In 2022, Germany set ambitious goals renewable energy, raising its share of gross electricity consumption up to 80 percent by 2030. In this context, the German government has adopted a policy to promote energy systems on agricultural land and focusing, in particular, on solar energy production. Many questions remain but agrovoltaic systems could serve as a useful tool to boost both the national and European energy transition. Leona Schmitt scans the detail.
For German chancellor Olaf Scholz to fly to West Africa and on arrival ensures he tells his host that he “quite deliberately chose Senegal as the first stop” is strong indication that Germany, and the rest of Europe, looks to president Macky Sall among others in Africa to rescue Europe from its “burgeoning energy crisis”. Mr. Scholz ‘first stop’ wasn’t arbitrary. It was strategic because Senegal is attached to one of several basins constituting the so-called MSGBC Basin now fuelling a “gas rush”. Europe’s turn to Africa for a helping hand, formalised in the European Commission’s REPowerEU plan, creates challenges for both regions. But Africa holds short and long-term solutions. In this second of two articles, Michael Davies-Venn assess challenges and opportunities the plan presents for Africa and Europe.
A diplomatic solution is the only plausible solution to the on-going Russia’s war in Ukraine and it remains elusive. Meanwhile, the energy crisis which is a fallout of the war persists as fiercely as it compromises climate change solutions. From Berlin to Brussels, politicians are struggling with a related imminent crisis, which is how to reduce the growing millions of Europe’s “energy poor” the European Parliament has been told will increase in tandem with escalating energy prices. In this first of a two-part series, Michael Davies-Venn critically analyses the European Commissions’ solution for the energy crisis and offers short and long term policy solutions that are consistent with the EU’s climate goals and global leadership on climate change.
Though briefly this year, the Romanian government announced plans to phase out coal by 2030, with the war in Ukraine and the spiraling energy crisis, it now aims to place its coal-fired plants into reserve status with a total shut down fixed for 2032. Newly passed legislation makes this decision binding. With Brussels backing their transition plan, EU funds are flowing in to build new gas-fired and nuclear plants that will replace dirty coal. In the first of two blogs, Lead blogger and podcaster Michael Buchsbaum updates readers on Romania’s evolving Energy Transition.
After 2 years and 15 negotiation rounds, on June 24, 2022, the Contracting Parties of the Energy Charter Treaty (“ECT”) finaly reached an agreement in principle on a reform of the Treaty. The deal, the detailed text of which remains confidential, contains a package of amendments and changes meant to modernise the Treaty’s investment provisions and bring it in line with the Paris Agreement (the “new ECT”). Crucially, this new ECT will grant existing fossil fuel investments in the European Union and the United Kingdom an additional 10 years of investment protection and even maintain, for now, indefinite protection in other Contracting Parties. It is therefore clearly not aligned with the rapid phase-out of fossil fuels that science shows is required to avoid climate catastrophe, or consistent with the International Energy Agency’s (“IEA”) widely recognised scenario to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. Amandine Van den Berghe, Lukas Schaugg and Helionor de Anzizu have the details. This blog was originally published on Jus Mundi.
Russia’s aggressive war in Ukraine means Europe has to look elsewhere to secure its energy supplies. Green hydrogen could be an important new fuel, and here Latin America has the potential to become the next energy partner to Europe. The ongoing trade talks for a EU-Mercosur free trade agreement can provide a space for such negotiations. Rebecca Bertram has the details.
Europe wonders how quickly and safely it can end its dependency on Russian gas. Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) is being promoted as a solution. The new report “LNG: The liquid path to climate chaos” raises a number of reasons to be sceptical about LNG as a choice for Europe. Eilidh Robb and Frida Kieninger have the details.
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.
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.