Weekend Reads: - Diversified Communications

November 19, 2022

Weekend Reads: How to Grow the Economy While Cutting Emissions; Designing a Just Energy Transition

It's the weekend! Kick back and catch up with these must-read articles from around the web.

How to slash carbon emissions while growing the economy, in one chart (Vox) There’s a common intuition that says we can either have a healthy climate, or a growing economy, but not both. Economic activity, so long as it’s powered by fossil fuels — which still provides about 80 percent of the world’s energy — creates greenhouse gas emissions. So it seems to follow that if we want to emit fewer greenhouse gasses, we’re going to have to sacrifice some economic growth, even though raising average income levels is a key part of reducing poverty. This creates a horrible dilemma, because fighting climate change and fighting poverty are both hugely important goals. As developing countries are making clear at the ongoing COP27 climate summit in Egypt, we really don’t want to shortchange either one. Fortunately, we may not have to.

A Breakneck Growth Pivot Nears for Green Hydrogen (BloombergNEF) Green hydrogen is entering hockey stick territory: the point where it sees a sudden and sharp turn upward. A boom in the supply of and demand for the environment-friendly gas will power a whopping 120-fold global expansion in the key equipment used to split water and produce hydrogen. Installations of electrolyzers are set to grow from 2 gigawatts currently to 242 gigawatts over the next eight years, with companies like Longi Green Technology, John Cockerill, Plug Power, ITM Power and ThyssenKrupp leading the manufacturing, according to BloombergNEF. Cumulatively, around $130 billion will be spent on electrolyzers between now and 2030.

US can reach 100% clean power by 2035, DOE finds, but tough reliability and land use questions lie ahead (Utility Dive) Four major viable paths to a net zero emissions “clean electricity” power system by 2035 “in which benefits exceed costs” are detailed in an August study by the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, or NREL. But it does not explain how adequate land to reach a 90% clean electricity penetration can be acquired or how reliability will be protected beyond that 90% penetration, stakeholders acknowledged. Today’s clean energy technologies can take the U.S. “to about 90% emissions reductions because of reduced costs and our maturing understanding of renewables and storage,” said Paul Denholm, DOE principal energy analyst and study co-lead author.

A just transition depends on energy systems that work for everyone (The Guardian) The west’s dash for African gas has become a rallying point at Cop27, with climate justice activists calling out the hypocrisy of rich polluting nations who are scrambling to keep energy prices down by pushing for more fossil fuel projects in Africa. This short-term fix to the energy price crisis created by Russia’s war on Ukraine will lock some of the poorest, most climate-affected countries in the world in polluting fossil fuel projects with few economic or energy benefits for the communities whose land, water and heritage will be sacrificed. It has been called out as “energy colonialism” – a political-corporate alliance on display at Cop27. There, more than 630 industry lobbyists are scattered around the conference centre in Sharm el-Sheikh as deals on climate finance, forests and food systems are being made.

The ‘world’s largest floating wind farm’ produces its first power (CNBC) A facility described as the world’s largest floating wind farm produced its first power over the weekend, with more turbines set to come online before the year is out. In a statement Monday, Norwegian energy firm Equinor — better known for its work in the oil and gas industry — said power production from Hywind Tampen’s first wind turbine took place on Sunday afternoon. While wind is a renewable energy source, Hywind Tampen will be used to help power operations at oil and gas fields in the North Sea. Equinor said Hywind Tampen’s first power was sent to the Gullfaks oil and gas field.

Keywords: Weekend reads

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