Increase power generation at industrial scale. Zero emissions.
Demand for power is surging. Whatever form our response to climate change takes in the years to come, the world will still need energy and lots of it. The power generation industry faces an immense challenge in meeting this growing demand while staying profitable in a decarbonising economy.
The Hydrogen Energy Release Optimizer (HERO®) from Star Scientific offers an answer.
By all indicators, the world is nearing peak demand for fossil fuels. So economic and environmental challenges weigh heavily on the power generation sector.
Traditionally, coal has been the biggest provider of energy, but older coal fired plants are struggling. In 2018, 42% of coal plants around the world ran at a loss and by 2030 it will be cheaper in almost every case (96%) to build new power plant capacity rather than to keep coal running.
An industry in need of a breakthrough.
Until now, it has been cheaper to continue running coal plants rather than to pursue low-carbon alternatives, but that is no longer the case. With operating costs climbing and the cost of renewables falling, fossil fuel based power plants are fast approaching an impasse.
Regulatory pressure, declining profits, and climate change are driving an increase in renewables. By 2012, according to Grandview Research, renewables already accounted for 25% of global market share. But challenges of energy storage, grid distribution and load variability continue to make them impractical for the demands of industrial scale power generation.
Heavy R&D investment in recent years has seen the emergence of new power generation technologies including fuel cells, fluidised bed combustion systems, gasifier combined cycle plants and magneto hydrodynamic power plants.
Advanced nuclear technologies such as fast breeder reactors and innovations in solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, and ocean-thermal conversion plants are still too costly for near-term commercial implementation.
The HERO® Solution
Nascent technologies aim to make fossil fuel power plants cleaner and more efficient. Advanced coal technologies such as ultrasupercritical combustion, circulating fluidised bed (CFB) combustion, and coal gasification reduce CO2 emissions and increase the amount of energy captured for any given amount of coal.
But these innovations are expensive and complex with negligible long-term benefits, making them ultimately impractical as funds and development banks around the world are divesting in fossil fuels. Unable to meet the commercial and environmental challenges of the future, coal and gas fired plants face closure.
Fortunately, HERO® offers an answer. HERO® is the world’s first commercially scalable catalytic hydrogen system. It changes the game for legacy power generation players with a solution that is affordable, scalable and safe.
Unlike costly CCS renovation, HERO® can be retrofitted to work in legacy power plants – bypassing existing coal or gas boilers while keeping the existing turbines and other infrastructure in place. This allows a plant that had run on fossil fuels to be powered by clean, inexpensive and efficient hydrogen. It is a true win-win solution that preserves the useful life of plants and gives them a whole new lease of life, improving both economic and environmental performance at the same time.
“The race is now on between the technoscientific and scientific forces that are destroying the living environment and those that can be harnessed to save it. . . . If the race is won, humanity can emerge in far better condition than when it entered, and with most of the diversity of life still intact.”
The Future Of Life