Business

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

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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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

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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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

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Coal-for-renewables finance model raises doubts

The model of taking coal plants offline in exchange for renewable energy finance is growing in popularity with a concessional funding version underway in Chile. But experts are concerned the incentives could be unnecessary and may even encourage some plants to stay online

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Opinion

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

New technologies may offer India’s network operators cheaper and cleaner solutions to improve reliability without having to add more wires, says Rasika Athawale from the Regulatory Assistance Project

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

Differing pasts will provide alternative hydrogen futures

Italy’s dreams of a green hydrogen future rest on its renewables plan

What our editors are reading

G7 invests more in fossil fuel than renewables

Reports

G7 governments are investing more in fossil fuels than in clean energy, says Tearfund, the International Institute for Sustainable Development and the Overseas Development Institute. From January 2020 to March 2021, G7 members pumped $190 billion into fossil fuels compared with $147 billion for clean energy. The report recommends that G7 members dedicate a minimum of 40% of total covid-19 recovery spending to policies and measures supporting clean energy investments and priorities aligned with the Paris Agreement; and help enable a green recovery in low- and middle-income countries.

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High renewable growth rate the “new normal”

Reports

Renewable energy capacity increased by the highest total for more than 20 years in 2020, up nearly 280 gigawatts (GW). Such high growth is set to become the new normal, according to the IEA. Solar PV will lead the charge with annual new capacity set to reach 162 GW by 2022, up nearly 50% from 2019. New additions in China are expected to slow but will be offset by significant growth in Europe, the US and India, with policy support, corporate PPA deals, and tax incentives benefitting the sector in Europe and America.

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Advanced grid technologies could double renewables capacity

Reports

Dynamic line ratings, advanced power flow control and topology optimisation could enable Kansas and Oklahoma to integrate 5.2 gigawatts (GW) of wind and solar generation capacity currently in interconnection queues by 2025, according to The Brattle Group for the WATT Coalition. The total is more than double the development possible without the technologies or building new large-scale transmission lines. Nationally, these grid-enhancing technologies could deliver carbon emissions cuts equal to taking 20 million cars off the road and $5 billion in yearly energy cost savings, with upfront investment paid back in just six months.

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