Is President Trump headed for a war with China? 

US sends nuclear-powered aircraft carriers USS John C. Stennis and USS Ronald Reagan into South China Sea, June 2016, photo: US Navy

The brewing conflict around the South China Sea, with its large oil and gas resources, could easily turn into a catastrophic war between the US and China, writes Rajan Menon, international relations specialist at City College New York and Columbia University. Menon explains what is behind the territorial claims on the South China Sea and why it will be extremely risky for the US to try to confront China there. Courtesy of TomDispatch. … [Read more...]

Energy Union: Delivery pending

Maroš Šefčovič Vice-President of the EC in charge of Energy Union (photo Europe by Satellite)

Electricity market design, renewable energies, energy efficiency – the EU Commission’s recent “Winter Package” touches upon some of the core themes of the envisioned “Energy Union”. But finding  agreement on all these dossiers will be difficult in this politically turbulent year, writes Severin Fischer of the Center for Security Studies (CSS) at ETH Zurich. According to Fischer, five aspects deserve closer attention. Courtesy Policy Perspectives. … [Read more...]

Can UK power market reform replace the capacity market?

National Grid helicopter inspecting power lines

The UK has just completed another auction for a large amount of backup power capacity. The country’s capacity market scheme will cost ratepayers many billions of pounds. Independent consultant Gerard Wynn wonders if they are really necessary. … [Read more...]

China’s renewable energy revolution continues on its long march

7-1-red-song-in-Beijing-slider

In one year China added almost as much generation from renewable power as Germany’s total renewable energy generation, according to the end of January statistics for 2016 by the National Energy Administration of China and the China Electricity Council. Yet the country’s electricity supply still relies strongly on coal, notes Simon Göß of Berlin-based consultancy Energy Brainpool. … [Read more...]

New President, new electric grid?

electric wires in San Francisco (photo Jon Pekelnicky)

As the new Trump administration considers measures to enhance roads and bridges, they should also focus on America’s ageing electricity infrastructure, writes Dick Munson of the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). The U.S. electricity system is shockingly unreliable compared to every other developed nation, notes Munson, and the regulation of the industry is “byzantine”. By focusing on investment, efficiency, and markets, the U.S. could have a … [Read more...]

Separating fact from fiction in newest U.S. federal ethanol study

corn ethanol SUV (photo Nyenyec)

The latest ethanol study from the U.S. Department of Agriculture mixes facts with fictions, writes John DeCicco of the University of Michigan. The study contains fundamental errors that undermine its claims that the use of corn ethanol reduces greenhouse gas emissions. … [Read more...]

MEPs will fight Brexit deal that lets the UK become an offshore pollution haven

photo London Green Party

The European Parliament has indicated it will not accept a Brexit deal that will let the UK have lower environmental standards than the EU, writes Charlotte Burns (@EUrefEnv), Senior Lecturer Environmental Policy at the University of York. If only because this would put EU manufacturers and farmers at a competitive disadvantage. Courtesy of The Conversation. … [Read more...]