Rhein on Energy and Climate

Archives for Energy Supply

According to the calculations of the world’s top climate scientists, humanity has only 30 years to go, until 2045, before reaching an increase of global temperature of more than two centigrade, its self-imposed “red light”. Indeed, at present annual global emissions of 40 billion tons the atmosphere will no longer be able to absorb additional… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

In a 120-page report published April 8th the French Agency for Environment and Energy concludes that by 2050 France might be able to cover all its electricity needs from photovoltaic and wind energies. For a country that has drawn three quarters of its power supply from nuclear reactors and was not renowned for its reliance… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

North Africa and the Arab peninsula are among the best insolated regions on earth. There are very few other areas with comparable duration and intensity of sunshine. If anywhere, it is in the huge Arab desert areas that solar electricity could be generated at competitive terms, provided it will be possible to cope with the… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

During May 2013 a solar-fuelled plane, piloted by two entrepreneurial Swiss citizens, is crossing the USA from California to New York, with a few stop-overs in major cities. It is an unprecedented event aiming to encourage policy makers and business to adopt sustainable energy solutions. The SOLAR IMPULSE has been conceived by its two pilots,… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

The EU is in the process of defining its energy/climate policy beyond 2020. This is timely for two reasons: European business needs to be fixed on the policy framework for their long-term investments related to energy, transport, buildings, grids etc. The EU must have advanced on its medium-term climate strategy before engaging in the negotiations… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

In 2011 the EU Commission set out a long-term energy road-map for a Europe 2050 getting along almost without fossil energies. Though it has sketched out the direction that ought to be taken to that end it has not explained what this would mean for our practical life. The present ”vision” tries to do so.… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

The decision by BP to sell off 4.6 GW capacity of wind power plants and projects in North America puts an end to an expensive dream to combine renewable with fossil energies that has cost BP some $ 6.5 billion since 2005. Through their investment in 16 wind farms across nine US States, BP had… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

Investments in the energy sector require long planning horizons. Companies need to plan investments decades ahead. To minimise inherent uncertainties they should be able to rely on a regulatory framework stretching far into the future. The EU energy policy framework with its three key targets – 20 per cent reduction of green house gas emissions,… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

2012 has seen new records in newly installed solar and wind power capacity. Globally installed capacity has now reached almost 400 GW, of which 300 GW wind and 100 GW solar PV. In the last 10 years solar PV has expanded more rapidly than wind power, essentially due to a steep decline of module prices… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

Within a few years unconventional gas, in particular shale gas, discoveries in the USA, have changed the geopolitics of energy. The USA is becoming one the major gas producers on earth, shaking off its dependence on the unstable Gulf region. Gas prices have dramatically gone down in the USA, enabling the country to re-vitalise energy-intensive… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein