Andy Marsh, chief executive of New York-based Plug Power, said the focus on green hydrogen has bolstered his business, which makes green hydrogen fuel cells and power stations for customers such as Amazon, Walmart and Home Depot. His fuel cells and power stations help these companies power their distribution centers and delivery trucks.
But green hydrogen is costly to make, and scaling it to meet ambitious climate goals will require political muscle. Marsh said leaders at the U.N. conference should do what President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act did, and create tax credits to reimburse companies for every kilowatt-hour of energy they produce using green hydrogen.
For years, the idea of large nuclear power plants powering the world has drawn concern. Many worry about the dangers these reactors present to communities they’re near, as well as the radioactive waste they generate and high construction costs. The 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan turned many countries away from it.
But at this year’s climate conference, the technology is getting another look. Rafael Mariano Grossi, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said on Monday that the energy solution is crucial. “Nuclear energy as a clean energy source has a very important role to play to help us get to net zero faster,” he said in a statement.
Nuclear trade associations are at the conference, saying nuclear power is already the world’s second-largest source of low-carbon power, providing roughly 10 percent of the world’s electricity from roughly 440 reactors. Others, such as House Republicans, say it’s also a matter of national security.
Small modular reactors are mini versions of more traditional nuclear power stations that generate roughly one-third the energy. The nuclear industry has been trying to build these machines for years, promising they’ll be smaller, nimbler and safer than their conventional counterparts.
The plant is better at capturing and storing carbon from the atmosphere compared with timber, according to research. Since it’s the fastest growing woody plant in the world, scientists believe planting more can quickly remove carbon from the air, while replenishing it with oxygen.
Blue carbon refers to carbon stored in coastal and marine environments. Oceans and places such as mangroves and sea grass are up to four times better at capturing and storing carbon than forests, scientists said.
Emily Pidgeon, vice president of ocean science and innovation at Conservation International, an environmental nonprofit, said upwards of 3 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions could be removed from the environment if countries commit to restoration projects and blue carbon strategies. While that’s not a large number, Pidgeon said, these are things countries could do now.