The CLC Fall Meeting held in October 3rd started in cloudy mood, and not just because of the rainy weather outside. Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization, told unpleasant facts about climate change. Greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere will continue to increase this year, and 74 % of the Arctic ice cap has melted over the past forty years. Last year was the warmest year ever measured and this year seems to be the second warmest so far. Extreme weather events, such as hurricanes Harvey and Irma, become more common and will cause huge financial losses. What’s worse, we are close to breaking through a 1.5C limit for global warming.
The optimism increased when Laszlo Varro from IEA, Per Langer from Fortum and Jukka Leskelä from the Finnish Energy presented their visions for the future energy system. The share of renewable energy production, such as solar and wind, is increasing. The reason for this development is not just tightening emission requirements, but renewable energy – especially the solar power around the equator – is becoming the cheapest way to produce energy. Due to the slow progress of CCS (carbon capture and storage) other emission reduction measures are needed.
Also here, in the north, we need a systemic change in the energy system and unfortunately, we don’t yet have a feasible solution for seasonal storage of solar power. Demand-side management and various storage solutions will became extremely important. Flexible businesses will get a competitive advantage. Digitalization enables energy to be delivered as a service. People are interested in the appropriate room temperature, lighting and mobility – not so much the origin of the energy. Ease and comfort motivate the ordinary consumer – this also applies to energy purchase.
According to the IEA scenarios, transport will have an essential role in emission reduction. Intelligent transport systems and emerging services curb the growth in the number of vehicles, and the electric mobility will be dominant by 2060. Electric transport will be integrated in the energy system, so we should plan the future energy and transport solutions as a whole. Ramboll’s Neel Strøbæk reported that the purchase of electric cars has been promoted in Oslo in many ways, such as free parking and ferry trips and toll fee exemptions.
Speed is still far too slow
Sixty percent of the World’s 500 biggest asset owners, with funds worth 27 trillion USD, recognize the risks and opportunities of climate change. CEO Timo Ritakallio from Ilmarinen reported that Ilmarinen’s responsible investment is integrated in the investment policy, strategy and processes of the company. Investment decisions are made according to sustainability ratings, which also support risk management. Ilmarinen received the highest ranking AAA in AODP’s research and was 9th of 500 investors globally.
SKF has been a pioneer company for developing positive carbon handprint and setting financial targets for the growth of the BeyondZero business. In addition to emission reductions in manufacturing, raw materials and transportation, SKF has developed a BeyondZero Concept that helps its customers to reduce their emissions, told Erik Nelander from SKF.
Already now, there are plenty of useful opportunities to reduce emissions. Although countries and companies are reducing emissions, the speed is still far too slow. Increasing willingness of citizens to pay for the clean solutions can speed up the change. VTT’s Antti Vasara analysed the rapid changes in the mobile phone market and noted that it is difficult to detect the breakthrough disruption of the market in advance – often it only becomes apparent when it has already happened. Companies that want to understand disruption should follow the profit distribution as an early sign.
Director of Development, CLC