Category Archives: Energy & Environment

Stora Enso Partners with Voodin Blade Technology

to Develop Sustainable Wind Turbine Blades from Wood

Stora Enso and Voodin Blade Technology GmbH have signed a partnership agreement to develop sustainable wind turbine blades from wood. Under the agreement, the two companies are committed to developing sustainable alternatives for wind turbine blades and creating a competitive and reliable supply chain. They are currently producing and installing a 20 m blade for a 0.5 MW turbine and have plans for an 80 m blade. 

Voodin Blades is a German-based start-up company developing sustainable rotor blades for wind turbines. Stora Enso is a leading global supplier of mass timber products, including LVL (laminated veneer lumber), a construction material suitable for wind power construction. The partnership supports Stora Enso’s strategic offering of innovative solutions to replace less environmental-friendly materials with renewable ones made from wood.

“With the current energy crisis and ambitious decarbonization goals, wind energy has never been more in demand. Through this partnership with Voodin Blades we further accelerate our ability to develop a sustainable and competitive supply chain for the growing market of wind turbine blades,” said Lars Völkel, executive vice president, Wood Products Division, Stora Enso.

Wind power blades are typically produced with fiberglass and carbon fibre, energy-intensive non-renewable plastics made from petrochemicals that cannot be easily recycled. Tens of thousands of ageing blades today end up in landfills. By developing blades with sustainable wood, Stora Enso and Voodin Blades can make the blades lighter and reduce the overall dependency on fossil fuel extraction.

“The wind industry as a key driver towards carbon neutrality needs to become 100% sustainable and environmentally friendly. With the installation of the 20 m blade, we are opening a path towards a more sustainable future. In time we will start to develop and manufacture blades for future multi-megawatt turbines,” said Joachim Knapp, mechanical engineer and automation expert with Voodin Blades.

Stora Enso is providing 100% sustainable wood for the new blades. The first 20 m blade will be developed using Stora Enso’s LVL, a mass timber product that has a high load-bearing capacity that easily supports largescale rotary blades. Unlike steel and concrete, LVL is relatively lightweight to transport on-site without heavy-duty equipment. Furthermore, LVL is a renewable material with a minimal carbon footprint. The 20 m blade will be installed on a 0.5-megawatt turbine near Warburg, Germany by the end of 2022.

In addition to its collaboration with Voodin Blades, Stora Enso recently announced a partnership with wood technology company Modvion to establish wood as the material of choice for wind turbine towers.

About Stora Enso 

Part of the global bioeconomy, Stora Enso is a leading provider of renewable products in packaging, biomaterials, wooden construction and paper, and one of the largest private forest owners in the world. We believe that everything that is made from fossil-based materials today can be made from a tree tomorrow. Stora Enso has approximately 22,000 employees and our sales in 2021 were EUR 10.2 billion.

For more information, visit storaenso.com.

McKinsey Launches Net Zero Built Environment Council

to Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Buildings

McKinsey has announced the launch of a Net Zero Built Environment Council, a cross-sector coalition of industry stakeholders to collaboratively create new pathways to cut greenhouse gas emissions from buildings.

The life cycle of buildings is responsible for approximately 40 percent of global CO₂ emissions, making the built environment among the highest GHG emitters, above electricity production, shipping, and aviation. The new Council will bring together stakeholders across the built environment value chain, from industry leaders to scale-ups, to stimulate investment, deployment, and scaling of new materials and technologies that will help reduce emissions at all stages of the building life cycle.

The launch of the Council will support stakeholders to create and commercialize new green innovations, create global sustainability metrics and research, and promote cost-effective pathways to decarbonizing everything from construction methods to materials. It aims to align siloed supply chains, construction projects and markets, and help industry players to tap into an estimated US$800 billion – US$1,900 billion in potential green markets.

The launch of the Net Zero Built Environment Council comes alongside the release of a new McKinsey report that identifies a lack of collaboration within the built environment ecosystem as a key obstacle to decarbonization. McKinsey’s research finds that 76% of emissions from an average building are caused by operations, demonstrating a need for collaborative decarbonization across the entire built environment life cycle, not just during construction. The report found that half of all emissions across the built environment could be eliminated with little extra cost, while 20 percent will be more costly and complex to decarbonize, such as cement and steel, requiring more industry partnerships to reduce costs and risks for all new materials and technologies.

Brodie Boland, partner at McKinsey, said: “Reducing lifecycle emissions will require collaborations and partnerships across industries to cost-efficiently build and scale new innovations from green cement to hydrogen boilers. Yet the built environment is currently a fragmented landscape of separate localized markets, suppliers and building codes as well as disjointed construction processes with unequal accountability. With net zero requiring a threefold increase in the pace of decarbonization, the new Council aims to unite all key players to accelerate decarbonization by collectively transforming the way we design, build, operate and decommission buildings.”

Erik Sjödin, partner at McKinsey, said: “Many green building innovations are already cheaper and widely available, such as optimizing designs to reduce demand for raw materials, yet there is a lack of transparency around all these levers and how to scale them quickly and cost-efficiently. There is also a lack of transparent, trustworthy data on comparative climate performance across the value chain to help spur sustainable investment. The Council will help map out new pathways to net zero and create clear, consistent metrics for green investors, insurers, and customers.”

To help catalyze these changes, the Net Zero Built Environment Council aims to:

  • Map out transparent net-zero pathways – Research and promote the most quick and cost-effective pathways to decarbonization of the built world from equipment electrification to low-carbon material substitutes
  • Spread awareness on what is doable – Lower barriers to decarbonization, capture the interest of decision-makers and spur positive pressure to accelerate climate action
  • Cross-sector partnerships – Cross-sector climate partnerships to share resources and collectively commercialize green technologies at global scale or form lighthouse projects

To read McKinsey’s findings in detail, click here.

About McKinsey & Company

McKinsey & Company is a global management consulting firm committed to helping organizations create Change that Matters. In more than 130 cities and 65 countries, their teams help clients across the private, public and social sectors shape bold strategies and transform the way they work, embed technology where it unlocks value, and build capabilities to sustain the change.

mCloud, Google Cloud to Launch 3 AI-Powered Sustainability Apps

to Reduce Carbon Emissions Worldwide

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, Oct 31, 2022 – mCloud Technologies Corp. a leading provider of AI-powered asset management and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) solutions announced it had entered into a strategic partnership with Google Cloud to launch three AI-powered sustainability applications combining the Company’s AssetCare platform with the power and reach of Google Cloud and additional services such as Google Earth Engine.

The strategic partnership between mCloud and Google Cloud is timely as the United States, the European Union, and Saudi Arabia make major commitments to methane abatement and the implementation of more stringent emission regulations. As a result, energy-intensive organizations across the globe are seeking new technologies to automate and streamline their emissions management and sustainability programs – the areas that mCloud and Google Cloud are now targeting with these applications.

mCloud’s applications deliver “Results-as-a-Service,” targeting oil and gas facilities, commercial buildings, and wind farms applying mCloud’s industrial AI, visual analytics, and 3D digital twin capabilities to measure, locate, and correct harmful emissions, eliminate energy waste, minimize carbon and methane footprints, and maximize the contributions of renewable wind energy around the world.

As part of this partnership, mCloud joins the Google Partner Advantage program and mCloud and Google Cloud plan to jointly co-market and deliver these applications to customers worldwide, offering services to specific customers in the United States, Canada, UK and Europe, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, and Japan alongside major global customers already working with both companies.

In partnership with Google Cloud, mCloud will directly integrate and leverage core Google Cloud services such as Google Earth Engine, Vision AI, Natural Language AI, Translation AI, TensorFlow, and more to enable powerful capabilities driving the sustainability of asset- and energy-intensive operations:

  • At oil and gas facilities, field teams can access asset information at their fingertips, in the cloud and on any voice-enabled mobile device with Google Cloud’s Natural Language AI. Digitalized processes and workflows streamline the detection and localization of methane leaks, while virtual collaboration capabilities seamlessly connect the frontline with the back-office in real-time.
  • At commercial and industrial facilities, access to data unique to Google Earth Engine and other Google Cloud Ready – Sustainability data partners, such as solar intensity, weather conditions, and site occupancy, along with companion Google Cloud applications for retail and commercial facilities such as auto dealerships enable opportunities to automatically drive major reductions in peak demand and energy use intensity per square foot through intelligent management of building and site infrastructure energy consumption.
  • At wind farms, real-time wind data from Google Earth Engine and other Google Cloud Ready – Sustainability data partners, tightly integrated with mCloud’s AI-driven image processing capabilities optimize wind energy production, eliminate maintenance overhead from manual work, and automate the inspection of wind turbine blades.

mCloud president and CEO Russ McMeekin said: “mCloud’s partnership with Google Cloud will create many new and exciting opportunities for curbing climate emissions. The Google Cloud team has been extraordinary in their support and our teams are working well together. The direct collaboration between one of the industry’s most innovative clouds and its AI capabilities, such as Google Earth Engine, and mCloud’s AssetCare creates substantial new operating efficiencies. This means our new sustainability applications will be able to: precisely localize and target harmful emissions at the equipment level, use AI with live wind and solar data to maximize the utility of renewable energy sources, and automatically optimize the emissions footprint of assets everywhere through cloud-based capabilities.

Being part of Google Cloud’s global network for our go-to-market enables mCloud to take applications in partnership with Google Cloud and reach key accounts in every major region of mCloud’s business. As an added benefit, we will be well-positioned to align our sales, marketing, R&D, and regional expansion with specific account and growth objectives. We began these activities in several key markets this summer and we will continue to make progress together in the days ahead.”

“We are pleased to work with innovative partners like mCloud to help address the challenge of eliminating harmful GHG emissions in the energy industry,” said Amit Zavery, VP/GM and head of platform, Google Cloud. “By leveraging Google Cloud and capabilities made possible with Google Earth Engine and AI/ML services, customers will be able to increase their sustainability efforts by optimizing and mitigating their carbon and methane emissions with technology and at cloud scale.”

Go-to-market activities between mCloud and Google Cloud are already underway, with plans to have AssetCare available on the Google Cloud Marketplace later in 2022.

About mCloud Technologies Corp.

mCloud is unlocking the untapped potential of energy intensive assets with AI and analytics, curbing energy waste, maximizing energy production, and getting the most out of critical energy infrastructure. Through mCloud’s AI-powered AssetCare platform, mCloud offers complete asset management solutions for commercial buildings, renewable energy, healthcare, heavy industry, and connected workers. IoT sensors bring data from connected assets into the cloud, where AI and analytics are applied to maximize their performance.

With a worldwide presence and offices in San Francisco, Vancouver, Calgary, London, Perth, Singapore, and Beijing, the mCloud family includes an ecosystem of operating subsidiaries that deliver high-performance IoT, AI, 3D, and mobile capabilities to customers, all integrated into AssetCare.  With over 100 blue-chip customers and more than 67,000 assets connected in thousands of locations worldwide, mCloud is changing the way energy assets are managed.

mCloud’s common shares trade in the United States on the Nasdaq and in Canada on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol MCLD.

For more information, visit www.mcloudcorp.com.