Category: Opinion & Perspective

Elevated Risks Remain in Argentina’s Renewables Sector

Argentina’s non-hydro renewables sector is set to see moderate growth over the coming decade, in which we forecast non-hydro renewables capacity will increase from 4,209 megawatts (MW) in year-end 2020 to 8,765MW in 2030. Over the past five years, the market’s non-hydro renewables sector has experienced sizeable capacity and generation growth resulting from supportive policies under the administration of former president Mauricio Macri.

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The US Set a Record for Renewables in 2020, but More Is Needed

According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, the U.S. installed 35 gigawatts (GW) of new renewable generating capacity in 2020, enough to power 9 million homes. Installation rates of solar (18.7 GW, up 65% from 2019) and wind (16.5 GW, up 178%) skyrocketed. Renewable energy purchases by cities (3.7 GW) and corporate buyers (10.6 GW) increased substantially in 2020, up 23% and 14% respectively from 2019.

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Why hydrogen is starting to get the green light in global renewables

The potential of green hydrogen to decarbonize transport, heating and heavy industry, while also offering greater scope for long-term storage than utility battery storage, could make it a game changer for the low-carbon transition, and projects are already happening now. The 57th edition of the Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index (RECAI) revealed that the hydrogen industry experienced rapid growth last year, despite all the challenges of 2020.

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Slovakian Power Market Finally Unlocked, Presenting New Investment Opportunities

The non-hydropower renewables sector remains a heavily underdeveloped component of the market’s power sector, although we highlight significant upside risk to our forecasts from the grid upgrades as well as renewed policy support. We currently remain highly cautions for non-hydro renewables capacity growth with the sector rising from 823MW year end 2020 to 920MW 2030, representing a mere 90MW of additions – one of the poorest renewable growth markets in the EU.

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Untapped solar and wind potential in Swiss mountains

According to a new study, the most effective way for Switzerland to become carbon-neutral and energy self-sufficient is to install a combination of wind turbines and solar panels in its Alpine regions. The study’s “optimal scenario” suggests adding new capacity in a ratio of 75% wind power and 25% solar power to supplement the country’s existing hydropower facilities.

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How East Asia’s diverse markets are fueling renewables development

Power markets across East Asia — in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan in the Northeast, and Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines in the Southeast — are incredibly diverse. However, they currently all have one thing in common: a strong outlook for power demand. And for many of these markets, renewable energy will play an increasingly important role in fulfilling this.

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Can Biden’s Plan to Boost Offshore Wind Spread West?

The Biden administration and the state have announced a target to hold an auction in mid-2022 to award leases for wind development off California’s coast, a significant step towards encouraging the state’s stalled market. The effort would contribute to the administration’s recently-announced goal of reaching 30 gigawatts of offshore wind nationally by 2030, a target that seemed to favor the Northeast, which has already cultivated the foundations of a thriving offshore wind market. The United States currently has only about 42 megawatts of offshore wind capacity in operation.

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Oregon shouldn’t punish clean vehicles

Relative to the gas tax— which inherently encourages vehicle efficiency because more efficient vehicles use less gas—House Bill 2342 proposes a system that penalizes efficiency imposing a new, per-mile fee on vehicles that get more than 30 miles per gallon and electric vehicles (working at cross-purposes with the state’s tax credit that encourages consumers to buy electric vehicles). It’s Environmental Economics 101 flipped on its head, and it won’t solve the state’s long-term transportation funding challenges because it fails to address the largest source of funding losses: inflation.

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The EU and Border Adjustments – Net Zero Meets Zero-Sum

The European Union’s answer to the free-rider problem is taking shape. There is a fear that targeting net zero could hurt industrial producers’ cost-competitiveness against imported goods. In response, the bloc proposes to extend CO2 pricing to imports by 2023 through a carbon border adjustment. However, it will be far from straightforward to balance the demands of local industry, trade partners and the World Trade Organization.

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Accelerating energy market transition in Southeast Asia

Due to the recurring wave of COVID-19 infections and subsequent curtailing of economic activities, the region’s electricity demand weakened by one per cent during 2020. Amid high chances of fresh outbreaks and the re-emergence of cases, major investments in the energy sector have been muted in Q1 and are likely to remain so in Q2 2021. Post-pandemic recovery in the energy sector will be largely driven by increased R&D investment in the hydrogen economy, smart solutions for the offshore sector, transmission and distribution infrastructure expansion, and investments in building renewable energy capacity.

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Green Deal Reloaded – Inventing a New European Model of Prosperity

Europe is currently undergoing an unprecedented shift in its climate policies. When France suggested a 2050 target for carbon neutrality two years ago, only two Member States accepted the challenge. Two years later, this has become the European Union’s official target. What is more, the same target is being followed by the U.S. President Biden and Japan’s new Prime Minister, while China has officially set its climate neutrality goal for 2060.

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Significant Increase in Federal Support To Boost US Renewables Sector

We have revised up our forecasts for the solar and wind power sectors in the US, boosting our outlook for non-hydro renewables growth within the market through 2030. We maintain a bullish outlook for the market’s already robust solar sector as a result of a rapidly expanding and progressing utility-scale solar for the near-term as well as continually growing momentum for solar plus storage, residential and commercial solar systems.

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Nevada Aims to Plug Vehicles into Renewable Energy

Nevada is considering legislation that would help the state drive on cleaner, cheaper electricity. Senate Bill (SB) 448 (Brooks) would speed the approval of transmission lines needed to move low-cost, renewable electricity across the region and would accelerate the deployment of cars, trucks, and buses fueled by that clean electricity.

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What do all these new climate pledges mean for renewables?

The Leaders Climate Summit promised to be a big moment on the (so far virtual) road to COP26. With global leaders setting out their updated NDCs and climate strategies ahead of the Glasgow-bound conference in November, it’s fair to say that global climate ambition has never been higher. Now that the dust has settled, it seems like a good moment to take stock of what the flurry of announcements means for renewables – and whether the ambition will be matched by action.

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Federal and state-level targets pose significant upside risk to strong us offshore wind power outlook

Recent actions by the administration of President Joe Biden, including the establishment of a target to develop 30GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030 as well as ongoing efforts to extend and expand tax credits for the offshore wind sector, pose significant upside risks to our forecasts. In February 2021, we revised up our capacity growth forecast for the US offshore wind power sector as a result of an expanded offshore wind project pipeline, with our forecast including 11.5 GW currently set to come online by the end of the decade.

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China has a grand carbon neutrality target but where is the plan?

As the world’s largest greenhouse-gas emitter, China will make or break the global quest for climate neutrality by the middle of the century – the only way to limit the global average temperature increase to 1.5°C. Consequently, President Xi’s announcement in September 2020 of China’s new objective to peak CO2 emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060 was broadly welcomed. But President Xi offered no detail on how China could turn this vision into reality, and an examination of China’s current plans shows clearly the goal will not be achieved without major changes.

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