Category Archives: Energy Infrastructure

You Can’t Slow Projected Warming With Gas, You Need ‘Rapid and Massive Deployment’ of Zero-Carbon Power

Another major study finds confirms natural gas is a bridge fuel to nowhere.  A must-read new study by climatologist Ken Caldeira and tech guru Nathan Myhrvold (!) makes clear the world’s only plausible hope to avert catastrophic temperature rise this century is aggressive deployment of zero-carbon technologies and conservation.”  

Brilliant summary on Joe Romm’s blog of new major study on natural gas. Conclusion of this study: there is no climate value in switching to gas.

BOTTOM LINE:  If you want to have a serious chance at averting catastrophic global warming, then we need to start phasing out all fossil fuels as soon as possible.  Natural gas isn’t a bridge fuel from a climate perspective.  Carbon-free power is the bridge fuel until we can figure out how to go carbon negative on a large scale by the end of the century.”

Financing the transition to a green economy

"The ‘next’ great transformation of capitalism needs to be focused with laser-like precision on changing the energy markets (from fossil fuels to renewables), the resource and commodity markets (from resource intensity and waste disposal to circular economy resource-linkage), and above all the finance markets to drive the transformation. Until the bond markets are seriously involved, at the scale of tens of trillions of dollars, the transition cannot be said to be seriously under way."  

Very good analysis in OpenDemocracy on the need for a radical rethink of eco-investment finance. Are "climate bonds" or "ecobonds" not a better instrument than the proposed Eurobonds?

New study paints rosy future for grid-scale energy storage in UK

The Bloomberg New Energy Finance study finds that rapid falls in the price of technology and appropriate regulatory support could create a significant opportunity for the use of storage in the electricity network.  

Excellent news for all renewable energy fans. 

Another extract from the press release:

The study says that while niche markets for energy storage are already viable in the UK today, mainly to relieve bottlenecks in the transmission and distribution of power, more substantial penetration of energy storage within the grid system will become economic within the next five years. However, the report also points out that the key to the successful roll‐out of energy storage within the UK electricity system in the next few years will be putting in place an appropriate regulatory framework ‐ something
that has not yet been achieved

The European Power System – Decarbonization and Cost Reduction: Lost in Transmissions?

The French Institute for International Relations (IFRI) has produced one of the best analyses of the inconsistencies in European energy policy.  

"The objective of the Internal Electricity Market is to bring competitive electricity prices to end-users, but as these prices are linked to the composition of the power generation mix, it is easy to see that there is a clear discrepancy in the rationales pushing for corridors aiming at transporting RES across Europe and a market-driven logic that will favor the building of transmission lines based on a competitive power generation mix."

European proposals: EU planners hint at fairytale future

Imagine a future in which Europe derives virtually all its power from thousands of windmills and other sources of renewable energy.”

The FT’s Joshua Chaffin calls the renewable energy scenario in the EU’s upcoming Energy Roadmap a "fairytale" and warns that ultimately consumers will have to pay the price for the low-carbon future. Problem is, Joshua, that continuing to rely on "extreme" or unconventional fossil fuel energy will be no less than a "nightmare" (for climate, environment and also in price we will pay for our energy). Sometimes fairy tales do come true.

Coal study names top 20 ‘climate killer’ banks

“Barclays, the Royal Bank of Scotland and HSBC are among the top banks that have lent billions of euros to the coal sector – despite their much-vaunted environmental credentials, a new investigation has found.” (source: the Guardian)  

No surprise there really, short-term profits still trump all sustainability greenwashing.

Prospects Appear to Dim for EU-Backed Gas Pipeline

Prospects for the European Union’s favored Nabucco natural-gas pipeline project appear to be dwindling, weeks before a consortium of Caspian Sea producers is to choose one of four planned pipelines to carry its gas to Europe.   “

The Wall Street Journal reports on the gloomy outlook for Europe’s grand Caspian pipeline project. Is this article tactical part of the new pipeline war or reality?


Renewables Grid Initiative: European Grid Conference 2011

The need for a radical overhaul of Europe’s electricity grid faces several major challenges. One of them is public acceptance. A coalition of corporate stakeholders and NGOs discussed this with European policymakers at an interesting conference in the European Parliament  this week.

Read the European Grid Declaration on Electricity Network Development and Nature Conservation in Europe


EU power funding must double–new report European Climate Foundation

According to a new report by the European Climate Foundation (ECF), Europe will need to invest around 1.2 trillion euros between 2020 and 2030 to decarbonise its power system.

Read the ECF’s  press release and the full report.


EU launches €9 billion energy infrastructure plan | EurActiv

Via Scoop.itThe Great Transition

The EU executive has announced its first ever plan to use €9.1 billion from the EU’s 2014-2020 budget to help upgrade Europe’s energy infrastructure, according to strategic climate and energy needs.   The Commission is to invest in the smart grid, gas projects and carbon capture and storage.

Does this really square with its "decarbonisation" strategy?

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