In the past six months people of Ukraine have shown to the world a great example of resilience, ingenuity, and bravery by successfully pushing back against the full-scale military invasion unleashed by Russia. With broad international support Ukraine is now set to take over the aggressor and regain its territorial integrity. But an even bigger non-military battle lies ahead for Ukraine – the battle for energy independence and long-term economic prosperity. Amory Bloch Lovins and Svitlana Romanko explain.
Fossil fuel companies have access to an obscure legal tool that could jeopardize worldwide efforts to protect the climate, and they’re starting to use it. The result could cost countries that press ahead with those efforts billions of dollars. Rachel Thrasher, Blake Alexander Simmons and Dr. Kyla Tienhaara discuss the issue. This article was originally published in The Conversation.
Since Russia’s devastating invasion of Ukraine on February 24th, EU policy makers and energy companies have been asking themselves an inconvenient but long overdue question: how to finally achieve energy independence from Russian gas? One of their solutions: biogas. The EU recently announced plans to ramp up biogas production to a volume of 20% of current Russian gas imports by 2030. In the new plan, biogas is expected to replace parts of the Russian fossil gas used for heating, industrial processes, and electricity generation.
The war in Ukraine has revealed the dependency of Europe on Russian gas. For a long time, gas has been touted as a bridge fuel. Now it turns out that gas is not only a significant contributor to the climate crisis but also a fuel to co-finance Putin’s war machine. A fast phase-out of fossil gas is inevitable, but some think that liquefied natural gas (LNG) will help the EU get rid of the Russian dependency. In this blog series, Andy Gheorghiu describes the situation in Germany and explains why the proposed LNG terminals are a climate disaster and risk to deepen the fossil dependency.
Energy efficiency has long been overlooked to the detriment of the larger smart energy transition. Now it’s being shortchanged to the disadvantage of besieged Ukraine. Paul Hockenos explains.
New studies are sanguine about emissions-free and carbon neutral aviation in the near(ish) future. But rosy projections meet with justified scepticism from environmentalists. Ultimately, we’re going to have to fly less, no matter how you look at it. Paul Hockenos has the details.
Despite several significant shortcomings, the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow (COP26) united the globe behind the commitment to limit the warming of global climate to 1.5C degrees. Consigning coal to history was one of the central mission statements ahead of and during the conference. Just as important, though less prominent, are the implications of COP26 for the role of other fossil fuels in the global transition to net-zero – most notably for gas. Maria Pastukhova and Lisa Fischer from E3G take a closer look at how this year’s COP will shape the future gas transition diplomacy and whether the new initiatives launched can act as a springboard for the global transition beyond fossil gas.
Over the summer, the US Senate passed a much smaller than promised infrastructure package. Despite most climate protection and clean energy aspects being stripped out, one of the big winners in the $1 trillion infrastructure plan is hydrogen (H2). In a provision originally introduced as a separate bill by fossil-rich West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, some $8 billion will go to fund dozens of “clean hydrogen” projects including the creation of four new regional integrated H2 hubs. Hailed by President Joe Biden as a key tool to tackling the growing climate crisis, almost all energy funding in the bill will go to advancing “grey” H2 production from fossil gas as well as “pink” H2 generated by increasingly marginalized nuclear plants – throwing a lifeline to both sectors while ensuring little overall emissions reduction. In the next part of a longer series, lead blogger and podcaster Michael Buchsbaum reviews America’s murky steps into the increasingly over-hyped H2 solution.
The UK government finally launched its long-awaited hydrogen strategy in mid-August 2021. However, their new “twin-track” hydrogen (H2) plan will only fund small volumes of green H2 produced from wind and other renewables with the bulk coming from “blue” H2 generated from fossil gas and dependent on unproven carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technologies to reduce emissions. Released days after new studies showing that relying on blue H2 could be worse than burning coal, the plan was met with skepticism from the climate science community. In the next installment in a series on hydrogen’s hype, lead blogger and Energy Transition podcaster Michael Buchsbaum breaks down some of the details.
Promoted as a vital tool to slow climate change, hydrogen (H2) is set to decarbonize long-distance transportation, steel and other industries while utilities plan to blend it with fossil gas for electrical generation. Yet 96% of H2 is currently produced from fossil fuels – mostly gas – resulting in massive carbon pollution. Though industry counters with promises of capturing and storing that CO2 – so called “blue” H2, there’s been no peer-reviewed data available to refute their claims it’s clean. Until now. A new life cycle assessment published in the Journal Energy Science & Engineering by influential scientists Robert Howarth and Mark Z Jacobson finds that instead of being an improvement, blue H2 is at best a “distraction” away from genuinely green solutions. Lead blogger, podcaster and advisor to the Energy Transition, L. Michael Buchsbaum reviews the study and its implications in the first of a series piercing through some of the hydrogen hype.