Many current climate policies ignore so-called 'difficult-to-decarbonize' sectors such as aviation, shipping, cement, and industry, and focus almost entirely on electricity. Terra Praxis’ thought leadership defines a pathway to deliver zero-carbon fuels and hydrogen to replace oil and gas in these difficult-to-electrify sectors at the costs, speed, and scale necessary to outcompete fossil fuels within 10 years. We are revolutionizing a solution for how modern shipyard manufacturing and floating power plants on ships could dramatically increase the global energy supply. This high productivity clean energy solution could replace 100 million barrels of oil per day with an investment of $17 trillion, spent over 30 years from 2020 to 2050, in contrast to $25 trillion to maintain fossil fuels flow or $70 trillion for a renewables-to-fuel strategy.
The amount of hydrogen required to act as a clean energy carrier and as a feedstock for zero-carbon fuels, such as ammonia is far more than can be produced with renewables alone. A new generation of advanced modular reactors, also known as advanced heat sources, will be required to produce enough climate-neutral fuel to displace the 100 million barrels of oil that are currently consumed around the world each day.
In addition to volume of production, the amount of space required for production must also be considered. For example, the area required for solar generated hydrogen to replace the UK's current oil consumption is about the size of Wales. New advanced reactors take up less than one-hundredth of the space, thus avoiding 'energy sprawl' and land-use conflicts associated with country-sized renewables industrial developments or extensive use of biomass energy.
The amount of land/water and the location of production also impacts costs. Given their physical space requirements, most renewable locations are remote from populations and markets which adds distribution costs. For example, transportation from Australia to Japan, increases costs from $2/kg to $3.3/kg — beyond the threshold of economic competitiveness.
To achieve widescale substitution of fossil fuels, hydrogen must achieve a target price of $0.90/kg by 2030. Terra Praxis has developed a transformative model for achieving this target.
The oil and gas industry has the capital, supply chains, and business models to integrate the technologies, develop the projects, produce the products, and distribute them to customers cost-competitively at scale. How can clean energy production match these efficiencies?
Terra Praxis has demonstrated a feasible model for manufacturing hydrogen using advanced heat sources at former coastal and refinery sites or at shipyards. This clean energy production strategy uses the world-class manufacturing prowess of shipyard and factory settings, technologies, supply chains, and existing locations to dramatically lower capital expenditures and operating costs.
These innovative shipyard manufacturing approaches can produce abundant zero-carbon hydrogen-based fuels at prices that can outcompete fossil fuels within 10 years. The strategy is intended to be additional to the contribution of renewables, adding an important new tool to the global climate solution toolbox.
The world has untapped potential for an industrial breakthrough that could turbocharge the hydrogen economy we so desperately need. Highly productive shipyards can manufacture hundreds of units to power up the clean hydrogen economy and rapidly replace fossil fuels in shipping, aviation, and industry.
Eric Ingersoll, co-founder of Terra Praxis and LucidCatalyst