At Emerson, we find ourselves in a unique position. Like many companies, we’re committing to a future of more sustainable operations, starting with a goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045. But Emerson also has an opportunity—and an obligation—not many other companies do. We can directly help our customers improve their sustainability as well. As a global leader in automation software and technology, we have the ability to help process manufacturers of any size improve their operational efficiency through reduced energy consumption, lower emissions, integration of sustainable energy sources, reduced waste, and more.
The result is that we get to be there to witness some incredible sustainability projects that are shaping the way the world will look in the very near future. From pilot projects testing new energy generation strategies to innovative solutions for closing the gap between peak renewable energy production and consumption, our customers are developing and implementing some incredible projects. I’d like to highlight a few.
Offshore green hydrogen
In the North Sea, one company is testing a new method to integrate wind, gas, and hydrogen offshore to enable efficient green hydrogen production on an existing operational gas platform. The platform uses a fluctuating supply of green energy to simulate energy that would come in from wind turbines to produce hydrogen via electrolysis. Produced hydrogen is blended with the platform’s natural gas to transport it to the shore. The PosHYdon project will provide critical insight into the efficiency of generating green hydrogen offshore from a variable power supply, potentially developing one of the core technologies generating power in the future.
Industry veterans step up for sustainability
Not every company making the shift to more sustainable process manufacturing is a startup. Albioma, an established French energy provider, is leading the charge to more sustainable energy by converting a coal-fired plant to 100% renewable energy via biomass feedstock. That transition is one small part of Albioma’s ambitious goal to reach nearly 100% renewable energy by 2030.
Green energy on demand
One of the toughest problems in sustainable energy is storage. Peak production and peak consumption often happen at different times. Mitsubishi Power is capturing energy generated during the winter and storing it for use in summer. The company is using renewable energy to produce up to 100 tons of green hydrogen per day, then storing it for later use in underground salt caverns. The stored hydrogen will help reduce stress on the power grid by reducing variability of supply.
Collaboration is the key
The green energy future is filled with unknowns. As a result, nobody can go it alone. That’s why we’re collaborating with companies of all sizes, sharing our automation expertise in the green energy space to help them accomplish their goals. Whether the goal is to better tune control loops to reduce energy waste or to manage the fluctuating energy input from a wind farm creating hundreds of gigawatt hours of energy, we are ready to help process manufacturers squeeze every bit of efficiency out of their operations to help build a more sustainable future.
The above examples are just a few of the many opportunities we’ve had to collaborate with customers on their innovative ideas for greener manufacturing. You can read our sustainability eBook to see other stories of forward-thinking organizations leading the charge on more sustainable operations.