Key topics: #Geopolitics #NetZero #JustTransition

An evergreen chronology of Energy Flux articles about net zero policies, their role in domestic and international affairs, and socio-economic considerations

Energy Flux
The moral conundrum of carbon border taxes
On paper, a carbon border tax is the perfect mechanism for coercing trade partners to reduce their emissions and, potentially, delver a global deal on carbon pricing – the Holy Grail of COP26. In reality, world leaders are unlikely to agree on rules for a global carbon market, meaning border taxes will be introduced unilaterally. These will punish exporting countries that do not decarbonise their energy-intensive products, even if development finance promised to help them transition fails to materialise…
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Energy Flux
COP26 must close the rhetoric gap without creating a supply gap
BREAKOUT STORY: Electricity is not a globally traded commodity for a reason. But world leaders are now backing a project to change that: the Green Grids Initiative (6-minute read): IN THIS EMAIL: 💥COP26 must close the ‘rhetoric gap’ without creating a supply gap…
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Energy Flux
America’s LNG growing pains
Cheap, abundant natural gas has become the bedrock of the American economy – but the drillers that produce it are sitting on their hands, even as prices rise. Manufacturers are getting twitchy, calling for liquefied natural gas exports to be capped. This is unlikely for many reasons, meaning US consumers might have to get used to higher bills. This coul…
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Energy Flux
Caveat emptor!
First up: Inflation and volatility are roiling the market for green power purchase agreements (PPAs). Corporations are being urged to lock in power prices as wind and solar costs soar. That’s this week’s breakout story — click through for more (~7 minute read…
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Energy Flux
Demand destruction stalks Europe
The unfolding global energy crisis has added urgency to the slow-burning debate on the role of reducing demand to achieve climate objectives. The trouble is, most people are looking through the wrong end of the telescope. When markets turn febrile, the first casualty is perspective…
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Energy Flux
China declares energy bidding war
First up: The global energy crunch won’t stop the flow of capital into energy transition technologies. That’s the message from two cleantech finance gurus at twin investment houses Ardour Capital and New American Energy, in this month’s breakout interview…
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Energy Flux
Too much politics, not enough gas
European energy prices are going ballistic. Barely a day has gone by this month without wholesale gas and power prices breaking the previous day’s new all-time high. But what is really driving the bull run, what does it mean for decarbonisation, and how is this playing out in the political arena…
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Energy Flux
Net zero ain’t happening and CCS won’t save us
First up: Natural gas, the cleanest-burning fossil fuel, is again becoming unaffordable in many end-user markets. Better get used to it: there’s no easy fix to the perennial problem of gas price spikes and supercycles. And: Net zero won’t happen by 2050, carbon capture won’t decarbonise the fossil fuel industry, and hydrogen will play only a minor role i…
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Energy Flux
Afghanistan’s mineral bounty 💥 Big Oil’s chemical high
First up: Demand for petrochemicals helped pandemic-bludgeoned integrated oil companies repair their balance sheets in the second quarter. The outlook for petchems is bullish, and strategic investments are flowing according. And: The Taliban’s return to power in…
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Energy Flux
Is the EU tipping the scales against green fuel imports?
The EU is planning an unprecedented rollout of renewable power generation capacity this decade, which could exacerbate supply-demand grid imbalances. Mass deployment of electrolysers would flatten the peaks, so prioritising domestic production of ‘green’ hydrogen over imports would make strategic sense for Brussels — and that is exactly what the Commiss…
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Energy Flux
US Republicans want to have their climate cake and eat it
US Republicans have launched a Congressional caucus in a bid to seize the initiative on energy and climate policy. The group’s clarion call for painless emission reductions speaks to genuine concerns about an expensive energy transition hurting rural working class families. But it also peddles the fantasy of easy climate fixes. It remains to be seen whe…
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Energy Flux
Japan and Australia attack IEA's ‘net zero’ pathway
Australia and Japan are finding common cause on two incongruous issues: opposition to the International Energy Agency’s net zero roadmap, and exports of ‘green’ ammonia and hydrogen. This absurd situation highlights how both governments are clinging to the status quo even as private investors seek to build new industries around zero-emissions fuels…
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Energy Flux
Colonial pipeline ransomware debacle holds lessons for the energy transition
Cyber threats are now a fact of life, and any company failing to prepare for them is failing in its fiduciary duties. The operator of the Colonial Pipeline and the US government both seem to have distracted from this point by deflecting attention onto DarkSide, the allegedly Russian state-backed cyber attacker that debilitated the critical fuel supply n…
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Energy Flux
Japan and Australia attack IEA's ‘net zero’ pathway
Australia and Japan are finding common cause on two incongruous issues: opposition to the International Energy Agency’s net zero roadmap, and exports of ‘green’ ammonia and hydrogen. This absurd situation highlights how both governments are clinging to the status quo even as private investors seek to build new industries around zero-emissions fuels…
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Energy Flux
EU taxonomy wrangling exposes uneven starting points in Europe's ‘net zero’ journey
The EU Commission has pulled off a spectacular fudge by updating its draft taxonomy on sustainable investment but delaying a decision on whether natural gas and nuclear will be deemed ‘sustainable’ investments. The friction underscores how far apart different member states are in their journey towards ‘net zero…
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Energy Flux
National oil companies could be early winners on the road to ‘net zero’
Oil-rich nations face an historic opportunity to seize market share as the world strives to pivot away from crude. State-owned oil companies can either string out supply while rivals fall by the wayside, or race to get their resources to market before it’s too late. Either way, those sitting on the cheapest barrels face fewer risks to monetising their r…
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Energy Flux
CCS captures more US taxpayer dollars as part of Biden’s green jobs drive
The marriage of convenience between the Biden administration and the carbon capture industry is blossoming into a genuine love affair. The White House is going out of its way to put CCS at the front of its plan to revitalise communities hurt by the energy transition – but the industry should expect state support to come with strings attached…
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Energy Flux
IEA grapples with impossible trade-offs in landmark ‘net zero’ roadmap
The International Energy Agency has entered uncharted territory by releasing its first 1.5C Paris-aligned pathway. The Net Zero Emissions (NZE) scenario seeks to strike an impossible balance between political expediency, technological innovation and market realities. Its central call for no new fossil investment marks a significant departure from all pr…
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Energy Flux
‘Red’ hydrogen: Has Russia sparked a battle for H2 market share in Europe?
Good morning and thanks as ever for supporting Energy Flux. I’m humbled that you’re lending me your eyeballs! In today’s issue: ‘Red’ hydrogen: Has Russia sparked a battle for H2 market share in Europe? Nowhere to hide: Satellites take gas flaring battle into space…
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Energy Flux
Net zero effort: We need to talk about the urgent need for behavioural change
Energy investors are often told that solving the climate crisis must be balanced with the equally pressing need to lift people out of poverty. They are also banking on clean technologies to fix wasteful consumption habits. In the first of a two-part series…
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Energy Flux
Net zero impact? Climate summit pledges ‘barely move the carbon needle’
Since #EveryDayIsEarthDay, happy Earth Day! Today’s issue focusses on last week’s bombardment of climate pronouncements: Climate summit pledges ‘barely move the carbon needle’. But change is still coming for every part of the energy industry Pledges: The good, the bad and the ugly…
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Energy Flux
Brace yourself: The energy transition is happening ‘much faster than most realise’
Howdy. We finish the Energy Flux news week with a timely reminder that the speed of disruption in the energy space remains vastly underestimated. In today’s issue: Brace yourself: The energy transition is happening ‘much faster than most realise’ Is the energy transition turning Big Oil companies into ‘subsidy chasers…
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Energy Flux
System change or climate change: Why Biden must abandon his bipartisan instincts
Since Joe Biden emerged as US president-elect, jubilant commentators on energy and climate matters have been falling over each other to highlight the many progressive climate measures that a Democratic administration could implement, even without control of the Senate. Tools at the president’s disposal include executive orders, appointing climate expert…
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Energy Flux
The economic imperative: Recession and social injustice imperil the energy transition
When the economy booms, so do anthropogenic emissions of climate-warming gases. This year, the inverse happened. The pandemic plunged the global economy into its most severe contraction since the Great Depression. Energy-related emissions, which were on a hockey-stick trajectory…
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Energy Flux
Policy miasma: Failure to crack down on methane emissions thwarts EU’s ‘clean hydrogen’ push
The European Commission has done more than probably any international body to advance the issue of climate neutrality on the world stage. Its European Green Deal has set in motion an ambitious policy package intended to set the 27-member bloc on a path towards ‘net zero’ climate emissions by 2050…
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Energy Flux
Backs to the wall: Oil exporting countries double down on fossil fuel subsidies
Fossil fuel-exporting countries are losing touch with their customers. As major import-reliant economies in Europe and Asia funnel large pots of Covid-19 stimulus funding into cleaner sources of energy, the suppliers that they still depend upon for natural gas, oil and coal are doubling down on fossil fuel subsidies—in the hope of keeping their flagship…
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Energy Flux
The shape of change: Incipient megatrends point to multiverse of intertwined energy transitions
The energy transition has barely begun, and its ultimate destination is today unknowable. But several authoritative reports* released recently by the likes of BP, DNV GL and Morgan Stanley offer insights into the forces driving the overall direction of travel. Long-term forecasts and scenario modelling do not lend themselves to concrete conclusions—rath…
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Energy Flux
Moscow manoeuvres to neutralise threat from Europe’s latest hydrogen push
European policies on climate emissions and clean energy are reshaping the balance of power between the EU and one of its main external energy suppliers: Russia. Europe’s headlong rush to replace natural gas with clean hydrogen has prompted a strategic rethink at Gazprom, Russia’s state gas company that holds the monopoly over Russian pipeline gas exports…
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