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At the Business Booster event in Paris, former Irish President Mary Robinson highlighted the need for a “just” energy transition. We consider whether renewable power can deliver social change, as well as technological change, and some of the companies and projects leading the way.
Also, we look at whether California’s energy infrastructure can keep up with its ambitions, ask what makes a PPA more attractive than buying energy off power companies, and talk to Good Energy about the role of customer service in renewables.
Finally, we examine the role of batteries in meeting global climate goals, debate whether nuclear is clean enough for green funding, look back on major events and headlines in the nuclear power sector in 2019, and explore the Green Building Council’s ‘Paris Proof’ targets.
In this issue
“A safe future for our children”: the need for a just energy transition
As the world moves through a technological revolution to ensure a transition to a clean energy mix, it is vital to ensure a parallel social revolution. Former UN commissioner Mary Robinson spoke at length about the need for a “just” energy transition earlier this year; JP Casey asks how it can be delivered, and who is responsible for this shift?
California: renewables on the frontline
While California has some of the world’s most ambitious renewable energy targets, it also has some startlingly unique challenges. Umar Ali explores the future of the state’s energy mix, and look at the unique challenges of California’s energy infrastructure.
Power of the PPA: the risks and rewards of buying energy at source
As the world shifts to a clean energy mix, the landscape of power purchase agreements could change. Private companies are now looking to buy power directly from producers, cutting out utility companies and encouraging renewable power, despite the financial risks attached. JP Casey learns more.
Lighting up customer service with Octopus Energy
Energy supplier Octopus Energy has, for the first time, licensed its digital energy customer service platform to a UK competitor, Good Energy, which will use it to launch new services for homes and businesses. Octopus’s CEO Greg Jackson explains to Heidi Vella why the company’s technology will be a disrupter and drive the digital energy revolution.
Are batteries alone capable of meeting the world’s climate goals?
A new World Economic Forum report finds that, in the right conditions, battery technologies could reduce emissions in the transport and power sectors by 30% – enough to hit the 2°C Paris Agreement target. Just how could battery deployment create carbon savings at this scale? Scarlett Evans finds out.
Debate: Is nuclear clean enough for the EU’s green funding?
In September, the European Council ruled that nuclear power is eligible for an EU scheme intended to fund green power sources. While nuclear lacks the environmental footprint of energy sources such as coal and oil, its green credentials have been questioned by countries such as Germany and Austria, who object to funding being diverted towards nuclear power from renewable energy sources. JP Casey and Umar Ali consider the two sides of the debate.
2019: the year in nuclear
From Hitachi scrapping a £16bn nuclear power station project in Wales, to revelations that the UK’s Hinckley point C is now running almost £3bn over budget, Yoana Cholteeva tracks the headlines to create a picture for nuclear in 2019.
Paris proof: examining the UK Green Building Council’s energy target
Improving the environmental efficiency of buildings could be a key contributor to the clean energy transition, and the UK Green Building Council has released a framework to shape the future of the country’s construction sector. JP Casey finds out how these ‘Paris proof’ targets could help the UK make or break its 2050 climate goals.
Preview – Future Power February
The mass construction of solar panels across the world’s deserts has long been touted as a solution to the energy crisis, but the solution has rarely proven practical so far. So what needs to be done for it to be viable?
Also, we look at China and South Korea’s plans to build an ocean-floor power network to connect their electricity grids and create a pan-Asian electric power system, ask if biofuel has a palm oil problem, and consider the impact of political uncertainty in Bolivia on the country’s nuclear sector.
Finally, we learn if mountains could play a role in long-term energy storage, speak to Lumos about a project to electrify 1 million households in Nigeria, find out how utility billing be better managed, and hear about Sellafield’s VR nuclear waste removal crane.