Responding to sanctions leveled on Russia following its February invasion of Ukraine, Moscow throttled deliveries of its fossil gas to the European Union. Desperate to keep the lights on, regulators and power producers returned to coal. But with Russia mining almost 70% of EU imports, burners needed other suppliers. Despite widely acknowledged human rights abuses there, in early April, German Chancellor Scholz personally called president Iván Duque to request that Colombian miners ramp up production and exports to Europe. However in elections this summer Colombians voters swept in the nation’s first ever leftist government. The second in a series on this Latin American nation, lead blogger and podcaster, Michael Buchsbaum briefly reviews its struggles with coal and the situation Gustavo Petro’s environmentally focused administration faces.
Low-carbon technology has a Russia problem, too. And it’s going to get bigger. Higher prices, supply chain disruptions, and the war in Ukraine has Europe’s clean tech branch scrambling for non-Russian suppliers of key raw materials, such as nickel, palladium, lithium, platinum, cobalt, and neon-gas, as well as aluminium and copper. Some countries, such as the UK, have already begun to sanction them – a move the entire EU could take, if it chose to. But just about the only alternative markets that can cover rising European demand for exactly these raw materials is other authoritarian regimes. Paul Hockenos reviews.
Many Central and Eastern European countries rely on Russia for more of their fossil fuel than Germany does. This is one reason why Russian president Vladimir Putin targeted Bulgaria and Poland when he announced that these two EU and NATO countries would no longer receive natural gas deliveries. Paul Hockenos spoke with Bulgarian energy expert Radostina Primova.
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.