Technology

South Australian rooftop PV exports on trial

Case study: As renewable energy, particularly rooftop solar, continues to be rapidly adopted across Australia, power system operators are having to find new ways of managing electricity generation and supply as the level of complexity increases. Digital solutions are coming into their own

Most read this month

The European Climate Law agreement is about more than new targets

How to sink the cost of floating offshore wind

Non-wires alternatives can be a solution to India’s grid reliability challenge

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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 grid in search of a brain

Around 50% of the shift from fossil fuels to renewable form of energy has been a digitised transition to 2020, says Energinet, Denmark's power system operator. As the world digitises further, the already vast volumes of data will only increase in mass. Advances in Artificial Intelligence technology and machine learning tools provide ways of processing this tsunami of data into a new world order

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Use the correct data in the right way

Data is having a major impact on our world. In energy, an influx of data is changing the roles of each player across the value chain but it needs to be gathered and processed in a suitable way to have the greatest influence. Ensuring the data is right to begin with is essential to the success of the energy transition

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The EU’s new Environmental Action Programme must live up to its name

The European Union has a chance to set the course for a decade of environmental action. But only if an ambitious policy framework can be established, says Rebecca Humphries from WWF’s European Policy Office

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The time and place for geoengineering projects

Geoengineering efforts offer a science fiction-style get-out option as the effort to avert catastrophic climate change comes down to the wire. Interest and investment in such projects shift resources away from the mainstream energy transition but some suggest the value of the research lies in a worst-case scenario

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Reliability is a challenge but the opportunities are endless

India’s energy system can improve by incorporating more load-side distributed clean solutions. To achieve that, regulators will have to develop suitable evaluation and incentive structures for the country’s distribution companies (discoms), says Rasika Athawale from the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP)

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Offshore wind’s success is only the beginning

The world’s ocean provides much of humanity’s foodstuff, carries the bulk of the world’s trade and acts as a store for enormous amounts of carbon dioxide. It is central to our climate goals and prosperity, says Graham Stuart, UK International Trade Minister, on World Ocean Day (June 8th, 2021)

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Carbon offsets can send emissions reductions efforts off course

Offsetting emissions is fraught with problems and critics fear these programmes could distract from the real goal of keeping fossil fuels in the ground

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On the hunt for low-carbon aluminium

Recycling existing aluminium has significant carbon benefits compared to producing brand new material. However, the limited resources cannot keep up with the growing demand. The industry is looking to reduce carbon intensity while maintaining aluminium’s benefits

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Opinion

All parties must be on board to decarbonise the retail building sector

Fulfilling the Paris Agreement’s climate-neutrality commitments by 2050 demands significant efforts from the building sector. All actors from across the entire buildings value chain need to increase decarbonisation efforts, say Caroline Milne and Zsolt Toth from the Buildings Performance Institute Europe

Coal-for-renewables finance model raises doubts

Non-wires alternatives can be a solution to India’s grid reliability challenge

Battle lines drawn over CCS access to European funding

Ambitious targets remain academic if we do not get permitting right

How to sink the cost of floating offshore wind

The European Climate Law agreement is about more than new targets

New supply chain law could help spur the energy transition

The US needs to upgrade its transmission system to fully realise its offshore wind potential

A climate council should marry policies with ambition

Energy storage is the perfect partner to decarbonise remote areas

Wind turbines in a race to become even cleaner

What our editors are reading

Supply chain PPAs to grow

Reports

Power purchase agreements (PPAs) are set to be deployed in greater numbers by corporations as they attempt to decarbonise their supply chains, says Schneider Electric. Corporate interest in collaborative
PPAs is growing as more companies set about reducing Scope 3 emissions. Tackling supply chain decarbonisation through a PPA programme remains complex, however. There is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Additionally, as more companies make progress on decarbonising supply chains, more innovative programmes are being developed to deal with Scope 3 emissions.

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Private sector renewables investment slows

Reports

Over $167 billion of private sector investment has been raised as part of a programme to raise $1 trillion by 2030 launched by the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE). One-sixth of the target has been secured despite a 12% decline in renewable energy investment in 2020 primarily due to lower financing levels in the onshore wind sector. Over $90 billion needs to be raised each year to reach the target by the end of the decade; however, the report also finds confidence among renewable energy investors and developers to be at an all-time high.

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Ten technologies to accelerate the energy transition

Reports

Development of ten key technologies will be vital as the global economy transitions to low-carbon. The ten technologies highlighted by DNV GL are: floating offshore wind, pipelines for low-carbon gases, novel shipping technologies, solar PV, meshed HVDC grids, EVs and grid integration, waste to fuel and feedstock, batteries, green hydrogen, and carbon capture and storage (CCS). The selection is “not exhaustive”, but they are of “particular interest for the pace and direction of the energy transition”. 

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