To meet net zero, the world will need to fundamentally change the way we produce what we need. The use of energy — be it for industry to produce materials like iron and steel, or to power our homes — accounts for nearly three-quarters of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the World Resources Institute’s data platform Climate Watch.
To accelerate the change that’s needed, Temasek has been investing in climate aligned opportunities — such as in companies that are avoiding carbon emissions at the source.
One of these companies is Canada-based geothermal firm Eavor, which has developed Eavor-Loop, a proprietary closed-loop system that harvests the Earth’s heat to generate clean and scalable energy on demand.
How does Eavor-Loop work? First, two holes are drilled into the ground before pipes are inserted. These pitchfork-looking pipes extend horizontally underground, meeting each other at the tips and forming a closed-loop system. Next, an eco-friendly proprietary liquid is then poured into the pipes.
It’s estimated that the temperature rises by around 25 degrees Celsius with every kilometre towards the Earth’s core. Thanks to our planet’s inherent heat, the liquid poured into the pipes is naturally circulated, with hot liquid rising and cool liquid falling. The hot liquid brings thermal energy to the surface, which can then be converted into energy.
Unlike typical geothermal energy power plants, which are site-specific and could increase the risk of earthquakes, Eavor says its solutions are benign and can be implemented almost anywhere on Earth. That includes near urban centres, or even in remote areas that lack access to electricity. Typical power installations, which have about 10 Eavor-Loops on the same location, can deliver enough electricity for up to 100,000 homes, Eavor adds.
Another Canada-based company that is using technology to cut emissions is carbon-capture pure play firm Svante. Svante focuses on cost-effective solutions to trap the carbon emissions produced by industries such as cement, limestone and large scale hydrogen production like cement, steel, oil and gas, which are among some of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions.