Category: Opinion & Perspective

Better data is key to success of China’s carbon market

China’s recently established national ETS has drawn tremendous attention worldwide. It is expected to serve as China’s primary tool to meet its “dual carbon” targets of CO2 peaking before 2030 and carbon neutrality before 2060. The largest ETS globally, it accounts for 40% of China’s emissions and more than 10% of worldwide emissions, with the potential to double in size once industrial sectors are added to the already-covered energy sector.

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How to close the world’s $1 trillion renewable energy gap

Access to capital continues to be a challenge for solar in EMDE. Like the infrastructure sector, solar is capital intensive and has a long gestation period and generates spillover benefits which for various types of investors is not suitable. In addition, banks – key financiers in the EMDE – are structurally unwieldy for financing solar projects: They limit their long-term loans as their liability duration impedes them from lending to the sector for the long term.

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How Local Governments Can Advance Community Solar for Low- and Moderate-Income Households

Community solar projects, which allow participating subscribers to receive credits on their utility bills, can be powerful forces for fighting both climate change and inequity. While helping local governments achieve their climate goals, they can provide significant benefits for low- and moderate-income (LMI) communities, including lower bills and energy burdens for subscribers, tax benefits, jobs and access to solar for those who can’t install rooftop solar panels.

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Increasing Affordable Electricity Supply in Nigeria Through Embedded Generation

The private sector is helping increase the supply of electricity by building distributed energy resources (DERs), which has created an opportunity for investment. One such business model for DERs is embedded generation, which can improve supply for customers in urban and peri-urban areas in Nigeria by injecting up to 20 MW of generation per project directly at the distribution level.

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Here’s how Bangladesh can speed up its solar energy transition

Hikes in fuel prices globally have destabilised energy policy in Bangladesh, which imports about a quarter of its natural gas supply, sparking calls for a more diversified energy mix including a greater focus on renewables, especially solar. The country has little more than 900 megawatts (MW) of renewables capacity, out of total power capacity of 25,700 MW, falling far short of a target to achieve 10% of generation from clean energy sources by 2020.

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Why UK financial regulators are instrumental in energy security and net zero

In front of the world at COP26, the UK committed to delivering a world-leading net zero aligned financial centre last year. The UK financial sector, currently ranked first globally as a green financial market, is well placed to take advantage of the opportunities that this presents – potentially worth over £1 trillion to UK businesses by 2030. Unlocking these opportunities requires a plan that brings in the key actors across the financial system – including the UK financial regulators.  

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The place of biodiesel as China eyes carbon neutrality

Prices for China’s biodiesel exports have been rising significantly, from less than 7,000 yuan (US$1,050) a tonne in January last year to a record high of over 12,000 yuan (US$1,723) in July this year. The average price in the first seven months of this year also exceeded 11,000 yuan. Biodiesel stocks have also done well on China’s own markets. The main reasons for this are the global trend towards low-carbon development and the Russo–Ukrainian war pushing oil prices higher.

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How Electric Cars and Trucks Improve US Grid Reliability

Policies that advance EV adoption are not in conflict with efforts to continue to move to renewable energy, but a means to achieve those goals and improve reliability. For example, California’s recently adopted Clean Car Standards will put about 14 million zero-emission vehicles on the road by 2035. If those were all battery-electric vehicles capable of putting electricity back onto the grid, that would represent a collective battery that could theoretically power all of the homes in California for three days.

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Tackling the energy crisis: 8 considerations on how Europe can get through this winter

We advise against hurrying into reform along the so-called Greek proposal, consisting of a new price-setting mechanism for renewables, hydropower and nuclear electricity. Unlike fossil fuel prices, it is extremely difficult to determine the price for renewable energy: once launched, renewable energy plants (e.g. wind farms) have hardly any operating costs. The coupling with other energy prices has become a proven system of pricing at levels above marginal cost.

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A 2022 Update on Electric Car Sales: China Taking the Lead, the U.S. Catching Up, and Europe Falling Behind

Last time we checked on new registrations of plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and battery-electric (BEV) passenger cars in early-2022, it was Europe that was in the lead, slightly ahead of China. Back then, the U.S. market was clearly falling behind the two other major regions. Now, six months later, the picture has changed quite a bit, once more illustrating how dynamic electric vehicle (EV) sales still are.

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California’s Energy Trailer Bill – What just happened?

More timely and impactful energy policy emerged from the California legislature last week in the form of a new energy and climate change budget trailer bill (AB 209), which creates important new programs, directs billions in state funding, advances access to climate-friendly refrigerants, and shines a light on extreme heat protection for renters. A “trailer bill” is a package of policy details that follow the main budget bill, which allocates the state’s dollars.

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Nuclear reactor problems in France show need for diversified mix of renewables

It should come as no great surprise that France, traditionally a leading exporter of electricity to the rest of Europe, is now in the position of needing to import power. Lost in the hubbub over supplier issues, however, is the fact that the country replacing France as the continent’s leading exporter of electricity – Sweden –  has been reducing its reliance on nuclear power to produce electricity. What’s more, Sweden has a diverse mix of renewables.

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For Africa, economic growth and sustainability intersect

Over 600 million people in Africa lack access to energy, while the 46 percent of the population in Africa who do have access use less than all of Spain alone. Lack of energy access suffocates the continent’s economy, resulting in diminished growth compared to other developing regions. As the African population rapidly increases, the demand for reliable energy, secure jobs, and a sustainable future will increase in tandem.

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China’s New Green Power Market Increases the Value of Renewables

To achieve its climate pledges, China has proposed building a zero-carbon power system, gradually upgrading the energy mix through reducing coal consumption and increasing renewable energy generation. In 2021, driven by both policy initiatives and market forces, China officially launched its green power trading market, ushering in a new wave of growth in green power transactions.

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Green hydrogen: A viable option for transforming Africa’s energy sector

There is, indeed, a global race to develop green hydrogen, and for the first time, Africa is on the starting line with developed countries. The aim is to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels, accelerate access to electricity for millions of Africans by increasing the exploitation of renewable energy resources and meet their global climate commitments. The vision of green hydrogen, while promising from a technology standpoint, comes with many caveats for African countries—the obvious being economic viability.

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Whose BEV is it anyway? New Registrations and Disparities across Europe

Demand for battery electric vehicles (BEVs) significantly increased in Europe between 2020 and 2021. New BEV registrations in the passenger car segment grew by 70% from almost 578,000 to over 981,000 among 21 European markets. These numbers are promising as national governments continue to work towards decarbonizing the transportation sector. Looking at who is buying BEVs, over half were purchased by private individuals—54% in 2020 and 57% in 2021.

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Wind and Solar Are Saving Texans $20 Million a Day

In a year of record-high prices for fossil fuels, as lawmakers consider new policies that can help fight inflation, renewable energy is already helping to shield Americans from steep jumps in their electricity bills. Based on benchmark natural gas prices, RMI estimates that, on average, wind and solar projects in Texas have avoided $20 million per day in fuel that otherwise would have been needed for fossil fuel-based power plants to meet electricity demand.

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Innovative Partnerships Bring Community Solar to Low-income Households in the US

Over the last 15 years, community solar in the United States has grown dramatically: Installed community solar capacity increased almost 700% between 2006 and 2019. To support LMI participation in the clean energy economy and broader uptake of community solar, the development of catalytic partnerships — dynamic relationships that link utilities, non-profits, financial institutions, developers and other stakeholders to ease financial impediments — will be critical.

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Charging Infrastructure to Accelerate ASEAN’s Electric Vehicle Deployment

The electric vehicle (EV) has been regarded as a key player in decarbonising the transportation sector. The EV market in the ASEAN region recorded a value of USD 498.93 million in 2021, which is expected to reach USD 2,665.3 million in 2027. Nevertheless, the lack of EV charging infrastructure has been identified as one of the main challenges in accelerating the adoption of electric passenger cars.

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