Technology

Smart software platforms for smart grids

The expansion of distributed energy resources has precipitated the rise of advanced software platforms to manage them. Virtual power plants and distributed energy resource management systems can help integrate renewables and low-carbon assets more smoothly while allowing value from the flexibility that resources like rooftop solar, battery storage, electric vehicles and heat pumps can also provide to be extracted

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Second part of Fit-for-55 is an opportunity to deliver a fair and ambitious green deal

How did we get here and where are we going?

Getting off gas

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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

Take a read of our most popular articles and opinion pieces from 2021

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Cybersecurity resilience is critical to reaching net-zero

Digital transformation in renewables is accelerating the green energy transition, exponentially expanding both the energy sources that can connect to the grid and the avenues for cyberattacks, says Clinton Firth from EY

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Green hydrogen hurdles complicate Southeast Asia’s net-zero goals

With the hydrogen economy gaining momentum in Europe, the industry is also stimulating interest in other regions of the world where power systems are more reliant on fossil fuels. However, green hydrogen in Southeast Asia has different questions that need answering

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Lithium is the irreplaceable element of electrification

Lithium demand is set to rocket in the coming years massively outstripping supply. Investments need to be made in lithium production today for it to match the world’s needs and to become more environmentally friendly, says Ernie Ortiz, president of Lithium Royalty Corp

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Getting off gas

In this episode, we take a look at our dependence on gas and, with the recent price crisis that swept across Europe, how we can break our grasp on the fuel. Joining Watt Matters this week is Dennis Hesseling from the EU Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER)

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Cross-border cables hold a crucial role in the energy transition

An interconnected transmission grid in Europe would result in lower prices and greater levels of clean energy. But several nations are falling behind on export capacity leading to some member states looking beyond the Union’s borders

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The energy transition is at risk by hydrogen’s perceived simplicity

Low-carbon hydrogen will almost certainly be needed to cut emissions across a range of hard-to-abate sectors. However, if it is used to solve too many problems, it could end up delaying the energy transition and putting urgent decarbonisation plans in jeopardy

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Second part of Fit-for-55 is an opportunity to deliver a fair and ambitious green deal

A second batch of legislative proposals under the European Union’s Fit-for-55% climate package can complement and confirm the bloc’s climate ambition, say Lucie Mattera and Elisa Giannelli from E3G

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Technology

Market collaborates to accelerate electric truck rollout

Advancements in technology and increased, though uneven, political support have set the market for electric heavy-duty vehicles in motion. Prices are falling and battery performance is improving but infrastructure remains a barrier

How did we get here and where are we going?

Introducing: Watt Matters

There’s more to digitalisation than data

Power to the public

Decarbonising heat at city scale

So you have committed to net zero… now what?

Cities battle to beat the heat

Autumn/Winter 2021

Trusted messengers

The neighbourhood approach to decarbonisation

What our editors are reading

Tap pensions for humanitarian aid

Reports

Climate change is making the recurrence and intensity of extreme weather events or natural catastrophes greater. The insurance industry’s losses over the last 50 years show an exponential increase for weather-related events versus other non-climate perils. Global insurance losses from wildfires rose 500% during 2010-2019. The humanitarian funding gap has grown from less than $1 billion 20 years ago, to $4 billion ten years ago, to over $20 billion today. As much as $1.5 trillion of total pension fund capital could be deployed in the (re)insurance space to help close the protection gap.

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Solar power to rocket with effective policies

Reports

Installation of solar power capacity could reach 2.2 terawatts by 2050 with the right policies to support the technology. This would translate to 167 million households and 23 million businesses installing the technology. The greatest potential is seen in Australia, where up to 80% of rooftops could host solar panels. To achieve this, lawmakers need to focus on incentives, solar panels mandates on new builds, support for energy storage development and reducing other barriers including a lack of capital.

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Rural US would benefit from clean investment

Reports

Federal investment into climate mitigation measures in rural areas of the United States could provide significant returns. The World Resources Institute found every $1 million invested would generate 17.5 jobs and $1.5 million in returns. Nearly 45% of all rural jobs created by these federal investments would be created in economically disadvantaged counties. Investment in measures to advance renewable energy projects, build infrastructure, make homes more energy-efficient, clean up fossil fuel production sites and to suppress wildfires would make these communities more resilient to climate change and improve the economies. 

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