A holistic approach to decarbonising the EU’s energy system

By SalM on October 20, 2020 in Other News Articles

Development in clean energy innovation is essential to accomplishing the EU’s goal-oriented objective of being carbon unbiased by 2050. To be eventually effective, the EU must adopt an all-encompassing strategy, representing social development and cooperation of all partners in the energy change. This incorporates drawing in purchasers, families and EU residents to empower changes in ways of life and practices, and starting exchanges with chiefs in legislative issues, the scholarly world and industry. This Results Pack exhibits nine EU-supported ventures that attention on the social and policy centred issues that should be routed to decarbonise the EU’s energy framework.

The European Green Deal, presented by the European Commission in December 2019, has the ambitious goal of making Europe the first climate-neutral continent. It lays out a new growth strategy to build a fair, resource-efficient and competitive economy where net emissions of greenhouse gases are reduced to zero by 2050.

The creation and utilization of energy represent more than 75 % of the EU’s ozone harming substance discharges. Decarbonising the EU’s energy framework is in this way a focal mainstay of the Green Deal. While the change to a spotless energy framework requires further scaling up of mechanical developments in energy, structures, transport, industry and farming areas, these new innovations and driven procedures should be grasped by residents to have the ideal effect.

Citizen focus in transition to zero-carbon economy

The European Green Deal puts individuals first, perceiving the requirement for dynamic public interest and trust in the change to make it a reality. It additionally represents the variety of nearby, provincial and public conditions and approaches that effect and shape the way to a zero-carbon economy. Notwithstanding, energy decisions are not generally discerning and are thusly hard to anticipate. More exploration is expected to comprehend the components that drive individual and aggregate energy decisions and energy-related shopper conduct, the political, social, institutional and authoritative administration structures that decide resident investment, and the changing jobs especially of buyers and ‘prosumers’ in the energy framework.

The nine EU-funded projects featured in this Results Pack focus on the interdisciplinary and cross-cutting issues that need to be investigated to decarbonise the EU’s energy system. This includes questions relating to socioeconomic, gender, sociocultural and socio-political aspects of the energy transition, as well as to educational needs of the future workforce.

SINN Power: How to harvest energy from the different renewable energy technologies?

By SalM on October 20, 2020 in MUSICA News Articles

Renewable energy (sources) or RES capture their energy from existing flows of energy, from on-going natural processes, such as sunshine, wind, flowing water, biological processes, and geothermal heat flows. The most common definition is that renewable energy is from an energy resource that is replaced rapidly by a natural process such as power generated from the sun or from the wind. Renewable energy resources may be used directly or used to create other more convenient forms of energy. Examples of direct use are solar ovens, geothermal heating, and windmills. Examples of indirect use which require energy harvesting are electricity generation through wind turbines or photovoltaic cells, or production of fuels such as ethanol from biomass.

Developing adequate technology in order to harvest energy from multiple energy sources is a long-lasting process that consists of many steps. Martha from SINN Power talks about their path to harvesting renewable energy.
Through the years SINN Power successfully installed different generations of harbour mounted prototypes in Crete. Its generations show their advances and how prototypes have resisted Through best and worst conditions. From the third generation, a whole family of new electronics was born. This family is a solution on how to harvest energy from different renewable energy sources

Each renewable energy source has its own variability through time depending on the region. These waterproof and silk components provide optimal and secure energy into the grid. Through the requirements of for the wave energy converters, an opportunity presented itself to expand their product line to an ocean-hybrid platform. This robust platform combines experience and development for the floating energy converters with already existing renewable energy technologies. Through their work, for the last years and with the MUSICA project they learned that every location is different and all the possibilities must be considered when adapting certain technology to a new location.

About the partner

SINN Power offers energy solutions to provide people living near coasts all over the world with access to clean electricity to enable sustainable development and contribute to our planet at the same time. In 2014, Dr. Philipp Sinn founded the company SINN Power based on intense years of academic research. The main goal was and still is today, to turn the unlimited power of ocean waves into clean and cost-efficient energy that is accessible for everyone.

Renewables are expected to overtake coal as the method of generating electricity

By SalM on October 20, 2020 in Other News Articles

Last Tuesday (13/10/2020) the International Energy Agency released its annual World Energy Outlook. Over the next decade, renewables are expected to overtake coal as the most common method of generating electricity.

What To Know


In the so-called “Stated Policies Scenario,” which assumes COVID-19 is gradually brought under control next year and announced energy policies are met, solar will lead the charge forward.

A few quick-hitter statistics:

  • Hydro-electric plants will continue to represent the largest source of renewable energy, but solar will account for 80% of the growth in global electricity generation.
  • By 2030, the combined share of solar + wind will rise to 30%, up from just 8% in 2019.

The Economics: While solar has its feel-good properties, the surge in popularity comes down to dollars and cents.  For utility-scale projects built this year, the average cost of electricity over the lifetime of the plant (known as the levelized cost of electricity), was between $35 to $55 per megawatt-hour in the world’s largest markets.  A decade ago it was $300.

Fatih Birol, executive director of the IEA, said, “I see solar becoming the new king of the world’s electricity markets…based on today’s policy settings, it’s on track to set new records for deployment every year after 2022.”

 


The Fallout


Solar is throwing shade in coal’s direction.  In most countries, solar panels are now a cheaper source of energy than coal or natural gas plants.

Over the last four years, 145 coal-burning units at 75 power plants have been idled in the U.S.  According to Bloomberg, it’s the fastest decline in coal-fuel capacity during any four-year stretch.

The Takeaway: Overall, coal’s share of the global power supply is set to fall from 37% last year to 28% by 2030.  By 2040, coal’s share will fall below 20% for the first time since the industrial revolution.  The silver lining-more coal leftover for stockings.


About the Report


Amid deep disruption and uncertainty caused by the pandemic, a surge in well-designed energy policies is needed to put the world on track for a resilient energy system that can meet climate goals

It has been a tumultuous year for the global energy system. The Covid-19 crisis has caused more disruption than any other event in recent history, leaving scars that will last for years to come. But whether this upheaval ultimately helps or hinders efforts to accelerate clean energy transitions and reach international energy and climate goals will depend on how governments respond to today’s challenges.

The World Energy Outlook 2020, the International Energy Agency’s flagship publication, focuses on the pivotal period of the next 10 years, exploring different pathways out of the crisis. The new report provides the latest IEA analysis of the pandemic’s impact: global energy demand is set to drop by 5% in 2020, energy-related CO2 emissions by 7%, and energy investment by 18%. The WEO’s established approach – comparing different scenarios that show how the energy sector could develop – is more valuable than ever in these uncertain times. The four pathways presented in this WEO are described in more detail at the end of this press release.

In the Stated Policies Scenario, which reflects today’s announced policy intentions and targets, global energy demand rebounds to its pre-crisis level in early 2023. However, this does not happen until 2025 in the event of a prolonged pandemic and deeper slump, as shown in the Delayed Recovery Scenario. Slower demand growth lowers the outlook for oil and gas prices compared with pre-crisis trends. But large falls in investment increase the risk of future market volatility.

Renewables take starring roles in all our scenarios, with solar centre stage. Supportive policies and maturing technologies are enabling very cheap access to capital in leading markets. Solar PV is now consistently cheaper than new coal- or gas-fired power plants in most countries, and solar projects now offer some of the lowest cost electricity ever seen. In the Stated Policies Scenario, renewables meet 80% of global electricity demand growth over the next decade. Hydropower remains the largest renewable source, but solar is the main source of growth, followed by onshore and offshore wind.

“I see solar becoming the new king of the world’s electricity markets. Based on today’s policy settings, it is on track to set new records for deployment every year after 2022,” said Dr Fatih Birol, the IEA Executive Director. “If governments and investors step up their clean energy efforts in line with our Sustainable Development Scenario, the growth of both solar and wind would be even more spectacular – and hugely encouraging for overcoming the world’s climate challenge.”

The WEO-2020 shows that strong growth of renewables needs to be paired with robust investment in electricity grids. Without enough investment, grids will prove to be a weak link in the transformation of the power sector, with implications for the reliability and security of electricity supply.

Fossil fuels face varying challenges. Coal demand does not return to pre-crisis levels in the Stated Policies Scenario, with its share in the 2040 energy mix falling below 20% for the first time since the Industrial Revolution. But demand for natural gas grows significantly, mainly in Asia, while oil remains vulnerable to the major economic uncertainties resulting from the pandemic.

“The era of global oil demand growth will come to an end in the next decade,” Dr Birol said. “But without a large shift in government policies, there is no sign of a rapid decline. Based on today’s policy settings, a global economic rebound would soon push oil demand back to pre-crisis levels.”

The worst effects of the crisis are felt among the most vulnerable. The pandemic has reversed several years of declines in the number of people in Sub-Saharan Africa without access to electricity. And a rise in poverty levels may have made basic electricity services unaffordable for more than 100 million people worldwide who had electricity connections.

Global emissions are set to bounce back more slowly than after the financial crisis of 2008-2009, but the world is still a long way from a sustainable recovery. A step-change in clean energy investment offers a way to boost economic growth, create jobs and reduce emissions. This approach has not yet featured prominently in plans proposed to date, except in the European Union, the United Kingdom, Canada, Korea, New Zealand and a handful of other countries.

In the Sustainable Development Scenario, which shows how to put the world on track to achieving sustainable energy objectives in full, the complete implementation of the IEA Sustainable Recovery Plan moves the global energy economy onto a different post-crisis path. As well as rapid growth of solar, wind and energy efficiency technologies, the next 10 years would see a major scaling up of hydrogen and carbon capture, utilisation and storage, and new momentum behind nuclear power.

“Despite a record drop in global emissions this year, the world is far from doing enough to put them into decisive decline. The economic downturn has temporarily suppressed emissions, but low economic growth is not a low-emissions strategy – it is a strategy that would only serve to further impoverish the world’s most vulnerable populations,” said Dr Birol. “Only faster structural changes to the way we produce and consume energy can break the emissions trend for good. Governments have the capacity and the responsibility to take decisive actions to accelerate clean energy transitions and put the world on a path to reaching our climate goals, including net-zero emissions.”

A significant part of those efforts would have to focus on reducing emissions from existing energy infrastructure – such as coal plants, steel mills and cement factories. Otherwise, international climate goals will be pushed out of reach, regardless of actions in other areas. Detailed new analysis in the WEO-2020 shows that if today’s energy infrastructure continues to operate in the same way as it has done so far, it would already lock in a temperature rise of 1.65 °C.

Despite such major challenges, the vision of a net-zero emissions world is increasingly coming into focus. The ambitious pathway mapped out in the Sustainable Development Scenario relies on countries and companies hitting their announced net-zero emissions targets on time and in full, bringing the entire world to net zero by 2070.

Reaching that point two decades earlier, as in the new Net Zero Emissions by 2050 case, would demand a set of dramatic additional actions over the next 10 years. Bringing about a 40% reduction in emissions by 2030 requires, for example, that low-emissions sources provide nearly 75% of global electricity generation in 2030, up from less than 40% in 2019 – and that more than 50% of passenger cars sold worldwide in 2030 are electric, up from 2.5% in 2019. Electrification, innovation, behaviour changes and massive efficiency gains would all play roles. No part of the energy economy could lag behind, as it is unlikely that another would be able to move fast enough to make up the difference.

The different pathways in the WEO-2020
  • The Stated Policies Scenario (STEPS), in which Covid-19 is gradually brought under control in 2021 and the global economy returns to pre-crisis levels the same year. This scenario reflects all of today’s announced policy intentions and targets, insofar as they are backed up by detailed measures for their realisation.
  • The Delayed Recovery Scenario (DRS) is designed with the same policy assumptions as in the STEPS, but a prolonged pandemic causes lasting damage to economic prospects. The global economy returns to its pre-crisis size only in 2023, and the pandemic ushers in a decade with the lowest rate of energy demand growth since the 1930s.
  • In the Sustainable Development Scenario (SDS), a surge in clean energy policies and investment puts the energy system on track to achieve sustainable energy objectives in full, including the Paris Agreement, energy access and air quality goals. The assumptions on public health and the economy are the same as in the STEPS.
  • The new Net Zero Emissions by 2050 case (NZE2050) extends the SDS analysis. A rising number of countries and companies are targeting net-zero emissions, typically by mid-century. All of these are achieved in the SDS, putting global emissions on track for net-zero by 2070. The NZE2050 includes the first detailed IEA modelling of what would be needed in the next ten years to put global CO2 emissions on track for net-zero by 2050.

The World Energy Outlook


The World Energy Outlook, the IEA’s flagship publication, provides a comprehensive view of how the global energy system could develop in the coming decades. This year’s exceptional circumstances require an exceptional approach. The usual long-term modeling horizons are kept but the focus for the World Energy Outlook 2020 is firmly on the next 10 years, exploring in detail the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on the energy sector, and the near-term actions that could accelerate clean energy transitions.

Explore report

IMAGE CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES.