financing

What nuclear power needs to remain on track

Cruas Nuclear Power Station in France (photo Harvey Barrison)

To ensure that nuclear power can make the necessary contribution to climate change mitigation, three things are needed, writes Tim Yeo, Chairman of the pro-nuclear group New Nuclear Watch Europe (NNWE): there must be international harmonisation of safety requirements, the industry needs to bring down costs by better exploiting economies of scale and policymaking and analysis should ensure a level playing field. … [Read more...]

Energy efficiency rate has to double to meet climate targets

photo Portland General Electric

The annual improvement in energy efficiency has slowed down from 1.6% in the period 2000-2008 to 1.3% in 2009-2015, according to a comprehensive new report published by the World Energy Council and the French public agency ADEME. To meet the Paris climate targets, the rate should double to 2.5% per year to 2030, says  François Moisan, Scientific Director of ADEME. According to Moisan, price signals are key to achieving this goal, although … [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...]

The new outlook for oil: prepare for a bumpy ride in 2017

oil-glut-slider

After two and a half years of opening up the taps (or rather: not closing them) OPEC has changed course in what is looking to be a gamechanger for the oil market. Market sentiment has shifted and the oil price has gone up. But that doesn’t mean we can go back to the status quo ante, writes geophysicist (ex-Shell) Jilles van den Beukel. Some things have changed permanently. Saudi Arabia’s position within OPEC has weakened, Iran’s has strengthened. … [Read more...]

Fast reactors are alive and kicking

Rosatom's fourth unit at its Beloyarsk nuclear power plant is a BN-800 fast breeder reactor that was connected to the grid in December 2015

Fast breeder reactors have already been successfully developed in Russia and they will become successful outside of Russia too if policymakers and investors decide to make them a priority, writes Ian Hore-Lacy, Senior Research Analyst at the World Nuclear Association. … [Read more...]

How to boost CO2 prices in the European carbon market

photo Daniel Patman

If the EU is serious about raising the carbon price in the EU Emission Trading System (ETS), the best option for the short term is to strengthen the Market Stability Reserve by increasing the amount of “surplus allowances” taken out of the system, according to Hæge Fjellheim, Head of carbon analysis  at Thomson Reuters Point Carbon. Fjellheim discusses progress on the ETS reform in light of the recent vote in the European Parliament’s Environment … [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...]