Why EU renewable energy figures are misleading: Europe requires 150% renewable energy to become fossil-free

How much renewable energy is the EU really getting? (photo Europe by Satellite)

The EU is confident it will reach its target of 20% renewable energy by 2020. But according to Martien Visser, professor at the Hanze University of Applied Sciences in Groningen (The Netherlands), this 20% is in reality more like 14%. This is because a large part of our energy consumption is simply ignored in the calculations for renewable energy. “Even with 100% renewables, we would still need a lot of fossil fuels”, Visser notes. … [Read more...]

Europe’s energy investment crisis: “the EU energy market needs a makeover”

photo Europe by Satellite

Europe’s electricity market, which has some of the highest renewable energy shares in the world, is suffering from a profound investment crisis. Sonja van Renssen spoke with top experts from government, business and academia about the causes and possible solutions. Conclusion: “tinkering around the edges” won’t do - “a complete makeover” of Europe’s market design is needed. Courtesy of World Energy Focus. … [Read more...]

Record increase renewables in Europe, but emissions stay level

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2015 saw a record 2.5% increase in renewables generation in Europe, which now makes up 29% of total European electricity supply,reports UK think tank Sandbag. However, as a result of lower output from hydropower and nuclear power stations, the amount of fossil fuel generation barely changed. CO2-emissions from the power sector fell only 0.5% after a 7.5% fall in 2014, but according to Sandbag this year will see a rapid fall again. … [Read more...]

What the EU did in Paris – and what it should do next

after Paris

A “lifeline” for the planet that “will steer the world towards a global clean energy transition”, was how European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker hailed the Paris agreement. He also claimed it to be “a success for the European Union” itself. But the EU must now demonstrate that aspiration can be turned into achievement through action rather than words, writes Professor Sam Adelman of the University of Warwick. … [Read more...]

Buying  Vattenfall’s lignite business could be a risky bet

Jänschwalde (photo Michael Lehmann, 2013)

Vattenfall is currently looking for a buyer for its German lignite assets. However, any potential investor faces a high risk that they will find themselves forced to wind down the business before earning back their investment, write Julian Schwartzkopff and Sabrina Schulz of international environmental organisation E3G. In this article, a shortened version of their new report Vattenfall’s Lignite Business – a Risky Bet for Investors, they explain … [Read more...]