All posts tagged: Renewables

100% renewables: the way forward to fix Europe’s energy and climate issues

When confronted with energy price explosions and the climate crisis, the EU cannot waste time and money on castles in the air. Instead of betting on unproven solutions far from market introduction, such as small modular reactors and the broad deployment of all kinds of carbon removal technologies, the EU should build on what works right now. Renewable energy sources have proven to be by far the most relevant and reliable solution. In our new 100% Renewable Action Plan for the next European Commission, the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung European Union and Environmental Action Germany (Deutsche Umwelthilfe) describe what needs to happen after the 2024 European elections to harvest the benefits of renewables. Jörg Mühlenhoff reports.

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With renewables growing, nations at COP28 vow to triple rate of expansion

The adoption of renewables, especially wind and solar, continues grow — though certainly not fast enough. In 2022, solar and wind power accounted for an impressive 12% of electricity generated worldwide. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) and the International Energy Agency (IEA) in 2023 solar adoption surged above 50 percent. Going forward, the IEA’s Net Zero Scenario (NZS) calls for an anticipated 25% growth rate for solar generation annually through by the end of the decade. To ensure this happens, during COP28 in Dubai, many nations agreed to set a goal of tripling renewable capacities by 2030. While certainly the world faces many challenges to hold to only 1.5 degrees of heating – as lead blogger Michael Buchsbaum relates, the necessary rapid build out of renewables looks like it’s starting to happen. Read More

From coal to renewables | The Global Energy Transition Podcast

The international response to Russia’s brutal February 2022 invasion of Ukraine has altered and transformed the energy transition, in some ways accelerating the move towards wind and solar generation but also forcing countries dependent on Russian fossil fuels, particularly European nations and the European Union as a whole, to search for and secure alternative supplies.

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Turning Windhoek’s township into a transformative Namibian social and energy powerhouse

In June 2023, Andy Gheorghiu, a German-based and internationally operating campaigner and consultant for climate/environmental protection and energy policy, travelled to Namibia, where he met members of the local Economic and Social Justice Trust in the capital Windhoek. While visiting the township of Katutura, he witnessed the harsh economic reality of a post-apartheid democracy but also identified its huge transformative potential.

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Innovative start-ups highlight the breadth of the clean energy transition

When looking at clean energy expansion and the drive toward a sustainable future, it makes sense to start with the big picture. After all, one can easily get lost in the myriad of bit pieces. But the micro is important, too, and there’s a universe of innovation happening in the private sector: small start-ups that are filling niches in the sustainable economy (like Tesla once did.) An annual competition organized by the German Energy Agency’s Start-Up Energy Transition reflects the private sector’s advances on the countless parts of the larger Energiewende.

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Renewable record: new solar and wind installs prevent catastrophic EU energy crisis

With war raging in Ukraine, Europe simultaneously scrambled to cut ties with Russia, its biggest fossil gas supplier, while also dealing with the lowest levels of hydro and nuclear generation in at least two decades. Though many feared a swing back to coal, a new analysis by the climate think tank, Ember reveals that wind and solar energy largely filled the gap, generating a record fifth of all the EU electricity and overtaking fossil gas for the first time in the process. Additionally, as shown in their newly published European Electricity Review, increased renewable deployment saved consumers billions in higher bills while staving off a larger return to climate-damaging coal. Proving itself to be a potent solution to the triple crisis of energy availability, affordability and sustainability, Ember sees Europe’s response as accelerating the energy transition going forward. Lead blogger and podcaster, Michael Buchsbaum, reviews the new data.

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Can South Africa’s just transition close the energy sectors gender gap?

South Africa’s energy transition passed significant milestones at the last two COPs (Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC). Over the last two years, a framework for a just transition was developed and adopted by government, considering the inclusion of groups left behind by the energy industry. Women in particular face numerous challenges in the energy sector: while they fail to profit from energy production, they are also deeply afflicted by the existential issues linked to coal-based energy production. Tunicia Phillips and Leona Schmitt take a closer look at South Africa’s just transition plans and how they seek to include women in the process. Read More

Despite Fossil Fuel Price Rise, Germany’s Emissions Miss Target

Although overall energy consumption fell, Germany’s emissions declined only slightly: because coal-fired power plants stepped in for Russian gas. A leading German energy think tank argues that Germany has to undertake structural reforms to get on track. Nevertheless, Germany’s emissions are lower than ever before – evidence that Germany can hit targets by replacing fossil fuels with renewables. The catch is that once replaced, fossil fuels must be eliminated from energy production altogether. Experts think that Germany can still phase out all coal-fired generation by 2030.

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