Policy

Singapore energy transition plans consider floating solar and cable to Australia

A lack of natural resources means accessing renewables as part of its energy transition is out of the question for Singapore. The country, renowned for its innovation, is having to think creatively to reach its goals

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The EU cannot ‘go it alone’ on Border Carbon Adjustments

Electrification of road haulage will be battery driven and is headed for delivery earlier than expected

Europe’s relationship with hydrogen will need to change over time

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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

ESG is growing in importance for investors

Economies and companies that set an agenda for climate-resilient growth will likely be seen as more attractive prospects, says Matthew Bell, EY Asia Pacific climate change and sustainability services leader

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Denmark pays the price of poor decisions in public transport procurement

Transport is the only sector in Denmark that has seen emissions increase since 1990. New regulation for public procurement and investment in some larger cities has helped to electrify more buses, but electrification of Denmark’s railway network connecting those urban areas is lagging behind

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Greater access to financing will boost Renovation Wave

There needs to be more effort in easing access to financial backing in order to take full advantage of Europe’s Renovation Wave, says Louise White and Reinhard Six from the European Investment Bank (EIB)

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Oil and gas face adapt or decline moment

What investors and governments do with their money sets the direction of the global economy. Mainstream money was directed to fossil fuel for more than a century, leaving clean energy technologies swirling in the eddies. But during 2020 the flow of money dramatically changed course. The stream to fossil fuel slowed to a trickle and now oil and gas is at risk of being left high and dry.

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Debt relief focus risks crippling the economic recovery

Debt markets and capital markets both notoriously struggle to prepare for external shocks. The covid-19-induced economic crisis is no exception, says Dileimy Orozco from climate change think tank E3G

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Renewables offer permanent economic recovery for Greece

Red tape, infrastructure woes and recent economic turmoil are holding Greece back from fully reaping the benefits of a much-needed energy transition

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Climate and energy innovation needs to be more sensitive to inequalities

Research into energy poverty initiatives often ignores society’s most vulnerable groups. In order to fulfill the just transition, all members of society across geography, gender and income need to be included, says Sergio Tirado Herrero of the Institute of Environmental Science and Technologies (ICTA) at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) and the EmpowerMed research project

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Potential for Europe to pivot to China on carbon trade as UK and US pull back

The structure of the European Union’s 15-year-old carbon trading market is long overdue for an update if it is to keep pace with growing national ambitions to halt climate-destroying activity and geopolitical shifts

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Opinion

We need a new litmus test for energy innovation

The global pandemic has bought us more time to make the changes necessary to avoid catastrophic climate change. But innovation solutions need to have a global appeal to be truly impactful, says Elena Bou, Innovation Director at EIT InnoEnergy

The Renovation Wave brings a sigh of relief

Electrification of road haulage will be battery driven and is headed for delivery earlier than expected

South Korean biomass lawsuit a warning to Europe

Green buildings are only as clean as the energy used in manufacturing their insulation material

Developing economies have much to gain from welcoming offshore wind

The EU cannot ‘go it alone’ on Border Carbon Adjustments

New finance model swaps coal for renewables

Increased goals will bring increased benefits

Europe’s relationship with hydrogen will need to change over time

Insuring a renewable future

Figures do not lie: electricity speeds up on decarbonisation

What our editors are reading

Time to act on industry emissions is now

Reports

Uptake of clean energy technology in heavy industry to-date has been slow. This is partly the result of a low carbon price meaning investing in new low-carbon technology does not yet make business sense for these companies, according to German green think tank Agora Energiwende. However, 30-53% of industrial assets will require major re-investments during the next 5-10 years. Policymakers must act now to provide a framework that provides clear incentives for investment along the entire value chain. Proposals include Carbon Contracts-for-Difference, recycling quality targets, and finance for clean-energy and CO₂ infrastructure for industry.

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Decarbonising America can create 25m jobs by 2025

Reports

As many as 25 million jobs will be created in the US by an aggressive climate plan, and making homes all-electric will create more than 7.7 million of those new jobs. The report predicts that the average US household could save $1,000-$2,500 a year by going all-electric. To achieve this, the US must prioritise reductions in three areas: soft costs through regulatory reform, hard costs through massive industrial scale and steady technological progress, and finance costs through government–backed loans.

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Recommendations to solve US offshore wind growing pains

Reports

Gaps between state targets, permitting timelines, and the grid operators’ interconnection queue could damage growth of US offshore wind development, says the Business Network for Offshore Wind, an advocacy group. States have committed to a total of 30 GW of offshore wind generation capacity by 2035. The report makes six recommendations to improve the approvals process: Integrated transmission planning should weigh all benefits; transmission planning should incorporate public policy requirements; planning must be proactive; it should consider a longer time period for benefits make an impact; all benefits must be quantified; and inter-regional planning must be more synchronised.

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