The EC’s new series of proposed targets and reforms, contained in its Green Deal Industrial Plan, aim to ensure that at least 40% of the EU’s low-carbon technologies will be made within its borders by 2030. The eight “strategic net-zero technologies” are: Solar (power and thermal); Onshore and offshore wind; Batteries and energy storage; Heat pumps and geothermal; Electrolysers and fuel cells; Sustainable biogas/biomethane; CCS; Grid … [Read more...]
Silicon Valley Bank failed. Don’t blame the Climate Tech it backed
Silicon Valley Bank in the U.S. was a favourite for climate tech start-ups. So its recent collapse inevitably raised questions over whether those start-ups and by extension the whole climate innovation ecosystem was much more fragile than previously thought. Rushad Nanavatty, Colm Quinn and Amy Yanow Fairbanks at RMI explain why that’s not the case. Instead, it was an old-fashioned bank run caused by poor risk management, weakened regulation of … [Read more...]
Hydrogen’s innovation pipeline: signals strong ahead of World Hydrogen Summit in Rotterdam, May 9-11, 2023
The IEA and the European Patents Office have, for the first time, reported on patents filed worldwide to get a measure of the innovations we’re seeing in the hydrogen sector, summarised here by Ian Shine. Overall, Europe and Japan are leading. Although the U.S. is a close third, with 20% of the total, their filings have declined compared to the previous decade. The fastest growth is in China (15.2%) and South Korea (12.2%). There has been a … [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...]
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...]
Europe vs U.S: incentivising battery manufacture to take the global lead from China
Europe is already well placed to end its reliance on Chinese Li-ion battery cells by 2027, according to a study by Transport & Environment (T&E). The new analysis of battery-makers’ announcements points at Europe producing enough Li-ion cells to fully meet domestic demand for EVs and energy storage in four years’ time. T&E also forecasts that essential elements of the supply chain can substantially shift from China into Europe, like … [Read more...]
The U.S. needs a plan to transfer electricity long distance between regions, like Europe and China
In the U.S. several hundred thousand miles of power lines connect thousands of electric generators. But whereas Europe and China, at a similar scale, have continental-scale grid development plans, the U.S. does not. Its grid is highly fragmented and consists of not one, but three separate power grids that are almost completely isolated from one another. It has twelve different transmission planning regions that must coordinate much better to cope … [Read more...]
The U.S. should support the EU’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM)
The U.S. should get behind Europe’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), says Joseph Majkut at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Under the EU’s newest agreement, anyone importing CBAM-listed goods into Europe will have to report the emissions associated with their products starting in October, and ultimately face tariffs if those emissions exceed those of the equivalent products made in the EU. The current list is iron and … [Read more...]
Concrete: 8% of global emissions and rising. Which innovations can achieve net zero by 2050?
Concrete manufacture is responsible for 8% of global carbon emissions, with the ingredient “clinker” accounting for most of it. Global demand for cement (which hardens into concrete) is expected to increase 48% from 4.2bn to 6.2bn tons by 2050, mainly driven by developing nations. China used more concrete between 2011 and 2013 than the United States did in the entire 20th century. Ben Skinner and Radhika Lalit at RMI look at the materials and … [Read more...]
Making Hydrogen will consume 2% of total global renewable capacity growth by 2027
25 countries plus the EU have announced big ambitions for renewable hydrogen production. But how much renewable energy will be needed to make the H2 over the next five years? Nations are not keen to expend new clean energy generation on (expensive today) hydrogen production when their grids are still not emissions-free. According to the IEA, for 2022-2027, their main case forecasts around 50GW of renewable capacity will be dedicated to hydrogen … [Read more...]
30+ nations now subsidise Heat Pumps because lifetime cost is cheaper than fossil boilers
The global growth in heat pumps can deliver almost 40% of all possible emissions cuts from heating by 2030 (with most of the rest coming from efficiency, mainly insulation), says the IEA. This is according to their “Announced Pledges Scenario” (APS) which assumes that governments carry out all of the climate commitments they have made. Keeping buildings warm produces one-tenth of global energy-related CO2 emissions. So the APS’s heat pump growth … [Read more...]
Russia, fossil prices, energy security will boost Renewables to 38% of global power mix by 2027, says IEA
The IEA has raised its 2027 forecasts for total renewables additions in its main scenario to 2,383GW – around the total power capacity of China. That’s a 28% increase on the previous estimate and up 76% from two years ago, explains Josh Gabbatiss at Carbon Brief who summarises the IEA’s latest forecasts. Globally, solar power will overtake gas by installed capacity in 2026 and coal in 2027. There are two main drivers for this acceleration. High … [Read more...]
COP 27: a way forward for methane, fossil fuel (not just coal) phase-out, and U.S.-China competition?
COP 27 was never expected to have the impact that COP 26 did, and that’s how it turned out, explain Ben Cahill, Sandeep Pai and Taiya Smith at CSIS. But there are three issues that can have long term positive impacts if carried forward successfully. The first is some good news on methane emissions. The U.S., the EU, Japan and other countries announced an important producer-consumer effort to cut greenhouse gas emissions from traded gas, while … [Read more...]
China’s electricity market design should choose from successes in Europe, UK, Australia, USA
China has made substantial initial progress in its electricity market reform, but it still faces an uphill struggle in promoting the consumption of renewables, resource allocation across provinces and regions, and unlocking demand side potential. To help choose the best solutions China could do well to look at the “Handbook on Electricity Markets”, says Daisy Chi at ECECP. The 600-page book looks at the current state of power markets around the … [Read more...]
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