No single technology will be a “silver bullet” for meeting global carbon emissions targets — a diverse mix of technologies will be needed to achieve these ambitious goals. What will the future technology mix look like? That will depend on the pace of innovation and subsequent cost improvements for each respective technology.
- Capital cost trends for key technologies can be estimated using Wright’s Law, a framework for forecasting cost declines as a function of cumulative production. Figure 1, which has been converted to a logarithmic scale, shows the forecast learning curves for key energy technologies out to 2030.
- Innovation happens through trial and error, with increased growth leading to more opportunities for innovation. Solar photovoltaic (PV) and electric vehicles (EVs) have grown exponentially and have realized the greatest cost declines. With a bullish outlook on solar PV investment and global EV adoption, this trend is expected to continue.
- Green hydrogen production has seen significant cost declines as projects move from the pilot stage to commercialization. Installed costs for alkaline (ALK) and proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyzers should continue to decline, thanks to government policy incentivizing investment. Economies of scale are also expected to be realized as project capacities get larger over time.
Highlights from Energy Transition Research
- AAPG CCUS Conference Themes – Members from our Energy Transition Research (ETR) team attended and presented at the AAPG CCUS Conference in Houston in late April. Key themes centered around technical evaluation and reservoir modeling of carbon storage reservoirs and plume migration, as well as regulation and permitting of Class VI injection wells.
- EVOLVE 2023 – KEYNOTE: The Business of CCUS – Heather Leahey sits down with Basak Kurtoglu, Ash Shepherd and Frederick Eames to discuss the business of CCUS.
- EVOLVE 2023 – Emission Impossible: How Direct Emission Monitoring Will Impact Energy Operations – Industry and regulators both plan on reducing Scope 1 emissions across the oil and gas value chain, which is fairly straightforward with flaring and combustion, but requires more challenging measuring for venting. This presentation examines technologies that will help change that and make effective emission quantification and monitoring possible. We also look at the impact of upcoming regulations on the industry.
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