1 Green (nature-based) versus Gray (man-made) DefinitionGreen (nature-based) versus Gray (man-made)
2 RAI-GI member companies: RAI-GI collaborating partners: HypothesisGI phase 1 - hypothesisGreen Infrastructure can provide more categories of benefits - economic, environmental, socio-political - , than traditional gray infrastructureTherefore the hypothesis is that:“Working together with natural systems can enable organizations to better manage disruptive events, such as mechanical failure, power interruption, raw material price increases, and floods, that often impair gray solutions. In other words, GI solutions can increase business resilience”.RAI-GI member companies:Royal Dutch ShellThe Dow Chemical CompanySwiss ReUnileverRAI-GI collaborating partners:The Nature ConservancyThe global economy is a tightly wound system, extremely interconnected and efficient, with increasing risks to organizations due to the rapid propagation of disruptive events. Ecosystem services, the goods and services humans receive from nature, underpin the global economy and provide tremendous value to people and organizations. Receiving services from nature is often more cost effective and sustainable than generating them with man-made materials like steel and concrete. The hypothesis is that working together with natural systems, and hence Green Infrastructure, offers benefits by being resistant to disruptive events, such as power interruption, raw material price increases, mechanical failure and financial crisis, which can impair traditional gray solutions.Resilience Action Initiative (RAI)
3 Green Infrastructure went public on 11th June 2013! GI phase 1 case studiesGreen Infrastructure went public on 11th June 2013!
4 Can GI solutions increase business resilience? Green versus Gray infrastructureTrade-offs !!!Evaluation criteriaGreen infrastructureGray infrastructureStakeholder involvementExtended stakeholders are often required to support the project and may have an active and ongoing role in the project design and operationStakeholders are often engaged with the aim to create local support for the project, but without active involvement in the project design and operationEngineering approachGI solutions require a custom-made, location-specific design and do not lend themselves to standardization and replicationTraditional engineering solutions enable a standardize-and-replicate approach which can significantly reduce project costs and delivery timesPhysical footprintA large physical footprint is often required due to low energy densityUsually, only a small physical footprint is required due to the high energy densityEnvironmental footprintOften reduced environmental footprint due to GI solutions being nature-based and self-regeneratingOften increased environmental footprint due to material and energy intensive processes (manufacturing, distribution, operation)Speed of delivering the functionalityGI solutions may take time (years) to grow to provide a certain service and capacityTraditional engineering solutions provide functionality from day 1 of operationSusceptibility to external factorsGI solutions are susceptible to extreme weather conditions, seasonal changes in temperature or rainfall and disease.Gray infrastructure is susceptible to power loss, mechanical failure of industrial equipment and price volatility.Operational and maintenance costsOperating and maintenance costs are often significantly lower (only monitoring and feedback is required)Operating costs are often significantly higher due to power consumption, operational and maintenance requirementsRisk of price volatilityGI solutions are relatively insensitive to fluctuations in the cost of raw materials, oil, gas and powerTraditional engineering solutions are sensitive to fluctuations in the cost of raw materials, oil, gas and powerApproach to system monitoring and controlGI solutions are living and complex systems that can be monitored and effectively managed by a deep understanding of the key control variablesTraditional engineering solutions are man-made systems that are typically designed with established monitoring techniques to effectively manage and control system performanceRequired operating personnelNo need for 24/7 operational supervision because of the slower response times of GI solutions compared to gray solutionsComplex control and safeguarding systems typically require 24/7 operational supervisionExpenses for increasing capacity of systemRelatively inexpensive to extend the capacity of the GI solution, provided there is physical footprint availableExtension of capacity could be relatively inexpensive as long as significant modification or redesign is not requiredThe key differences between green and gray infrastructure are summarized in Table 1 and serve to enhance the understanding of the trade-offs involved when evaluating green versus gray solutions. These trade-offs assist in identifying the specific areas of opportunity for optimum resilient solutions which, in practice, are often combinations of new GI solutions integrated into existing facilities, creating so-called hybrid solutions.GI solutions often leverage existing natural resources. Their regenerative processes consume less energy and are thus less sensitive to fluctuations in the cost of raw materials, cost of power, energy loss and mechanical failure compared to gray infrastructureBoth green and gray infrastructure resist shocks, but in different ways. Hybrid approaches, utilizing a combination of green and gray infrastructure, may provide an optimum solution to shocks and improve the overall resilience of an organization
5 Hybrid approaches as optimum solutions Hybrid engineeringHybrid approaches, utilizing a combination of green and gray infrastructure, may provide an optimum solution to shocks and improve the overall resilience of an organization. Synergies occur from combining both engineering schemes, each building upon their respective strengthsNature-basedMan-madeSynergiesThe table above communicates that both green solutions and gray solutions have benefits and challenges. Both green and gray infrastructure resist shocks, but in different ways. For example, gray components may support the “growth” of a green solutionGI solutions offer a fit-for-purpose approach to reduce the system redundancy of the hybrid solution due to its ability to be implemented in a modular way, slowly increasing the capacity of the GI solution based on operational feedback from the field. Hybrid solutions allow effective risk management against different types of shocks and stressors in the goal to transition to more resilient facilities.
6 Reed beds for water treatment Example in ShellReed beds for water treatmentNimr water treatment plant (NWTP), OmanValue DriversReduce high energy costsReduce GHG emissions (power gen)Key enablersEnvironmental climatePolitical climateCritical success factorsCollaboration with external partyStep-wise increasing the capacity of the wetlands (hybrid solutions)Internal champion to drive the projectKey risks / barriersLarge land area requiredTime required to find solutionCo-benefitsIncreased biodiversityWetland functions as CO2 sinkOptions for saline agriculturePDO (Petroleum Development Oman); Gov. of Oman, Royal Dutch Shell: Produced Water Treatment Plant, Oman Project description: 235 ha Reed-bed water treatment plant treating produced water from Shell oilfields in OmanThe world’s largest Reed-bed water treatment plant treats 15 vol% (45,000 m3/d) of the total produced water from the Shell oilfields in Oman. The huge volumes of water produced from the reservoir required an extensive water treatment infrastructure to process and re-inject the water into subsurface reservoirs, leading to high operational costs of equipment. The team was seeking an alternative, low cost solution to treat the water to the required discharge specification. The gravity-based wetland design offered the following advantages and disadvantages:Capital expense savings: in the order of 50% equipment cost savings compared to the water re-injection alternativeOperating expense savings: energy consumption reduced by 80% due to elimination of (electric powered) water treatment and injection equipment and the operation thereofEliminated the carbon footprint: associated with the operation of water treatment and injection equipmentOther benefits: potential for by-product optimization with the local environmentLarge required land footprint: 235 ha to treat 45,000 m3/d of produced waterLong pilot period (>5 years): required to de-risk the GI technology and find the optimum Reed-bed designOperational risk of the wetland: risk of not delivering the desired functionality and not meeting the performance requirements due to external factors (climate change, floods, biotic stresses, etc)Liability issues: related to toxic metals in wastewater leading to the limited use of Reed-beds (i.e. facility is fenced in)Disposal OptionPower requiredCO2 emissionsDeep well disposalUp to 5.5 kWh/m31,960,000 tReed bed0.1 kWh/m335,700 t
7 GI phase 2 (2013-2014) GI knowledge projects Develop a comprehensive techno-economic & environmental model to better evaluate green versus gray solutionsDevelop and calibrate the model using the PDO reed bed projectShell, Dow (share approach)GI knowledge projects2. Design and develop a GI catalogue to help implement GI into our businessesWaste categories: GHG, water, solids, noise, chemicals etcClimate categories: tropical, polar / arctic, temperate, desert etcShell, Dow (share approach)GI application projects3. Share knowledge on small scale, easy to replicate, hybrid GI projectsOption 3.1-A: GI for coastal pipeline infrastructure erosion controlOption 3.1-B: GI for onshore pipeline infrastructure erosion controlOption 3.2: GI for China retail station water mgt and effluent treatmentShell, TNC (TBC), Bauer (TBC)4. Explore GI opportunities for Dow & Shell co-located assetsOption 4.1-A: Shell downstream assets: Deer Park refineryOption 4.1-B: Shell upstream assets: unconventionalsOption 4.2: Development by Design of Colorado land reclamationShell, Dow (TBC), TNC (TBC)GI exploratory projects5. Explore mutually beneficial GI related water technology solutionsOption 5.1: develop nature-based progressive salt water treatment optionsOption 5.2: Saline agriculture related developmentsShell, Dow (joint programs)6. RAI design competition to link smart cities to GI via industrial ecology solutionsLeverage GI phase 1 work for the Houston smart city pilotLink with the Gamechanger social innovation initiativeShell, Dow (TBC), RAI (TBC)