Using fossil fuels has major drawbacks in addition to their combustion emitting greenhouse gases. A considerable portion of the energy produced goes to waste, mostly heat in combustion processes, power plants, and due to high-temperatures.

Specialist consultancy Capgemini recently produced its report ‘Investments in next-generation clean technologies. 55 Tech Quests to accelerate Europe’s recovery and pave the way to climate neutrality.’ in which they identify 55 actionable recommendations around the solutions and projects that can be scaled up to help meet net-zero targets, from new generation solar modules and bifacial solar panels to large-scale hydrogen production and combined solar generation, energy storage, and grids.

Solar takes center stage

Solar technologies took center stage in the report when it came to energy generation, with Capgemini identifying the need for giga-scale manufacturing of new solar modules and increased use of bifacial panels to improve efficiency. This appears to be confirmed by the International Energy Agency’s recent ‘World Energy Outlook’ report in which they place solar energy as the ‘new king’ of the energy sector. They estimate that globally, annual additions of the technology are set to almost triple by 2030 from today’s levels, setting new records for deployment each year after 2022.

Floating offshore wind as a solution

Offshore floating wind was also identified as a technology quest, with a need to “unlock” 80% of Europe’s offshore wind potential through a rapid scale-up of new generation floating wind structures. In the UK there is a growing push in the sector, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently increasing the country’s target to 40GW of offshore wind by 2030. To reach this he has committed £160 million of funding to develop the supply chain, with a particular focus on floating wind.

Heat Pumps are a hot recommendation

The Capgemini report highlighted heat pumps as a technology quest in their own right, with Capgemini identifying the need to multiply the number of installed heat pumps, betting on synergies with the EV industry to launch low-cost heat pump factories. 

Storing energy is important

Energy storage was also identified as its own separate technology, with a need to develop viable short to long duration storage alternatives to lithium-ion batteries, which the report suggests may not be the go-to choice for stationary storage for environmental and economic reasons.

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