Much of the power across Eastern Europe is still supplied by destructive coal power plants. However, many of these markets across the region also have considerable renewables potential. Untapping this resource would unleash the energy transition for these countries but it remains complex and costly.
Until the start of 2022, natural gas was seen as a vital stepping stone for the region to begin decarbonising before shifting entirely to renewables, but the war in Ukraine has placed a spotlight on this assumption.
In this episode, we are joined by Monica Morawiecka from the Regulatory Assistance Project, who previously spent very many years at Polish utility PGE, and by Julian Popov, a fellow of the European Climate Foundation, chair of the Buildings Performance Institute Europe, a member of European Council on Foreign Relations and who previously served as Minister of Environment and Water for Bulgaria.
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Illustration: Masha Krasnova-Shabaeva. Art director: Trine Natskår.
Discussions to usher in the end of coal are advancing in much of the European Union, but the Western Balkans region is lagging behind as the fuel continues to dominate the local power market
Coal is dying in Europe, but lignite regions possess assets that could transform them into competitive power houses of low carbon industries, argues Julian Popov, Fellow at the European Climate Foundation and former Bulgarian Minister of the Environment
The European Green Deal, launched in December 2019, is an ambitious policy proposal that will try to agree a carbon emissions reduction target for Europe of up to 55% by 2030 compared to 1990. Two questions appear: is it possible and how much will it cost. But both could be misleading, says Julian Popov, Fellow at the European Climate Foundation and former Bulgarian Minister of the Environment
Populist politics must not be allowed to interfere with EU plans to increase energy efficiency gains in buildings, argues Adrian Joyce, Director of the Renovate Europe Campaign
Regulators and the wind industry are paying increasing attention to repowering existing wind farms to ensure prime wind sites continue to be exploited and renewable energy targets are met
EU proposals to fund new gas infrastructure projects make no sense given Europe’s decarbonisation commitments. The European Parliament can vote on 12 December to ensure clean energy infrastructure is prioritised, say Elisa Giannelli and Lisa Fischer from think-tank E3G
More and better data is needed to help reorient capital flows towards more sustainable investments
Research into energy poverty initiatives often ignores society’s most vulnerable groups. In order to fulfill the just transition, all members of society across geography, gender and income need to be included, says Sergio Tirado Herrero of the Institute of Environmental Science and Technologies (ICTA) at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) and the EmpowerMed research project