The industry is rapidly evolving, with new trends continually emerging. To stay ahead of the game, energy companies will need to identify these trends early on, as they will require new innovation, flexible technology and extra funding.
Here are some trends we expect to see next year and beyond.
Currently, methane emissions account for 30% of the total greenhouse gas emissions. It is predicted that total worldwide methane emissions will increase by 13% by 2030 without the Global Methane Pledge.
Addressing methane emissions—which are 80 times more pollutant than CO2 emissions—will address 30% of the climate change issue. Those emissions mostly come from the agriculture industry, and one of the most efficient and almost zero-cost ways of reducing them is through landfill gas utilization, leveraging new technology, shifting towards plant-rich diets and embracing alternative sources of protein.
Hydrogen may be our best bet as a key pillar in decarbonizing the global energy system. Natural gas might be regarded as a fossil fuel, but converting it to hydrogen will remain an important trend next year and beyond.
While the cost of converting green energy into hydrogen may be quite high, emerging tools that can do the job have a very high efficiency rate. In the future, converting renewables into hydrogen for heating will become a necessity to tackle climate change.
Experts predict that the switch to hydrogen heating will start to happen in the next decade. However, to use hydrogen gas at home, electric appliances, such as boilers, must be hydrogen-ready. The technology to do that is ready, but it requires a widescale strategic switchover by central governments.
Expect to see changes in the industrial sector, too. Take cement and steel manufacturers, for example. Steel production alone produces a significant 7% of the global CO2 count, while cement adds another 5-6% of that. Those industries will switch to hydrogen as an alternative fuel. Electric Vehicles (EV) will have a heavy footprint in the transportation industry, and solving the methane problem will impact the agricultural industry. Expect a future with a lot of cross-industry collaboration to make the biggest impact.