Opinion

Transport needs a tax on the source of energy, not the kilometres

A proposed tax on Danish road users is misguided and difficult to enforce. Taxing the type of vehicle would help increase the uptake of electric-powered trucks in the haulage sector, says Joakim Bansholm Nilsson from Volvo Denmark

Most read this month

From laggard to leader: How Poland became Europe’s fastest-growing heat pump market

From efficiency to sufficiency

Carbon capture technology pursues a slice of Europe’s climate policy pie

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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

Hydrogen sector targets production boost

Energy losses in the production process contribute to making hydrogen produced with renewable energy expensive. Companies and researchers are working to improve the efficiency of electrolyser technology and scale it up, bringing down the green hydrogen price tag at the same time

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Double up on land use to maximise resources

For years, farmers had to decide to stick with their traditional produce or twist and turnover their land for renewables projects. Until recently, it has not been a financially viable option for agriculture and solar panels to live side by side. But new techniques are providing a chance to use increasingly scarce land more efficiently

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Overcoming the challenge of financing energy efficiency at scale

Due to the high degree of fragmentation, investing in energy efficiency at scale is notoriously difficult. But with specialised investment teams and innovative financing structures, the sector can present a highly attractive opportunity for institutional investors, says Alexander Hunzinger from SUSI Partners

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Finding the right narrative

As the hot topic of the moment, in this episode of Watt Matters, we examine how energy efficiency policies and measures are being treated around the world

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The water-energy nexus: an untapped resource for major energy savings

Water requires energy. When we move it, clean it, heat it and cool it—energy moves with it. These two precious resources come together seamlessly in our daily lives, but they can also jointly create significant energy savings. Unleashing the potential of the water-energy nexus will drive substantial energy savings to repower the EU while drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions, says Hayati Yarkadas at Xylem Europe

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How to maximise energy efficiency investments

Sudden spikes in the cost of energy have pushed energy efficiency higher up the public and political agenda. Building renovations can be costly, but there could be ways of making energy efficiency itself more efficient

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The efficiency paradox

Reducing the amount of energy we use is a key part of cutting emissions by 2050, but asking people to be more frugal could be challenging in a society that prizes consumption. Getting incentives right can shift attitudes

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EU presses ahead with policy renovation

Two of the European Union’s (EU) main energy laws are in the process of being updated. Despite the fundamental role they play in decarbonisation efforts, the rules have so far failed to live up to climate expectations. This is set to change

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Policy

A matter of principle: the EU’s forgotten mantra

The European Union’s “Energy Efficiency First Principle” was designed to maximise the potential of energy sources and increase investor appetite but it has struggled to jump from principle to practice. But new rules and a shift in geopolitics look set to propel the efficiency maxim to top billing

Energy efficiency is here to stay

An efficient transition

Spring/Summer 2022

Circularity in solar stalled by costs

The energy transition must bring consumers on board

We could run 30% of the entire truck fleet on electricity—what’s gone wrong?

Adding energy efficiency into the energy mix is essential to delivering Europe’s climate goals

A new way to count greenhouse gas emissions

Technology can empower consumers at a time of high energy prices

The $100 billion climate finance question

A systems approach to the energy transition

What our editors are reading

Two-thirds of gas imports can be replaced by 2025

Reports

Europe can cut Russian gas imports by 66% by delivering the EU’s Fit for 55 package and speeding up the deployment of renewable electricity generation, energy efficiency and electrification. To achieve this lawmakers must increase clean energy ambitions, provide clarity on financial resources, prioritise energy efficiency and remove any incentives that extend gas consumption.

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Europe can regain its energy sovereignty by 2027

Reports

The EU must pull out all the stops in renewables deployment and manufacturing in Europe for it to regain energy sovereignty following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. To support this, it must mandate solar rooftops, solar on the built environment and maximise PV self-consumption. Greater power system flexibility should be provided and set a smart balance between direct electrification and green hydrogen production.

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Texas can retire most of its coal now

Reports

Texas could replace almost all of its coal output with wind and solar already in the interconnection queue. Installing 72 of the 108 wind projects in the queue and 42 of the 262 solar projects would replace most of the coal generation on the state’s ERCOT grid. This high level of displacement is the result of the complementary timing of solar and wind generation. A dependable power supply from these assets still depends on sufficient transmission, other resources operating reliably and flexibly, and all resources being weatherised.

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