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Introducing The Jolt, a new series from FORESIGHT Climate & Energy, which will keep you updated on all the essential energy transition stories
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Welcome to today’s episode of The Jolt by FORESIGHT Climate & Energy. In a world underpinned by climate and energy stories, it is sometimes hard to cut through the cacophony of noise and get to the news you need to hear.
This is where The Jolt comes in. Tune in on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for bite-sized updates, expert analysis and a global view.
We kick off with a look at the major global climate and energy news stories.
What you need to know
Here are some of the main climate and energy stories making the news around the world:
- The US government announced investments of $3.5 billion into electricity grids. The support will also include financing for microgrids and the Department of Energy says 35 gigawatts of renewables could be added to the system as a result. Check out Monday’s Jolt, which focused on why grids are making the news at the moment.
- US President Joe Biden welcomes EU leaders for a summit in Washington today to discuss steel and aluminium tariff relaxation, as well as electric vehicle subsidies. But talks behind the scenes have seemingly failed to make much progress, however.
- An International Atomic Energy Agency team has begun testing fish caught near the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan. The Japanese authorities have begun a 30-year-long operation to dispose of contaminated water following the 2011 disaster and this taskforce wants to confirm that it will have no adverse effects on the environment.
- French company Technip Energies reportedly breached EU sanctions placed on Russia by providing an Arctic LNG project with crucial equipment. The firm denies claims made by a Le Monde investigation.
- A gas turbine has been run on 100% renewable hydrogen for the first time. Solar and wind power were used to power an electrolyser to produce the green hydrogen fuel. Project member Siemens Energy hope to use the findings in its next-generation of gas turbines.
- Lithuania started operating what it calls the most powerful battery in Europe. The 200 MW system can provide an hour of backup power to the four urban areas connected to it. A second offshore wind auction was also confirmed for January after a state aid scheme was given the green light by the European Commission.
- Finally, Polish coal miners have enrolled in a programme that will retrain them to work on wind projects. The initiative will certify graduates to work in Polish wind energy sites as well as abroad. A second programme is already planned for January.
Today’s big story
New Zealand turns back time
Image MidJourney / Prompts FORESIGHT.
- New Zealanders decided on a change of government last weekend, electing to put the ruling Labour Party into opposition after six years of rule. A new likely coalition is expected to roll back some key climate and energy policies.
- Labour declared a climate emergency during its stint in office and banned new oil and gas exploration. The three parties expected to form the new government have indicated they will scrap that moratorium.
- Carbon Tracker’s Maeve O’Connor warns that new oil and gas investment is simply not compatible with a 1.5℃ warming objective, as enshrined by the 2015 Paris Agreement. She also insists that there is clear political will globally for more oil and gas bans.
- New Zealand’s incoming government will also likely sideline a target to fully decarbonise the country’s power grid by 2030, which would have made New Zealand one of the first major countries to achieve that feat.
- Instead, the parties are likely to make policies that benefit carbon capture and reduce permitting burdens for offshore wind generation, though more financial support for the latter is not expected.
“Transitions have to start somewhere”
- Dr Christina Hood, a New Zealand climate expert, recently told The Policy Dispatch podcast that renewables are the country’s future and explained why New Zealand has abundant resources to call upon. Check out that full episode here.
- Check out FORESIGHT’s latest episode of the Policy Dispatch which features a discussion with Wales’ climate minister and read our new deep-dive article on North American cities and how they are facing up to transport challenges.
Audio clip credits:
New Zealand parliament YouTube
10 Downing Street YouTube
All Blacks YouTube
We want The Jolt to be as listener-driven as possible! Get in touch with us about what you like, what you don’t like and what you’d like to see in future episodes. All feedback is appreciated so don’t be shy!
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