Opinion

The energy transition solution right over our heads

Solar power contributes to a decarbonised society and, due to its continually decreasing price, allows European households to save money on electricity bills, says Walburga Hemetsberger, CEO of SolarPower Europe, as her organisation launches a campaign to get solar panels installed on all new and renovated buildings

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Mayors have a duty to respond to climate change

No one-size-fits-all energy transition

Germany feels its way to competitive green electricity market

What our editors are reading

Climate is top concern for global CEOs

Reports

Top CEOs globally believe climate change is the leading risk to organisational growth in 2019, ahead of technological disruption, return to territorialism, cyber security and operational risk, shows KPMG’s 2019 Global CEO Outlook. This is the first time in the five-year history of the survey that climate change ranked first. Of the 1300 CEOs across 11 markets and 11 industry sectors, 76% said their company’s growth will depend on their ability to navigate the shift to a low-carbon, clean-technology economy.

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EU coal power losses to reach €6.6 billion

Reports

Almost 80% of EU coal power plants are running at a loss due to competition from cheaper renewable energy technologies and gas, and are on track to lose as much as €6.6 billion this year. Apocoalypse now, by the Carbon Tracker Initiative, finds that Germany, Spain and the Czech Republic are the most exposed. RWE, with nearly 18,000 MW of installed coal capacity, could post a loss of €975 million. Given the worsening economics of coal-burn, analysts forecast the fuel could be phased out entirely by 2030.

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Pathway to sustainable finance in New Zealand

Reports

New Zealand’s financial markets are largely not aligned with sustainability initiatives, writes the Aotearoa Circle Sustainable Finance Forum in its interim report on why and how the country needs to shift to a sustainable economy. The solutions lie in three themes: changing mindsets, particularly among leadership, to drive the change; greening the finance sector, including by pricing the social and environmental impacts of business; and by redirecting capital to projects which deliver on the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.

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Supporting the mission and journalistic principles behind FORESIGHT Climate & Energy

We face a fundamental change of the cost structure on the supply side and a need for a fundamental change.

Jochen Kreusel

- Market innovation manager in the power grids division at ABB Power

They [the European Commission] are looking at this stuff backwards. I still think they are convinced the short-term market model could work even though they are also starting to realise that you need something parallel, with long term price signals that give investors confidence to invest in infrastructure and allow them to see a decent market return.

Francesco Venturini

- Global head of renewables for Italian utility Enel

Despite tremendous cost decline of wind and solar technologies, electricity prices will probably remain too low to attract the level of investment needed.

Fatih Birol

- Executive director of the International Energy Agency

The greatest barrier to overcome is the integration of variable renewables into electricity systems. This will require developing power system flexibility and also a friendly deployment of variable renewables.

Fatih Birol

- Executive director of the International Energy Agency

Latest articles

Big business sees route to zero carbon electricity

Online platforms can deliver transparency around PPAs, bring down transaction costs and enable new entrants in the market

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Rerouting network companies toward decarbonisation

Financial incentives based on consumer interests and sound regulatory principles should be used to encourage electricity network operators to get ready to manage — and enable consumers to make the most of — future electricity markets, argues Zsu-zsanna Pató from the Regulatory Assistance Project

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Poles apart

Despite claims to the contrary, research by WWF finds that Poland can reach net zero carbon emissions in a socially fair way without massive increases in EU financial support, explains Katie Treadwell, Policy Officer, WWF European Policy Office

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Prioritise electrification for efficient energy transition

EU leaders need to get serious about electrification if Europe is to decarbonise in line with the commitments of the Paris climate agreement and bring about economic benefits for consumers, say signatories of The Electrification Alliance, launched in Brussels this week

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E-fuels the next big idea for aviation and trucking

Enthusiasm for e-fuels is growing, but it is still unclear where the renewable energy will come from to produce them

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Hydrogen: Northern Netherlands leads Europe and the world

The Northern Netherlands has won a €20 million EU grant to become Europe’s flagship green hydrogen project. The former natural gas region will lead Europe — and the rest of the world — in the energy revolution required by the Paris climate agreement, says Nienke Homan, regional minister in the Province of Groningen

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Putting principles before profit?

Expectations are high that the Principles for Sustainable Banking can push banks to change their balance sheets and businesses in line with climate action and other big societal issues

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Focus on solutions and good news to engage citizens

Deliberative forums involving members of the public will help advance an ambitious energy transition

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Business

Shipping industry coasts towards decarbonised future

Efficiency measures have cut greenhouse gas emissions in the shipping industry, but if the sector is to be part of the climate solution, radical action to adopt new cleaner fuels is the only answer

Germany wrestles with gas

Just Transition: act now before industries and communities decline

Energy performance certificates hold back heat decarbonisation

Venture capital investment is helping utilities adapt to change

A common language can unite energy saving efforts

No one-size-fits-all energy transition

FORESIGHT Climate & Energy Autumn/Winter 2019

Mayors have a duty to respond to climate change

Copenhagen struggles to clear the capital of carbon

Put consumption at heart of urban energy transition

Size is everything

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