Technology

Denmark gets visionary about offshore wind and hydrogen

The huge scale of offshore wind farms being built in northern Europe is bringing a new understanding of how much electricity can be gleaned from the wind on land and at sea

Most read this month

Open source software to speed up energy transition

Will gains outweigh the risks of an accelerated energy transition?

Embodied carbon the new frontier

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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

Clamping down on financial greenwashing in the EU

Sébastien Godinot, Economist with the WWF European Policy Office, welcomes new European laws that will make it much clearer which investments are genuinely sustainable and help shift funding from fossil fuels to clean energies

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Palsgaard: Supply chain emissions slow carbon neutral efforts

A broad range of efforts and investments in energy efficiency and clean energy has allowed Palsgaard to reduce emissions to zero in the majority of its factories

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Polish coal boiler phase-out: an inspiration for clean heat

Poland gets a lot of bad press for its over reliance on coal, but Jan Rosenow and Richard Cowart from the Regulatory Assistance Project highlight how the country is putting in place regulations that could see it become a leader in ending the use of coal to heat homes

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Norway – where materials matter

Oslo, the capital of Norway, has big climate action ambitions. Among initiatives to achieve them it is instigating regulations to cut carbon emissions associated with buildings under construction and during their operational life spans

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Vancouver trailblazes on embodied carbon

The Canadian city of Vancouver is leading efforts in North America to slash emissions released in the production of building construction materials, setting itself a 40% by 2030 reduction target

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Embodied carbon the new frontier

The world’s building stock is forecast to double in size by 2050 to house a global population of 11 billion. If climate neutrality is also to be met by this date, the construction industry will have to significantly slash emissions from the materials it uses

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Getting to zero carbon buildings requires zero carbon codes

Two-thirds of countries do not have energy building codes. This needs to change if buildings are to become part of the solution to the climate crisis, argues Jim Edelson, Director of Codes and Policy at New Buildings Institute, a US-based not-for-profit organisation

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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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Opinion

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

Carbon removal enters mainstream climate debate

Finding the investment “wow” factor in green buildings

Just Transition Fund needs all EU countries to ditch coal

Open source software to speed up energy transition

EU Green Deal: carbon austerity or economic boost

Swedish public housing project goes off-grid

California shows the way on building electrification

Carlsberg aims to be greenest brewery in the world

Big scope to reduce Chinese cement production emissions

Designing net zero and resilient economies

Radically reinvent energy markets for low carbon economy

What our editors are reading

More grist to the electrification mill

Reports

Electrification of the transport, buildings and industrial sectors in Europe could slash greenhouse-gas emissions by 60% between 2020 and 2050, says a report from BloombergNEF (BNEF) and power companies Statkraft and Eaton. But the authors are clear concrete action is needed from policy makers to make change happen. This could include  incentives or requirements to cut emissions from building heat, supporting demonstration projects for electrification and ironing out barriers to the production of green hydrogen.  Engaging energy consumers and civil society is also important, they state.

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Sudden, inevitable policy shift increases risk of stranded assets

Reports

New investments by oil companies over the next five years could see their value plummet as much as 50% if policy makers undertake a sudden, and inevitable, shift to increase action to counter climate change, warns a report by Carbon Tracker Initiative. This abrupt “handbrake turn” — assessed in the report to occur in 2025 — will lead to a subsequent fall in oil prices and negative impact on the valuation of oil firms. The report finds US firms, led by ExxonMobil, are most exposed, and suggests investors insist on higher rates of return to reflect this risk.

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Energy emissions decoupled from economy in 2019

Reports

Increased renewables, fuel switching and an uptick in nuclear power saw static emissions growth from energy last year, even as the global economy grew by 2.9%, says data from the International Energy Agency. Emissions from coal dropped 1.3% year-on-year, with the IEA saying the data suggests the energy transition is underway. Advanced economies saw their emissions decline by over 370 million tonnes (or 3.2%), with the power sector responsible for 85% of the drop. Mild weather drove down emissions by 150 million tonnes.

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