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Climate technologies needed for Zero Transition

Carbon removal R8 Technologies

Anders Stenbäck from StoneCreek Advisory contributed a good overview about the climate technologies needed for net zero transition. Hereby we are happy to present the keynotes of his article with some of our comments.

The world’s biggest tech companies are getting serious about carbon removal. This May, an alliance of prominent Silicon Valley companies- including Google, Meta, Shopify, and the payment company Stripe – announced that it is purchasing $925 million in carbon removal over the next eight years. In a world awash in overhyped corporate climate commitments, this is actually a big deal. The purchases will be made by a new Stripe-owned company called Frontier.

Carbon off-setting will not solve climate change by itself. To avoid the most catastrophic effects of warming, we must reduce Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as fast as possible, and the best way to do so is by reducing our fossil energy consumption.

In a recent article by McKinsey & Company, ten families of climate technologies were identified as critical to meeting the net-zero challenge. As demand for them swells, companies will have opportunities to create significant value while helping to curtail emissions.

McKinsey analysis suggests that, in a scenario where the world reaches net zero by 2050, capital spending on equipment and infrastructure with relatively low emissions intensity would average $6.5 trillion a year—more than two-thirds of the $9.2 trillion in annual capital spending during that time.

My experience working with dozen of proptech and climate tech companies and value chain participants suggests that effective organizations recognize three fundamental aspects of the climate technology realm:

1) climate technologies are highly interdependent;

2) in these interdependent markets cooperation across value chains and industrial ecosystems are required; and 3) powerful first-mover advantages can be gained through piloting and innovation with startup companies.

Luckily, funding to smart building tech companies increased $2.3B in 2021 according to CB Insights data.

Here is my list of topics I’ve worked with, augmented with data from CB Insights for the U.S. market:

IoT connected heatpumps: steering commercial building’s heat pumps based on the most optimal energy prices, also called electricity flexibility market through demand-response and gain reduction in electricity bills.

R8tech’s comment: all the systems influencing indoor climate comfort and energy usage are really needed to be connected to achieve the highest efficiency.

Virtual power plants: Heat pumps with IoT sensors can allow building managers to increase or decrease HVAC energy use as needed. In addition, buildings can use local energy-generating resources like rooftop solar panels or battery storage systems to supply power back to the power grid during periods of peak demand. As a result, buildings themselves can act as a “virtual power plant” (VPP), reacting to periods of high demand on the power grid.

R8tech’s comment: we started to offer the service this year and happy to say that in combination with our energy management system R8 Digital Operator it is the strongest solution needed no investment.

Energy management IoT Systems: turning buildings into green by reading data from and interfacing with the legacy building automation system and using AI to diagnose these for predictive maintenance and steer temperature and HVAC settings based on actual & prognosed occupancy, indoor air quality and energy prices.

R8tech’s comment: we have been named as one of key players here.

Data driven facility management: digitalizing facility management. It is possible to cut facilities management costs, and thereby also the carbon footprint.

R8tech’s comment: we have a very close partnership case study hereby how a FM-company was listed TOP1 FM-company of the country due to digitalization.

Smart glass. More than a quarter of heating and cooling for buildings goes out the window — literally. Smart glass tackles this challenge by changing the level of tint, or how much light can pass through a window. There are 2 different methods for changing the tint of smart glass: active and passive. Active smart glass includes a film placed on top of the window that reacts to the presence of electrical voltage. This changes the polarization of the film, resulting in the blocking of more or less sunlight. It is hooked up to a power source and can therefore be switched on or off as well as dimmed. Passive smart glass has a film that reacts to the presence of UV/visible light or heat to change polarization.

R8tech’s comment: material technology is definitely one of the key factors in future construction. At the same time it would require some strong ROI-calculations from all the older buildings.

AI-assisted occupancy & security tech. Advanced machine vision technology for security meaning false alarms can be reduced and surveillance can be automated. The benefit is that current CCTV infrastructure doesn’t need to be replaced, instead the analysis is done in the cloud. Occupancy sensors and analytics is a big deal for property owners, since understanding how buildings are being used is directly tied to tenant satisfaction and turnover.

R8tech’s comment: occupancy’s influence on any building’s energy consumption is crucial. Thus the better info there is available (also incl prognosis) the more it can contribute the total results.

Digital Twins. A digital twin is a virtual representation of a real object or set of objects, constructed with plenty of real-world data collected from IoT sensors. After an initial model is created, digital twins undergo simulations to provide performance feedback under various scenarios, without having to test the actual system. The insights gained from digital twins are used to improve the real object, and then new data is fed into the digital twin model.

R8tech’s comment: Digital Twins’ continuous development from static to dynamic models will open more and more opportunities here.

With McKinsey estimating a $6.5 trillion-dollar market by 2050 for climate technologies, it will direct financing to new green businesses and reconfigure incumbent industries. Those who move boldly can better position their companies for long-term success—while supporting the urgently needed global response to climate change.

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