The flurry of reports showing global greenhouse gas emissions are rising once again may have sparked widespread fears the goals of the Paris Agreement will be missed, but according to one of the world’s most influential analyst firms at least one critical industry is moving towards decarbonising at a rate that could keep temperature increases below 2C. Releasing its annual New Energy Outlook (NEO) report yesterday, BloombergNEF revealed its projections for the global renewables sector have been upgraded once again thanks to “deep declines” in wind, solar, and battery costs. As such, it argues that rather than peaking in 2027, as previously estimated, power sector emissions may have peaked last year and are now on track to fall 36 per cent by 2050. The report concludes that wind and solar is on track to provide nearly half of grid power globally by mid-century, even as overall demand for electricity soars thanks to rapid acceleration in the roll out of electric vehicles (EVs) and heating systems.
Business Green 19th June 2019 read more »
The Renewables Global Status Report (GSR), released annually by the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21, a think tank), digs into the growth rates of various energy sources, the flows of clean energy investment, and the world’s progress on its sustainability goals. It is a treasure trove of information. It is also … really long. 250 pages long. So many words! In an effort to save you, the modern information consumer, precious time, I have gone through the report and extracted the 12 charts and graphs that best tell the story of clean energy as of 2018. Before we get started, a few background facts. First, we’re still moving in the wrong direction. Global carbon emissions aren’t falling fast enough. In fact, they aren’t falling at all; they were up 1.7 percent in 2018. Second, we’re still pushing in the wrong direction. Globally, subsidies to fossil fuels were up 11 percent between 2016 and 2017, reaching $300 billion a year. And third, the effort to clean up is flagging. Total investment in renewable energy (not including hydropower) was $288.9 billion in 2018 — less than fossil fuel subsidies and an 11 percent decrease from 2017.
Vox 18th June 2019 read more »
Criminal gangs are targeting the renewable energy industry in the latest wave of VAT fraud that has been blamed for draining billions of euros from the EU every year. HM Revenue & Customs said it had cracked down on the trading of renewable energy certificates “with immediate effect” to counter “a serious and credible threat to the VAT system”. The emergency action came into force last week, without notice, to avoid tipping off the criminal gangs and prevent substantial VAT losses for the UK, it added. The fraudsters are understood to be charging VAT on the sale of renewable energy “certificates of origin”, which they siphon off rather than pass on to HMRC. The certificates are typically issued by renewable energy developers to energy suppliers as a guarantee that the electricity has come from a specific project. However, they are also bought and sold by traders as a commodity, which, said HMRC, opens up an “opportunity for fraud”.
Guardian 19th June 2019 read more »