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Weekly Highlights | From sustainable aviation to Vehicle-to-Grid technology

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By illuminem

· 5 min read

1. Economic Pain Forces The Energy Transition Narrative To Shift

By Forbes

  • Recent events have showed how without continued investment into reliable energy sources (e.g. oil, gas, coal), this winter thousands of people could freeze to death
  • The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), while recognizing that demand for renewable energy will rise rapidly through 2050, states that the demand for both oil and natural gas will also continue to rise over that same period of time
  • Moody’s released new research in which it finds the oil industry will need to increase its capital investments by as much as 54% to avoid an even more major, non-artificial supply crunch in the coming years

2. Hydrogen’s Moment Is Here at Last

By The Economist

  • Hydrogen has been controversial ever since the tragedy of the Hindenburg: an airship filled with it went down in flames in 1937
  • Sceptics note that several hydrogen investment drives since the 1970s have ended in tears as the gas’s shortcomings were exposed
  • Hydrogen is now gaining momentum and its technologies could eliminate perhaps a tenth of today’s greenhouse-gas emissions by 2050

3. Aviation Emissions: ‘We Can’t Wait for Hydrogen or Electric’

By Energy Monitor

  • Recent propositions made by the EU Commission to phase out fossil fuels subsidies for jet fuels and end free EU Emission Trading Scheme allowances have made decarbonisation of the aviation sector even more of a priority for airlines
  • However, commercial electric planes are not yet ready, making sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) a necessity for now
  • Worldwide, barely any SAF are used at the moment, mostly because of its uncompetitive price

4. A Global Energy Crisis Casts Shadow on Crucial Climate Summit

By The Washington Post

  • Humans can unleash only about 500 additional gigatons of carbon dioxide — the equivalent of about 10 years of current global emissions
  • COP26 is happening not a moment too soon, as the urgency to transition away from carbon-intensive fossil fuels grows all the more acute
  • The problem is that in the short term, the prospect of a cold winter with skyrocketing heating bills may weigh far more heavily on most people’s minds than the distant, abstracted calculations that guide climate action

5. Gas Shortages: What Is Driving Europe’s Energy Crisis?

By Financial Times

  • In Europe, households are already facing steeper bills while some energy intensive industries have started to slow production
  • Europe principally has two options for additional gas supplies: Russia or cargoes of liquefied natural gas
  • While Russia is playing a political game by reducing the gas supply, countries such as China and India (because of their green efforts) are now rivals for LNG supply from countries such as the US and Qatar

6. World Energy Outlook 2021 Shows a New Energy Economy Is Emerging – but not yet Quickly enough to Reach Net zero by 2050

By the International Energy Agency

  • But as the pivotal moment of COP26 approaches, the IEA’s new World Energy Outlook makes it clear that this clean energy progress is still far too slow to put global emissions into sustained decline towards net zero
  • As well as the Net Zero Emissions by 2050 Scenario, the WEO-2021 explores two other scenarios to gain insights into how the global energy sector may develop over the next three decades – and what the implications would be
  • The Stated Policies Scenario represents a path based on the energy and climate measures governments have actually put in place to date. The Announced Pledges Scenario maps out a path in which the net zero emissions pledges announced by governments so far are implemented in time and in full

7. Global Energy Storage Set to nearly Triple in 2021

By Utility Dive

  • Decarbonization of the energy sectors in the U.S. and China will drive the need for a boom in storage deployments, with nearly 1 TWh in demand forecast from 2021-2030, Wood Mackenzie report says
  • Europe will also see significant demand, with cumulative installations projected to top 100 GWh by 2030. Germany and Italy accounting for the most growth
  • Residential storage will also “continue to surge”, a trend already seen in states like California and Texas that have weathered recent power outages

8. Vehicle-to-Grid Technology Could Ease Europe’s Energy Transition Woes

By Fortune

  • Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) allows energy to be “pushed” back and forth between an electric vehicle (EV) and the power grid.
  • When not in use, a connected EV can help stabilize the grid during peak energy times and even provide power to vehicle owners during a power outage
  • Drivers would financially benefit not only from cleaner and cheaper power for their EV, but from mechanism that enable users to sell power back to the grid

9.  The Grid Isn’t Ready for the Renewable Revolution

By Wired

  • Two conflicting forces put extra pressure on the grid: i) increased extreme weather events ii) growing share of unstable/fluctuating renewable energy in the mix
  • A solution to this could be to switch the role of consumers to participants in the energy system: people should shift behaviours so consumption matches production
  • Smart homes and smart businesses, increased battery storage and large scale interconnected grids will play a critical role in going over this intermittency

10. Google Maps to Show the Lowest Carbon Route for Car Journeys

By The Guardian

  • Google Maps is going to offer drivers the possibility to select the route with the lowest carbon emission once factor such as traffic and road inclines are taken into account
  • Google CEO Sundar Pichai, said the initiative could save 1m tonnes of carbon dioxide a year, or the equivalent of taking 200,000 cars off the road
  • Google announced in 2020 that it aimed to be powered exclusively by low-carbon energy by 2030
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