Opinion

Will gains outweigh the risks of an accelerated energy transition?

Carbon emissions must be more than halved to limit global temperature increases to 1.5°C. The rapid rise of renewables is not progressing fast enough to head off catastrophic global warming. Energy companies must reshape themselves and prepare for an accelerated energy transition, says Serge Colle, EY Global Energy Advisory Leader

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California shows the way on building electrification

If not insurable, is it bankable?

Carlsberg aims to be greenest brewery in the world

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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

Finance sits at the heart of Europe’s Green Deal

Europe is moving fast to make the financial innovations required to underpin its Green Deal, write Tom Jess, Policy Advisor, and Kate Levick, Programme Leader, at E3G, an independent climate change think tank

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Carbon removal enters mainstream climate debate

Much as in the energy transition debate, the big question is who pays for carbon removal

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Finding the investment “wow” factor in green buildings

Massive investment opportunities exist for those deciding to use their cash to help renovate buildings, says Jennifer Layke, Global Director of Energy at the World Resources Institute

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Just Transition Fund needs all EU countries to ditch coal

The Just Transition Fund presents an opportunity to get the EU on track towards climate neutrality, but only if it requires all countries to present phase out plans for high-emission technologies like coal burning, argues Rebekka Popp, researcher at the climate change think tank E3G

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Open source software to speed up energy transition

Open source software can facilitate sector coupling through vehicle-to-grid or building-to-grid technology

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EU Green Deal: carbon austerity or economic boost

The European Green Deal, launched in December 2019, is an ambitious policy proposal that will try to agree a carbon emissions reduction target for Europe of up to 55% by 2030 compared to 1990. Two questions appear: is it possible and how much will it cost. But both could be misleading, says Julian Popov, Fellow at the European Climate Foundation and former Bulgarian Minister of the Environment

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Swedish public housing project goes off-grid

Energy expert Brian Vad Mathiesen from Aalborg University in Denmark describes Vårgårda’s system as a “limousine solution”

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California shows the way on building electrification

The argument for natural gas as a bridge to a cleaner renewable future has grown weaker as the case for electrification as the most efficient way to decarbonise has grown

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Audio, Business

Carlsberg aims to be greenest brewery in the world

Data is all important in the company’s energy transition

Big scope to reduce Chinese cement production emissions

Designing net zero and resilient economies

Radically reinvent energy markets for low carbon economy

The untapped benefits of deep energy renovation

Green finance accelerates energy transition

Ground zero for soft energy pathway

Floating offshore wind is becoming serious business

If not insurable, is it bankable?

Offshore wind pushes boundaries in North Sea

Time to shift our focus

Industry pushes for electrification of EU energy agenda

What our editors are reading

Sustainable investing is a win-win

Reports

Research by S&P Global Market Intelligence shows investors are wrong to be wary of sustainable investing that takes into consideration environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors. The analysis concludes: “Carbon-sensitive portfolios have similar returns and significantly better climate characteristics than portfolios constructed without carbon emission considerations.” It cites studies showing companies with lower carbon emissions are more profitable than those producing more emissions. Highly profitable firms are usually well managed and have the resources to adopt proactive environmental strategies to decrease regulatory liabilities, mitigate business risks and manage important stakeholders, it states.

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EU needs EV infrastructure plan

Reports

Electric vehicles are increasing in Europe, but charging points need to come on line to keep up with and encourage this growth. Scenarios estimate there will be 33 to 44 million EVs in the EU by 2030. NGO T&E has designed a methodology, a Public Charging Supply metric, to help policy makers set public charging infrastructure targets. The organisation suggests 1.3 million public charge points will be required EU-wide in five years and close to three million by 2030, requiring investment of €1.8 billion in 2025, 3% of the EU’s annual investment in road transport infrastructure.

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Clean energy standards will require new policies

Reports

A report by the Centre for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) finds a market-based solution is needed to support the US’s clean energy standards (CES) if mid-century climate goals are to be reached. Many states in the US have CES requiring a certain proportion of retail electricity be renewable. But only a few have the most effective approach – a market-based model that prioritises performance and outcome rather than particular technologies. A federal CES could also be adopted that covers the industrial and transportation sectors as well as utilities.

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