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...]
What is the future of Woody Biomass in the EU energy mix?
Simon Göss provides an overview of the main issues surrounding the intense policy debate over the future of biomass in the EU. The current proposals of the EU parliament still allow certain woody biomass to be used for all kinds of energy purposes but limits the share that primary woody biomass can contribute towards renewable energy targets. Included in the proposals is a new definition of primary woody biomass, and a phase-out of financial … [Read more...]
Buildings “Energy Performance Certificates”: piloting new tools to ramp up renovations
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...]
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...]
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...]
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 (for example, the UK is planning a “hydrogen … [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...]
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...]
Green Hydrogen’s 6,000-fold scale-up by 2050 must far exceed Wind and Solar’s. Is it possible?
To scale “green” hydrogen to make its contribution to limiting warming to 1.5C, electrolyser capacity needs to grow 6,000-fold by 2050 from today’s levels of 600MW, according to the IEA’s Net-Zero emissions by 2050 scenario. Adrian Odenweller and Falko Ueckerdt at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, writing for Carbon Brief, summarise their study that concludes even if electrolyser capacity grows as quickly as wind and solar, it is … [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...]
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...]
Understanding the new EU ETS (Part 2): Buildings, Road Transport, Fuels. And how the revenues will be spent
A fortnight ago we published Simon Göss’s explainer of the big changes happening to the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). That article covered the new rules coming in for the existing EU ETS, and the implementation of the new carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM). This article explains the introduction of an EU ETS II that extends emissions trading to the buildings sector, road transport and the usage of fuels in other, as of now not … [Read more...]
Steel decarbonisation: Australia must stop making excuses and follow Europe’s lead
Australian steel makers, major global exporters, must stop making excuses about decarbonisation and look to Europe for a role model, argues Simon Nicholas at IEEFA. A pattern of behaviour by Australia’s steel makers reveals that their excuse is that low-carbon solutions are not yet ready, leaving only promises of carbon capture (as yet unproven at scale) some time in the future. Nicholas notes that these promises will never have to be kept by the … [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...]
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