Leonardo Meeus at the Florence School of Regulation explains why electricity market reform in the EU must be about completing the process of integration, not unwinding it. He breaks down his argument into five categories – Electricity Markets, Contracts for Difference (CfD) and Power Purchase Agreements (PPA), Capacity Remuneration Mechanisms (CRM), Energy Communities, and Demand-side Flexibility – and with each he defines their purpose, looks at … [Read more...]
European gas prices have fallen sharply since August. What happens next?
Prices on the European gas market have fallen sharply since August 2022 and Europe’s gas storage facilities are almost full. That’s good news, but the problems aren’t over. Simon Göss at cr.hub, writing for Energy Brainpool, explains why by looking at the data. He runs through the main factors driving the changes, primarily strong LNG imports, Norway’s increased production, mild weather, and lower gas consumption (particularly in industry). … [Read more...]
Pollution costs are driving U.S. states to look for alternatives to Gas-Fired Plants
In the U.S. a growing number of states and regulators are directing utilities to look for alternatives to proposed gas-fired power plants, citing environmental justice and community health impacts, explain Caitlin Odom and Lauren Shwisberg at RMI. So it’s not just about emissions: pollution matters too. The authors quote studies that show clean energy portfolios (CEPs) not only reduce energy costs, but can save billions of dollars in community … [Read more...]
Russia’s war is accelerating the clean energy transition, says IEA
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...]
Energy Security: what if the UK government had not “cut the green crap” from 2013
The UK provides an example of a government that cut back its green ambitions only to see its energy security suffer. In 2013, then-prime minister David Cameron told his ministers to “cut the green crap”. That led successive governments to downgrade home energy efficiency, requirements for new homes to be “zero carbon”, end subsidies for onshore wind and solar, and effectively ban onshore wind in England. What if the UK had stayed on its … [Read more...]
Event Summary: “CHINA: Carbon Neutral by 2060 – The Future of Gas”
Here are the written highlights of our 2-day 4-session workshop “CHINA: Carbon Neutral by 2060 – The Future of Gas”, compiled by Helena Uhde at ECECP. Here you can quickly see the main points made by our expert panellists. Global events have made gas the hottest of issues, and the implications for both Europe and China are strongly reflected in all the sessions. The four session topics were Security of Supply, CCUS for the Gas Sector, Competitive … [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...]
Is a Carbon Tax the best way to decarbonise the Grid?
Severin Borenstein at the Energy Institute at Haas and Ryan Kellogg at the University of Chicago question whether carbon pricing is the best way to decarbonise the electricity grid. The authors did an empirical analysis of all of the fossil plants in the US. It shows that a CES (clean electricity standard) or zero-emissions subsidies would close down fossil plants in almost the same order as a carbon tax. So using alternative policy tools can … [Read more...]
Carbon Capture is a risky decarbonisation pathway: 13 flagship projects reviewed
The debate around the effectiveness of carbon capture (you can register now for our CCUS session on Wednesday at 10.45 - Editor) has led to polarising views. Although the first implementations began 50 years ago, serious efforts to capture large volumes cost-effectively are in their infancy and unproven at scale. Is it, given time and support, a solution to excess emissions worldwide? Or is it a distraction that will allow fossils to be used yet … [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...]
Fossil fuel producers can decarbonise by exporting Electricity, Hydrogen, and Steel
The compelling reason why fossil fuel producers will be needed even beyond 2050 is that they currently provide over 80% of global energy, and 90% of the world’s population still needs the wealth creation that energy delivers, says Schalk Cloete. Given that, he summarises his co-authored paper that takes a close look at how a fossil exporter, Norway, can trade with an importer, Germany, while decarbonising. The modelling focusses on electricity … [Read more...]
As spot market electricity prices break all records, what is the prediction for winter?
Spot market prices for electricity have been breaking all records, as European leaders and their ministers intensify their discussions on how to deal with the crisis. Simon Göss at cr.hub, writing for Energy Brainpool, starts by explaining how the markets work, noting that price rises are indeed being driven by fossil prices and not CO2 certificates. Göss looks at how prices have climbed in Germany, France, the Baltics and Spain, and how the … [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...]
Modelling green Ammonia and Methanol in 2050. It will be expensive
Schalk Cloete starts by explaining that it is unrealistic to expect clean electrification to carry the main burden of energy supply. Even a fast roll out will be constrained by a range of infrastructure and cost limitations. Hence our continued dependence on fuels, with their high energy density and ease of transport. Those fuels will have to be made clean, so he summarises his co-authored papers that model the cost of green and blue ammonia and … [Read more...]
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