Category: Policy Watch

Assessment of Poland’s renewable energy policy

The EPP2040 places an emphasis on increasing renewable electricity generation to drive the energy transition, especially on solar PV and offshore wind. It includes targets for solar PV capacity of 5-7 GW by 2030 and 10-16 GW by 2040, and for Poland to have 1 million prosumers using distributed renewables (mainly PV) by 2030. Although the EPP2040 was released in February 2021, it does not reflect the reality of PV deployment in Poland.

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CCUS Projects and US Federal Environmental Laws

Carbon capture, sequestration, utilization, and storage (CCUS) will be essential in meeting the Biden administration’s net zero GHG emission goals, as the chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) acknowledges that “to reach the President’s ambitious domestic climate goal of net-zero emissions economy-wide by 2050, the United States will likely have to capture, transport, and permanently sequester significant quantities of carbon dioxide.”

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Britain’s Energy Security Strategy targets 50 GW of offshore wind by 2030

After delays due to concerns within the Treasury, the Government released its highly anticipated British Energy Security Strategy on April 7, 2022. Offshore wind is one of the key cornerstones of the Strategy with the Government signalling its intention to increase capacity up to 50GW by 2030. Targets for low carbon hydrogen production capacity have been doubled to up to 10GW by 2030.

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Germany’s bold and ambitious 100% renewable power plan

The plans, adopted in cabinet, show Germany will reach up to 115 GW of onshore wind by 2030 (over double the amount running at present), 30 GW of offshore wind and 215 GW of solar PV (both four times more than today). Power suppliers will have an obligation to reduce energy bills for consumers after scrapping the levy for renewables on the power price in July. It also means Germany will complete its coal phase out by 2030.  

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US solar module supply faces disruption with pending decision

The U.S. Department of Commerce has chosen to investigate one rogue solar firm’s disingenuous complaint that the rest of the American solar industry is circumventing trade law. During the review of this egregious petition, tariffs of up to 250% are effectively applied to the majority of America’s solar module supply — artificially raising the total cost of domestic solar projects to a level that essentially freezes project construction.

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Ireland invites offshore wind applications under its MAC regime

The Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan TD, announced the commencement of the Maritime Area Consent (MAC) Regime. The new regime enables the Minister, on an interim basis, to issue Maritime Area Consents (MACs) to renewable energy developers who meet the relevant assessment criteria. Developers must have a Maritime Area Consent to make an application for permission, to include environmental assessments, to An Bord Pleanála.

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Allocation of $615 million for EV charging infrastructure in the United States

Allocations of $615 million in funds for electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure in the US under the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program moved forward with recent publications from the US Department of Transportation (DOT). The funds will be allocated on a state-by-state basis—with some receiving far more than others—but the first step will be for each state to propose a plan for its allocated share of funds (Plan).

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Germany’s Network Expansion Plans: BNetzA confirms NEP

The recently approved National Development Plan or Netzentwicklungsplans (NEP) 2021-35 by Germany’s Federal Network Agency, Bundesnetzagentur (BNetzA), tries to address these challenges by focusing on creating network expansion opportunities and paving the way for meeting climate neutrality goals. The plan outlines the grid expansion and optimisation that is necessary up to 2035 to reach Germany’s climate targets. It also defines the necessary offshore transmission links.

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REPowerEU: Joint European action for more affordable, secure and sustainable energy

The European Commission has proposed an outline of a plan to make Europe independent from Russian fossil fuels well before 2030, starting with gas, in light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This plan also outlines a series of measures to respond to rising energy prices in Europe and to replenish gas stocks for next winter. Europe has been facing increased energy prices for several months, but now uncertainty on supply is exacerbating the problem. REPowerEU will seek to diversify gas supplies, speed up the roll-out of renewable gases and replace gas in heating and power generation.

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Vietnam’s Direct PPA Pilot Scheme

Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) is seeking to implement a direct power purchase agreement (DPPA) pilot scheme which, for the first time, will enable renewable energy generators to directly sell clean electricity to private offtakers under virtual or synthetic PPAs. Under current electricity regulations in Vietnam, Electricity Vietnam (EVN) has a statutory monopoly over the transmission, distribution, wholesale and retail of electricity and is also the sole offtaker in the market.

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Sustainable Corporate Governance: EU’s next Green Deal battle

Europe’s long-awaited legislation for Sustainable Corporate Governance aims to support long-term value creation for companies and corporations. Postponed three times already, it promises to be a battleground for different interests including industry incumbents and climate ambition supporters. The EU’s corporate governance framework is pressingly calling for enhanced traceability, transparency, and accountability of companies’ operations fit for the not-so-distant future. The hopes and stakes for the new rules are high.

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California Building Decarbonization: What’s Coming in 2022?

In recent years, California has been a leader in the global effort to tackle climate change through a transition to clean, safe, and healthy all-electric buildings—but more is needed to meet the state’s fast-approaching climate goals. What steps has California taken toward building decarbonization so far, and what’s on the horizon for 2022? For the building sector, the single most cost-effective path to decarbonization is transitioning the state’s building stock from gas-fueled appliances to clean and highly-efficient electric appliances powered by California’s increasingly clean electric grid. 

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European Commission approves ‘greening’ of gas and nuclear

The European Commission has presented a Taxonomy Complementary Climate Delegated Act on climate change mitigation and adaptation covering certain gas and nuclear activities. The objective is to step up the transition, by drawing on all possible solutions to help us reach our climate goals. Taking account of scientific advice and current technological progress, the Commission considers that there is a role for private investment in gas and nuclear activities in the transition.

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Are current policies sufficient to support South Africa’s renewable energy goals?

The Government of South Africa has ambitious plans to accelerate the adoption of renewable energy. But are current policy settings sufficient to achieve these objectives? The renewable energy sector currently contributes only a small share of total electricity generation in South Africa: in 2019 wind and solar accounted for 3% and 1% of total generation, respectively. Installed capacity increased tenfold in as many years, from 0.9 gigawatts (GW) in 2011 to 9.6 GW in 2020.

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Taking Action: Energy-Related Climate Change Mitigation Policies in ASEAN

Southeast Asia (SEA) is one of the world’s most vulnerable regions to the effects of global warming. The region faces increasing risk from rising sea levels and droughts which is expected to affect economies and infrastructure. The region faces two key obstacles. Not only must the governments adjust to climate change, but also introduce efficient and effective policy changes that will reduce the region’s total emissions without hampering economic growth.

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Canada needs clear policy signals to help attract energy sector investments: IEA

Canada has made a series of international and domestic commitments, putting it on a path toward achieving an ambitious energy system transformation and climate transition. Most recently, Canada announced a target to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 40-45% from 2005 levels by 2030 and legislated a commitment to reaching net zero emissions by 2050. As such, Canada needs clear policy signals to help attract energy sector investments that align supply capacity with demand trends.

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EC Adopts Fifth PCI List: Working towards EU’s net zero climate goals

In November 2021, the EC adopted the fifth list of PCIs, which are critical infrastructure projects for achieving the European Union’s (EU) long-term climate-neutrality goals. The key advantages for the projects approved under the list include streamlined permit granting procedures, faster and better streamlined environmental assessment, a single national competent authority (one-stop-shop) coordinating all permit granting procedures, and eligibility for financial assistance under the CEF in the form of grants and innovative financial instruments.

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2022: Big Plans for Tackling Climate Change in New York!

Governor Kathy Hochul gave New York a lot to look forward to in 2022 in her State of the State address on January 5th. There are hundreds of pages covering her agenda for this year, including ambitious proposals to equitably decarbonize New York’s buildings sector and advance renewables and clean transportation. The outlined agenda is critical to improving New York’s environment and implementing the landmark Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), New York’s nation-leading “carbon neutrality by 2050” law.

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Sectors benefitting from Revised EU Guidelines on State Aid for Climate, Environmental Protection and Energy

On 1 January 2022, the revised Guidelines of the European Commission on State aid for climate, environmental protection and energy (CEEAG) entered into force, extending the scope of the previous Guidelines to new areas in order to achieve the goal of reaching climate neutrality by 2050. The CEEAG adapt the conditions which must be met and the processes which must be followed for the Commission to consider state support compatible with EU State aid rules.

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New York Adopts ACT Rule Bringing Clean Trucks to the State

New York is closing out 2021 with a big climate and clean air win—becoming the fifth state in the country to adopt the Advanced Clean Trucks (ACT) rule. New York needed to adopt the ACT rule by the end of the year in order to ensure that clean, zero-emission trucks and buses were driving on New York’s roads as soon as possible—and they’ve done just that.

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