Expanding Heathrow airport is unlikely to be compatible with the UK’s target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050, leading scientists have said, adding that government policies are lacking in many other key areas from home insulation and transport to carbon capturing. Achieving the net zero goal will require sweeping policy changes, but scientists are concerned that little has so far been forthcoming from ministers. Home insulation and energy efficiency are essential to reducing carbon emissions from heating, but have been left in a “policy vacuum”, said Dr Charlie Wilson, a reader in energy and climate change at the University of East Anglia. Systems to capture and store carbon dioxide would also be needed, but previous government attempts to kickstart the technology over the past two decades have been abandoned, said Jim Skea, professor of sustainable energy at Imperial College London. Skea said the UK had many advantages over other countries in CCS, such as spent oilfields in the North Sea to use as storage, the skills and infrastructure from oil and gas exploration, and public backing for the technology, but needed the government to step in. Corinne Le Quéré, professor of climate change science at UEA, called for the government to prioritise the net zero goal across all policy areas.
Guardian 24th Jan 2020 read more »
Gerard Reid at Alexa Capital takes a high level look at what he sees as six systemic problems faced throughout the energy sector. They can be found at every level, across all technologies and markets. He calls them the Six Energy Paradoxes. All of them are acting as a serious drag on progress, Transition or not. Take the Market Efficiency Paradox. Utilities should adjust their prices to meet changes in energy supply and demand. Higher supply or lower demand means lower prices. Instead, utilities adjust their supply to meet changes in demand, thus maintaining prices. Or Jevons Paradox. When things get more efficient and cheaper we consume more, instead of buying the same amount and spending the money saved on making something else efficient. Or the Renewable Energy Paradox. If you were a business would you invest in a wind or solar farm (retail prices keep falling) or gas (they’re not)? Read on to discover more, including the Utility Paradox, the NIMBY Paradox and the Philosophy Paradox. There are solutions, and some are being pursued, but they all depend on governments taking on these systemic (= very big) challenges and making better decisions.
Energy Post 21st Jan 2020 read more »