Please see below selected recent energy-related change.
- Halcyon Energy Headlines
- What's Changing? - Sustainability (includes latest headlines on UN Sustainable Development Goal 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy).
- While an international consensus on the need for a fast and orderly coal phase out is forming, exporters of coal and related technologies continue to hold hopes of a future market for coal in these countries. Chatham House warned that the risk is that despite the disruption that coal is facing in established markets, new coal supply and demand infrastructure continues to be developed, and that once in place, it will lock out cheaper and cleaner energy technologies.
- The Global Innovation Index 2018 focused on the theme of ‘Energising the World with Innovation’. Energy demand is reaching unprecedented levels as a result of a growing world population, rapid urbanisation, and industrialisation. Higher levels of technological and non-technological innovation are required to meet this demand, both on the production side of the energy equation (alternative sources, smart grids, and new advanced energy storage technologies) and on the consumption side (smart cities, homes, and buildings; energy-efficient industries; and transport and future mobility). Innovation plays key roles in addressing both sides of that equation.
The huge oversupply in photovoltaic modules could result in price declines of 34% this year.
Shaping Tomorrow noted that, since its robot's last look at energy futures in November 2017, oil prices have shifted upwards. The short-term, forward look contains a lot of energy -related uncertainties given increasing geopolitical and other national policy issues and these will have long-term effects too.
The World Bank’s 2017 State of Electricity Access report emphasised that UN Sustainable Development Goals like health, education, food security, and employment are all largely dependent on consistent, reliable access to energy. For rural communities in Africa that lack electrical grids, the belief was that, in time, American-style grids would be built. But thanks to the rise of renewable energy, grids may not end up being as necessary.
For rural communities in Africa that lack electrical grids, the belief was that, in time, American-style grids would be built. But thanks to the rise of renewable energy, grids may not end up being as necessary. Startups like Off Grid Electricand Black Star Energy have made a business out of installing solar panels on private homes.
- The way to reach the world’s climate goals is straightforward, believes Quartz: reduce our greenhouse-gas emissions to zero within the next few decades. But the energy technologies that can help us get there tend to need lots of money and long lead times to develop.
- The costs of energy-storage systems are dropping too fast for inefficient players to hide. The winners in this market will be those that aggressively pursue and achieve operational improvements, argued McKinsey.
- Global oil prices rose to nearly US$80/barrel in late May, up by almost 20% compared with the start of 2018. A number of factors are behind this rapid growth, including efforts by OPEC and its allies to rein in crude production and rising geopolitical risks. But how far are prices likely to rise, asked the EIU?
- Oil prices have risen 65% since last June, touching a four year high of $75 a barrel in April 2018. Three things are driving up prices, according to GZEROMedia: ongoing production restraint from Russia and Saudi Arabia, dwindling production in Venezuela and Libya, and the prospect that US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal will mean fresh sanctions on Iranian oil exports.
- In April 2016, Britain went 55 hours without burning any coal, a new record.
- Nearly 80% of our energy still comes from fossil fuels, a figure that hasn’t changed since the first Earth Day.
- In 2017-18, activist shareholders have forced fossil-fuel companies to reveal the risks to their investments from climate change.
- In the US, local governments have become stewards of the environment. The UK went 55 hours without burning coal, which hasn’t happened since before the Industrial Revolution, while Portugal produced more renewable energy in March than energy it consumed. Meanwhile, poor countries are investing billions more in renewable energy than rich ones.
- Forecasters keep revising electric-vehicles sales figures upwards. Even technologies that were considered fanciful, such as carbon capture, are making a comeback.
- The Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment report found that China, India and Brazil accounted for just over half of global investment in renewables excluding large hydro in 2017 with China alone representing 45%, up from 35% in 2016. Despite this, China bets heavily on coal abroad, with involvement in 240 coal-fired power projects in 25 countries of the Belt and Road. (Sources included Exponential View and Quartz.)