Every time the Quartz team introduces a new series, I sign up. Their current “Quartz Obsession” is a two week series on “The Race to Zero Emissions.” And, today’s series is about the world’s first zero emissions natural gas plant from Net Power.
The logic behind this is simple and powerful. There are two ways we can solve the over-heating of the earth’s atmosphere – a) find ways to reflect the sun’s rays back using, say, Sulphur particles in the atmosphere or b) reduce the amount of Carbon dioxide we send up.
There is no consensus on the downstream effects of the former and would require a lot of international cooperation. But, the latter becomes particularly interesting if we find a way to do so. Most of our emissions come because we burn fossil fuels to generate electricity. And, Net Power’s founders have found a way to create a zero emissions fossil fuel plant. By replacing gases like steam that power turbines with the excess Carbon dioxide from the burning of natural gas, they’ve created a system that is emission free and, as a bonus, more efficient than traditional plants.
This is an absolute game changer and will hopefully go live by early next year. The Net Power team hope to license this technology.
For this transformation to happen, we’ll need more new plants like Net Power created to service the growing electricity demand from electric vehicles. Many think tanks believe natural gas will be the best way to do that.
And, this technology would be a huge step forward.
PS: To learn more, check out the Quartz series on https://bit.ly/RacetoZeroEmissions.