Opportunities in Clean Technology

7.5. Opportunities in Clean Technology

7.5.1. Commitment
With diversified investments, the Infrastructure division brings a positive environmental impact through the adoption of new clean technologies. Throughout the different operations, CKI encourages operating companies to explore and adopt new clean technologies where practicable.

7.5.2. The Challenges
Currently fossil fuels contribute the majority of global energy supply, and play a significant industrial role. With the existing energy infrastructure built for conventional fuels like coal and oil, major infrastructural change is required and this could hinder the development of cleaning technologies, in terms of cost and time, and discourage the adoption of clean technology.

7.5.3. Initiatives

7.5.3.1. Supporting Renewable Energy Development and Low Carbon Transition
Through the diversified investments in energy infrastructure, CKI has been preparing for a future powered by clean energy through different solutions ranging from renewables like solar and wind farms, hydroelectricity, hybrid projects, and energy transmission infrastructure which connects clean energy to existing grids for a more widespread deployment of renewable energy.

To encourage localised solar generation, there is a partnership between UKPN, Repowering London and EDF Energy. Its purpose is to trial a unique project at Elmore House in Brixton, south London, which enables the residents to access electricity generated from a solar PV system on the block’s roof, store it in a battery and trade with one another using blockchain technology. This model has the potential to enable more people to use renewable energy at a lower cost, and bring new income for individuals and communities by participating in the flexibility market. From 2011 to 2018, there were already over seven GWs of renewables directly connected to UKPN’s networks.

Besides developing localised renewables, efforts are also made to expand the smart grid capability and electric vehicle capacity in the UK. The enhanced smart grid functions will allow a more accurate prediction of electricity demand and supply, and better utilisation of the renewable generators and storage system for a greener and more effective grid system. Together with the strengthening of electric vehicle charging infrastructure, the initiatives are enabling UK’s transition to a low-carbon economy.

In Australia, SA Power Networks formulated a "2016-2031 Future Operating Model" to explore what the future and our business would look like in 15 years and used the insight to help explore the strategic choices it could make. With distributed energy resources becoming much more common, it changes the way energy companies plan and manage their infrastructure and service network. In response to this, the company is now investigating and investing in the use of renewable energy and battery storage in the network, and provides support to customers interested in adopting this emerging technology.

7.5.3.2. Introducing Alternative Fuels and Hybrid Energy
In addition to renewables, the Infrastructure division is also exploring different clean technology opportunities through the use of landfill gas, remote energy, waste coal mine gas, renewable natural gas and other alternative fuels to support the low-carbon transition of the global economy.

In the UK, Northern Gas Networks introduced a large-scale project, H21, to reduce carbon emissions and support conversion of the gas networks in the UK to carry 100% hydrogen. In July 2019, the project launched the testing facility for 100% hydrogen to inform government policy decision on the use of hydrogen in the existing gas network. Going forward, the site will carry out controlled tests to establish the critical safety evidence proving that a 100% hydrogen gas network is as safe as the natural gas grid heating homes and businesses today.

In Australia, Australian Gas Networks is preparing the existing gas network for biogas such as biomethane and greener alternatives like hydrogen, which allows the deployment of low-carbon alternatives in the gas distribution network.

7.5.3.3. Transforming Waste to Energy
With the enormous amount of municipal waste being generated in cities, there is also a huge potential in developing waste-to-energy facilities. In the Netherlands, the construction of a separation plant that separates plastics and drinks cartons from residual waste was completed in 2019. The plant generates steam via the incineration of residual waste and uses the heat to warm 150,000 households and supply electricity for 190,000 houses. Dutch Enviro Energy’s CO2 capture plant at Duiven started supplying CO2 to horticulture greenhouses last year. This facility enables the reuse of 60,000 tons of CO2 which are generated from residual waste processing.

Energy Developments produced 1,774,109 MWh of electricity from landfill gas. It is also working to install a biodome to store landfill gas for conversion when energy demand is high.