long term, they also bring short-term benefits, mostly in the form of cost savings on energy and materials. Consequently, transformation and innovation are key factors that empower companies to improve their environmental performance and thus further advance their sustainability trajectory.
The need to effectively reduce CO2 to improve climate performance
The good news is: there are numerous climate tech and green tech innovations that present concrete climate solutions. The next step is to implement them! Fortunately, some organisations or events such as the CLIMATE TRANSFORMATION Summit showcase some of them. In 2020, 500 participants and 50 speakers from the ClimateTech sector shared their best practices in measuring, reducing and offsetting CO2. 2021, participants have the chance to meet over 50 solution providers in person at an interactive online fair. From the energy sector, KraftBlock, TWAICE and node.energy, selected as SET Top 100 Start-ups of 2020, are part of the Summit 2020/2021. These pioneers provide innovative energy solutions for businesses and support their successful climate transformation.
Kraftblock, the storage-based sustainable energy system
Kraftblock’s mission is to develop a storage-based sustainable energy system. The company offers an environmentally friendly, cost-effective and scalable modular storage system for thermal energy and thus an essential pillar of the energy turnaround for the transition to renewable energies. Kraftblock’s energy storage system can decarbonise industries such as steel, glass or ceramics. It will even help renewable energies to achieve a breakthrough in industrial heating.
TWAICE, the predictive analytics software
TWAICE provides predictive analytics software that optimises the development and operation of lithium-ion batteries. The start-up combines deep battery knowledge and artificial intelligence to determine the condition and predict the ageing and performance of batteries. Through this technology, complex battery systems become more transparent, effective and reliable. TWAICE is helping to increase the longevity, efficiency and sustainability of the products that will drive the economy of tomorrow.
node.energy, the software for decentralized energy systems
The vision of node.energy is a world in which everyone can easily generate and share renewable energy to save costs and protect the climate. That is why node.energy has the mission to develop software and services that radically simplify the transition to sustainable energy solutions. More specifically, the company develops software solutions to facilitate the planning and management of decentralised energy systems for commercial and industrial properties. node.energy will be part of the Summit again in 2021, when it enters its second round.
Join the CLIMATE Community to make the difference!
In order to win the race against climate change and drive forward the energy transition, we must not only develop new climate solutions, but above all use those that already exist. However, it must also be taken into account that in addition to the energy sector, the areas of buildings, production, mobility, food, digital and environment are critical for every company when it comes to climate transformation and CO2 emissions. If we work in these 7 categories, we will be able to reduce 50% of emissions in the next 10 years, according to the Exponential Roadmap.
That is why SET is involved in the CLIMATE TRANSFORMATION Summit 2021! Together with 50 experts from the field and 50 Climate Champions, the Summit will provide innovative climate solutions a platform and discuss with all participants actions for the climate transformation of the economy. The summit connects climate solution providers and companies, as well as interested parties and experts. On 10 and 11 June 2021, we are all part of the solution, working to make the common goal of limiting global warming to well below 2°C a reality. A comprehensive climate transformation is the most promising strategy for the long-term success of any business and the whole society. Only by creating a clear path to solutions and emission savings, we can combine profitability and environmental protection in a future-oriented way. Let’s start it together!