Heather O’Brian

Articles by Heather O’Brian. Visit Heather’s bio.

10 min
04/March/2022

Venture capital takes a shine to the energy transition

Venture capitalists are putting record amounts of money into climate tech, drawn by the opportunity to make money while fostering the innovation needed for decarbonisation. Digitalisation remains a focus, but investors are increasingly looking to tap into asset-heavy investment opportunities that are crucial to the energy transition
10 min
14/January/2022

Smart software platforms for smart grids

The expansion of distributed energy resources has precipitated the rise of advanced software platforms to manage them. Virtual power plants and distributed energy resource management systems can help integrate renewables and low-carbon assets more smoothly while allowing value from the flexibility that resources like rooftop solar, battery storage, electric vehicles and heat pumps can also provide to be extracted
10 min
30/September/2021

More accurate energy certificates can drive green investment

Time-stamped certificates would allow customers to know where their power is coming from at any given time and could provide another signal for investors by driving up prices for green energy certificates when supply is short. Regulators are taking steps to ensure that consumers signing up for green tariffs are really helping to progress the energy transition
10 min
04/June/2021

Carbon offsets can send emissions reductions efforts off course

Offsetting emissions is fraught with problems and critics fear these programmes could distract from the real goal of keeping fossil fuels in the ground
9 min.
19/March/2021

New markets evolve to support SME transition

Small businesses face a hard time decarbonising due to financial constraints, a lack of expertise and time, and technological hurdles. The rise of new business and financing models, plus a helping hand from larger companies, are helping them on the path to carbon neutrality
9 min.
27/July/2020

Renewables as grid flexibility tool gives glimpse of the future

As economic activity declined under the pandemic so did demand for electricity. Fossil fuel generation was squeezed off the grid by renewable energy projects with lower marginal costs. Fears that the higher proportion of fluctuating supply would destabilise power systems proved unfounded and grids remained stable. If renewables are to be tasked with keeping the grid secure, alternative mechanisms, already available, must be introduced soon
8 min.
15/June/2020

A pale green bond for the energy transition

The concept of transition bonds began as an idea to sell bonds that were difficult to market as green bonds, mainly natural gas bonds, but has evolved into an opportunity to accelerate decarbonisation efforts
6 min.
16/April/2020

Decarbonising data

Information and communication technology accounts for more than 2% of global greenhouse emissions, as much as all air traffic
13 min.
Climate change is a social issue19/September/2019

Sustainable energy for all

Climate change is a social issue
6 min.
15/August/2019

Down on the solar farm

Cost benefit proved for combined solar and arable
3 min.
24/April/2019

Naked Energy

A UK start-up believes its rooftop solar photovoltaic thermal technology can help decarbonise buildings
9 min.
Solar photovoltaic has clear potential to help decarbonise cooling and, in some climates, contribute significantly to the energy transition in heating22/April/2019

Solar PV for heating too

Solar photovoltaic has clear potential to help decarbonise cooling and, in some climates, contribute significantly to the energy transition in heating
13-14 min.
Power capacity markets on both sides of the Atlantic face an uncertain future as flexibility becomes a hotter commodity than capacity.14/January/2019

Incapacitated markets

Power capacity markets on both sides of the Atlantic face an uncertain future as flexibility becomes a hotter commodity than capacity.
8-9 min.
California is leading efforts to make the transition from combustion engines to electric vehicles fair and just for all including low-income groups05/December/2018

Electric vehicles for everyone

California is leading efforts to make the transition from combustion engines to electric vehicles fair and just for all including low-income groups
10-11 min.
Consumers will become more active market players as the amount of renewable energy in the grids increases, providing, for a fee, greater flexibility for power systems and increasing decarbonisation29/October/2018

Power On Demand

Consumers will become more active market players as the amount of renewable energy in the grids increases, providing, for a fee, greater flexibility for power systems and increasing decarbonisation
8-9 min.
06/August/2018

A challenging marriage

Placing wind and solar photovoltaic facilities on the same site may sound attractive in theory, but the reality is more complicated and many experts suggest this will only make sense in a limited number of cases
11-12 min.
20/April/2018

Gas in transition

Cleaning up gas is key to its future in a decarbonised energy mix