Climate policy

The geopolitics of energy: renewables are not in the race yet

Fatih Birol at Atlantic Council forum Abu Dhabi

At the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Forum in Abu Dhabi on 12-13 January, oil executives, Middle Eastern energy ministers and experts in the geopolitics of energy came together to discuss the geopolitical implications of “the energy transformation”. Yet no one presented a vision of what a new global order, based on renewable energy, would look like, writes Karel Beckman, Energy Post’s editor-in-chief. The oil players all embrace renewable … [Read more...]

Australians can have zero-emission electricity, without blowing the bill

Shasta_College_Halcyon_Solar_Class_Redding_Tehama_Roof_County-slider

Australia, which already has the highest solar PV concentration in the world but still relies heavily on fossil fuels, can move to a zero-emission electricity system while keeping prices low, writes Paul Graham, Chief Economist at CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation). Courtesy The Conversation. … [Read more...]

“Negative emissions”: the next challenge for climate policy

forest in Italy (photo Moyan Brenn)

If the Paris climate objectives are upheld, policymakers will soon be facing calls to set emission-reduction targets of much more than 100 percent, write Oliver Geden of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) in Berlin and Stefan Schäfer of the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) in Potsdam. But the debate about how to achieve “negative emissions” – and who will have to achieve them – has not even … [Read more...]

Dutch government: only EVs and hydrogen cars from 2035, phase-out natural gas

Tesla assembly factory in Tilburg the Netherlands

The Dutch government has presented a long-term energy plan that stipulates that no new cars with combustion engines may be sold from 2035 on. In addition, in the Netherlands – for over 50 years the largest natural gas producer in the EU – all houses will be disconnected from the gas grid by 2050. The plan has broad parliamentary support – in fact, many political parties believe it does not go far enough. … [Read more...]

A carbon pricing scheme that works

Ferrybridge C Power Station in West Yorkshire closed in March 2016

The UK’s carbon price floor mechanism has proved very effective at securing cost-effective emissions reductions, writes energy and climate change economist Adam Whitmore. It offers lessons for other carbon pricing schemes, such as the EU Emission Trading System. … [Read more...]

Why China’s new coal plants won’t stop it from meeting its climate goals

Zhengzhou China taken in 2015 (photo V.T. Polywoda)

In a fascinating article, Collin Smith, graduate student at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center in China, explains why China has been building a large amount of new coal-fired capacity the past two years, despite its climate commitments and drive for renewable energy. He also explains why this capacity does not necessarily translate into more coal power production: the power plants are and will be heavily underutilised. There is a danger though that the … [Read more...]