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  • Writer's pictureSarah Whiteford

Good News Monday! – BP’s low carbon program, saving whales, new drilling tech

Image Credit: bp

BP’s new program for low carbon investment is well underway. The Advancing Low Carbon (ALC) accreditation programme helps bring attention to efforts that are bringing bp and the world to net zero. Included in this umbrella are supporting global research initiatives with new technologies and start-ups as well as advanced fuels and lubricants with a lower carbon footprint.

All of the activities and investments are geared toward what bp calls a ‘better carbon outcome’. The accreditations are independently verified by Deloitte LLP.

“In all, we estimate that 64 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent have been saved or offset through activities delivered by bp, and 5.4 million tonnes through activities delivered by bp partners, since the programme began in 2017.”

The bp Advancing Low Carbon accreditation programme covers more than 76 projects, including:

  • Car batteries that charge in 5 minutes

  • Intelligent power supply systems

  • Carbon capture technology, including removing CO2 from industrial processes

  • Restoring native forests

  • Using sustainably bio feed stocks for lubricants and fuel

  • Working with AI technology startups to maximize energy efficiency in commercial and residential buildings

Image Credit: gCaptain

The Vessel Speed Reduction incentive program is seeing great success in the Santa Barbara Channel region on the California coast. For a period of 6 months vessel operators were “asked to reduce speeds to 10 knots or less in both the Santa Barbara Channel Region and in the San Francisco Bay Area”. The goal is to lower emissions and reduce strikes on endangered blue, humpback, and fin whales. During the 2019 season ships reduced about “536 tons of smog-forming nitrogen oxides (NOx) and more than 17,000 metric tons of regional greenhouse gases while making the waters safer for the endangered whales”.

Companies receive financial awards and recognition for lowering their speed through the VSR zones. This is in effect during the peak months of whale abundance to protect them from deadly strikes. Ship strikes have been recognized by the NOAA as the leading cause of death for these whales.

Image Credit: gCaptain

The program timing also coincides with the season for high smog levels. 10 knots is an optimal speed for using less fuel and creating less pollution. Ocean-going vessels produce NOx, Sox, particles, and greenhouse gases that are greatly reduced by lowering speed. Automatic Identification System (AIS) transponders on ships constantly monitor speed and heading. Companies performing at a Sapphire (75-100% of distance in Vessel Speed Reduction Zone at 10 knots or less) and Gold (50-74%) were awarded financial incentives for slowing down.

For more information on the expanded scope and the environmental benefits, check out the more detailed article here.

Image Credit: Shell

HyperSciences is using a new drilling technology to provide greater access to geothermal energy that was previously not reachable. After a stint at Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos’s space company, Mark Russel left to work at his family’s mining company. It was there he got an idea to merge aerospace and mining tech for drilling.

The new technology fires a projectile through the drilling tube, combusting natural gas and air. The resulting shockwave moving at 2 kilometers per second breaks the rock, creating faster and cheaper drilling.

After completing the 17th largest crowd equity financing round of $10 million, they are up and running. Right now they are helping companies drill for minerals, but the goal is to use it for geothermal energy. In some places it is not possible to drill far enough down to tap into the geothermal power. This new tech allows for cost effective drilling down to 7 kilometers and greater distances.

Geothermal energy is clean, available 24/7, and located directly below where it’s needed. It’s described as having a seven-megawatt power plant beneath every building.

HyperSciences is supported by the Shell: “The Shell GameChanger programme provides seed funding and expertise to start-ups with ideas that could help shape the future of the energy industry.”

You can read more about HyperSciences directly on their website.

It's Good News Monday!

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