In Europe, any building put up for sale or rent must have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). But as climate ambitions rise, so too must the those of the EPC. That's the purpose of the TIMEPAC consortium, funded by the EU’s Horizon programme, is working to extend its effectiveness and range of tools, explains Patricia Contreras Tejada writing for the European Science Communication Institute (ESCI). She quotes experts who point out that a low … [Read more...]
U.S. IRA: what can Europe do to stop its firms relocating to America?
There’s been plenty of news about Europe’s worries over the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act, launched in August last year. It will deliver a broad range of subsidies, incentives, and domestic manufacturing requirements that promote green technological innovation in the U.S., encompassing wind, solar, hydrogen and more, backed with a budget of $369bn. It also is designed to encourage the purchase of U.S.-made green energy products like EVs. Europe is … [Read more...]
Fulfilling U.S. wind and solar ambitions will use under 1% of its land (that’s less than the fossil fuel footprint)
Meeting the U.S.’s wind and solar ambitions in full would take up less than 1% of its land, less than the fossil fuel industry’s current footprint. Steve Clemmer at UCS goes into the details of NREL’s comprehensive study of land use for wind and solar. Of particular interest is the observation that setting a high bar for “responsible siting” of wind and solar projects - avoiding the use of sensitive, protected, urban areas, difficult terrain or … [Read more...]
“Combustion” can make cathodes for lithium-ion batteries more cheaply, quicker, using less energy
Burning things produce soot. And that soot contains materials that have been morphed into something else. As Nancy Stauffer at MIT explains, new research there has shown the burning process can be used to produce cathodes far more cheaply, quicker, more simply, and with less energy than the standard method. It’s another example, from an unexpected direction, of innovations cutting the costs of an essential component of the energy transition: … [Read more...]
Critical Minerals: will there be enough to meet the 2050 net-zero emissions target?
If the production and processing of critical minerals cannot keep up with the accelerating adoption of batteries, EVs, wind turbines and solar PV technologies, the pace and success of the global energy system transformation will be put at risk. In this explainer, Lilly Yejin Lee and James Glynn at the Center on Global Energy Policy, Columbia University address the big questions, drawing on the data underlying the IEA’s “The Role of Critical … [Read more...]
Germany: does the LNG infrastructure build-up deliver energy security or go too far?
A report out this month from the German government says it wants a significant “safety buffer” of new LNG import capacity, to ensure that the country - and neighbouring landlocked states - will receive sufficient supply of natural gas in the coming years. It says an overcapacity is needed in case of failures due to accidents, sabotage or other external factors not under German or EU control. Events have shown that unilateral dependencies in … [Read more...]
Blending Hydrogen into the gas network: the challenges of pipeline fractures, faster flow rate + more
An important part of the strategy of bringing hydrogen into the mainstream of the global energy sector is inserting it into the existing gas infrastructure. That will be done by “simply” blending it with the natural gas. But there are well known challenges and uncertainties, which have been interrogated in a report from NREL and partner institutions. Hydrogen, being the smallest element, can easily permeate solid metals and render pipeline steel … [Read more...]
Analysis: U.S. IRA subsidies put two-thirds of Europe’s battery production pipeline at risk
Major battery manufacturing projects earmarked for Europe are now looking to site themselves in the U.S. to take advantage of its IRA subsidies, according to a new report by T&E. It says over two-thirds of lithium-ion battery production planned for Europe – a pipeline potential of 1.8 TWh - is now at risk of being delayed, scaled down or cancelled. The nations most at risk of losing the business are Germany, Hungary, Spain, Italy, the UK and … [Read more...]
Direct capture of CO2 from seawater: new research cuts costs, ready for pilot in 2025
Direct capture of CO2 from the air is already established in pilot phase in sites around the world, but costs are very high. So it is puzzling that capturing CO2 direct from the sea is yet to be tested properly. After all, the concentration of CO2 in seawater is more than 100 times greater than in the air, pointing at a process that should be much more efficient. David Chandler at MIT looks at research there that has uncovered cheaper and more … [Read more...]
ReDREAM: Horizon-backed project gives consumers control of local renewables, prices and demand
The ReDREAM project, funded by EU Horizon 2020, wants to put consumers at the centre of the energy market. As Steve Gillman explains, people and businesses can shape their supply and demand by owning local renewable generation and combining that with smart systems that give visibility of prices and generation to enable control of demand, right down to the level of heat pumps, washing machines, hot water systems and EVs. A 300-household pilot is … [Read more...]
EU: data shows Russia–Ukraine war has not increased Coal and emissions. It’s quite the opposite
The Russian gas crisis has not resulted in the return of coal and high emissions in Europe, says Lauri Myllyvirta at CREA. He presents the figures that show quite the opposite. Coal returned, as expected, with the post-Covid rebound, but peaked in September 2022 below its pre-Covid level, and has been falling since along with emissions. Meanwhile, high gas prices caused by Russia’s cut-off has kept gas demand low and, more importantly, driven the … [Read more...]
Heating Households and Buildings: Heat Pumps will be up to three times cheaper than Green Hydrogen
A new study concludes that heating from 100% green-hydrogen would be up to three times more expensive than one based on 100% electrification of buildings with heat pumps. Josh Gabbatiss at Carbon Brief summarises the findings, who says it’s yet more evidence to push back against the voices of politicians and fossil-fuel companies wanting to see hydrogen in the household and buildings heating mix. The UK is planning a “hydrogen village” to test … [Read more...]
Russia–Ukraine war: household energy costs worldwide have nearly doubled, with the poorest hit hardest
A new study measures the effect of the Russia-Ukraine war on household energy costs worldwide. It’s nearly doubled, explain Klaus Hubacek, Jin Yan and Yuru Guan at the University of Groningen and Yuli Shan at the University of Birmingham. Their study sums the costs of direct energy like heating, cooling, lighting and mobility, as well as the indirect costs through the energy used to produce goods and services. That doubling translates into an … [Read more...]
Fast-charging lightweight next-gen lithium metal batteries: has the “short circuit” problem been solved?
Research into next-generation lithium metal batteries that have a solid electrolyte hold out the promise of being high in energy density, low weight, non-flammable, and can be recharged very quickly. But they can short-circuit easily. Andrew Myers writing for the Precourt Institute at Stanford University describes breakthrough experiments that reveal why. The slightest bend, twist, or speck of dust will cause imperceptible crevices in the ceramic … [Read more...]
Embodied Carbon Emissions: understanding the different methodologies being used around the world
The measurement of the embodied carbon emissions of goods tells us what greenhouse gas emissions are generated during the production and transportation of those goods. This achieves two main things. Firstly, it allows producers to understand where their emissions are coming from, and so reduce them. Secondly, it opens the door to putting a price on those emissions, thus incentivising producers to reduce them. But, as Max Gruenig at E3G explains, … [Read more...]
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