Finance

Insuring a renewable future

As the clean energy industry forges ahead into new markets, sometimes with technologies yet to stand the test of time, conditions for obtaining insurance for renewable energy facilities have tightened significantly, particularly for the increasing number of projects built in areas susceptible to natural disasters

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Why do we favour renewables over energy efficiency?

Renewables as grid flexibility tool gives glimpse of the future

Wind was resilient throughout the crisis, will be decisive in the recovery

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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

Figures do not lie: electricity speeds up on decarbonisation

Europe’s electricity industry is decarbonising at an increasing pace, with the rise of renewables and drop in coal-based power generation. But progress on the ground will be bigger once the remaining barriers are removed, argues Eurelectric’s Kristian Ruby

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Fossil gas is losing its grip in America too

Natural gas has not yet reached its peak in the US, but the summit is in view

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The biggest barrier in the transition to EVs is the lack of charging infrastructure

Charging an EV should be as easy as charging a smartphone

The biggest barrier in the transition to electric vehicles is the lack of charging infrastructure. While large-scale projects will ultimately deliver the most effective results, traction will come from multiple smaller applications and innovations, argues Jean-Christoph Heyne from Siemens’ Future Grids business unit

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The big role of small companies in the energy transition

The big names of the corporate world will not achieve the energy transition alone. Companies of all sizes have a part to play

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An EV future is in our hands

On World EV Day, the stage is set for electric vehicles to become the mainstream mobility choice, as long as the main actors play their part, says Frank Mühlon, head of ABB’s Global E-Mobility Infrastructure Solutions

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A clean-energy future is reliant on sustainable mining and cement

The mining and cement industries contribute over 10% of the world’s CO₂ emissions but demand in both industries remains high. It is, therefore, imperative that decarbonisation efforts should be accelerated, argues Thomas Schulz, CEO of engineering firm FLSmidth

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Missing details from South Korea green deal raises doubts over government intentions

A decade of rapid growth has positioned South Korea to take full advantage of the clean transition under President Moon Jae-in’s Green New Deal. But a hangover from previous administrations and an elusive emissions reduction target put its efficacy in doubt

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Why do we favour renewables over energy efficiency?

It is beyond discussion that the global climate emergency calls for solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and requires decarbonisation. Often, the spotlight is aimed at renewable energy as the solution, but in fact, we can achieve 44% of the required global reductions by capturing the potential of energy efficiency, argues Lars Knaack of Novenco

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Opinion

Wind was resilient throughout the crisis, will be decisive in the recovery

The strong figures posted by the wind industry in the troubled first half of 2020 were testament to the resilience of the industry. This further shows how vital wind energy will be in achieving a zero-carbon economy, argues Ivan Komusanac from trade body WindEurope

Expensive oil means we are failing

The quest for carbon-neutral cities

Renewables as grid flexibility tool gives glimpse of the future

The pandemic has changed the course of energy transition

Carrots not sticks created Norway’s electric vehicle paradise

Getting off gas: future risks for energy poor households

Danish tradition of collaboration a strength in energy transition

Reducing waste in manufacturing is imperative for the wind industry

Renewables face competitive test

Trump will delay but not destroy an electric car future for America

Finance ministers need to coordinate for a resilient economy

What our editors are reading

To recover, US cities need localised green stimulus

Reports

Federal stimulus investment is critical for cities to effectively recover from the covid-19 pandemic and economic downturn, says Rocky Mountain Institute. It outlines five strategies. Firstly, strengthen, automate and streamline permitting to build efficient, affordable housing, and rehabilitate abandoned properties. Secondly, improve energy security, tripling the number of jobs compared with fossil fuels and revitalising communities. Third, support public transit and transport modes for safer mobility, less pollution and increased access. Fourth, enhance resilience for communities and infrastructure, improving preparedness for climate change while creating jobs. Finally, create more green urban spaces, mitigating CO2 and other pollutants.

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Coal plans incompatible with Paris Accord

Reports

Consultancy Ember and NGO Climate Action Network examine the National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs) of 18 EU member states that are still using coal for electricity generation. It finds that 11 of the NECP plans do not phase out coal by 2030 inline with the Paris Agreement. Total installed coal capacity across seven countries (Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Germany, Poland, Romania and Slovenia) falls by just 42% in the next decade. Around 52GW of coal capacity is expected to be operational after 2030, roughly 90% of which is in Czechia, Germany and Poland.

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Electricity cannot decarbonise economies alone

Reports

The latest, revamped version of the IEA’s Energy Technology Perspectives report analyses over 800 technology options to support the shift to a zero-carbon economy. As well as increased electrification, the IEA also predicts a significant rise in hydrogen, carbon capture and storage, and synthetic fuel technologies in order to reach net zero emissions by mid-century. By 2050, electricity, hydrogen, synthetic fuels and bioenergy will make up a similar level of energy demand that is supplied by fossil fuels today. Achieving net-zero depends on how the emissions from long-lasting carbon-emitting assets is managed.

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