In May the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed new rules regulating carbon emissions from fossil fuel-fired power plants. Here, four experts from the Center for Strategic and International Studies – Cy McGeady, John Larsen, Kyle Danish and Mathias Zacarias – make their assessment and point at the wide-ranging implications. The main issues covered include CCS, hydrogen-fuelled generation, state clean energy standards, carbon pricing, … [Read more...]
The history of evidence of CO2-driven climate change starts in the mid-1800s
Marc Hudson at the University of Sussex gives us a fascinating review of the history of climate change science. While the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was established in 1988, experimental evidence that CO2 traps heat dates back to the mid-1800s. The first predictions of global warming caused by humans came in 1895. The big change in perception took place in 1953. Canadian physicist Gilbert Plass (an academic whose career also … [Read more...]
Oil & Gas can meet 2030 net-zero target for only $600bn, quickly recouped. But it’s still not happening, warns IEA
The IEA summarises its 33-page report “Emissions from Oil and Gas Operations in Net Zero Transitions”. The IEA says the oil and gas sector needs £600bn up front to meet its 2030 target of a 60% reduction in emissions. That’s only 15% of the sector’s record 2022 energy-crisis windfall income. A small price increase and savings should recoup that money “quickly”, says the IEA. The IEA not only maps a way to limit the global average temperature rise … [Read more...]
Europe: preventing a “carbon wall” between the West and the ten Central and Eastern EU nations
Diana-Paula Gherasim at the IFRI Centre for Energy & Climate summarises her 36-page data-rich report on the progress and challenges for the ten Central and Eastern EU (CEECs) countries in decarbonisation. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has focussed all minds on energy security and the best solutions: less fossils, efficiency gains and clean energy made in the EU. Gherasim says that vitally important progress is being made in avoiding a … [Read more...]
Falling oil prices are defying the forecasters. Expect to be surprised for the rest of the year
The worst expectations for oil prices never materialised, thank goodness. In mid-March a year ago Brent reached $114 and WTI $103 a barrel. By the same time this year it was $72 and $66 respectively. That’s despite no end in sight for the Russia-Ukraine war, the trigger to the 2022 price escalation and global crisis. Carole Nakhle at the University of Surrey explains how today’s forecasts are similarly uncertain. She points at conflicting … [Read more...]
Record clean-power growth in 2023: is Coal and Gas decline now structurally embedded?
Last year, wind and solar reached a record 12% of global electricity generation, according to think tank Ember’s latest global electricity review. The overall share of all forms of low-carbon electricity rose to almost 40% of total generation. Josh Gabbatiss at Carbon Brief goes through the Ember review which heralds this as the moment fossils began their permanent decline. Ember calls it “structural” and “enduring” because previous declines only … [Read more...]
The U.S. is moving faster than the EU on Methane regulations. Why?
Ben Cahill at the Center for Strategic and International Studies takes a deep dive into U.S. and EU progress on regulating methane emissions. It’s vitally important because methane has more than 80 times the warming potential of CO2 in its first 20 years in the atmosphere. In his assessment, Cahill explains why the U.S. is likely to move much faster than the EU. Unlike the U.S., the EU is a big importer of gas so needs its rules complied with by … [Read more...]
IEA’s global “CO2 Emissions in 2022” report: by sector, fuel, region, heating +more
The IEA has published “CO2 Emissions in 2022”, giving estimates of CO2 emissions from all energy sources and industrial processes globally. Emissions from energy combustion increased by 423 Mt, while emissions from industrial processes decreased by 102 Mt. Emissions from various sources (sector, fuel, region, heating, etc.) are broken down, with reasons for why the change happened. The report is part of the IEA’s first global stocktake of the … [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...]
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...]
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...]
Will Europe now commit to long term imports of large quantities of LNG?
The EU and European nations need a more secure LNG supply strategy than just buying on the spot market where there is little control of prices and quantities. With Russian gas off the agenda for the foreseeable future, it’s LNG that’s filled the gap. But spot prices have been extremely high, and may return to the same heights. And though China’s Covid-caused drop in LNG consumption helped enable Europe to buy enough for now, that won’t be the … [Read more...]
Coal phase-out: Developing world targets are unfeasible. Rich nations must cut emissions faster
Developing nations like China, India and South Africa are being asked to phase out coal more than twice as fast as any comparable energy phase-out in history, for the world to meet the Paris climate goals. That’s simply unrealistic say James Price and Steve Pye at UCL who present the results of their new study. Instead, rich nations will have to reduce significantly their oil and gas to compensate for the shortfall. An oil and gas peak isn’t good … [Read more...]
Big Consultancies are now advising on climate change. Will it conflict with their business-as-usual work?
The world’s top management consultancies - like BCG, Accenture, PwC, EY, McKinseys - who for decades have advised the biggest polluters, are now rushing into the business of helping companies cut emissions to become more sustainable, explains Emma Thomasson at Clean Energy Wire. The necessary expertise is in very short supply, so they are retraining staff, poaching environmental experts, and buying up smaller specialist firms. BCG is even running … [Read more...]
Gas: a history of Energy Security in the EU. And what’s next post-Russia?
The security of supply of gas has been the hottest topic of the last 12 months since Russia invaded Ukraine. James Kneebone at the Florence School of Regulation (FSR) has written an explainer that lays out the EU’s history of dealing with energy security, going back to the 1990s. Because the EU has a single market for natural gas and widely shared value chains (pipelines, LNG terminals, storage, etc.), impacts are felt across the bloc. But that … [Read more...]
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