For nearly three decades, the United Nations has been bringing together almost every country on earth for global climate summits - called COPs - which stands for Conference of the Parties. During that time, climate change has gone from being a niche issue to a global priority.
Taking place in Scotland, as part of the United Kingdom's hosting of this massive event, COP26 was a massive and, by all accounts, successful event bringing together over 200 world leaders with tens of thousands of negotiators, government representatives, businesses, and citizens for twelve days of talks.
COP26 had a particular urgency. COP21 took place in Paris in 2015 and, for the first time in history, every country agreed to work together to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees and aim for 1.5 degrees, to adapt to the impacts of a changing climate and to make money available to deliver on these aims, resulting in the Paris Agreement. The commitment to aim for 1.5 degrees is important because every fraction of a degree of warming results in the tragedy of many more lives lost and livelihoods damaged.
International climate summits are complex, and this year's summit was no exception; in fact, given that countries, including the United States, backed out of the Paris Agreement as climate change became politicized, and given the impact the global pandemic had on getting leaders together, 2021 was a restart year.
Thousands of announcements about new technologies limiting climate change were distributed, including the introduction of a new partnership between Scotland-based Sunamp and Chinese-based HVAC distributor Thumos, to expand sales of its high energy density, high power density thermal batteries into residential and commercial markets in China.
The companies signed a memorandum of understanding, expected to lead to $67 million in sales for Sunamp over the next five years and to lead to the establishment of a Sunamp factory in China.
Sunamp, which maintains its global headquarters and manufacturing facility in Scotland, is already active in 17 countries worldwide. The company recently opened its first factory under license in Korea.
Sunamp and Thumos have already committed to working together to roll out 400 Heat Batteries into high-end apartments of projects in Shanghai and into a large pipeline of projects across China.
Sunamp compact thermal storage products use the company's Plentigrade patented phase change material formulation, which stores 4x more energy than water, to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions associated with heating and cooling in buildings.
"Ahead of the United Nations climate summit, China's State Council declared the share of non-fossil fuels in the country's energy consumption will increase to 25 per cent by 2030," said Sunamp chief executive Andrew Bissell. "That's nine percentage points higher than it was in 2020. Our products have a role to play in that transition by increasing the efficiency of renewables, and we are excited by the opportunity to collaborate with Thumos to significantly expand our sales in China."
The two companies will continue to collaborate on the development and commercialization of innovative low carbon systems for heating and cooling, including electric water heater products and air-source heat pump water heater products based on Sunamp's Plentigrade phase change material.
"Thumos is excited to sign the strategic cooperation agreement with Sunamp, which also signifies the beginning of in-depth cooperation between China and the UK in the commercialization of PCM thermal energy storage," said Chengyong Kang, founder, and CEO of Thumos. "Thumos is committed to promoting the sustainable development of renewable energy and environment in a digital way, to utilize the off-peak power and waste heat through residential and commercial projects, helping to achieve China's carbon-neutral goal and promoting the green and low-carbon transformation of global energy. Our collaboration with Sunamp will accelerate the pace of commercial expansion in the Chinese market and lead the development of a broader green energy market."
Energy storage is key to making renewables and energy efficiency work. Sunamp set out to explore the potential of using thermal energy storage to make buildings more energy-efficient, sustainable, and self-sufficient while reducing carbon emissions by optimizing renewable energy sources on-site, supporting the grid to allow on more renewable electricity sources, and harvesting waste heat for re-use.
Sunamp's patented thermal battery energy storage technology protects the environment and improves the quality of life by reducing reliance on fossil-powered heat while driving down energy consumption.
Over the years, Sunamp's technology has been extended across sectors: up the size scale to containerized multi-megawatt industrial heat/cool applications and into the transportation sector via Sunamp Automotive, improving air quality in cities by using thermal batteries to improve engine efficiency and reduce emissions on buses, to ensuring that electric cars can improve range by delivering all required heating and cooling from thermal storage.
The agreement with Thumos is initially focused on HVAC implementations in buildings.
Edited by Luke Bellos