Catherine Day, Jean-Claude Juncker & Martin Selmayr in front of the press after the Juncker Commission's first weekly meeting in early November (credit: European Union, 2014)

The Five Energy Labours of Juncker

The new team heading the European Commission in Brussels is lucky. Its predecessors closed two sensitive deals before the reshuffle: a European energy and climate strategy for 2030 and a gas winter package between Ukraine and Russia. On top of that, outgoing Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger finished off a thick report on the way forward for a European energy market. The new Commission will follow up on these three dossiers,…….

(photo: Marnanel)

The “historic” US-China climate change deal confirms that we are failing in the fight against climate change

The US-China Joint Announcement on Climate Change made on 11 November, has been hailed by many as a historic breakthrough in the fight against climate change, but it has also met with quite a bit of scepticism. Robert Wilson, who publishes the blog The Energy Transition on the website of The Energy Collective, argues that the agreement between the two largest economies in the world demonstrates that the world is failing to…….


SunPower: “solar the greatest market opportunity world has seen”

The head of one of the world’s leading solar PV manufacturers and developers, SunPower’s Tom Werner, predicts that solar will be a $US5 trillion industry within 20 years, and represents one of the greatest ever opportunities in the history of markets. Giles Parkinson of reports on a recent investment briefing given by Werner.

(photo: Kevin Dooley)

Let’s not forget those fossil fuel subsidies

The IEA’s World Energy Outlook (WEO), published on 12 November, has – not for the first time – put the spotlight on the huge subsidies given worldwide for the use and production of fossil fuels. And these do not include other costs (e.g. the hundreds of billions in US military spending to garrison the Middle East) and externalities caused by our oil, gas and coal use. Sophie Vorrath of RenewEconomy…….

Vizn grid storage battery system

Where battery storage will take over from backup power plants

Although the growth in renewables has led to the shutdown of many gas- and coal-fired power plants, power producers believe their plants will still be needed to provide backup capacity. But grid storage batteries are becoming increasingly competitive with ‘peaker plants’, says Paul Siblerud of US storage company ViZn Energy Systems in an interview with Roy L. Hales of The EcoReport, citing a new study by Energy Strategies Group.


World’s first power-to-liquids production plant opened in Dresden

A Power-to-Liquids (PtL) demonstration rig which is the first of its kind in the world was officially inaugurated on 14 November by Dresden-based sunfire GmbH. The ceremony was attended by German Federal Minister of Education and Research Johanna Wanka, Board Member Pieter Koolen of venture capitalist Bilfinger (in which Total and EDF participate) as well as a number of other high-ranking representatives from the worlds of politics, industry and research.

Obama and Xi Jinping

What are we to make of the US and China’s “historic” climate deal?

The US-China Joint Announcement on Climate Change made on 11 November, has given rise to a lot of commentary in the media worldwide. In this article, Mat Hope of The Carbon Brief provides an excellent critical overview of some of the most significant analyses. Energy Post chief editor Karel Beckman adds some insights of his own.

Wishing away lignite – EU climate policy ignores elephant in the room

While mining and combustion of lignite impose high burdens on the environment, Europe’s least expensive fuel remains impervious to climate policies or market trends. Poland remains committed to lignite power generation. In Germany, the world’s largest lignite industry provides backup electricity for nuclear phase-out and renewable power intermittency. Mediterranean sunshine has not kept Greece and Turkey from relying on lignite rather than imported gas. According to energy expert Jeffrey Michel,…….


VIDEO: Brussels Briefing on Energy – All you need to know for November 2014

In this latest Brussels Briefing on Energy, leading energy journalist Hughes Belin provides anoverview of the latest EU energy policy developments: