European nations are considering capping the price of gas that consumers pay, a subsidy that governments will pay for, to ensure households don’t freeze this winter. Daniel Gros at CEPS warns that this strategy will remove the incentive for consumers to cut their gas use, keeping international market prices high. Instead, governments should incentivise a reduction in gas use. Gros has modelled two strategies. The first is to pay households for … [Read more...]
Deep Geothermal: accessing 500°C for steam turbines. Can it make coal, gas, nuclear redundant?
The concept of “deep geothermal” is very simple. Dig deep enough, like 20km, to access a permanent reservoir of 500°C of heat. There, you generate the steam to power your turbines. The digging of a stable hole and getting the steam to the turbine is the big engineering challenge. But if you find a way that allows you to do it anywhere in the world (i.e. not limiting yourself to existing geological formations), nobody will ever need other … [Read more...]
If Russia cuts off its gas supply can we achieve EU storage targets for winter?
Calvin Triems at Energy Brainpool summarises their analysis of whether and how Europe can achieve its storage targets for 2022. There are four scenarios: “Base Case”; “[email protected]%” where there’s no change to Russia’s mid-June gas flow cut to 40%; “[email protected]% + No Freeport” where the unexpected fire in early June at the U.S. Freeport LNG terminal remains unresolved for months; “[email protected]% + No Freeport” where Russia cuts off supply … [Read more...]
Methane emissions reach unexpected new highs. Is climate change causing a runaway effect?
Simon Redfern at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore summarises his co-authored study that says methane emissions are four times more sensitive to climate change than that estimated in the latest IPCC report, which was only published in February 2022. The study follows the observation that, despite the pandemic stalling the world economy, methane emissions have reached new highs. Not because methane emissions have risen but because … [Read more...]
Record global clean energy spending, but it’s still not enough and costs are rising
Since 2020, clean energy investment has grown by 12% per year – it was only 2%/year during the five years after the 2015 Paris Agreement. That boost is the main reason why total global energy investment is set to reach $2.4tn in 2022, according to the latest “World Energy Investment” report from the IEA. It’s very good news that spending on solar PV, batteries and EVs is now growing at rates consistent with reaching global net zero emissions by … [Read more...]
Will price caps on Russian oil work? Three experts debate
Whatever the G7 does, the objective is to cut revenues flowing into Russia, not oil flowing out. And whatever the sanctions, getting compliance from neutral and pro-Russian countries will need a strong positive incentive. Hence the idea of a price cap which would keep prices low. Here, three experts – Edward Fishman and Brian O’Toole at the Atlantic Council, and Mark Mozur at S&P Global Commodity Insights (with background by Atlantic … [Read more...]
If Russia cuts its gas supplies to Germany, what happens next?
Replacing Russian pipeline gas to Europe in the short term is much more difficult than finding alternative sources for coal and oil. It’s why the EU hasn’t banned Russian gas. But what if Russia cuts off the supply? Benjamin Wehrmann at Clean Energy Wire looks at what the consequences and options are for Germany. Though Germany aims to wean itself off Russian supplies almost entirely by 2024, a sudden cut would have serious consequences. Storage … [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...]
How the U.S. can meet its target of halving emissions by 2030
Writing for Carbon Brief, John Bistline at the Electric Power Research Institute summarises his co-authored paper “Actions for reducing US emissions at least 50% by 2030”, the target set by the Biden administration. The paper provides detailed projections and actionable insights about the policies and technology deployment needed to achieve this near-term climate goal. Roughly 70-90% of emissions reductions by 2030 must come from the power and … [Read more...]
Hydrogen is also a greenhouse gas, so leaks must be minimised
Even leaked hydrogen can warm the climate. How serious is it as a greenhouse gas? How easy is it to minimise leaks? Thomas Koch Blank, Raghav Muralidharan, Kaitlyn Ramirez, Alexandra Wall and Tessa Weiss at RMI answer these important questions as the hydrogen ramp up begins. The first observation is that hydrogen is much less damaging than natural gas, even with minimal hydrogen leakage regulation. Nevertheless, the roll-out of this new energy … [Read more...]
Electricity markets with high shares of Wind and Solar will need Nuclear
When electricity markets have high shares of wind and solar – the goal of many regions around the world – is it more efficient to build a nuclear power plant instead of investing further in more renewable capacity? The answer is yes, according to a study by Machiel Mulder, Xinyu Li and Arjen Veenstra at the University of Groningen. In essence, it’s because nuclear benefits from the high (scarcity) prices when there’s little wind or sunshine. Here … [Read more...]
Renewable Ammonia’s role in reducing dependence on Gas
Today, IRENA and the Ammonia Energy Association (AEA) released its “Innovation Outlook Renewable Ammonia” which updates in detail the current state and prospects for green ammonia as an energy carrier. Here, Dolf Gielen, Francisco Boshell and Gabriel Castellanos at IRENA and Kevin Rouwenhorst and Trevor Brown at the AEA summarise the findings. Worldwide ammonia production, though fossil-based, is already at-scale as a feedstock for fertiliser. So … [Read more...]
Latest U.S. modelling shows Battery Storage can support an 80% Renewables grid by 2050
NREL’s latest Storage Futures Study concludes that battery storage should be able to support an 80% renewables grid mix in the U.S. by 2050. Madeline Geocaris at NREL explains how they modelled hundreds of future scenarios to accurately represent the value of diurnal (<12 hours) battery energy storage. The high-storage scenarios made different cost and performance assumptions for storage, wind, solar PV, and natural gas. 15 storage … [Read more...]
Seven ways for the U.S. and Europe to enhance energy security and advance climate goals
Ending reliance on Russian fossil exports will need the U.S. and Europe to work together, explain Joseph Majkut, Nikos Tsafos and Ben Cahill at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The U.S. is the world’s largest oil and gas producer and is able to increase output. At the same time, it must meet global emissions targets. The way to do it is to increase fossil exports temporarily whilst improving its carbon reduction measures (e.g. … [Read more...]
What’s best for Hydrogen transport: ammonia, liquid hydrogen, LOHC or pipelines?
The ability to transport hydrogen in bulk will mean clean energy can be taken where it’s needed, as easily as fossil fuels are today. But there is a cost involved in converting the hydrogen into something easy to transport (and un-converting it at the destination). Herib Blanco at IRENA summarises the findings of their paper that looks at those costs: a better understanding will enable us to choose the right pathways today fit for the next 30 … [Read more...]
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