Biochar: burnt offerings?

Biochar is a miraculous material, improving soils, enhancing agricultural yields and avoiding 1.4kg of net CO2 emissions per kg of waste biomass (that would otherwise have decomposed). IRRs surpass 20% without CO2 prices or policy support. Hence this 18-page note outlines the opportunity, leading companies and a disruption of biofuels?

Offshore offsets: nature based solutions in the ocean?

Nature based carbon offsets could migrate offshore in the 2020s, sequestering 3GTpa of CO2 for prices of $20-140/ton. In a more extreme case, if CO2 prices reached $400/ton, oceans could potentially decarbonize the whole world. This note outlines the opportunity in seaweed and kelp cultivation. It naturally integrates with maritime industries, such as offshore wind, offshore oil and shipping. Over 95% of the 30MTpa seaweed market today is in Asia, but Western companies are emerging.  

Solid state batteries: will they change the world?

Solid state batteries promise 2x higher energy density than traditional lithium ion, with 3x faster charging and lower risk of fires. Thus they could re-shape global energy, especially heavy trucks. But the industry has been marooned by uncontrollable cell degradation. QuantumScape’s disclosures suggest it is light years ahead. Many of its claims are supported by patents. But costs may remain high. These are the conclusions in our new 20-page report.

Nuclear power: what role in the energy transition?

Uranium markets could be 50-75M lbs under-supplied by 2030. This deficit is deeper than other commodities in our roadmap to  net zero. Demand is driven by China, constructing reactors for 50-70% less than the West, yielding zero carbon power at 6-8c/kWh. This 18-page note presents the outlook for nuclear in the energy transition and screens uranium  miners.

Oil demand: the rise of autonomous vehicles?

We are raising our medium-term oil demand forecasts by 2.5-3.0 Mbpd to reflect the growing reality of autonomous vehicles. AVs eventually improve fuel economy in cars and trucks by 15-35%, and displace 1.2 Mbpd of air travel. But their convenience also increases total travel demand. This 20-page note outlines the opportunity and leading companies.

LNG in the energy transition: rewriting history?

A vast new up-cycle for LNG is in the offing, to meet energy transition goals, by displacing coal and improving industrial efficiency. 2024-25 LNG markets could by 100MTpa under-supplied, taking prices above $9/mcf. But at the same time, emerging technologies are re-shaping the industry, so well-run greenfield projects may resist the cost over-runs that marred the last cycle. This 18-page note outlines who might benefit and how.

Shifting demand: can renewables reach 50% of grids?

25% of the power grid could realistically become ‘flexible’, shifting its demand across days, even weeks. This is the lowest cost and most thermodynamically efficient route to fit more wind and solar into power grids. We are upgrading our renewables ceilings from 40% to 50%. This 22-page note outlines the growing opportunity in demand shifting.

Industrial heat: the myth of electrify everything?

“Electrify everything then decarbonize electricity”. This mantra is popular, but dangerously incorrect for industrial heating. It raises output costs by 10-110% without any material CO2 savings. This 19-page note presents five separate case studies in the steel, cement, glass, petrochemical and paper industries, which exceed 15% of global CO2. Only a CO2 price is likely to maximize efficiency gains across multiple disparate industries.

Oil markets: in the balance? (1Q21)

Devastating under-supplies of oil look less likely on our latest numbers. For 2021, our prior outlook for -3Mbpd under-supply softens to -0.6Mbpd due to lower demand and stronger recent US/Canada output.

Out to 2025, $60-70/bbl oil should suffice to balance oil markets, while higher prices could draw in 3Mbpd more shale and 1Mbpd more Saudi oil, plus a buffer of 500Mbbls undrawn excess inventories from the COVID crisis.

This 4-page note contains our key charts and conclusions on the oil outlook. For transparency, the data-files and models behind our outlook can be downloaded here.

Vertical greenhouses: what future in the transition?

Vertical greenhouses achieve 10-400x greater yields per acre than field-growing, by stacking layers of plants indoors, and illuminating each layer with LEDs. Economics are exciting. CO2 intensity varies. But it can be carbon-negative in principle. This 17-page case study illustrates how supply chains are localizing and more renewables can be integrated into grids.