Terrapin's 3 Key Takeaways from CERAWeek 2022
Contributor: Gray Alton • March 17, 2022
3 minute read
At CERAWeek 2022, we spoke at the Innovation Agora and witnessed firsthand the accelerated “Pace of Change” in the global energy industry. Having returned home to Alberta, Canada, we wanted to reflect on the key messages that resonated with us from the event.
1. One Energy Industry
“It’s not oil and gas versus renewables. It’s all one industry now,” said Daniel Yergin, Vice Chairman of IHS Markit, at the concluding plenary.
We could not agree more. Since our founding in 2016, Terrapin has been committed to advancing the energy transition by focusing on the one energy resource inherent in both spaces – heat. We generate emission-free power from geothermal and industrial waste heat through Organic Rankine Cycle technology.
As we were developing our geothermal energy project, Alberta No. 1, we couldn’t ignore other opportunities to capitalize on thermal energy conversion. The more we spoke to players in the energy industry, the more we heard that industries were struggling to find economic ways to incorporate emissions reductions into their operations. We realized that heat could provide that emissions reduction for industries seeking to decarbonize, and our current business model was born.
Capturing heat being wasted due to processual inefficiencies, Terrapin stepped in to provide emissions reductions by developing waste heat to power solutions. As Terrapin continues to deliver on its mission of supporting a thriving net-zero world, we will continue to look at all opportunities to convert heat into emission-free energy.
This brings us to our second takeaway.
Organic Rankine Cycle power plant in Turkey.
(Photo: Exergy International)
2. Playing the Same Game
At CERAWeek’s Advancing Energy Innovation: Growth of the ecosystem panel, Barbara Burger, Vice President of Innovation at Chevron and President of Chevron Technology Ventures, shared her thoughts on building clean energy ecosystems to promote meaningful growth. Her point, “Innovation is a team sport,” drove home the truth of innovative ecosystems needing to be collaborative, not combative.
For us, collaboration runs deep. In fact, our entire business model innovation is based on collaboration.
In all of Terrapin’s heat to power projects, we recognize that a multitude of participants are needed to deliver this innovation: capital providers, EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) firms, technology providers, regulatory regimes, electricity marketers, carbon marketers... the list goes on. Wanting to connect all the required actors, we have developed a business model that positions Terrapin as the central point of contact. By bringing all the necessary players together, we deliver turnkey projects at scale. Decarbonizing industries can also leverage our model to eliminate the need for them to deploy CAPEX, which reduces the barriers of access to financing and accelerates technology adoption.
Our mission of helping industries succeed in a carbon neutral world inherently creates ecosystems to advance the energy transition. To help foster the growth of these ecosystems, we look to our third takeaway.
3. Policy to leverage, not limit
At the same panel, Robin Millican, Director of U.S. Policy and Advocacy at Breakthrough Energy, emphasized, “We need to use policy as an important lever to raise adoption.”
Government bodies have made emissions reductions a high priority within their mandates. Renewable Portfolio Standards, carbon pricing, and other policies lay down the pressure to innovate. But instead of stopping there, governments can further advance the energy transition by creating greater incentives to facilitate innovation for new technologies and accelerate the adoption of commercialized technologies.
Last year, for example, we were excited to hear that the U.S. Congress adopted a 26% Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for ‘waste energy recovery property’. This ITC defines waste energy recovery property as property that “generates electricity solely from heat from buildings or equipment if the primary purpose of such building or equipment is not the generation of electricity.” This means, that under specific conditions, investors of U.S. based waste heat to power projects would receive a 26% return on their principal investment. With the “Build Back Better” bill currently in negotiations, this ITC has the potential to increase to 30%.
With additional policy incentives that make growing industries more economically viable, governing bodies can pave the way for early adopters and provide a platform for confident investments.
"Pace of Change"
Premier events like CERAWeek gather leaders from every corner of the world but maintaining the pace of change depends on the steps taken afterwards. At Terrapin, we are doubling down on our waste heat to power projects to bring them across the finish line, and we’re eager to see them scale.
To view the recording of our Agora Pod presentation at CERAWeek 2022, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.