Blockchain is currently the talk of the town. A couple of years ago it was assumed that the virtual currency would radically transform the financial industry; now, other industries (including energy) are expected to be disrupted as well. That hasn’t happened yet. Ajaz Shah provides a critical take.
The Chinese aim to boost sales of electric vehicles. The news is a warning shot – and possibly the death knell – for German carmakers, who have relied on the Chinese market for sales of luxury gas guzzlers made in Germany. Craig Morris explains.
China set a world record, again, in 2015 by adding more installed capacity of both wind and solar in a single year than any other country (32.5 GW of wind and 18.3 GW of solar). By the fourth quarter of 2015, China overtook Germany with the largest installed capacity of solar power in the world (with a total of 43 GW). Though China’s increasingly ambitious policies have ushered in rapid gains in renewable energy, Rebecca Coombs examines the country’s continued over-reliance on coal, which suggests a long road ahead towards a true clean energy transition.
This year’s World Nuclear Status Report was published in July. 2015 turns out to have been the best year for new nuclear builds in a quarter of a century, but nothing at all has been completed yet in 2016. Craig Morris takes a look.
What would Brexit mean for the proposed nuclear reactor at Hinkley and England? No one really knew—until the new government in Downing Street announced the refurbishment of its nuclear submarines. Shortly thereafter, London confirmed that it remains committed to Hinkley—before postponing a final decision once again. Craig Morris explains.
As the largest emitter of carbon dioxide in the world, how much coal China is burning is of global interest. According to the country’s National Bureau of Statistics, the tonnage of coal has fallen for the second year in the row. Nevertheless, there is one scenario in which coal use could easily go back up again: high oil and natural gas prices. Valeria J. Karplus explains.
While the amount of electricity generated from coal has declined for two years in a row and utilisation rates of coal power plants have been going down, energy companies continue to build new coal-fired generating plants at a rapid pace. Worldwide the equivalent of 1500 coal plants is under construction or in various stages of planning, Karel Beckmann writes.
Global installation figures are rolling in for wind and PV, and they look fantastic. The future is also bright: the forecast is for further growth. Single countries used to dominate these markets, but increasingly everyone is building. In fact, developing countries now invest more in renewables than the developed world does. Craig Morris takes a look.
It’s official: more money was invested in renewables and more generation capacity added in 2015 than ever before. Conventional wisdom has always been that low fossil fuel prices would make renewables uncompetitive even as the cost of renewable energy continues to drop. In that view, fossil fuel prices drive investments in renewables. It’s not happening, however, so maybe it’s time to consider the reverse paradigm: renewables driving fossil fuel prices. Craig Morris investigates.