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Geopolitics

China pledges not to build new coal plants abroad yet questions remain

President Xi Jinping’s pledge this week at the United Nations General Assembly that China will not build new coal-fired plants abroad is welcome news; however, Asia’s transition to low carbon energies remains in dire need of policy reforms.

‘High energy prices are more of a threat than an opportunity for renewables’

In a short interview with pv magazine, Indra Overland, head of the Center for Energy Research at the Norwegian Institute for International Affairs, explains how keeping a cap on gas and electricity prices is crucial to avoid long-term political damage and a loss of support for decarbonization plans. While it is difficult to say what the overall impact on the world economy will be, high costs and instability are rarely beneficial for economic growth, he says.

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Energy transition to create 60m solar jobs by 2050

The switch from fossil fuels and nuclear will bring a jobs dividend thanks to the greater labor-intensity of renewables plants, according to a paper published by Finland’s LUT. However, the jobs dividend is unlikely to be evenly spread around the world, with Europe set to be a big winner.

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The trillions spent by G20 nations on fossil fuels between 2015 and 2019 could have paid for more than 4 TW of solar at today’s prices

Polluting energy sources received more than $3 trillion from the EU and 19 of the world’s largest national economies over that four-year period, despite G20 members having pledged to phase-out fossil fuel subsidy and address climate change back in 2009.

‘Lack of objections should mean permits are automatically granted for solar’

The question of overly complicated, time-consuming permitting processes again raised its head at a two-day online event held by the Global Solar Council to examine how to accelerate deployment of photovoltaics.

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Botswana tops list of world’s ‘super abundant’ renewables nations

A Carbon Tracker report estimates 60% of the world’s technical solar potential – enough to produce 3.5 exawatt-hours of clean electricity per year – would already be cheaper than fossil fuel if installed. Of the remainder, most would be in sub-Saharan Africa, a region which has the potential to be a global solar and wind powerhouse.

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Is China shunning coal in its Belt and Road Initiative?

A leaked letter apparently sent by a diplomatic official states Beijing will no longer consider coal-related investment in Bangladesh, firing speculation that policy could be applied along all of the vast twin trade routes.

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Solar could help Azerbaijan consolidate gains in Nagorno Karabakh after recent conflict

That was just one of the revelations of the latest Dentons’ Guide to renewables investment in Europe, which also noted solar plants could be switched off in Slovakia, Ireland could go either way on clean power pricing, and Luxembourg is struggling with a surprising headache.

China’s ‘quasi-monopolistic’ stranglehold on solar noted by EU body

The bloc should accelerate investment into mining and processing within its shores, as well as ramping up recycling, according to European employers and trades unions, with coal workers already equipped with the necessary transferable skills.

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Global hydrogen project pipeline expected to exceed $300 billion by 2030

A new report from the Hydrogen Council has estimated that the current hydrogen project pipeline, if realized, would exceed investments of $300 billion by 2030. The report comes amid an acceleration in hydrogen project announcements worldwide and great expectation of hydrogen’s potential in the energy transition.

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