Reports & books


What our editors are reading

Saving electricity has a cost

Reports & books

How much does saving a kWh cost a customer who supports energy efficiency initiatives, such as financial incentives, technical assistance, education and energy audits? This thorny question is answered in great detail in “The Cost of Saving Electricity Through Energy Efficiency Programs Funded by Utility Customers 2009-2015,” from Lawrence Berkeley National Lab in California. Nearly every US state offers energy efficiency programmes. LBNL provides crucial metrics for assessing when not consuming a kWh can reduce overall cost.

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The energy transition index

Reports & books

The readiness of 114 countries to transition away from fossil fuels to a renewable energy economy is tracked by the World Economic Forum in its “Fostering Effective Energy Transition,” with number crunching by McKinsey. The report is packed with hard facts on different approaches and levels of success. WEF sees the index as a tool to “identify imperatives and align policy and market enablers,” and create energy transition roadmaps. No country can do it alone, says WEF.

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Investor guide to fossil fuel risk

Reports & books

Fund managers have a pressing fiduciary duty to re-examine their holdings in a sector that is “freighted with risk” says the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis in “The Financial Case for Fossil Fuel Divestment.” The report systematically details the cumulative risks undermining the fossil fuel sector and meticulously rebuts arguments against divestment, calling them “dangerous” and “a breach of fiduciary standards”. The fossil fuel industry is not too big to fail, says the IEEFA.

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Why we need the grid

Reports & books

Expanding transmission line capacity and building an increasingly robust grid network is essential for the energy transition, despite the growth of local electricity sources, such as rooftop solar, explains a report from the Renewables Grid Initiative. “Enabling a Renewables Based Electricity System” sums up conclusions from an ongoing dialogue with Transmission System Operators and is packed with real world facts about shaping the grid for tomorrow while keeping down costs. Listening to those at the sharp end of operations is likely to lead to workable solutions.

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Global opportunities

Reports & books

The fourth edition of Global Opportunity Report by DNV GL focuses on four of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Under the Climate Action goal, it explores: capturing carbon and recycling it or locking it up in new materials; innovative, carbon-saving ways to cool buildings; and reducing the shipping industry’s reliance on carbon fuels. Under the Responsible Consumption and Production goal, it looks at repurposing batteries from electric vehicles to support electricity grid stability. DNV GL values business opportunities linked to the SDGs at $17 trillion.

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The cooling blind spot

Reports & books

Increased use of air conditioners in buildings will triple global energy demand by 2050, predicts the International Energy Agency, requiring a global increase in electricity generating capacity equivalent to that today in the US, the EU and Japan, combined. “Growing electricity demand for air conditioning is one of the most critical blind spots in today’s energy debate,” says IEA boss Fatih Birol. “The Future of Cooling” documents how to reduce cooling demand to a level compatible with the goals of the Paris climate agreement, while saving money.

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Technology update

Reports & books

The clean energy transition can only be achieved if a full range of technologies are deployed. The updated Tracking Clean Energy Progress report from the International Energy Agency gives a clear oversight of where technologies are today and where they need to be if the world is to keep warming below the critical 2°C level. The report finds that solar PV is the only renewable technology on track to meet its targets with record-level new deployment in 2017.

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Showing the way

Reports & books

Decision makers trying to decide the best and most efficient ways to move forward the energy transition would do well to look at the Fostering Effective Energy Transition report from the World Economic Forum. It includes an index benchmarking the performance of energy systems in 114 countries, listing those leading the energy transition as: Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Finland, Denmark, the Netherlands, the UK, Austria, France and Iceland. Others, including Venezuela and Iran, are identified as “emerging” with plenty of opportunity for improvement.

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All systems go

Reports & books

Energy systems based on 100% renewables are feasible, economically viable and decreasing in cost every year, concludes this scientific paper. The authors insist that 100% renewable systems meeting the energy needs of, “All citizens at all times are cost-competitive with fossil-fuel-based systems, even before externalities such as global warming, water usage and environmental pollution are taken into account.” The current power system does not need re-inventing but a low-cost evolution to run on clean energy and “guarantee affordability, reliability and sustainability.”

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