Obsolete power grids are putting the brakes on Poland’s renewable energy rollout. According to the Energy Regulatory Office (URE), more than a third of overhead lines are over 40 years old, while a third of power stations were built before the year 1982. This aging infrastructure may slow the nation’s rapid increase in renewable sources. Agata Skrzypczyk has the details.
In part I of this two-part series, Andy Gheorghiu touched upon the rainbow colors of hydrogen and outlined IEA’s hydrogen projections for their net-zero 2050 targets and the EU’s hydrogen strategy. Based on recent research, he raised timely questions about the shortcomings of green hydrogen and Global North’s reliance on imports. In this blog, he will talk about the potential and challenges of green hydrogen production for the Global South.
There is a fairly broad consensus in the climate movement that hydrogen has to play an important role within the international energy transition (especially for the decarbonisation of energy-/feedstock-intensive industry sectors). And while there’s an understanding that only hydrogen produced 100% from renewables will match the requirements of being “clean” and therefore “climate-friendly”, few speak of possible shadow sides of this green dream (especially with regard to the Global North-South dependency resulting from green hydrogen production). In a two parts blog series, Andy Gheorghiu touches upon some of the aspects that promoters of green hydrogen should not forget.
While much of Europe suffers from escalating fossil fuel prices and fears of winter power cuts, Iceland – which has taken advantage of its natural resources by tapping into the geothermal heat lying deep underneath its soil and harnessing the power of vast amounts of snowmelt cascading from its interior to the ocean, has enjoyed more stable energy prices. Essentially 100% powered by renewable energy, in recent years its attracted a variety of industries, such as aluminum producers and, more recently, data centers. But changing rainfall patterns, rising populations and heavier personal consumption is pushing hot water production to its limits. Nevertheless, the nation is proud of its dependence on geothermal energy, a knowledge-base its long “exported.” Lead blogger and podcaster, Michael Buchsbaum has the story.
The US’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) counts on massive direct subsidies to its private sector to stimulate a green transformation of the economy. The EU has opted largely for carbon pricing and other taxes to make the same transition. The two approaches are in no way mutually exclusive – and both have benefits. Paul Hockenos looks at the European answer to the IRA in the second installment of the two part series. Read part one here.
The US’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) is a moonshot moment in global climate protection, underscoring that the public sector will spend hundreds of billions in subsidies to drive decarbonization and a green economic transition. The EU’s bet on carbon pricing doesn’t rule out state aid, too. It now has to match the US plan. Paul Hockenos explains the details in the first installment of a two part series.
Since Russia’s February invasion of Ukraine, European Union member states have been feverishly reworking their energy policies to reduce their reliance on Russian gas, coal, and oil. To help accelerate the shift, energy developers are rapidly increasing investments in solar and wind power. This summer, solar, helping the EU tackle not only its energy problem but also soaring inflation. According to a new report by climate think tank Ember, about a quarter of the EU’s electricity now comes from just wind and solar. Combined, Lead blogger and podcaster Michael Buchsbaum reviews how clean domestic energy is saving EU ratepayers money while helping slow global climate change.
In 2022, negative prices occurred during 69 of the total of 8,760 hourly prices in German day-ahead trading. Last year, there were 139 cases of hours when utilities had to pay to give away electricity. This adds to the high price of electricity in Germany, but it doesn’t explain it. Paul Hockenos has the details.
Although overall energy consumption fell, Germany’s emissions declined only slightly: because coal-fired power plants stepped in for Russian gas. A leading German energy think tank argues that Germany has to undertake structural reforms to get on track. Nevertheless, Germany’s emissions are lower than ever before – evidence that Germany can hit targets by replacing fossil fuels with renewables. The catch is that once replaced, fossil fuels must be eliminated from energy production altogether. Experts think that Germany can still phase out all coal-fired generation by 2030.
Zimbabwe citizens currently experience power cuts of up to 18 hours on a daily basis despite the country’s largely untapped renewable energy potential that for years could be a panacea to the enduring power crises. According to its national clean power plan, the country would have enough green energy to satisfy local demand through sources including solar, hydro, biomass, geothermal and wind. However, a lack of investment and political will has prevented most of the Southern African country’s renewable projects from taking off. Kennedy Nyavaya has the story.