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3rd MPU

Is GenAI the key to sustainable industry?

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As the transformation towards Industry 4.0 reaches its peak, generative AI (genAI) is looking to redefine operational processes across diverse sectors: from custom automotive designs to optimised construction blueprints, genAI’s capability to design, prototype, and support customers is marking a new dawn.

THat’s according to research from says GlobalData, with Saurabh Daga, Associate Project Manager of its Disruptive Tech division, stating: “GenAI demonstrates the incredible possibilities of combining intelligence with industry. It can play a transformative role in predicting, designing, and improving processes and products. It is not just a new tool; it can be seen as a paradigm shift in how industries approach thinking, designing, and manufacturing. The ultimate promise is achieving a unique blend of creativity and efficiency that has never been seen before.

“GenAI algorithms can decode the understanding of technicalities across different sectors, like aerospace & defense, mining, and packaging, to create sustainable and efficient solutions. It enables industries to explore new areas of design and functionality. Moreover, when applied to sectors like energy & power, genAI can support sustainable solutions by aiding the generation of optimal designs for infrastructure and systems.”

GlobalData’s Innovation Radar report, “Code to Machine – Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) Meets Industrial Sectors,” delves into over 50 real-life genAI implementations. The report categorizes these implementations based on the end-use sectors and use cases.

Hyundai’s recently launched “Open for Imagination” digital campaign uses genAI to let users craft custom outdoor dreamscapes with the new SANTA FE. Using a text-to-image AI model, it generates unique images from user-selected keywords for moods and landscapes. Accessible through Hyundai’s official Instagram, it offers interactive, personalized engagement.

ABB partnered with Microsoft to infuse genAI capabilities into industrial digital solutions. This collaboration aims to enrich the ABB Ability Genix Industrial Analytics and AI Suite, increasing user engagement and optimizing the use of contextualized data for efficiency and sustainability. ABB is leveraging Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI Service to complement the ABB Ability Genix platform.

Shell is leveraging genAI technology in its deep-sea exploration and production to increase offshore oil production. It is using AI startup SparkCognition’s large AI algorithms to analyze extensive seismic data to discover new oil reservoirs in the Gulf of Mexico.

Daga concluded: “GenAI is not just a tech buzz word; it may turn out to be a game-changer for industries. Its unique ability to design, predict, and optimize can reduce design constraints. By harnessing the combination of large language models with technologies such as IoT and cloud industries can enhance efficiency all the while embracing creative design ideas, eventually leading to an innovative future.”

Photo by Zac Wolff on Unsplash

Could Brazil lead the way with nature-led strategies to achieve Net Zero?

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Without the implementation of nature-based solutions, in particular ending deforestation and restoring native vegetation, Brazil would jeopardise its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) pledges including achieving net zero GHG emissions by mid-century, according to research published from an international team led by the University of Oxford.

The study also concluded that halting deforestation is the single most important mitigation measure Brazil can take towards net zero emissions by 2050 while preventing biodiversity loss.

The research team projected Brazil’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions up to 2050 under different policy scenarios through an integrated modelling approach. This compared the potential emissions reductions resulting from nature-based solutions (including large-scale restoration) against engineered solutions, such as bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS), besides their relative economic costs.

The results indicated that nature-based solutions could mitigate nearly 80% of Brazil’s net zero pledge and reduce 781 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) on average per year in Brazil during the next 30 years. Eliminating both legal and illegal deforestation and promoting large-scale restoration have the potential to keep Brazil on a clear path to net zero GHG emission by around 2040, without the need to deploy costly and not-yet mature negative emissions technologies.

Lead author of the study, Dr Aline Soterroni (The Agile Initiative, University of Oxford), said: ‘Deforestation control and native vegetation restoration are ready to be implemented immediately at relatively low cost when compared to engineered solutions such as BECCS. This gives Brazil a comparative advantage over other countries. It is also a triple-win situation because the careful implementation of nature-based solutions helps mitigate and adapt to climate change, curb biodiversity loss, and support the economy.’

Achieving this, however, would require national policies which go further than the current Forest Code for Brazil. The researchers found that implementing Brazil’s Forest Code without additional actions would bridge the gap to GHG emissions by 38% by 2050, falling far short of the net zero target.

Dr Soterroni added: ‘While the implementation of the Forest Code is urgent and can enable Brazil to achieve and increase its short-term climate ambition, it won’t be enough to bridge the gap to net zero emissions by mid-century. The economic efforts required to go beyond the Forest Code would be at least three times less costly than the costs associated with BECCS whilst reducing the risks of harmful climate change impacts.’

Professor Roberto Schaeffer, professor of the Energy Planning Program (PPE) from the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro and a co-author of the study, said: ‘Agriculture is the second-largest emitting sector in Brazil and is considered hard to abate. The country’s energy sector already has a significant share of renewables and its contribution to Brazil’s net zero ambition would heavily rely on BECCS. Nature-based solutions, in particular ending deforestation and restoring native vegetation, are the way to go here, as the deployment of negative emissions technologies will be too expensive and, more importantly, too risky, as these technologies have not been proven to work at scale yet.’

Ahead of the COP28 summit, the researchers are calling for nature-based solutions to be holistically represented in national climate pledges, including Brazil’s.
Professor Nathalie Seddon, professor of Biodiversity and founding director of the Agile Initiative, said: ‘There is a policy gap between current climate ambition and climate policy implementation in Brazil, driven by the conversion of carbon rich biodiverse native ecosystems. Brazil harbours around 20% of the world’s species, so ongoing ecosystem conversion threatens the integrity of the entire biosphere. It’s really important to support Brazil in its efforts to strengthen, apply, and go beyond existing laws to eliminate illegal and legal deforestation’.

According to the researchers, Brazil’s net zero plan should consider the urgency of halting deforestation, the need for scaling up investments in sustainable agricultural practices and renewable energy sources, the importance of promoting high-integrity projects to compensate for residual emissions, and the consistency with a just and equitable transition.

HVAC MONTH: How the charge to Net Zero has altered commercial HVAC strategies

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Over the last decade, commercial HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) technology has witnessed a paradigm shift, driven by the dual mandates of energy efficiency and improved indoor air quality. These evolutions reflect broader trends in environmental sustainability, smart technology integration, and the push for healthier workspaces. Here we highlight key developments in commercial HVAC systems and their implications for the future of climate control in commercial settings…

Around 2010, the HVAC landscape in the UK was primarily dominated by traditional systems focused on delivering heating and cooling at the lowest initial cost, without a substantial focus on long-term energy use or efficiency. However, the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) and the UK’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions have been instrumental in shaping a new generation of HVAC solutions.

One of the most significant advancements in the UK’s commercial HVAC sector has been the widespread adoption of energy-efficient systems. Newer models of boilers and chillers now come with higher SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) ratings. Technologies like heat pumps have gained popularity, especially those that use ground or air sources to provide energy-efficient heating by transferring heat rather than generating it through combustion.

Another critical development has been the adoption of Building Management Systems (BMS) and the integration of smart controls. These technologies have enabled facilities managers to achieve unprecedented levels of precision in environmental control and system responsiveness. The BMS interfaces with all components of a building’s HVAC system, optimizing performance and providing insights into energy usage patterns, leading to reduced energy consumption and costs.

The UK’s drive for better air quality, particularly in urban areas, has seen innovations in ventilation technology. Demand-controlled ventilation (DCV) systems now adjust air flow based on occupancy levels or the quality of indoor air, which is particularly relevant given the heightened awareness of airborne health risks post-COVID-19.

Renewable energy sources have also begun to play a role in HVAC solutions. Solar thermal panels, biomass boilers, and heat recovery systems are being integrated into commercial buildings, helping businesses to reduce their carbon footprint and comply with the UK’s ambitious climate targets.

Moreover, the refrigerants used in HVAC systems have also been an area of significant change due to their global warming potential (GWP). The UK has been active in phasing out hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and other high-GWP refrigerants in favor of alternatives like hydrofluoroolefins (HFOs) and natural refrigerants, which are more environmentally friendly.

Throughout the decade, regulatory changes such as the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) have pressured the commercial sector to retrofit older HVAC systems with modern, more efficient alternatives. These regulations have led to innovative retrofit solutions that improve the efficiency of existing systems without the need for full system replacement.

Looking forward, the UK’s commercial HVAC landscape is likely to continue its evolution towards even greater efficiency and integration with smart grid technology. The growing trend towards net-zero buildings and the digitisation of energy systems presents further opportunities for HVAC technology to contribute to a more sustainable and energy-efficient future.

The last decade has seen UK commercial HVAC systems transition from a focus on basic comfort to becoming key players in energy management and environmental sustainability. These changes reflect broader societal shifts towards green building practices and the utilization of advanced technology to achieve a lower carbon footprint, heralding a new era of HVAC solutions that align with the UK’s vision for a cleaner, smarter, and more sustainable built environment.

Are you looking for HVAC solutions for your business? The Energy Management Summit can help!

Photo by Gritt Zheng on Unsplash

Power your projects at the Energy Management Summit

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If you’re looking for energy partners to fuel your upcoming projects, look no further than the Energy Management Summit, taking place on the 4th & 5th October.

Your free pass includes;

– A bespoke 1-2-1 itinerary of relaxed meetings with innovative solutions providers
– Complimentary overnight accommodation, all meals and refreshments throughout
– Access to seminar sessions surrounding the energy management industry
– Networking with other professionals who share your challenges

Join us in person at the Radisson Blu Hotel, London Stansted or if preferred, you can attend via our virtual platform.

Secure your guest pass here or get in touch via the details below if you have any questions.

Don’t miss this autumn’s Energy Management Summit

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Will you be joining us at the Energy Management Summit, taking place on the 4th & 5th October? Register your delegate place today!

Your free pass includes;

– A bespoke 1-2-1 itinerary of relaxed meetings with innovative solutions providers
– Complimentary overnight accommodation, all meals and refreshments throughout
– Access to seminar sessions surrounding the energy management industry
– Networking with other professionals who share your challenges

Join us in person at the Radisson Blu Hotel, London Stansted or if preferred, you can attend via our virtual platform.

Secure your guest pass here or get in touch via the details below if you have any questions.

Energy Management Summit: Registration now open!

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Your complimentary pass gives you free access to the Energy Management Summit, a bespoke and highly-targeted two-day event, created specifically for senior energy management professionals like you. 

It is entirely free for you to attend – REGISTER HERE (virtual attendance options are also available)

Date & Venue: 4th & 5th October, Radisson Blu Hotel, London Stansted

Format: You will be provided with a bespoke and personalised itinerary of pre-arranged, 1-2-1 meetings with suppliers relevant to your requirements and upcoming projects. You will also be able to network with professionals who share your challenges.

Seminar Sessions: Throughout the event you can enjoy a range of insightful seminar sessions hosted by industry thought-leaders.

Overnight accommodation, all meals and refreshments, are included with your event pass.

Would you like to join us? Simply confirm your place here or contact us today to find out more.