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...]
Five charts on the Energy Transition: the 2020s is the decade of maximum disruption. By 2030 the endgame will be clear
Sam Butler-Sloss and Kingsmill Bond at RMI present a succinct summary of why the energy transition matters, how the 2020s is the era of maximum disruption, and how by 2030 the transition’s endgame will be apparent (though far from complete). Four key technologies are already entering the exponential growth stage: solar, wind, EVs and heat pumps. As early as 2030 their cheapness will flush away the fossil equivalents in succeeding decades, say the … [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...]
Falling oil prices are defying the forecasters. Expect to be surprised for the rest of the year
The worst expectations for oil prices never materialised, thank goodness. In mid-March a year ago Brent reached $114 and WTI $103 a barrel. By the same time this year it was $72 and $66 respectively. That’s despite no end in sight for the Russia-Ukraine war, the trigger to the 2022 price escalation and global crisis. Carole Nakhle at the University of Surrey explains how today’s forecasts are similarly uncertain. She points at conflicting … [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...]
Event summary: Electricity Market Design – how can reforms accelerate the Transition and help cut energy prices?
Here is our written summary of our online panel discussion held last week on the EC’s Electricity Market Design reform proposal. Catharina Sikow-Magny, Director, DG ENER presented the main elements of the proposal, and answered questions from the panellists: Wanda Buk, VP for Regulatory Affairs, PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna; Leonardo Meeus, Director, Florence School of Regulation; Jérôme Le Page, Chair of Electricity Committee, Federation of … [Read more...]
ReDREAM: Horizon-backed project gives consumers control of local renewables, prices and demand
The ReDREAM project, funded by EU Horizon 2020, wants to put consumers at the centre of the energy market. As Steve Gillman explains, people and businesses can shape their supply and demand by owning local renewable generation and combining that with smart systems that give visibility of prices and generation to enable control of demand, right down to the level of heat pumps, washing machines, hot water systems and EVs. A 300-household pilot is … [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...]
Electricity Market Design: how can reforms accelerate the transition and help cut energy prices?
*** REGISTER NOW *** for our online panel discussion on Friday 24th March 09:30-10:45 CET, “Electricity Market Design: how can reforms accelerate the transition and help cut energy prices?” Our panellists are Catharina Sikow-Magny, Director, DG ENER; Wanda Buk, Vice-President for Regulatory Affairs, PGE; Leonardo Meeus, Director of the Florence School of Regulation; Jérôme Le Page, Director for European Electricity Markets, EFET; Michaela … [Read more...]
Wind (and Solar) need their own Financial Transmission Rights to hedge their unique congestion risks
Financial Transmission Rights (FTRs) help generators and load-serving entities hedge congestion-related risk. Transmission congestion causes a divergence between wholesale power prices where it is generated and the trading hubs where it is delivered and sold. Because the congestion, and therefore the risk, varies over time it is particularly important to variable renewables. That uncertainty increases investor risk which potentially slows … [Read more...]
Utah: 140MW Geothermal bid can beat the cost and performance of the proposed Nuclear SMR
The U.S. state of Utah is processing an agreement for a new Small Modular Reactor (SMR) to provide baseline and dispatchable power. The SMR bid quotes a price of $89/MWh. But cost overruns will tie the state’s consumers to whatever high prices entail, says Dennis Wamsted at IEEFA. Now a geothermal bid from NV Energy has been presented that offers the same capacity at around $70/MWh. Wamsted explains why the 140MW geothermal project would meet … [Read more...]
Make Hydrogen in developing nations: share prosperity while meeting our climate goals
The new hydrogen economy will not just be global, it must be used as a major economic development opportunity for low income nations and promoting shared prosperity, explain Dolf Gielen, Silvia Carolina Lopez Rocha and Priyank Lathwal at the World Bank. They carefully lay out the obstacles and pathways for making hydrogen in developing countries. It’s very capital intensive, but such projects – think of existing fossil fuels, mining, etc. – have … [Read more...]
Biofuel is approaching a feedstock crunch. How bad? And what must be done?
The IEA is warning that biodiesel, renewable diesel and biojet fuel producers are heading for a feedstock supply crunch over the next five years. Rising prices are the signal to seek out new supplies and solutions, which should – and are - driving the development of government programmes and industry innovation. Here, the IEA lays out their projections for 2022-2027, covering all the main feedstocks: sugars, maize, soy oil, rapeseed oil, palm … [Read more...]
Message to environmentalists and the left: you can’t oppose both fossil investments and Carbon Pricing
Environmental and social justice opponents of fossil investments need to think carefully about the consequences of preventing all forms of new fossil infrastructure and maintenance. As Catherine Wolfram at the Haas School of Business explains, if fossils are phased out faster than clean energy is phased in, consumer prices go up and the fossil firms profit. A carbon price – often opposed by the same U.S. “progressives” as a tax disproportionately … [Read more...]
How Europe is countering Russia’s weaponisation of energy – CEDE 2022 event summary
Simon Göss provides a written summary of our two panel discussions held in Brussels on Thursday December 8th 2022. Panel 1 was titled “The Availability and Affordability of Gas and Energy in CEE and EU”, Panel 2 “The War in Ukraine: Security of Critical Energy Infrastructure”. The issues covered include EU policy interventions for countering the Russian weaponisation of energy, cooperation with Ukraine, how far is Europe prepared, spill-over … [Read more...]
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