When the EU embarked upon its energy transition odyssey, regulators deemed the burning of biomass as climate neutral—which when done on a relatively small-scale and under controlled conditions, it can be. But taking advantage of the EU’s biomass baked-in carbon loophole, power generators soon began converting older, coal-fired plants to burning it instead. There’s only one catch: the climate science doesn’t add up. Biomass’ special carbon accounting loophole is creating a superficial impression of climate progress as forests disappear and emissions rise. Despite sunk capital and billions in government subsidies, the EU has vowed reform, but will regulators really change course? L. Michael Buchsbaum has the details.
Over the last two centuries, energy trade has become increasingly global. Where wood was found and used locally, coal was mined and transported nationally, and oil emerged as a global commodity. Natural gas is also moving from regional markets to the global shipping of LNG. The same holds for energy demand, which is growing and shifting Southward, away from traditional OECD markets, to China, India, South-East Asia and Africa, as the International Energy Agency (IEA) confirms in its findings. Renewable energy harbors a number of characteristics that could potentially end this trend of increasingly global energy trade. Just Voskuyl and Daniel Scholten take a critical look at the bigger picture.
The UK’s energy transition picks up speed: onshore and offshore wind power rose by 34% last year in the UK compared to 2016, new government statistics show. Jocelyn Timperley takes an in-depth look at the data.
Touted as the world’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gas, India is steadily on its way to transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. The targets that the country has set itself are closer to being achieved and even surpassed. Sadia Sohail explains the newest study on India’s energy policy.
Reliable solar-powered refrigerators are creating economic opportunities for remote, rural towns in Fiji. Something as cheap and easy as solar panels and batteries can change people’s lives, the IRENA newsroom reports.
In the next few years, a large number of wind turbines will run out of eligibility for feed-in tariffs after twenty years. Even if they are still running well, they are likely to be dismantled for several reasons. Craig Morris investigates.
Germany has now conducted auctions for wind, solar, and biomass. But if the headlines are optimistic, the outcome is massively oversold. Craig Morris takes a closer look.
With the growing emissions in the transport sector and limited technological alternatives, EU policy-makers are increasingly looking at biofuels as a major solution to decarbonise its mobility sector and curb emissions, in particular in the aviation industry. Radostina Primova explains.
The Australian government’s chief scientific body says there is no apparent technical impediment to reaching 100 per cent renewables for the national electricity grid, and levels of up to 30 per cent renewable energy should be considered as just “trivial” in current energy systems. Giles Parkinson explains.
The whole of Finland is now buzzing about bioeconomy. The Finnish bioeconomy strategy defines bioeconomy as an economy which uses renewable natural resources when producing food, energy, products and services. The strategy also states that through developing bioeconomy, Finland will create economic growth and new jobs while also securing the diversity of the natural ecosystem. Tanja Häyrynen explains.