New Indonesian energy price regulations will boost coal use but could offer gas an opportunity to support solar in the country’s east.
ONE of the biggest barriers to clean energy’s advance has been finding funding to bolster its growth. But as financing has become cheaper and easier, global investment in clean energy has risen significantly, from $60.2 billion in 2004 to $310 billion in 2014 – a whopping 415% jump.
THE plunge in oil prices has been portrayed as a severe blow to clean energy deployment, particularly renewables. But the effects will be modest in major electricity markets – where the bulk of the clean energy transformation has taken place so far – and where renewables mostly compete with gas and coal.
THIS year, if all goes to plan, Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg will be the first pilots to circumnavigate the world in a solar-powered plane. Solar Impulse 2 will be the only aeroplane of perpetual endurance, able to fly day and night without a drop of fuel, thanks to its thin-film solar cells, clean energy motors and super-efficient batteries.
AT LEAST one of the major oil companies, perhaps Total or Statoil, will turn its back on fossil fuels within the next three years, following in the footsteps of European utility E.ON, a former industry advisor predicts.
INTERNATIONAL oil companies claim gas and renewables are ideal bedfellows, while many environmentalists believe the rise of gas, particularly shale gas, will delay the world’s shift away from fossil fuels.
International oil companies (IOCs) are betting big on gas, particularly on capital-intensive liquefied natural gas (LNG) schemes that they hope will find buyers in Asia, where energy demand is soaring. But the rapid rise of clean-technology energy systems and fuels could snatch away potential new markets, especially in developing economies.