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The Great Transition
Policy news & blueprints for the transition to a new Sustainable and Social Economy
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Green jobs debate should look beyond short-term benefits, says UKERC report

Green jobs debate should look beyond short-term benefits, says UKERC report | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
renewable energy and energy efficiency create up to 1 job per gigawatt-hour more than fossil fuels and when the economy is underperforming, such as during a recession, it is sensible to focus government expenditure on these labour-intensive sectors.
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Good report on jobs in renewable energy sector from UK energy think tank.

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Myths and realities of clean technologies

Myths and realities of clean technologies | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Don’t be fooled by high-profile setbacks. The cleantech sector is gaining steam—with less and less regulatory assistance. A McKinsey & Company article.
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Very optimistic McKinsey analysis about the growth of clean technologies.

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Germany Breaks Its Own Record For Solar Power Generation

Germany Breaks Its Own Record For Solar Power Generation | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Grey skies aren't stopping Germany from continuing to smash solar power records.
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For a change some good news from the renewable energy sector.

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Government commitment to support investment in low-carbon technologies would secure significant savings for UK consumers

Government commitment to support investment in low-carbon technologies would secure significant savings for UK consumers | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"In a report on the Electricity Market Reform published today, the Committee on Climate Change presents new analysis showing that there are significant economic benefits from investing in a portfolio of low-carbon technologies through the 2020s rather than investing in gas-fired generation."

Willy De Backer's insight:

Good new evidence-based report from the UK's Committee on Climate Change

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Stephane Bilodeau's curator insight, May 25, 2013 7:31 AM

"A failure to commit to this would be to bet on a low gas price world, which could lock out the much higher benefits from portfolio investment in low-carbon technologies in more likely scenarios. It would be a wager on an outcome that is the opposite of most expectations. Even if the proposition were true, and a low gas price world were to ensue, cost savings due to investment in gas-fired generation through the 2020s would be very limited."

Lord Deben, Chairman of the CCC said:“This Report shows that there are significant benefits and very limited risks from investing in low-carbon technologies. It factors in the potential benefits of shale gas, which could play a useful role in meeting heat demand. It shows that the cost-effective route to the 2050 target involves investment in a portfolio of low-carbon technologies in the 2020s. However, in order to secure maximum economic benefit for the UK, it is crucial that the Government gives certainty to investors by legislating to chart a clear course well beyond 2020. Only then will we be able to insure against the risk of much higher future energy prices; enhance Britain’s energy sovereignty; and protect ourselves against dangerous climate change.”


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Report: Globalising the German Energy Transition

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Excellent report by German think tank SWP on the need for international cooperation if we are to move to a global new energy system.

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King Natural Gas

King Natural Gas | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Will cheap natural gas give us an opportunity to reduce ­emissions while inventing new technologies? Or will we simply become addicted to another fossil fuel?

 

This MIT Technology Review article on the American natural gas revolution might be a bit too optimistic about the future of gas and a bit too negative on the future of renewables, but it has some very valid arguments.

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The 'Shale Gas Revolution': Developments and Changes

The 'shale gas revolution' in the United States created an oversupply of liquefied natural gas and downward pressure on gas prices across the globe. Disappointing outcomes have reduced the hype about the prospects for shale gas in Europe, and led ...

 

Excellent new report from Paul Stevens of Chatham House. One of the most important conclusions: shale gas does not substitute for coal but is a big danger to renewables.

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EU Commission pays lip service to renewable revolution

EU Commission pays lip service to renewable revolution | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

The European Commission adopted a new Communication on renewable energy today but its weak approach (no new targets - only promises for a framework past 2020) confirms that the fossil-fuel and gas industry has won the lobbying war. The fact that gas companies will now be able to get money from the renewables funding pot is a tragic joke. 

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Is a 100% green datacenter practical, or even plausible? | ZDNet

Is a 100% green datacenter practical, or even plausible? | ZDNet | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
100% renewable energy sounds great. But when you start to do the research the picture is much less clear.

 

Interesting article questioning all the greenwashing concerning green datacenters.

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Can renewable energy sustain consumer societies?

A new report by Dr Ted Trainer for the Simplicity Institute questions the belief that technofixes (also in the form of the green renewable energy revolution) will solve our global sustainability crisis.

 

"Contradicting widely held assumptions, Trainer presents a formidable case that renewable energy and other ‘tech-fixes’ will be unable to sustain growth-based and energy-intensive consumer societies, with implications that are as profound as they will be unwelcome."

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Biomass 'insanity' may threaten EU carbon targets

Biomass 'insanity' may threaten EU carbon targets | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
The EU’s emissions reduction target for 2020 could be facing an unlikely but grave obstacle, according to a growing number of scientists, EU officials and NGOs: the contribution of biomass to the EU’s renewable energy objectives for 2020.

 

Interesting EurActiv article questioning the "carbon neutrality" of biomass and EU targets for renewable energy

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Sustainable Energy Roadmaps Chart Course to Healthier Economies and Societies

Sustainable Energy Roadmaps Chart Course to Healthier Economies and Societies | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"By embracing an integrated mix of renewable energy, energy efficiency, and grid technologies, countries can put their energy systems on a more sustainable path while developing economically, according to a new report from the Worldwatch Institute."

 

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CNN Money/Fortune: Shale gas is no alternative to renewables

CNN Money/Fortune: Shale gas is no alternative to renewables | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
If we really want to cool the planet this century, we need rapid and massive deployment of a mix of conservation, wind, solar, and nuclear energy -- not natural gas.

 

Pretty good article on shale gas and renewables.

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IEA Says the Party’s Over

IEA Says the Party’s Over | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
The International Energy Agency has just released a new special report called “World Energy Investment Outlook” that should send policy makers screaming and running for the exits.
Willy De Backer's insight:

Great analysis by Richard Heinberg of the international Energy Agencies recent 'World Energy Investment Outlook'. World needs at least 48 trillion dollars investments through 2035.

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IEA: Wind Power Could Supply 18% of World’s Power by 2050 - POWER Magazine

IEA: Wind Power Could Supply 18% of World’s Power by 2050 - POWER Magazine | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"Up to 18% of the world’s electricity could be generated with wind energy by 2050, but the massive jump from 2.6% today would require the nearly 300 GW of current wind capacity worldwide to increase eight- to tenfold and cost nearly $150 billion a year..."

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Big Oil's Big Lies About Alternative Energy

Big Oil's Big Lies About Alternative Energy | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
As President Obama calls for greater investments in alternatives, the biggest energy companies are doubling down on riskier, more destructive oil sources
Willy De Backer's insight:

That they lie is not the biggest problem - that political and business leaders believe them, that is the real tragedy. In the end, Big Oil will help kill Big Capitalism. And that's the irony.

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Four Must-See Charts Show Why Renewable Energy Is Disruptive – In A Good Way

A common refrain, from skeptics to allies alike, is that renewable energy is a great idea, but not feasible because oil, gas, and coal will always be cheaper.
Willy De Backer's insight:

The price of renewable energy has always been the false debate. If political and economic elites would have understood the real challenge of finite energy, the price tag would be the least of their worries. The REAL problem with renewables is the non-renewable scarce resources you need to produce, manufacture and deploy them.

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The global financial crisis and the prospects for ‘Green Growth’

The global financial crisis offers a big opportunity for progressive politicians to reenergise the green agenda.

 

British energy expert Dieter Helm provides a good analysis of why EU climate policy has failed to make a difference but his plea for "green growth" suffers from technology optimism and belief in the overhyped gas eldorado.

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Natural Gas and Its Role In the U.S.’s Energy Endgame

Natural Gas and Its Role In the U.S.’s Energy Endgame | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
The boom in natural gas production has undeniable benefits for the United States. But two policy analysts argue that embracing a monolithic energy future dominated by gas will mean the loss of a golden opportunity: Leveraging cheap, abundant gas to create a sustainable future based on renewable power.

 

Realistic assessment in Yale Environment 360 on the future of natural gas in the US, with lessons for Europe.

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How renewables will change electricity markets in the next five years

How renewables will change electricity markets in the next five years | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

Photovoltaic (PV) cells, onshore wind turbines, internet technologies, and storage technologies have the potential to fundamentally change electricity markets in the years ahead. Photovoltaic cells are the most disruptive energy technology as they allow consumers of all sizes to produce power by themselves—new actors in the power market can begin operating with a new bottom-up control logic. Unsubsidised PV markets may start to take off in 2013, fuelling substantial growth where PV power is getting cheaper than grid or diesel backup electricity for commercial consumers.

 

Good overview of the potential of renewables in the science magazine Energy.

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Clean energy as culture war

Clean energy as culture war | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Conservatives say the American way is to use more and pay less, Walmart-style. No wonder they're scared about the shift to clean energy and sustainability.

 

Good article by David Roberts on the Grist about how clean energy is quickly replacing climate change as enemy number one of the American way of life.

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New light on competitiveness of solar PV power

New light on competitiveness of solar PV power | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
The paper, Reconsidering the Economics of Photovoltaic Power, looks at the implications of the sharpest falls in the prices of PV technology in recent memory.

 

Interesting results from a new report "Reconsidering the Economics of Photovoltaic Power" by Bloomberg's New Energy Finance.

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La filière solaire européenne dans la tourmente

La filière solaire européenne dans la tourmente | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Confronté à la concurrence chinoise et à la baisse des aides publiques, le secteur s'interroge sur son avenir.

 

Good Le Monde article on the challenges of the solar energy industry in Europe. Killing the goose with the golden eggs?

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Overseas aid to Africa being outweighed by hefty costs of importing oil

Overseas aid to Africa being outweighed by hefty costs of importing oil | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Sub-Saharan states need to move to renewable energy sources as $15bn in aid is outstripped by $18bn in oil imports, says IEA...

 

But not only Africa is affected. Europe will suffer competitiveness loss as a result of oil dependence. "...for every $1 that countries do not spend on cleaner fuel, they will have to spend $4.3 within the next two decades to make up, for their reliance on fossil fuels".  EU oil bill is more than 550bn per year, the "equivalent of a Greek crisis - very year".

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Why baseload power is doomed

Why baseload power is doomed | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Energy columnist Chris Nelder explains why baseload power generation from nuclear and coal plants will be phased out in favor of renewables.

 

Must-read piece at SmartPlanet.

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