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Sustainability

The weekend read: V2G driving grid changes

The uptake of EVs in the years ahead will add up to staggering battery capacity, mostly sitting idle on driveways. The two-way flow of electricity from EV batteries, known as vehicle to grid, could not only enable power systems to rely on intermittent renewables, but could also be the trump card for network operators to respond to grid disturbances. However, there are still a few catches to be worked out, as Marija Maisch explains.

Solar-powered battery gigafactory gets tick of approval in UK

Local planning committees have given a go-ahead to a £2.5 billion gigafactory in the English West Midlands. The facility will be powered by 100% onsite solar and storage and equipped to both manufacture new batteries and recycle used ones.

Belgium has four years to replace nuclear fleet which generated 39% of its electricity in 2020

Figures released by Eurostat this week indicated the monumental task facing the renewables industry as Europe attempts to replace a power source which generated a quarter of the bloc’s electricity in 2020.

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2021 was a record-breaking year for European solar, now we must increase ambition

Right before the holiday season, the European Commission unveiled the latest installment of its “Fit for 55” legislative package – plans that aim to put the continent on track to reducing emissions by 55% by 2030. These additional proposals include the Hydrogen and Decarbonised Gas Package, as well as a revision to the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBDII).

Backing for solar-plus-storage mini grids in Lesotho

The 11 planned off-grid networks will offer clean power to around 20,000 people for €0.28/kWh, according to one of the EU bodies which is backing the project.

‘Ukrainian gas – and renewables – can offer Europe energy security’

While the chief executive of Ukraine’s biggest private energy company scrupulously mentioned the role renewables could play in counteracting the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, he called for his country’s gas market to be liberalized just as the European Commission appears set to rubber stamp gas as ‘sustainable.’

Maldives to turn to solar for outer islands

The Indian Ocean island nation, which has been a prominent voice in the global calls to combat rising sea levels, will get technical assistance from the Asian Development Bank to draw up a tender for 20-30MW of photovoltaic generation capacity.

Higher PV module prices may point to stable demand and more sustainable pricing trends

Sharply rising PV module prices were one of the most notable developments in global solar markets in 2021. And while it dampened PV installations, with some projects delayed or canceled, the higher prices may point to a future where robust and stable demand leads to more sustainable pricing trends.

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EU to gut the principle of sustainable taxonomy with inclusion of nuclear and gas

The EU’s Sustainable Taxonomy was intended to complement the Green Deal, provide investors with certainty about the sustainability of their investments, and help channel billions into sustainable, low-carbon processes and technologies. Despite input from experts and NGOs, the inclusion of gas and nuclear power just proposed by the Commission suggests that, once again, politics is trumping science.

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Greece’s coal phase out enters shaky ground

A row between the Greek ministry of the environment and energy, the country’s electricity utility, and a journalist has shown that Greece still has pro-lignite voices in key posts and that the government must move quickly if it wants to realize its coal phase-out plans.

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