U.S. energy under Trump

Washington waits for the inauguration

Today’s presidential inauguration will trigger the biggest policy and regulatory shift for the US energy industry in at least ten years, writes Geoffrey Styles, Managing Director of independent US-based consultancy GSW Strategy Group. That’s how long it has been since energy policy was set by a Republican president and Congress. Donald Trump is a different kind of Republican, though, and his goal does not seem to be a return to scarcity and high … [Read more...]

The End of the Energiewende?

Energiewende demonstration in 2014 (photo Bundjugend)

The prominent German economist Heiner Flassbeck has challenged fundamental assumptions of the Energiewende at his blog site makroskop.eu. According to Flassbeck, the former Director of Macroeconomics and Development at the UNCTAD in Geneva and a former State Secretary of Finance, a recent period of extremely low solar and wind power generation shows that Germany will never be able to rely on renewable energy, regardless of  how much new capacity … [Read more...]

Donald Trump’s carbon-obsessed energy policy and the planetary nightmare to come 

Rex Tillerson and Vladimir Putin

Despite apparent contradictions, the main thrust of Donald Trump’s energy policy approach is very clear, writes author and energy expert Michael Klare: he aims to abolish all regulations that stand in the way of unrestrained fossil fuel extraction. Even if this spells doom for segments of the fossil fuel industry that will get hurt by low prices – not to mention the planet. Courtesy Tomdispatch.com. … [Read more...]

US energy Independence Day dawns

Barry Worthington

The most significant US energy policy update in a decade, the Energy Policy Modernization Act 2016, will be introduced into the new Congress in January 2017. With provisions for accelerated permitting for oil and gas drilling, construction of export LNG terminals, as well as energy efficiency standards and grid-integration of renewables, the outlook for US energy security is bright, according to Barry Worthington, Executive Director of the US … [Read more...]

South Africa’s new energy plan: postpone nuclear, phase out coal

old coal power plant turned into recreation area in Soweto (photo Tracy Hunter)

The much awaited updated South African Integrated Resource Plan for electricity, released for comment on 22 November, has sparked strong emotions, writes Hartmut Winkler, Professor of Physics at the University of Johannesburg. In an article for The Conversation, Winkler discusses the main points of the plan and explains why the nuclear lobby in particular is unhappy. Courtesy of The Conversation. … [Read more...]

India wants to become a solar superpower – but its plans don’t add up

Ban Ki-moon inaugurated Canal Top Solar Power Plant in Gujarat India Oct 2015 (photo UN)

India aims to build 1 terrawatt of global solar power – four times the current worldwide total – and become a 100% electric vehicle nation by 2030. Those are great ambitions, but they still far short from what is needed for a true energy transformation away from coal, writes Dénes Scala of Lancaster University. Courtesy of The Conversation. … [Read more...]

IEA in the Age of Trump: policies will determine where we go from here

IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol

The most important message from the 2016 edition of the annual World Energy Outlook, the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) flagship publication released today, is that “policies will determine where we go from here”. “Paris” has given the international energy sector “a new sense of direction”, notes the IEA. But much stronger policies are needed to keep global warming limited to 2 degrees Celsius, it adds. Its message takes on extra importance … [Read more...]