Watt Matters Podcast

Introducing: Watt Matters

Listen to the trailer for the new podcast Watt Matters, bringing biweekly debates and discussions on the energy transition in Europe, North America and around the world.

Most read this month

Greater and smarter electrification is key to combatting climate change

Autumn/Winter 2021

What net zero looks like around the world

Main Partners

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

There’s more to digitalisation than data

Wind power operators are creating new ways of working to manage their portfolios more efficiently. But as wind scales up, digitalisation must be delivered strategically, otherwise, a fragmented and ineffective approach to digital tools could hold the industry back, says Evgenia Golysheva at ONYX Insight, a provider of predictive data analytics and engineering consultancy

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Power to the public

Municipal electricity utilities have a long history in Europe, with more emerging as cities look to lead the energy transition. The model has obvious advantages but has also suffered setbacks in some markets. In an increasingly competitive landscape, using the benefits of private partners may be the way forward

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Decarbonising heat at city scale

Cities are taking the lead on the decarbonisation of district heating and cooling networks, with the use of heat pumps on the rise

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So you have committed to net zero… now what?

Commitments to reaching net zero carbon emissions are important but the real test is moving from the “what” to the “how”. This requires a far more inclusive and holistic approach, says Jeff Connolly, CEO of Siemens Australia & New Zealand

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Cities battle to beat the heat

Cities are feeling the heat more than outlying areas. The increased use of vegetation, reflective surfaces, building codes promoting ambitious energy efficiency standards and district cooling are being employed to provide heat relief and facilitate sustainable cooling for urban dwellers

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Autumn/Winter 2021

A clear message that emerges in our 13th print issue of FORESIGHT Climate & Energy is that every country’s—or every city’s—carbon reduction strategies will be different, driven by different starting points, different cultures, different challenges, different raw commodities and different major emitters to abate. Whatever the strategy, common to all regions is that a successful transition will take multiple, highly coordinated actions

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Trusted messengers

Governments are increasingly legislating for the building of new net-zero housing. But improving the green credentials of the existing housing stock is a much more difficult path to navigate. Now communities are being empowered to clean up their homes through collective action

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The neighbourhood approach to decarbonisation

Thousands of buildings across Europe will need to be renovated on an unprecedented scale if climate and greenhouse gas reduction targets are to be met. Lawmakers’ minds are turning to how best to undertake the Herculean task

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Business, Cities

Source new information from old data

Advocates of so-called digital twins—simulated computer modelling of technologies at work—see them as vital tools for managing the complexity of multi-level electricity systems and the digital control of energy-efficient buildings

Greater and smarter electrification is key to combatting climate change

What net zero looks like around the world

LNG lingers on in Asia

Western Balkans try to break King Coal’s grip on power

Europe experiments with efficiency incentives

Companies could tip the scales for a green mobility boost

Rule change promises South African renewables options beyond REIPPPP

Southeast Asia attempts to kick the coal habit

The revised EU ETS can accelerate the decarbonisation of cement

Cities warmed by heated market for power contracts

Transport transition lies in a rail renaissance

What our editors are reading

Tap pensions for humanitarian aid

Reports

Climate change is making the recurrence and intensity of extreme weather events or natural catastrophes greater. The insurance industry’s losses over the last 50 years show an exponential increase for weather-related events versus other non-climate perils. Global insurance losses from wildfires rose 500% during 2010-2019. The humanitarian funding gap has grown from less than $1 billion 20 years ago, to $4 billion ten years ago, to over $20 billion today. As much as $1.5 trillion of total pension fund capital could be deployed in the (re)insurance space to help close the protection gap.

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Solar power to rocket with effective policies

Reports

Installation of solar power capacity could reach 2.2 terawatts by 2050 with the right policies to support the technology. This would translate to 167 million households and 23 million businesses installing the technology. The greatest potential is seen in Australia, where up to 80% of rooftops could host solar panels. To achieve this, lawmakers need to focus on incentives, solar panels mandates on new builds, support for energy storage development and reducing other barriers including a lack of capital.

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Rural US would benefit from clean investment

Reports

Federal investment into climate mitigation measures in rural areas of the United States could provide significant returns. The World Resources Institute found every $1 million invested would generate 17.5 jobs and $1.5 million in returns. Nearly 45% of all rural jobs created by these federal investments would be created in economically disadvantaged counties. Investment in measures to advance renewable energy projects, build infrastructure, make homes more energy-efficient, clean up fossil fuel production sites and to suppress wildfires would make these communities more resilient to climate change and improve the economies. 

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