Insights from Our Experts

How the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive risks destroying Europe’s forests

By Dominic Scott, Jan Rosenow, Samuel Thomas
In meeting their 2020 renewable energy targets, EU Member States have overseen large increases in renewable power. But this has been accompanied by a less welcome development: a near doubling in the amount of energy derived from solid biomass, which is currently classified as zero carbon. The majority of this biomass comes from the EU’s forests – and a maj... Read More

Reliability is a challenge but the opportunities are endless

By Rasika Athawale
Distribution companies (discoms) are under increased pressure to begin maintaining an uninterrupted supply of electricity. In her recent annual budget speech, India’s finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman noted that the discoms’ “monopoly behaviour” is a deterrent to the country’s economic growth. As a means of correcting the problems, Sitharaman annou... Read More

Fit and fair: The case for a European fund for targeted renovation

By Louise Sunderland, Samuel Thomas
This week European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans revealed that any extension of carbon pricing to heating and transport would be accompanied by a “climate action social fund.” He states the purpose of this fund is to compensate for possible adverse effects, especially for the most vulnerable citizens. Our new report Pricing is just the Icing a... Read More

Rugby, and the art of regulating energy in times of uncertainty

By Bram Claeys, Dominic Scott
Here’s an analogy you weren’t expecting: Regulating energy is, surprisingly, much like regulating the sport of rugby. Regulators in both areas contend with challenges from a number of fronts. Rugby “regulators” have had to, over time, adapt the game to please players, fans and sponsors to keep the sport viable and entertaining. Energy regulators are also ... Read More

Non-wires alternatives can be a solution to India’s grid reliability challenge

By Rasika Athawale
India’s electricity regulators, at the central and state level, are tasked with setting appropriate regulations and standards that govern grid reliability and protect consumer rights. While the incidence of complete blackout is rare, the reliability of distribution networks — better known as discoms in India — is below par, especially in rural areas. One... Read More

How Electrifying Trucks Can Help Roadside Neighborhoods Breathe Easier

By David Farnsworth, Camille Kadoch, Nancy Seidman
We know that electrifying trucks, as we wrote last month, can reduce significant amounts of air pollution; it can also have significant health benefits, particularly for frontline communities. Analysis by Alexander Meitiv and Ann Xu for Texas A&M’s Transportation Institute finds that, by electrifying just 40% of existing, predominantly diesel-fueled medium-... Read More

Building insulation: Is hydrogen our get out of jail free card?

By Jan Rosenow
In the board game Monopoly, an important feature is the ‘get out of jail free’ card, which allows players who end up in jail to avoid paying a fine to get out. In recent months, gas industry representatives have suggested that, when it comes to decarbonising buildings, hydrogen is their get out of jail free card. They argue that eliminating emissions from ... Read More

India’s electric grid reliability and its importance in the clean energy transition

By Rasika Athawale
Not too long ago, electricity consumers across states in India used to suffer long and frequent power outages. Daily or weekly load shedding – pre-defined intervals for planned power supply cut-off – was so prevalent that people used to plan their routine around their distribution company’s (discom’s) load shedding calendar. That changed substantially a c... Read More

Sweetening the deal for heat decarbonisation

By Samuel Thomas
Many governments recognise the link between sugar consumption, obesity and diabetes. As a result, sugar taxes are now in place in more than 50 jurisdictions, including nine European countries. The UK and Ireland introduced modest sugary drinks taxes in 2018. One year later, sugar consumption from soft drinks in the UK had fallen by 10%. If only reducing carbon... Read More

How to get from a cottage industry to a million heat pumps a year

By Jan Rosenow, Pedro Guertler, Richard Lowes
The UK has made incredible strides in decarbonising its power system beyond what many thought was possible. Carbon emissions were at a record low over the recent Easter weekend. While heat pumps have been seen as a strategically important sustainable heat technology for years, the rapid progress in the power sector offers an urgent opportunity to decarbonise heat... Read More