Energy Exchange

An all-inclusive way to look at energy transition in New Jersey

By Elizabeth B. Stein and Cole Jermyn

New Jersey, like many other states, has been hard at work developing a strategy to drastically reduce its own climate impact. The state’s residents are already experiencing more than their share of climate change. With 130 miles of coastline, including population centers near much-loved beaches, more frequent extreme weather events are an existential threat to the state.

The state’s Energy Master Plan identifies and coordinates efforts, in various parts of the economy, to achieve a sustainable pathway to substantial decarbonization by 2050. But a new study, proposed by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, that seeks to estimate the financial impact of these efforts to eliminate fossil fuels on gas and electric utility customers, is infected with methodological flaws and faulty assumptions that would put it out of step with the state’s energy and climate policy.

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Posted in Clean Energy, New Jersey / Language: / Comments are closed

The twin crises of energy supply and climate have the same solution

Today’s energy system has become a liability we can no longer afford. As dependence on oil and gas restrains the response to Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine, scientists on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change this week issued yet another urgent warning that society is running out of time to avoid dangerous climate change caused by fossil fuel emissions.

Politicians and pundits say we must choose which problem to solve — protect the economy or protect the planet. But the twin crises of energy and climate have the same solution: the fastest possible transformation of our global energy system.

To those who want to prioritize the energy crisis, they must contend with the reality that there are no big spigots likely to be opened. Pre-Covid, oil and gas production were near record highs. Recent company announcements offer only marginal bumps in production, not enough to replace Russian oil or change prices at the pump.

And despite their rhetoric, neither producers nor their financiers show any interest in making the massive investments necessary to change these fundamentals.

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Posted in Methane, Renewable Energy / Language: / Comments are closed

Climate scientists agree: methane cuts are essential to limit global warming

By Ilissa Ocko and Tianyi Sun

A new report out this week from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is once again shedding more light on the climate crisis. According to the latest research, we’re on a dangerous trajectory that will result in significantly more warming than what policymakers aimed for.

As part of the Paris Climate Agreement — countries across the globe committed to try and limit future temperature rise to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius. This new report not only predicts that we are not on track to meet that goal, it also suggests that even limiting warming to 2 degrees C is highly unlikely based on our current emissions and policies.

A previous IPCC assessment released earlier this year brought into focus the unfortunate reality that we are already experiencing increasingly destructive extreme weather events, rising seas, melting sea ice, habitat loss and other severe impacts of a changing climate at a much faster rate than communities can adapt. The fact that we are not acting fast enough to avert much worse impacts is disappointing news.

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Posted in Methane / Language: / Comments are closed

Hydrogen is booming: 3 things investors need to know to reduce their risk

By Jake Hiller

The U.S. Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act has set off a flurry of competition among states for a piece of the $8 billion in direct funding and tax credits the law provides for four “hydrogen hubs.” Last week, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Arkansas announced a joint bid, and New Mexico said it will also join the fray.

The role proposed for hydrogen in the EU’s climate transition plan lays the groundwork for a surge of investment there as well. China is in the race, too, with $20 billion in public funding already made available to projects.

A parallel rush to hydrogen is underway in the private sector. According to the Hydrogen Council and McKinsey, more than 350 large-scale projects worth $500 billion have already been announced, with hydrogen investments growing by roughly $1 billion per week. As Goldman Sachs recently wrote, “Policy, affordability and scalability seem to be converging to create unprecedented momentum for the clean hydrogen economy.”

How can investors boost the potential of their hydrogen stakes?

Hydrogen has a number of strengths as an energy carrier and decarbonization pathway. Its ability to generate both heat and electricity, its high energy content relative to its weight and its potential for storage either as a liquid or a gas make it particularly attractive for hard-to-abate sectors such as steel, cement, shipping and aviation. Read More »

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Quickly reducing methane along with CO2 could help save Earth’s sea ice

Check out EDF’s newest study: “The value of early methane mitigation in preserving Arctic summer sea ice.” Available now in Environmental Research Letters.

Posted in Methane / Language: / Comments are closed

States have an opportunity to be more ambitious in new “action plan” on zero-emission trucks, buses

The drive toward a zero-emission future logged another mile of progress after the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management, representing a coalition of 16 states, the Province of Quebec, and Washington D.C. last week unveiled its draft action plan to put more electric trucks and buses on U.S. roads.

The draft model action plan represents an excellent roadmap for these states as they aim to achieve the zero-emission sales targets outlined in the MOU they all signed back in July 2020: 30% of new truck and bus sales by 2030 and 100% by 2050. Importantly, the plan was developed in collaboration with EJ and community advocates, which is an indispensable component of the policymaking process.

Given that these states represent about one-third of the U.S. truck market, this commitment – and the plan to achieve it – are both important pieces of the puzzle to support increased adoption of zero-emission trucks and buses.

However, states have an opportunity to enact more ambitious goals than the ones set out in the NESCAUM MOU and model action plan – one they can and should seize to address the significant health and climate concerns posed by trucks and buses. Read More »

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