Scaling up a carbon-free energy carrier solution across industries.
The European Union recently set for itself an aggressive, binding goal of cutting CO2 emissions 55% by 2030 (Fit for 55 Plan) as part of its road map to climate neutrality by 2050. During a recent interview, Olivier Peyret, Chairman Schlumberger France and Director New Energy Europe, talked about how Schlumberger is leveraging its European heritage to collaborate with regional partners in developing innovations needed to achieve those climate ambitions.
The approach Schlumberger is taking isn’t limited to technology innovations, although that is certainly part of the mix. Much of the focus is on the opportunity of locality and regionality—not only reducing emissions where and how they happen, but also addressing energy generation where the energy usage happens.
Peyret describes one example in that a couple of years ago, a few engineers from a Schlumberger tech center in Clamart just south of Paris worked in their own time, during evenings and weekends, all because they were convinced that their skillsets could be a part of the energy transition. The outcome of their efforts is Celsius Energy—a sustainable solution that decarbonizes a building’s climate control system through a process referred to as geoenergy. The way it works is an innovative heat pump system extracts thermal energy from underneath the building to warm it during cooler months and then extracts heat from the building and returns it to the ground to cool it during warmer months. This process can reduce building-related CO2 emissions by 90% and a recent installation in Clamart, France has reduced building-operations-related energy consumption by 60%.
But new energy isn’t a single arrow; it’s a quiver and partnerships bring different arrows that solve different problems. "The new energy journey is deeply rooted in Schlumberger’s century-long legacy for innovation and collaboration," said Peyret. "But partnering to share technology in the new energy space is something different. It opens an unfamiliar, yet to be forged, workflow and culture for public-private and different economic sector partnerships." In its new energy ventures, Schlumberger aims to associate with strategic partners familiar with new energy ecosystems and how they impact every single industry as well as individual energy usage.
This approach accelerates innovation. Peyret highlights the Genvia clean hydrogen production technology venture—a private-public partnership of Schlumberger New Energy, the CEA, and Partners. It poises Schlumberger New Energy to lead one of the biggest, if not the biggest hydrogen-related projects in France and potentially in Europe. It will be the future of electrolysis—the new generation of high temperature, solid oxide electrolysis. Interestingly, that technology comes from the CEA, a public government-funded research organization. Schlumberger’s association with CEA brings their knowledge in the electrolyzer technology development that evolved over 15 years and adds to it Schlumberger’s technology industrialization capability and global distribution capacity, enabling further acceleration of the technology stack development.
So, engaging with the right entities at the right time helps bring much needed solutions to market faster, creating a collaborative ecosystem that will be especially crucial as the market for new forms of energy continues to expand.
"It’s motivating just how versatile applications are for technologies. For instance, Genvia’s electrolyzer technology will help a French company decarbonize their massive cement production operations," said Peyret. “While the immediate benefit is local to France or perhaps Europe—a successful application of such solution has the potential to impact the way energy is consumed in the cement industry globally.”
France is the birthplace of Schlumberger and Peyret notes that it is only natural that the company is pioneering its new energy venture there. Much of the exciting work on transitional energy is done in Europe. And Schlumberger is taking a leading role in the transition to new energy’s future.