Category: Opinion & Perspective

Biggest utility in New Mexico moves forcefully toward solar

PNM will begin construction work as soon as January 2021 on a massive buildout of utility-scale solar generation and power storage projects in the shadow of the coal-fired San Juan Generating Station near Farmington. PNM executives anticipate the projects, which will total 950 MW of generation and companion storage, will come online in stages around the time SJGS is retired in late June 2022.

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Why Germany lost its way on climate policy

In all likelihood, Germany will fail to meet its 2030 climate goal to reduce carbon emissions by 55 per cent compared to 1990. When Josef Janning assessed Germany’s disappointing climate policy in September last year, it still looked as though Germany would not even clear the bar on its 40 per cent goal for 2020.

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Heavy transport is a big carbon emitter — how can we change course?

IPCC research suggests that the world needs to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by 45% by around 2030, and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, in order to avert the worst impacts of climate change. However, meeting such long-term goals will require deep cuts in emissions in the coming decades, including in transportation where emissions are projected to increase significantly by 2050, absent new actions.

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Four Questions About China’s New Climate Commitments

In his speech to the UN General Assembly last week, President Xi Jinping of China announced that China will scale up its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to tackling climate change by adopting more vigorous policies and measures in an effort to peak carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and reach carbon neutrality before 2060. Further clarifications on the exact commitment will be needed, and it is likely that even more ambition will be needed in future.

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America Needs a Modern Electric Grid

While recent years have seen an uptick in transmission investments, the American Society of Civil Engineers estimates an investment gap of $35.4 billion between now and 2039. If we do nothing, consumers will continue paying for an electric grid that is balkanized, antiquated, inefficient, and increasingly unreliable.

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China’s focus on renewable energy has geopolitical implications

China is highly dependent on fossil fuel imports. At the same time, China is striving to lead in new energy technologies, particularly wind and solar electricity generation and electric vehicles. It is more in charge of its own fate in electricity, while it remains highly vulnerable to market conditions and supply shocks in oil and gas. Slowly, it has become the center of gravity for global energy markets.

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China’s inevitable low-carbon future

Specific energy-oriented objectives are just the beginning. China’s broader economic rebalancing – from heavy industries and export-oriented manufacturing to higher-value-added activities and domestic consumption – is naturally causing China’s economy to become less energy-intensive.

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Norway’s energy transition: Wind, water and oil

Norway is already well advanced on the way to becoming a climate neutral society. The 5.4 million inhabitants of the country obtain 95 percent of their energy from hydropower. About 1,600 hydropower plants are distributed over the country, which at 385,000 square km is only slightly larger than Germany. Around 3.5 per cent of the electricity comes from wind power.

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Pursue a renewables-based strategy for industry & transport sectors: IRENA

While the solutions and policy measures needed for some sectors – including power and passenger vehicles – look relatively clear (although still challenging), there are seven industry and transport sectors which will be the hardest to decarbonise. Those seven sectors will account for 38% of energy & process emissions and 43% of final energy use by 2050 unless major policy changes are pursued.

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