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...]
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...]
Europe needs a Regional Green Bank to fulfil its Green Deal and match the U.S.
Three years in, the European Green Deal remains unfulfilled as a long-term vision for decarbonising Europe by 2050, says Esmeralda Colombo at EIEE. To inject new momentum, in this week’s speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, EC President Ursula von der Leyen sketched out a Green Deal Industrial Plan to subsidise the cleantech industry and compete with the rest of the world, notably the US, and the EU Sovereignty Fund to equalise the … [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...]
30+ nations now subsidise Heat Pumps because lifetime cost is cheaper than fossil boilers
The global growth in heat pumps can deliver almost 40% of all possible emissions cuts from heating by 2030 (with most of the rest coming from efficiency, mainly insulation), says the IEA. This is according to their “Announced Pledges Scenario” (APS) which assumes that governments carry out all of the climate commitments they have made. Keeping buildings warm produces one-tenth of global energy-related CO2 emissions. So the APS’s heat pump growth … [Read more...]
Laser-driven Nuclear fusion achieves “ignition”: lab gets more energy out than in
Though nuclear fusion serving the grid is surely still decades away, it has got one important step closer, explains John Pasley at the University of York. For the first time, in the U.S. the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory achieved “ignition” for laser driven fusion. That means more energy was taken out, by a factor of 1.5, than put in. However, the two million Joules of laser light fired at the fuel pellets needed 300 million Joules to … [Read more...]
Corporate targets are forcing suppliers to cut emissions or relocate to clean energy nations
Emissions targets being imposed by corporates in the U.S. and Europe are forcing manufacturers in other parts of the world to decarbonise, writes Kwangyin Liu at Clean Energy Wire. Here, she looks at how Taiwan’s TSMC – the world’s third largest chip manufacturer – is having to set up factories in Arizona (U.S.) and Kumamoto (Japan) where emissions are lower and thus to comply with requirements set by customers like Apple, Google and Microsoft. … [Read more...]
Russia, fossil prices, energy security will boost Renewables to 38% of global power mix by 2027, says IEA
The IEA has raised its 2027 forecasts for total renewables additions in its main scenario to 2,383GW – around the total power capacity of China. That’s a 28% increase on the previous estimate and up 76% from two years ago, explains Josh Gabbatiss at Carbon Brief who summarises the IEA’s latest forecasts. Globally, solar power will overtake gas by installed capacity in 2026 and coal in 2027. There are two main drivers for this acceleration. High … [Read more...]
Can Global Shipping turn talk into action on reducing emissions?
This week the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) member states are meeting to find ways and agree on how to step up their climate goals. Strategies and targets have been presented, but agreement and binding commitments are needed urgently. There are big differences of opinion within the IMO, and it might turn out that regional and industry developments will drive change faster, explains Christiaan De Beukelaer at Durham University. For … [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...]
China’s electricity market design should choose from successes in Europe, UK, Australia, USA
China has made substantial initial progress in its electricity market reform, but it still faces an uphill struggle in promoting the consumption of renewables, resource allocation across provinces and regions, and unlocking demand side potential. To help choose the best solutions China could do well to look at the “Handbook on Electricity Markets”, says Daisy Chi at ECECP. The 600-page book looks at the current state of power markets around the … [Read more...]
Russia-Ukraine: Critical Infrastructure Protection from sabotage is an unprecedented challenge the EU must face now
### 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...]
Can Enhanced Geothermal Systems be used as grid-scale batteries? Anywhere!
The US Department of Energy aims to cut the cost of Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) by 90% by 2035. Standard geothermal power comes from tapping existing hydrothermal reservoirs. But most places don’t have hot water reservoirs underground. EGS pumps water down to reach hot rocks, heating the water to achieve the same purpose. Everywhere has hot rocks underground. Here, Stefan Ellerbeck, writing for the World Economic Forum, describes research … [Read more...]
How governments are defusing political opposition to the energy transition
What’s holding up the energy transition? Not the hardware, says the energy sector: proven clean energy solutions abound and any bottlenecks are continually being addressed by innovation. Not the money, says the finance sector: there is more than enough investment queueing up for realistic returns. It’s the politics: the voters and the businesses that rationally oppose what could cost them too much. So the main obstacle is the ability of … [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...]
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