The Energiewende is running up against its limits

Prunerov coal power plant North Bohemia Czech Republic (photo Vaclav Vasku)

German transmission system operator Tennet recently announced an 80% increase in its transmission fees because of the high construction costs of new power lines to accommodate renewable energy. A study of the Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics found that by 2025 costs of the Energiewende could exceed €25,000 for an average four-person household. Jeffrey Michel concludes that the Energiewende is running up against its limits – but may … [Read more...]

The collective effort behind Finland’s new nuclear power plant

mock up Hanhikivi in Bay of Bothnia (photo Fennovoima)

Five years after announcing that it had chosen Pyhäjoki, in northern Finland, as the site for a new Russian-designed 1200 MW nuclear reactor, Finnish company Fennovoima is within sight of a 2018 construction start date. No, this is not the notorious Olkiluoto-3 EPR being builty by Areva– this is Hanhikivi 1, to be built by Rosatom. Journalist Eric Marx travelled to Finland to find out why Fennovoima is succeeding where other new nuclear projects … [Read more...]

The delusion of cheap, safe shale gas extraction

LNG ship (photo Ineos)

The UK’s Communities Secretary Sajid Javid recently approved plans for fracking at Cuadrilla's Preston New Road site at Little Plumpton in Lancashire in what the BBC has called a “landmark decision”. For the first time, after many years of regulatory struggle and public debate, fracking may really start in the UK. Professors Alex Russell and Peter Strachan argue that the plans if they go ahead will result in environmental and economic disaster.  … [Read more...]

Demand response can drastically lower energy bills – if suppliers don’t get “compensated”

photo Tom Taker

New research commissioned by the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP) finds that demand flexibility can save many billions of euros in electricity costs. As the European Commission is pondering the design of a new and interconnected energy market for Europe, it needs to make sure these benefits are realised, writes Phil Baker, Senior Advisor at RAP. Brussels should resist calls to “compensate” energy suppliers for perceived losses as a result of … [Read more...]

The energy prescriptions of The Atlantic Council: “There’s a direction relation between climate change and geopolitics”

Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines in 2013 (photo Asian Development Bank)

The implications of climate change targets not being met are massive migration, the potential for resource wars and “a further disintegrating of the international order”, according to Richard L. Morningstar, Founding Director and Chairman of the Global Energy Center and David Koranyi, Director of the Eurasian Energy Futures Initiative, both part of the Washington DC based think tank The Atlantic Council. Morningstar and Koranyi see a “direct … [Read more...]

To keep European offshore wind world-leading, we need an industrial policy

photo Danish Wind Industry Association-slider

To retain the global lead European companies have in offshore wind, the EU should develop an industrial policy that will guarantee a steady pipeline of projects, writes independent energy expert Mike Parr. This would ensure continued investment by companies in cost reduction and technology improvements. Failure to do so could mean the offshore wind sector would suffer the same fate as the European solar PV industry. … [Read more...]

Visions clash at World Energy Congress in Istanbul

World Energy Congress in Istanbul 9-13 October 2016 (photo World Energy Congress)

The World Energy Council gave out a clear message at the World Energy Congress that took place this week in Istanbul: the world needs to move away from fossil fuels much faster than it is doing today. That contrasted sharply with the message given out by most of the high-level speakers from government and business at the Congress, who stressed that the world needs more oil and gas. Mohammad Barkindo, the new Secretary General of oil cartel OPEC … [Read more...]