CO2 emissions-reduction

Decarbonisation: a matter of leadership

Rod Christie - 9 February 2021

There’s an enormous amount of investment to develop and refine the technological the world needs per the CO2 emissions-reduction targets of the Paris Climate Accord to limit global warming. If I’m brutally honest, from an industry awareness perspective, there’s still a long way to go. The science is clear on global warming, and just curtailing what we do today will not have a significant enough impact to stop it.

About the author

Mr Rod Christie
Rod Christie is Executive Vice President of Turbomachinery & Process Solutions at Baker Hughes.
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As leaders in the O&G sector, we need to combine our knowledge and competencies to drive these technologies and solutions. Baker Hughes is transforming as an energy technology company that provides solutions for decarbonisation. Some of these solutions are related to physical equipment. It also includes digital technology, such as advanced analytics for detection and predictive maintenance, and artificial intelligence to optimise equipment for operational efficiency.

I work in Florence, Italy, at our largest Baker Hughes facility where we aspire to transform it to become a ‘Silicon Valley’ for energy technology development. At this facility, we are a major energy innovator and leader in decarbonisation technologies, as well as some particular innovations around combustion, compression, digital analytics, additive manufacturing, and advanced materials.

As Baker Hughes attracts talent from universities around the globe, we are looking for people who want to be part of our solutions. New talent today can find opportunities to create apps for ordering pizza, or such, or we can leverage this talent to create applications and technology to address a major issue for the world: decarbonisation and global warming.

Today, we are leading development in these areas across all our major product lines, including valves. We develop everyday solutions such as the world’s first ‘true-zero leakage’ pilot safety relief valve. We are also leading the development in Low-E valve solutions to minimise emissions, and valve anomaly detection with the advanced diagnostics of the SVI-3 digital valve positioner to predict valve wear in advance of a fugitive emission release.

Another critical route to our future in decarbonisation goes beyond just valves, including making hydrogen a significant alternative energy solution of our future. There’s work ahead to address the economics of production and minimise the high levels of NOxemissions from hydrogen combustion. Recently, we finished a trial for the world’s first hybrid hydrogen turbine for gas networks, blending different mixes of natural gas and hydrogen to bring stable combustion with lower levels of NOx. We are now working on material science to innovate technology to prevent the effects of hydrogen embrittlement.

Working with partners and customers is essential to meet the energy transition challenge. We must drive broader product collaboration and set up the business and our people for success and change-leadership of the future. Creating these decarbonisation solutions and technologies to keep the business vibrant 30 years and beyond is the socially responsible thing to do for our employees, our shareholders, the community and our industry. We want whoever follows us - and those who follow the people who follow us - to look back and say, ‘Thank heavens they made those decisions when they did because if they hadn’t, we would have a very different world today.’

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