As coal-fired and nuclear power plants go dark, Germany needs to find ways to balance the grid when weather-dependent renewables cannot get the job done. German and European experts are considering three options. The most promising is the rapid rollout of renewables combined with demand management, diversified storage, and regional smart grids.
Toronto’s former mayor shines light on best practices in cities from San Francisco to Tokyo in his new book “Solved: How the World’s Great Cities Are Fixing the Climate Crisis”. He argues that innovative transitions to low-emission cities are not just possible, or planned, but are already success stories.
Fossil gas has long been touted as being the cleanest of fossil fuels as well as a needed “bridge technology”. Plastics on the other hand have been hailed an integral part of modern society that might even deliver climate benefits due to their light weight. Andy Gheorghiu takes a closer look at the link between gas, climate and plastics and argues for an EU Methane Regulation that applies strict rules for both the fossil energy and the petrochemical sector.
The empirical evidence of our widening climate crisis is piling up faster than most of us can absorb the data. Bottom line: We have run out of time to negotiate a new middle ground or erect more “bridges” to an eventual green future. There can be no more delays. Sweeping action must be taken now. That is the shared view of the editorial board of the prestigious magazine, Scientific America, which recently joined the Covering Climate Now coalition and a growing list of other publications in jointly declaring that going forward, to emphasize the exigency of our situation, we will use the term “climate emergency” instead of “crisis,” because we damn well better start treating it like one if our society is to survive. Lead blogger Michael Buchsbaum reviews the situation.
Although the epicenter of the world’s petro- economy, countries in the Middle East understand the need to diversify away from fossil fuels. The need to transition is most strongly driven by broader regional priorities to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and grow the economy while also providing jobs for the increasing population of young people. At first glance, nuclear seems an apt tool to help the region meet these dual objectives. However, Middle Eastern countries would be better served by investing resources pegged to nuclear in the more promising solar and wind industries.
Scientists and politicians around the world agree that energy provision must be transformed from reliance on fossil fuels to renewables to combat global warming. But how can this happen while maintaining, or even improving, the international competitiveness of industrialized nations like Germany? Philip Emmerich and Dr. Manuel Baumann assess Germany’s status among leading OECD countries and China regarding energy transition technologies and patents.
Small-scale energy collectives want to play a prominent role in transitioning Europe’s energy supply to renewables. But the epic size of this challenge requires large companies with deep pockets and technology that can balance the grid. But do we really have to choose?
South Africa is taking emergency steps to plug the holes in a leaky electricity grid that are causing another season of scheduled power outages. One of these involves hiring three plug-and-play ocean-based mobile power stations – so-called ‘powerships’. But local energy experts warn that these are risky, expensive, and that the money would be far better spent building utility scale solar and wind plants.
In March’s two state elections, no party lost more ground than Angela Merkel’s ruling CDU. Tarred by deepening scandal, a slow vaccination rollout and lockdown fatigue, its popularity is plummeting. Conversely, big gains in these early contests in the nation’s super-cycle election year — culminating with September’s federal parliament and chancellery vote — show that public opinion is turning decidedly Green. New polling shows that as approval for the CDU and their CSU sister party collapses, the Greens are pulling almost even with them — in some cases, even creeping slightly ahead. As spring comes to Germany, for the first time in both national and party history, a Green chancellorship seems possible. Energy Transition’s lead blogger, Michael Buchsbaum reviews the early stage of the race to succeed Merkel.
(Photo by Arne Bevaart, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
Latin America has made bold pledges to boost renewable energies in the near future, but is failing to incorporate local communities along the way. This oversight will hamper its ability to foster sustainable change, argues Rebecca Bertram.