British giant manufacturer Rolls-Royce set out a plan to achieve net-zero emissions in aviation, shipping, and power generation by 2050 at the latest. The plan includes the development of new technologies, enabling an accelerated take-up of sustainable fuels, and driving step-change improvements in efficiency.
ne year on from joining the UNFCCC’s UN Race to Zero campaign, under which the company has committed to aligning its business model to the Paris Climate Agreement goals, Rolls-Royce is now announcing plans to make all of its new products compatible with net-zero by 2030, and all products in operation compatible by 2050.
To this end, the company said it will lift its R&D spending on low carbon and net-zero technologies to 75% of its total budget by 2025 from about 50% now.
Our products and services are used in aviation, shipping and energy generation, where demand for power is increasing as the world’s population grows, becomes increasingly urbanised, more affluent and requires more electricity. These sectors are also among those where achieving net zero carbon is hardest…We believe that as the world emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic and looks to build back better, global economic growth can be compatible with a net zero carbon future and that Rolls-Royce can help make that happen,
…said Warren East, CEO, Rolls-Royce.
The strategy has three interconnected pillars:
1. Decarbonising operations: The company will eliminate emissions from its own operations (scope 1 & 2) by 2030. Some facilities will achieve this target sooner, such as its production site at Bristol, UK, which is set to be the first Rolls-Royce facility to achieve net zero carbon status, in 2022.
2. Decarbonising complex, critical systems by enabling products to be used in a way that is compatible with net zero and pioneering new technologies that can accelerate the global transition to net zero. The plan foresees firstly, further advancing the efficiency of engine portfolio through next generation technologies, to improve the economics of sustainable fuels; and secondly introducing new low or zero emission products, including fuel cells, microgrids, hybrid-electric and all-electric technologies.
By 2023, we also intend to certify for use with sustainable fuels, the new generation of our mtu Series 2000 and Series 4000 engines. These represent the majority of the reciprocating engines we manufacture and are used across a range of applications from power generation to rail and shipping. Achieving all our 2023 targets now forms part of our executive remuneration policy,
…an official company statement reads.
3. Actively advocating for the necessary enabling environment and policy support to achieve this ambition. Among others, the company is testing hydrogen fuel cell modules at its Power Systems facility in Germany and plan to have integrated 2MW of hydrogen fuel cells into operational microgrid demonstrators by 2023.
We are advancing and selling microgrids, complete with our own battery storage solutions, to help expand the use of renewable energy across remote communities and our energy-intensive digital economy. We are also exploring additional functionality through the introduction of fuel cells to provide clean power for industrial vehicles and processes,
The company is advocating for five global policy principles for national governments to consider in their roles as customers, funders, regulators and convenors of net zero policy:
- Global consistency and coordination on policy development
- Prioritising technological solutions over neutralizing or offset measures
- Inclusive growth and opportunity to ensure a just transition
- Considering the lifecycle impact of product development
- Mobilizing finance in R&D.