Innovation

Space tech is turning its attention to earth as more than 50% of essential climate variables (atmospheric, oceanic and terrestrial) are measurable only from space

Satellites are critical to monitoring atmospheric concentration of carbon and methane. Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellites (GOSAT), GOSAT-2, Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO)-2, OCO-3 and Sentinel-5P track GHG emissions globally. While satellites provide vital data, gaps remain in modelling, mitigation and coordination. The time has come to build a new type of decision- support facility: an Earth Operations Centre that leverages space data and expertise to conduct multidisciplinary science and engineering research, and to successfully manage and coordinate net- zero efforts. (via WEF)

At the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, scientists and state officials gathered to discuss how satellite data, 3-D imaging and new radar and laser technologies can provide invaluable insights into Earth’s rapidly changing systems. An MOU has been signed between Jet Propulsion Labs and the state of California to support these initiatives. Upcoming Earth-centric missions will provide a more precise look at “everything that’s happening” with the oceans, the land and the atmosphere than ever before. Among the big-ticket items were new tools to measure snowpack and groundwater, satellites to monitor methane emissions and remote sensing assets to assess the impact of hazards such as wildfires, earthquakes and mudslides.

Building upon more than two decades of research, a new web-based platform called OpenET will soon be putting NASA data in the hands of farmers, water managers and conservation groups to accelerate improvements and innovations in water management. OpenET uses publicly available data and open source models to provide satellite-based information on evapotranspiration (the “ET” in OpenET) in areas as small as a quarter of an acre and at daily, monthly and yearly intervals. Evapotranspiration is the process by which water is transferred from the land to the atmosphere, by water leaving the soil (evaporation) and water lost through plant leaves and stems (transpiration). Evapotranspiration is an important measure of how much water is used or “consumed” by agricultural crops and other plants.

Innovation

Managing the green line – the SAP way!

As the coronavirus pandemic raged across the world, even the most rigorous contingency planning and disaster management systems went awry. Many companies pivoted in unforeseeable ways. Fashion retailers produced masks and alcohol companies pivoted to creating sanitisers. While the production systems transformed, other changes have happened too. The need for brands to have ‘purpose’ and be environmentally responsible gained significant momentum. A sea change happened in attitudes amongst the investment community as well. A few years ago, sustainability was seen to be fringe and, at best, an interesting PR angle. Sustainability today is no longer a unique value proposition for many brands, but an inherent expectation that a brand will be ethically made and will not harm the environment or the community.

SAP software is essential for all enterprise functions, from manufacturing, shipping, and delivering products to managing finances and human resources. 85% of the world’s largest emitters work on SAP. That presents a unique opportunity to bring about deep, large scale impact. This is why SAP the enterprise software behemoth is pioneering the concept of the green line. What the green line represents is the impact of the company on the environment, such as carbon emissions, water consumption etc.

As we reach the end of the linear economy, we need software that enables the circular economy and builds on the existing networks to enable this. SAP software already addresses two key dimensions: the top line and the bottom line. Adding the ‘green line’ enables the ecological angle provides transparency into the use of natural resources, available alternatives, suppliers, and transportation. Bringing the three dimensions together enables better corporate decision making.

This philosophy all comes together in the Climate 21 initiative. Embedding sustainability as a new dimension of success into analytical and transactional applications allows ERP and intelligent enterprise systems from SAP to optimize the resources not only of an individual enterprise but across value chains — for the entire product life cycle.

We need software to scale the impact needed for the decade of delivery. SAP can be an essential tool in enabling this transformation!

Innovation

India needs EV revolution to reach NetZero! Two wheelers can lead the way

Reaching a trajectory consistent with the IEA Sustainable Development Scenario will require putting 230 million EVs on the world’s roads by 2030.

For EVs to unleash their full potential to combat climate change, the 2020s will need to be the decade of mass adoption of electric light-duty vehicles. In addition, specific policy support and model expansion for the medium- and heavy-duty vehicle segments will be crucial to mitigate emissions and make progress toward climate goals.

To date, more than 20 countries have announced the full phase-out of internal combustion engine (ICE) car sales over the next 1030 years, including emerging economies such as Cabo Verde, Costa Rica and Sri Lanka. Moreover, more than 120 countries (accounting for around 85% of the global road vehicle fleet, excluding two/three-wheelers) have announced economy-wide net-zero emissions pledges that aim to reach net zero in the coming few decades. Via @IEA

In India the electric two-wheeler segment has seen a significant growth in 2020-21 with, a 65 per cent increase in electric two-wheeler registrations.  In India, 16 states now have either a notified or a draft public EV policy aligned with the electrification target of the nation. To achieve the objectives stated in these policies, many states are also offering fiscal incentives to the buyer in addition to a central government incentive scheme called FAME.

The two-wheeler segment presents increased consumer willingness to shift to electric than any other segment due to the easy charging options that come with smaller battery packs. Most electric-wheelers sold in India can be charged by 15 ampere electrical sockets available in every Indian residence.

Innovation

When it comes to Technology and Trust, Intent Matters

Look around and you will see technology everywhere. From fashion to automotive, from buildings to cities. Experts from The Dow Chemical Company, Shell, Swiss Re, and Unilever, working with The Nature Conservancy and a resiliency expert, evaluated a number of business case studies, and developed a white paper with recommendations that green and hybrid infrastructure solutions should become part of the standard toolkit for modern engineers. This can be enabled via new age technologies that create, capture, monitor and measure energy, water and waste from the buildings.

Everyone needs data and the scalability of technology to solve some of the pressing sustainability challenges of today. While technology can enable and solve sustainability issues it can create new challenges. Responsibility therefore needs to play an important role in all aspects of the digital economy.

AI

Artificial intelligence based systems can help achieve lower emissions by can optimizing materials, energy and processes. At the same time AI can be a powerful ally for weather and natural catastrophe prediction, biomimicry or advanced materials and clean energy. AI can scale fast and get smarter over time. Hence, AI systems need to be empathetic, do what’s right and be inherently privacy first.

Roll out of automation.

Automation will replace many of the tasks that we have previously done, but it will also create new ones. Automation can however increase resource use and lead to excessive material extraction. It can also have an adverse effect on jobs. We therefore need to balance human rights, public safety and environmental sustainability

IOT

Increased tracking and monitoring, from the myriad of smart devices, wearables, sensors, meters is enabled via the Internet of Things (IOT). This can provide real time accountability around how companies behave with our water, forests, air, precious minerals, wildlife and oceans. To ensure our commons are protected we would need to define the relationship between the aggregators of data and the consumers of data.

Innovation

Realtime tech for agri

The impact of global climate change on agriculture forces farmers to constantly adjust to abnormal or atypical weather like lack of snow cover in winter, which means high risks of poor yields of winter cash crops. The effects also involve abnormally hot summers and very cold winters, or vice versa, warm winters and chilly summers.

Another impact of climate change on agriculture is the atypical lack of rainfalls that brings the necessity of manmade irrigation in the regions where it was done solely by nature before. Quite the opposite impact on agriculture due to climate change is excessive moisture, too.

Technology is now being used to monitor crops realtime, this includes fields analytics based on high-resolution satellite images. Crop Monitoring helps in many ways.

  • Daily forecasts up to 14 days ahead with air temperatures, precipitations, wind, humidity, cloudiness. Aware of the upcoming conditions, farmers can schedule field activities (like sowing or harvesting as well as herbicide/fertilizer applications).
  • Historical weather data (accumulated precipitation, daily precipitation, daily temperatures, the sum of active temperatures) enabling to outline general tendencies of weather changes in the selected region.
  • Cold and heat stress feature, which is important due to temperature leaps that are critical for plant health and growth. Neither excessively high nor excessively low temperatures contribute to high yields. So, farmers have to be aware of the threat and address it in time.
  • Climate change and agriculture are closely interconnected. Agriculture is not the sole anthropogenic factor to induce it; nonetheless, the effect of agriculture on climate change is tremendous. Online software for agriculture like Crop Monitoring assists in thoughtful and sparing management. It allows farmers to accurately calculate the required inputs, which reduces costs in the short-time perspective and protects nature in the long-term one. In other words, differentiated application of fertilizers and/or herbicides directly contributes to decreased soil pollution as well as lesser impact to the overall environment’s ecological state.

Innovation

Massive labour shortages all across the world are making things difficult. The sustainable Smart Factory might have some answers

Even before the pandemic began, the United Nations published research predicting potential labor shortages for economies worldwide. The pandemic has only hastened and exacerbated the situation. Today, we are in the midst of massive resignations in company after company and lack of staff to do even basic things.

The #SmartFactory is expected to solve some of these problems. It would use robots to solve labour shortages. A survey by ProShares in 2020 reported that 24% of manufacturers were incorporating smart manufacturing. This is expected to more than double by 2026. However the Smart Factory would need to deploy not just robots, it would need to bring in the principles of sustainability too. Also, even if ‘how you make things’ is standardised, ‘how you source’ and ‘how you ship’ would still have a significant impact on your carbon emissions.

This will be enabled by the new generation of customers who will demand corporate action against waste and brands that care not just for their profits but causes that create a better world. Reverse supply chains will become an integral part of business as companies integrate into the circular economy.

The period from 2022 to 2030 will therefore be about producing goods in different ways. As we get into the 5G world, machines will get smarter and quicker. #AI and #machinelearning will be able to anticipate, produce and deliver products based on demand.

On demand business models that bring production close to customers and are zero emission will begin to hold sway. #NetZeroShift #circulareconomy

Innovation

Remote sensing satellites will increase the scale and speed of tracking and eliminating methane emissions

Methane emissions occur at gas wells, pipelines, refineries, and power plants, but also landfills and cattle fields. While they dissipate faster than carbon dioxide, they have a greater proportional impact on global warming.

Efforts to mitigate (reduce) CH4 and CO2 emissions are complicated by inconsistencies between estimates derived from atmospheric measurements, greenhouse gas inventories, and self-reporting programs. Contributing to these discrepancies are a relatively small number of industrial facilities that emit anomalously high amounts of greenhouse gases, often in an unpredictable and intermittent fashion. Multiple research studies by many teams have provided compelling evidence of “heavy-tail” distributions in CH4 emissions in most economic sectors. In other words, a small fraction of equipment within a region can contribute disproportionately to the region’s total emissions.

@Carbon Mapper, is launching two new satellites that will track these emissions from orbit. Governments around the world have been working to put in place standards to reduce methane leaks and meet climate goals, but it is difficult to move what you can’t measure. That’s where Carbon Mapper comes in—it will crunch satellite data to produce usable insight for regulators, industries, and the public at large.

The Carbon Mapper project demonstrates new models for government to work with private companies and achieve their goals in space. The effort is a unique public-private partnership between several non-profits, the state of California, the US national Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and two universities.

Innovation

If EV’s are the answer, modern electrical grids need to be part of the equation

The explosion of new technologies—like electric vehicles, rooftop solar panels, energy storage and advanced metering infrastructure—promise a more efficient, reliable and resilient energy future. However, the most important element to achieving a lower carbon future is the electricity grid. To deploy emerging energy technologies at scale, the grid needs to undergo a transition, shifting its power supply away from higher-emission resources, like coal, to ones that produce fewer emissions, like renewables.

India’s tremendous growth in renewable energy capacity over the last three years has been enabled by the continued evidence of near record low solar and wind power tariffs and speed of development that has set the nation on a clear and achievable path towards its renewable energy target of 275 gigawatts (GW) by 2026/27.
A key prerequisite to continuing India’s renewable energy investment ambitions is the need to concurrently build out and modernise India’s national transmission grid. Significant infrastructure upgrades will be required to address the needs of an evolving energy network. This includes upgrading existing transmission lines to incorporate distributed energy resources and building new lines to improve wholesale market operations, increase resilience and bring energy from remote renewable resources to population centers.

Given India’s geographic spread of renewable rich states on the western and southern coasts, inter-regional transmission capacity for transmitting power from energy surplus states to deficit states will be needed, as well as better load balancing capacity.