The Geological Society's Decarbonisation Blog Series / / by Michael Stephenson

Prof Mike Stephenson of BGS is writing a series of blogs for the Geological Society on geoscience and its role in decarbonisation covering issues such as the energy transition, the hydrogen economy, and decarbonisation in the developing world. 

Krafla geothermal plant, Iceland. Source: Ásgeir Eggertsson, Wikimedia Commons

Following the Geological Society's Lovell Meeting earlier on this year, Professor Mike Stephenson, BGS's Executive Chief Scientist for Decarbonisation and Resource Management has written a series of blogs for the Geological Society and its role in decarbonisation, covering issues such as the energy transition, the hydrogen economy and decarbonisation in the developing world.

How Can Geoscience Deliver Opportunities for Decarbonisation? 

"There are ... some very innovative ideas out there for energy storage, for example turning rocks directly into batteries. Can the distribution of ‘trace’ metals in mudstones, for example, be used to imitate redox flow batteries? Can we use salt caverns as reservoirs for battery electrolytes?"

Florence Bullough of the Geological Society interviews Prof. Stephenson regarding the decarbonisation review paper he co-published in Petroleum Geoscience.

View the Q&A here

Replacing Hydrocarbons with Hydrogen?
"Geoscience will be critical in the development of hydrogen as a major energy carrier. Hydrogen is already powering buses, trains and cars, but could be harnessed more widely in industry and domestic heating."
Prof. Stephenson discusses the types of hydrogen (brown, blue and green) and how we can harness these to incorporate large-scale hydrogen economy, rather than our current hydrocarbon one, positing that large-scale underground storage may be key to success.  

View the blog here

Energy Transitions: the Geological Story

"There is abundant evidence that some of our most ambitious decarbonisation targets will be unachievable without incorporating subsurface energy and storage."

The energy transition from fossil fuels to sustainable energy is just another transition, as we've seen before with the industrial resolution. Prof. Stephenson explains how geoscientists will be as important in this new transition as we were when coal, oil and gas came to the fore in the industrial age.  
View the blog here

How Can We Decarbonise Economic Development?

"CCS may be one of the only tools that the world has to decarbonise whether renewables are widely utilised in the developing world or not. Geoscientists need to work internationally, developing concepts for pilot schemes, as well as working with governments on regulatory and licensing frameworks encouraging CCS, and carbon trading mechanisms."
In his most recent piece for the Geological Society, Prof. Stephenson discusses the developing world and how geoscientists can help to promote a move towards renewable energy as the need for fuel becomes ever more important. 

View the blog here

Prof. Stephenson is a foremost scientist on decarbonisation. Keep up with his latest research, papers and talks on Twitter