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After Ukraine – The great clean energy acceleration

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  1. skybrian
    From the article: […] (Note: it seems that delaying Diablo Canyon’s retirement isn’t a done deal and in any case it’s not relevant for Europe.) Conservation:

    From the article:

    according to Brussels-based think tank Breugel, by the middle of September European governments had committed EUR 500 billion ($480 billion) to keeping the lights on. And this may be just a start: Norway’s energy major Equinor has warned that European energy market participants might need $1.5 trillion in liquidity guarantees to continue to operate. Clearly, this can only go on for so long before the bond markets exact punishment. A re-run of the European financial crisis of 2011 cannot be ruled out.

    Other than spending public money, many of our leaders spent the early months of the crisis arguing for whatever energy technology they had always favored – be that renewables, heat pumps and electric vehicles, hydrogen, fracking or nuclear power. Of course, none of these can be deployed fast enough to make much of a difference over the next two critical winters.


    There is a limited number of things that could actually help over the coming two winters compensate for the loss of Russian gas: energy efficiency; sourcing more gas from non-Russian sources; keeping existing nuclear plants online and bringing back those that are offline; burning more coal; and, as a last resort, demand reduction – rolling power cuts, gas rationing and the like. That’s it. The rest, when it comes to helping Ukraine, is noise.

    No fewer than 25 Floating Storage and Regasification Units – which enable LNG to be injected into the European system – are in various stages of planning in Europe, with the first ones due to arrive this winter. Germany alone has decided on locations for no fewer than five, though supply negotiations are tricky, with LNG suppliers angling for long-term contracts and buyers angling to avoid them as they interfere with their climate plans.

    On nuclear, Belgium has decided to keep its remaining plants running until 2035. California has given Diablo Canyon a reprieve beyond its 2025 planned closure. Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has firmly backed the reopening of more of his country’s plants, shuttered since Fukushima. Germany, however, has decided to allow two of its last three plants to remain operational “to provide an emergency reserve”, but it is hard to see what would constitute an emergency if this winter’s supply squeeze does not qualify. French engineers, meanwhile, are working round the clock to bring back online as many as possible of the 32 plants (out of a total of 56) that are currently offline for routine maintenance or because of corrosion.

    (Note: it seems that delaying Diablo Canyon’s retirement isn’t a done deal and in any case it’s not relevant for Europe.)


    Germany’s Chancellor may be talking up hydrogen, but his ministries are beavering away, demolishing planning barriers to renewable energy projects and accelerating the electrification of heat and transport. No new natural gas boilers may be installed after 2024. Heat pump installations across 21 of the 27 EU member states have doubled over the last four years and are now growing by 34% per year. Plug-in vehicles account for around 20% of new car registrations in the EU, up from less than 5% three years ago. Europe is not just going cold turkey on Russian energy for a couple of years – it is looking to go clean for good.

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