Despite its historic ties to fossil fuels and copper mining, in recent years Chile has accelerated its energy transition. With a population of just under 20 million, Chile is now targeting 80% renewable electricity by 2030 and a 100% zero emissions power grid by 2050. Last year wind and solar overtook coal as renewables now dominate the local energy sector. Containing massive lithium reserves, a metal critical for renewables, this April Chile’s leadership announced a new national lithium strategy aimed at ensuring that future mining and development proceed equitably as well as environmentally friendly. Already offering global policymakers a playbook for a successful transition towards renewables, Michael Buchsbaum reviews Chile’s emerging plans for its lithium future. Read More
Zimbabwe is reported to have Africa’s largest and the world’s fifth-largest lithium reserves. Lithium, a key component in energy storing batteries, is witnessing soaring demand as electric vehicles gain popularity. However, despite its abundance of the key resource, the country is lagging in terms of technology to process and fully utilise its lithium. In this story, Kennedy Nyavaya takes a closer look into how lithium can facilitate Zimbabwe’s clean mobility transition while also creating green job opportunities.
After twenty years of negotiations, the European Union is in the process of advancing one of the world’s largest free trade agreements with four states of Mercosur. The planned agreement suggests a political path that veers towards a worsening of the international climate crisis. Kathrin Meyer discusses the questionable contents of the political act, which will solidify inequality amongst the trade partners and enable the expansion of environmentally harmful methods.
The energy transition, and especially the increased electrification of transportation sector, moves forward at great speed. Its new center is Latin America’s lithium triangle, where new batteries of electric vehicles will be sourced. But there is an inevitable conflict coming between water availability and mining, says Rebecca Bertram.
Germany was once seen as the front-runner of the global energy transition, but it is now working against it at home and in Brussels, says L. Michael Buchbaum.
On February 13th, the Colombian Constitutional Court decided to abolish local referendums on land use in Colombia. Kathrin Meyer elaborates on the consequences of this development and whether the international community should act.
Legally all former coal fields have to be cleaned up or reclaimed following the end of mining activities. While most former surface sites in Germany are flooded, more sold coal sites are being redeveloped as renewable energy sources. L. Michael Buchsbaum talks to developers to see how it works.
South Africa’s electricity sector has emerged from a turbulent decade that has been tarnished by corruption and mismanagement. Vested political interests within the electricity industry here could still be locking the continent’s biggest carbon emitter on its current course as one of the dirtiest and most energy-intensive economies in the world, writes Leonie Joubert.
RWE is digging the biggest hole in Europe for dirty lignite – and they don’t have a working plan to deal with the consequences, says L. Michael Buchsbaum.
At the end of January, the Commission on Growth, Structural Change and Employment, aka, the Coal Commission, finally released its 336-page report. Filled with economic observations and recommendations, it sets an end date of 2038 for Germany to close its last coal-fired power plant. L. Michael Buchsbaum reveals the most important facts of the report.