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...]
Can Phytomining deliver Critical Minerals at scale: farming plants that accumulate high metal concentrations
Both Europe and the U.S. are making plans to secure supplies of critical minerals as the transition gains pace. Domestic mining or securing import deals with close allies is the main focus. Here, Maria Krol-Sinclair and Thomas Hale at CSIS review the prospects for a new method that will require neither: phytomining. Some plants, called hyperaccumulators, soak up high concentrations of metals into their leaves, bark, and roots. These plants can … [Read more...]
Poorly defined “efficiency” incentives birthed the SUV. Beware the same mistake with “clean energy” jobs, “domestic” batteries + more
Financial support for the transition needs clear and carefully chosen definitions of what qualifies for that support. Getting it wrong leads to unintended consequences, some which may not reduce emissions, explains James Sallee at the Energy Institute at Haas. Ever wondered why SUVs and big cars proliferated after the 1970s in the U.S. (and are on roads all over the world now)? The 1970s oil crisis triggered new rules that penalised fuel … [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...]
IEA’s new CCUS projects database: a tool for driving much needed progress
The IEA has made available for the first time its CCUS projects database. The number of countries with plans to develop CCUS now stands at 45, with seven more countries - in central and southern Europe, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia – joining the list in 2022. The database covers CO2 capture, transport, storage, and utilisation projects worldwide commissioned since the 1970s, and have an announced capacity of more than 100,000 tonnes/year … [Read more...]
Germany is developing a strategy for Carbon Capture and Storage to meet its 2045 net zero target
Germany cannot become carbon neutral by 2045 without carbon capture, explains Simon Göss at carboneer. It’s why the German government is developing a Carbon Management Strategy for CO2 storage and utilisation. Projections reveal that around 30m tons of CO2 will have to be captured, transported, reused or disposed of by 2045. The focus will be on industrial processes and waste. Göss lays out the background to Germany’s strategy, including possible … [Read more...]
Big Consultancies are now advising on climate change. Will it conflict with their business-as-usual work?
The world’s top management consultancies - like BCG, Accenture, PwC, EY, McKinseys - who for decades have advised the biggest polluters, are now rushing into the business of helping companies cut emissions to become more sustainable, explains Emma Thomasson at Clean Energy Wire. The necessary expertise is in very short supply, so they are retraining staff, poaching environmental experts, and buying up smaller specialist firms. BCG is even running … [Read more...]
Gas: a history of Energy Security in the EU. And what’s next post-Russia?
The security of supply of gas has been the hottest topic of the last 12 months since Russia invaded Ukraine. James Kneebone at the Florence School of Regulation (FSR) has written an explainer that lays out the EU’s history of dealing with energy security, going back to the 1990s. Because the EU has a single market for natural gas and widely shared value chains (pipelines, LNG terminals, storage, etc.), impacts are felt across the bloc. But that … [Read more...]
Making Hydrogen will consume 2% of total global renewable capacity growth by 2027
25 countries plus the EU have announced big ambitions for renewable hydrogen production. But how much renewable energy will be needed to make the H2 over the next five years? Nations are not keen to expend new clean energy generation on (expensive today) hydrogen production when their grids are still not emissions-free. According to the IEA, for 2022-2027, their main case forecasts around 50GW of renewable capacity will be dedicated to hydrogen … [Read more...]
From lab to commercialisation: what is the optimal pathway for Clean Energy Technologies?
It’s a considerable challenge to predict, decades in advance, what the world will need and get it from lab to market. Madeline Geocaris and Andrea Wuorenmaa at NREL summarise four case studies that reveal the key elements required: a good balance of technology, R&D, and public-private partnership; regulatory and market force alignment; good timing for market opportunities. The goal is the optimal pathway to the successful first … [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 is the potential for offshore wind in the Baltic Sea?
What is the potential for offshore wind in the Baltic Sea? Simon Göss summarises the panel discussion that brought together Marcin Nowacki (President of the European Enterprise Alliance), Dariusz Lociński (President of the Management Board, PGE Baltica), Pierre Tardieu (Chief Policy Officer at Wind Europe), Ricardo Williams (Policy Officer for Infrastructure and Regional Cooperation at DG ENER, EC) and Pernille Weiss (MEP and ITRE committee … [Read more...]
Geopolitics and energy security require the U.S. and its allies to lead on Nuclear
Combine the current energy crisis with the geopolitical ambitions of Russia and China, and you have your reason for why the U.S. and its allies should prioritise nuclear, argues Robert Ichord at the Atlantic Council. All three nations have well-developed world-leading nuclear sectors. But it’s Russia that has been the largest exporter of nuclear reactors to the world market. Meanwhile, China has the most plants under construction at twenty. The … [Read more...]
Hydrogen imports: strict rules can deliver a win-win for Europe and developing nations
### Today’s article flags up a fascinating panel discussion on the book “Touching Hydrogen Future”, as part of the European Hydrogen Week taking place from 24-28 October 2022. This webinar, on Oct 28 at 10:00 CEST, will be blue-sky thinking about the future of the hydrogen economy. Global in scope, it will dive into how a hydrogen-powered future might look in the Netherlands, Greece, Ukraine and Morocco. REGISTER HERE ### The EU is moving … [Read more...]
Hydrogen project pipelines need new ways of matchmaking investors and developers
What is required to catalyse private investment in the new hydrogen economy? Isabelle Huber at the Center for Strategic and International Studies has looked at a European Investment Bank survey of hydrogen investors in the EU to find some answers. One obvious challenge is the cost of moving to hydrogen. An example of dealing with this is Germany’s H2Global mechanism which uses government funds to bridge the gap. But another major problem … [Read more...]