The IEA’s World Energy Outlook 2022 is predicting that fossil fuels will peak in the next five years, “thanks to” Russia’s war and the resultant energy crisis. National climate promises are being turned into policies that improve energy security, which mostly means reducing dependence on gas. That means global energy demand growth to 2030 will “almost entirely” be met by renewables. Simon Evans at Carbon Brief takes an in-depth look at the … [Read more...]
Can the Czech Republic revive its clean energy ambitions?
Although an early enthusiast for solar in 2009 the Czech Republic’s clean energy ambitions stalled. The share of green electricity was only 12% last year, with solar contributing 3% and wind just 1%. The current government is now reviving the nation’s drive towards carbon-free energy. Will new Czech policies along with EU initiatives like REPowerEU, the Green Deal and the Modernisation Fund successfully breathe new life into the Czech transition? … [Read more...]
Wave Energy Converter performance tool, publicly available online
Advancements in wave energy technology (WEC) have been slow, mainly because of the harsh marine environments WECs must operate in, as well as the complex regulatory requirements. Tiffany Plate at NREL explains it’s why the U.S. Department of Energy and NREL have collaborated on the Small WEC Analysis tool, publicly available online. Its purpose is to provide baseline information about the performance of different types of WECs in various ocean … [Read more...]
U.S. Residential Distributed Solar: still getting cheaper, installation and permitting too, more batteries
John Rogers at UCS reviews the new and comprehensive “Tracking the Sun” report from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory which covers both residential and non-residential “grid-connected, distributed” solar PV systems in the U.S. There has been clear progress across the board, including PV module efficiency, system costs, installation and permitting, and the uptake of batteries. For example, median efficiency for modules in residential systems … [Read more...]
Ukraine’s post-war reconstruction must prioritise Renewables, for energy security and European integration
With Russia using energy as a weapon of war, Ukraine must prioritise domestic renewable generation to help ensure its future energy security, explain Joseph Majkut and Allegra Dawes at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Ukraine’s reconstruction, which will cost hundreds of billions, must therefore include it in its strategy. Done right, it will also enable greater market integration with the European Union. Ukraine’s energy … [Read more...]
Global Wind Speeds: are they falling due to climate change?
Last year, Europe experienced a “wind drought”, with wind speeds falling 15% in many regions, sometimes more. Deeper research shows speeds dropped gradually between 1978 and 2010, though rose again in the last decade. It’s difficult for the science to create a clear picture and predict long term trends. But the IPCC forecasts slowing winds for the coming decades, saying average annual wind speeds could drop by up to 10% by 2100. Jim Robbins at … [Read more...]
Europe’s decoupling of electricity and gas prices: the crisis is temporary, so why do it?
The debate is intensifying over how to decouple power prices from the extraordinarily high natural gas prices in Europe. Simona Benedettini and Carlo Stagnaro warn that the current problem of high prices is not caused by the mis-functioning of electricity markets, but by the exceptional trend in gas prices. So should the markets be re-designed at all? Will we lose the benefits of the current design, one being the reliable profits that renewables … [Read more...]
EU Solar has avoided 20bcm of gas imports and saved €29bn
Solar generation in the EU has avoided the import of 20bcm of gas that would have cost €29bn, explains Paweł Czyżak at Ember, writing for Carbon Brief. The new solar power added since 2021 alone avoided €6bn of gas imports. Record EU solar generation increased by 28% in the summer of 2022, compared with the same period a year earlier. And it’s growing very quickly, with a consistent 15% year-on-year increases in installed solar capacity – from … [Read more...]
Event Summary: Building GW-scale Offshore Wind in the Baltic Sea
Here we provide a written summary of the panel discussion “Wind of Change or Change of Wind? The future of Baltic Sea offshore investments” held on 12th September 2022 in Brussels. It’s a full summary of the 90 minute discussion (including audience questions), but it begins conveniently with a summary of the highlights. The Baltic Sea has the potential to develop over 90 GW of offshore wind capacity. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has delivered … [Read more...]
Electricity market re-design should focus on the root cause of the crisis, Europe’s dependence on fossil fuels
Amidst the perfect storm of the pandemic, war in Ukraine, and extreme weather events, Bruce Douglas at Eurelectric urges us all not to lose focus on our decarbonisation targets. Energy savings, electrification and renewables are more important than ever to help reduce dependence on fossil fuels. Douglas explains that Europe’s electricity sector remains totally committed to the drive towards clean energy, citing examples. He summarises the … [Read more...]
Poland can become a major player in Offshore Wind, says PGE
PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna’s goal is to have at least 6.5 GW of offshore wind capacity in the Baltic Sea by 2040. The first projects will come online within the next few years. The offshore projects are one of PGE’s key steps towards climate neutrality, and PGE hopes to become a leader in offshore wind in Poland. Here, Wojciech Dąbrowski, PGE’s President of the Management Board, answers questions to explain their strategy, and how it fits into … [Read more...]
“GETs”: cheap ways for Grids to double Wind & Solar integration and help battle global inflation
Accelerating the clean energy transition can tackle the inflation crisis, not just save the climate, explain Russell Mendell, Mathias Einberger and Katie Siegner at Rocky Mountain Institute. Rising energy costs are driving current global inflation. So now is the perfect time to drive through low-hanging-fruit ways to increase wind and solar generation and storage. In the U.S. interconnection queues – the pipeline of clean generation projects … [Read more...]
Can China’s 14th 5-year-plan for Renewable Energy deliver an early emissions peak before 2030?
At the beginning of June China released its 14th five-year plan (FYP) for renewable energy for the five years 2021-2025. Hu Min at Innovative Green Development Program, writing for Carbon Brief, reviews the plan’s targets and actions, and its implications. Unchanged from the 13th FYP, 25% of China’s energy will come from non-fossil sources by 2030. But the 14th FYP says at least half of the increase in electricity demand will be covered by … [Read more...]
Russia-Ukraine: modelling the consequences for the European electricity market to 2050
Alex Schmitt, Christoph Kellermann, Calvin Triems and Huangluolun Zhou at Energy Brainpool have used their modelling tools to update their predictions of how the European electricity market will develop over the next 30 years, given a target of 99% emission-free generation in 2050. Projections are made on generation (mix and volumes) and price. The big change from their last predictions is the Russia-Ukraine war and Europe’s determination to ramp … [Read more...]
China tariffs: Biden’s plan to unblock domestic Solar manufacturing
The U.S. solar industry has been caught up in the wider tariff disputes with China, a key exporter of solar panels and components. The Solar Energy Industries Association estimates hundreds of projects have been cancelled or delayed, totalling more than 50GW (that’s over twice the total US solar installations of 2021), putting 100,000 jobs at risk (almost half the solar workforce). John Rogers at UCS explains what the Biden administration is … [Read more...]
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