Watt Matters Podcast

Policy promoting climate finance

With the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), the United States is unleashing billions of dollars to promote climate solutions and clean energy technology

Most read this month

A ‘buildings breakthrough’ agenda at COP means heat pumps are in the limelight

Autumn/Winter 2022

Red to green: Where to cut the tape

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

Affordable energy for all

In this episode, we discuss with Next Energy Consumer CEO Marine Cornelis how to put citizens and our most vulnerable consumers at the heart of the energy transition

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Smart EV charging would bring grid stability and fairer prices

The rise in demand from electric vehicles (EVs) will put untold pressure on the already constrained grids. Supporting and expanding smart charging infrastructure will not only stabilise the grid but also provide fair prices to customers at times when energy bills are high, says Torben Fog of Spirii

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Community cash to boost the transition

Local community groups are often seen as being against renewable energy sites or other projects to support the energy transition. But there is a rise in different ownership and funding models that includes local residents who do want to support the quest for a decarbonised economy

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Not a silver bullet

Carbon prices at sufficiently high levels can push firms to internalise the costs of greenhouse gas emissions while providing a long-term price signal to drive investments needed for decarbonisation. Emission trading systems and carbon taxes feature in a growing number of climate strategies, but even the most well-designed instruments must be accompanied by other policy measures if emissions reductions goals are to be reached

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Are COP talks really worthwhile?

Following yet another round of COP negotiations in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, only limited progress again was made in the global effort to keep global warming limited to 1.5C. This week, the team discusses the value of these negotiations in the quest to avoid catastrophic climate change

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The climate fight must also include the finance sector

Governments can play an important role in affecting the financial markets to support decarbonisation, says James Shaw, Minister of Climate Change for New Zealand

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Corporates seek to match generation with demand

Corporate attempts to match every hour of consumption with renewable production could pave the way for grid decarbonisation

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A ‘buildings breakthrough’ agenda at COP means heat pumps are in the limelight

Placing decarbonisation of buildings on the international agenda means heat pumps can finally have their moment in the spotlight, says Richard Lowes of the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP)

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Policy Dispatch Podcast, Sam Morgan

‘Fit for 57’?

The EU says it is upgrading its emissions reduction by 2030 to 57%, instead of the 55% that underpins its 'Fit for 55' policy package. This will require additional work and a greater understanding of the regulations

Will the UK’s permitting reforms speed up offshore wind deployment?

The role of storage in a renewable electricity grid

Red to green: Where to cut the tape

The present and the future of solar

Convincing Big Oil to pay for the energy transition

Sustainable aviation is primed for takeoff provided additional backing is in place

Autumn/Winter 2022

Mobilise funds now to avoid the big cheques

Carbon dioxide removals

Consumers’ role in flexibility is built on trust

The heating policy paradox

What our editors are reading

Cut fossil fuel support to fund decarbonisation

Reports

Cutting fossil fuel subsidies will free up more cash for the energy transition. Over $1 trillion of external finance needs to be mobilised by 2030 to support the decarbonisation efforts of emerging markets and developing countries, except China. Total annual investment needs for these countries is estimated to be $1 trillion in 2025 and $2.4 trillion by 2030. Reducing fossil-fuel subsidies would free up fiscal space and improve incentives for private investment created by instruments such as carbon tax mechanisms.

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Transition opportunities abound for Asia-Pacific

Reports

A complete realisation of Asia-Pacific nations’ climate pledges would benefit their economic growth, employment and trade balance. Reskilling programmes are required to mitigate the impact of sizable job losses in the fossil fuel industry and ensure a just transition, while sectors that are part of the low-carbon transition supply chain would see significant growth in employment, including in construction and electricity supply. Still, the region’s commitments are not aligned with international targets. A cumulative 21% reduction in emissions is expected by 2030, compared with 2010, lagging the 45% cut required to remain on track for the 1.5˚C warming goal.

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Woeful progress since COP26

Reports

The UN’s latest emissions gap report finds that the international community is falling short of the Paris goals, with “no credible pathway” to 1.5°C. Since COP26 in 2021, progress has been “woefully inadequate”. Only an urgent system-wide transformation can avoid climate disaster. National governments should remove fossil fuel subsidies in a socially acceptable manner, remove barriers to the expansion of renewables, stop the development of fossil fuel infrastructure, plan for a just fossil fuel phase-out and adapt market rules of the electricity system for a high share of renewables.

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