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...]
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...]
Green District Heating: can the energy crisis + new carbon targets drive new investment?
Rebecca Pool, writing for ESCI, describes green district heating projects where the operator is a “middle man” between new energy generators (waste heat, renewables, etc.) and end users. The energy crisis has created an opportunity, as unpredictable gas prices combined with new carbon targets have made the long-term investment more attractive. But district heating is in direct competition from heat pumps and natural gas, so it needs to be price … [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...]
Li-ion Grid Batteries aren’t always the best replacement for Gas Peakers
Gas peakers need to be replaced with something cleaner. Like grid batteries. But the question is “when”, says Maximilian Auffhammer at the Energy Institute at Haas. Summarising his co-authored paper, he explains that a review of 19 gas peakers in the U.S., replaced with Li-ion grid-scale batteries, reveals only 5 make economic and climate sense (i.e. a positive net present value after including monetised climate and human health impacts). … [Read more...]
Credit Rating Agencies: a guide to pricing in long-term climate risks
Nobody wants share, stock and bond prices to fall off a cliff unexpectedly. But while Credit Rating Agencies (CRAs) continue to evaluate based on short-term policy changes and market forces without specifically accounting for climate risks, that’s what could happen. IEEFA have published their guides to how CRAs can adapt – without throwing out – their existing models to integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) credit risks. Hazel … [Read more...]
Germany closes its last 3 nuclear reactors. Understanding the reasons why
Germany has a long history of being resistant to all things nuclear. No new commercial reactors have been built since 1989. By 2023, nuclear made up only 6% of its power mix. To meet its decarbonisation goals, the government is confident of its target to reach an 80% renewables share in electricity demand by 2030 without nuclear. Hence the shut-down of its last three reactors over the weekend. Yet nuclear supporters say that leaving the last six … [Read more...]
Renewables “cost of capital” in Europe lower than oil, gas, coal. What the U.S. and China can learn
The ultimate price of anything is highly dependent on the cost of capital needed to put it in place. That cost reflects the risks financial markets perceive. And policy certainty reduces risk. Gireesh Shrimali, Christian Wilson and Xiaoyan Zhou at Oxford University, writing for WEF, summarise their global study which shows the cost of capital for different energy technologies, and therefore which ones will trend upwards and dominate. They cover … [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...]
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...]
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...]
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...]
- Next Page »