Opinion

Expensive oil means we are failing

By competing with each other in clean transport technology, Europe and China have the opportunity to keep oil prices, demand and production down, says Carl Pope, environmentalist and climate advisor to Michael Bloomberg

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Getting off gas: future risks for energy poor households

Trump will delay but not destroy an electric car future for America

Reducing waste in manufacturing is imperative for the wind industry

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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

The quest for carbon-neutral cities

A development being planned in Sacramento, California, could provide a blueprint to tomorrow’s cities. Many of the answers are already here, but some research remains, says Geeti Silwal from design firm Perkins and Will

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Renewables as grid flexibility tool gives glimpse of the future

As economic activity declined under the pandemic so did demand for electricity. Fossil fuel generation was squeezed off the grid by renewable energy projects with lower marginal costs. Fears that the higher proportion of fluctuating supply would destabilise power systems proved unfounded and grids remained stable. If renewables are to be tasked with keeping the grid secure, alternative mechanisms, already available, must be introduced soon

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The pandemic has changed the course of energy transition

The Covid-19 crisis has forced society to collaborate on the recovery. This shows the same effort can occur in the fight against climate change, argues Adriano Pires of the Brazilian Center for Infrastructure and Elbia Gannoum from Brazil’s wind energy association

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Carrots not sticks created Norway’s electric vehicle paradise

Norway has a high penetration of electric vehicles achieved by tax breaks and investment instead of restrictions

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Getting off gas: future risks for energy poor households

The gas package and renovation wave in the European Green Deal raise new opportunities for ending Europe’s dependence on gas. We need to think about what this means for energy poor households, writes Louise Sunderland from the Regulatory Assistance Project

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Danish tradition of collaboration a strength in energy transition

The head of the new Energy Cluster Denmark body, Glenda Napier, discusses the next steps for the country’s energy transition and how innovation and collaboration will remain crucial to its success

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Reducing waste in manufacturing is imperative for the wind industry

With careful planning and utilising materials within a circular economy, the wind industry can reduce its waste during the production process, says Olivier Fontan, the new CEO at blade manufacturer LM Wind Power

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Renewables face competitive test

Energy systems across the world suffered a shock as the Covid-19 health crises forced carbon-intensive industries, aviation and other transport, to a virtual standstill. The effects of the slowdown could result in a stiff test for renewables competitiveness, argues Juan Alario from GNE Finance

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Technology

Trump will delay but not destroy an electric car future for America

The United States, the home of the car, has yet to make the kind of market impact with electric vehicles (EVs) as it did with the internal combustion engine

Finance ministers need to coordinate for a resilient economy

How Covid-19 could supercharge the green bond market

Near-term headwinds slow renewables’ march

The role of philanthropic foundations in advancing clean energy

Pay attention to young voices and quit wasting our future money

How we reduced our energy bills by 60%

A pale green bond for the energy transition

Central banks swept up in climate action debate

Ocean energy is critical to recovery

Danish firms want regulatory rewards for climate action

Development banks struggle with fossil fuel lock-in

What our editors are reading

Investment in renewables can still reach $1tn by 2030

Reports

Investors remain optimistic about long-term renewable energy growth in the United States, despite near-term headwinds from the Covid-19 pandemic. A new report by the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) finds that a private investment goal of $1 trillion by 2030 in renewables and enabling grid technology is still feasible. Following a record level of investment in 2019 driven by the phasing down of the federal tax credits, expanded state renewable energy standards, improved cost competitiveness and increased demand, one-eighth of the total $1T goal has been met. Covid-19 has led to the loss of almost 100,000 jobs in the renewables sector, strained renewable energy project financing and caused project delays, reducing renewable energy capacity expected online in 2020 by 21%.

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Plan to electrify long-haul UK transport

Reports

The Centre for Sustainable Road Freight publishes its plan to install overhead catenary system on 7,500 kilometres of the UK’s major roads for heavy transport. Drawing on experience from Sweden and Germany, the three-phase plan would cost €21 billion and cover approximately 65% of all the roads used by heavy goods vehicles in the UK. The plan would additionally extend the electricity grid infrastructure, supporting the installation of charging points for smaller electric vehicles at motorway services and other locations across the UK, the authors argue.

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Future Energy Scenarios: July 2020

Reports

The annual update from the UK’s transmission system operator National Grid, shows pathways to a net-zero energy system but called on immediate action to achieve the 2050 target. Its recommendations include an additional 40 GW of generation capacity by 2030. It also called on the UK power sector to become carbon negative using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage in order to offset other areas like heating which will be unable to fully decarbonise by the deadline. Each scenario sees the role of hydrogen increase with round 80 TWh required by 2050 to decarbonise shipping and HGV sectors.

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