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...]
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...]
The problem with CO2e: we need separate emissions data for each climate pollutant (methane, soot, etc.)
Currently, we measure non-CO2 emissions by converting their impact into the CO2 equivalent over a 100-year period. The problem is that other pollutants can have their worst impact well within 100 years, like methane (the first 20 years is when the impact of methane is worst). Though CO2 has caused the most warming, other short-lived pollutants have contributed nearly half of the total, particularly methane, black carbon from soot, and some … [Read more...]
Should U.S. DOE risk funding methane-based Hydrogen production when CCS is still not proven?
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is allocating $8bn for building regional clean hydrogen hubs. Decisions on who to fund are being made now and will be completed by the end of this year. Any methane-based hydrogen project that achieves a 95% carbon capture rate will be sufficiently “clean” to qualify for the federal funding. But, as Suzanne Mattei, David Schlissel and Dennis Wamsted at IEEFA explain, the few “at scale” CCS projects now running … [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...]
EU gas post-Russia: out-of-date regulations are preventing new gas flows from west to east, not infrastructure
### REGISTER NOW ### for our vitally important 2-panel event “The Energy Crisis and Russian Aggression Against Ukraine – Key Challenges for the Central European Energy Sector”, on Thursday December 8, 13:00 – 17:00 CET (Address: Rue Belliard 40, 1040 Brussels). High-profile confirmed speakers include Kadri Simson, European Commissioner for Energy, EC; Leszek Jesień, Chairman of the Board, CEEP; Jerzy Buzek, MEP and former president of the … [Read more...]
What does the “global carbon budget” mean? Have we got 9 years left?
Piers Forster and Debbie Rosen at the University of Leeds and Robin Lamboll and Joeri Rogelj at Imperial College London, writing for Carbon Brief, look at the carbon budget estimates of the Global Carbon Project and the IPCC, the methodology and the inevitable uncertainties. They compare it to their own latest report from the CONSTRAIN research project. Where the GCP and the IPCC estimate nine years left of carbon emissions at current emission … [Read more...]
Clean Turquoise Hydrogen: a pathway to commercial readiness
Whereas blue hydrogen from methane produces CO2, the by-product of turquoise hydrogen is pure carbon. The obvious advantage is you can make your hydrogen without the need for expensive new infrastructure to transport and store any CO2. Turquoise hydrogen is only at the start-up phase, so Schalk Cloete summarises his co-authored paper that looks at various scenarios to estimate the cost of producing the hydrogen (using molten salt pyrolysis) and, … [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...]
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...]
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...]
Price volatility and greenwashing: do Gas and LNG make economic or climate sense?
While governments urgently rethink their gas policies, Christina Ng and Sam Reynolds at IEEFA summarise the evidence against the claim that gas and LNG can be green and have a sound economic future. Firstly, most measurements of emissions do not include the full life-cycle of production. For LNG that includes extraction, transport, liquefaction, and re-gasification. They point at studies that say it can be almost as much as the emissions produced … [Read more...]
Russia-Ukraine: Support for U.S. Oil & Gas producers must tie them to low-emissions investments
Like many countries, the U.S. is set to raise oil and gas production to compensate for cuts in Russian imports consequent to the war in Ukraine. The danger is that short-term solutions to sky rocketing fossil fuel prices will take precedence over climate targets. But Ben Cahill at CSIS explains how this is an opportunity for the Biden administration to give support to fossil energy producers with one hand and extract solid commitments on … [Read more...]
Converting captured CO2 directly into fuels could get simpler, cheaper
Converting captured CO2 directly into fuels (or other products) at scale seems an effective way to mitigate emissions. But most of the conversion methods, including electrochemical, thermocatalytic, photothermal, or photochemical processes, have not proved very effective. David Chandler at MIT describes how researchers there have identified the main stumbling block and found a very simple solution. Basically, at the molecular level, the contact … [Read more...]
The Gas Crunch: EU and China can share lessons on Energy Security and Renewables Integration
With adversity comes opportunity. The global gas crunch has hurt countries around the world but has also made them appreciate their common concerns. That has provoked policy-makers to take a serious look at current and future energy security policies. In the EU the competitive gas markets, enabled by short-term spot markets, has reminded us of the value of long-term contracts when prices are volatile and rising. Meanwhile, China’s … [Read more...]