EWG Newsletter 3 - November 2015
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Irrational WEO 2015 Energy Scenarios, 100% Renewables Feasible in 139 Countries, Emerging Markets' Record Investments in Renewables

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

In November, Energy Watch Group has released two comprehensive analyses of the International Energy Agency’s annual World Energy Outlook report. The IEA keeps massively underestimating the potential of renewables while overrating conventional energy. Meanwhile, 100% renewable power is feasible in 139 countries, according to a new scientific study. And in 2015, emerging markets have for the first time invested more in renewables than industrial countries. These news and more in our EWG newsletter.
Energy Watch Group (EWG) is an international network of scientists and parliamentarians. We commission research projects and publish independent studies on global energy developments. Our mission is to provide energy policy - and you via this newsletter - with objective information on global energy developments!

Global Energy News

IEA under Pressure to Release Realistic Energy Scenarios

Following its analysis of the IEA’s misleading projections in the last decades, the Energy Watch Group took a closer look at the World Energy Outlook 2015, released on November 10. Even though the IEA spreads positive messages, the actual figures reveal serious errors and inadequately low forecasts. In its most optimistic scenarios the IEA expects no annual market growth for both wind and solar PV. A detailed take on the IEA’s solar projections can be found here.

Copyright: Energy Watch Group

With the piling criticism among others by Carbon Tracker  and a Hungarian oil and gas company, the global community increasingly questions the IEA credibility as energy analyst. In Finland, the government is being put under pressure for having based its policies on the misleading IEA forecasts.

139 Countries Can Get All of their Power from Renewable Sources

100% renewable energy is technically and economically feasible in 139 countries, the new study by the EWG Member Marc Jacobson and Mark Delucchi shows. The study highlights how these countries can generate the energy for households, businesses, industry, transportation and agriculture from wind, solar and hydropower technologies by 2050. If all 139 countries follow the plan for permanently ditching fossil fuels, it will open up a net gain of some 22 million jobs. The change would also lead to cleaner air, which can prevent 3.3 to 4.6 million premature deaths, occuring every year due to atmospheric pollution. The main barriers are still social and political, the authors conclude.

G20 Subsidize Fossil Fuel Production with $452 Billion a Year 

The G20 countries are providing $452 billion annually in subsidies for the production of fossil fuels - four times as much as for renewable energy, a new study by the think tank Overseas Development Institute reveals. The UK was the only state of the seven major industrial nations (G7) to have increased its oil and gas subsidies. The British government has promoted fossil fuels with around $9 billion in 2013 and 2014 and at the same time reduced its subsidies for renewables.

The $2 Trillion Stranded Assets Danger Zone

The $2.2 trillion projects earmarked by fossil fuel companies up until 2025 are at risk of stranded assets, the latest report by Carbon Tracker shows. Oil represents around two-thirds of the financial risk but a fifth of the carbon risk. Coal carries around half of the carbon risk, but only a tenth of the financial risk. The US has the greatest risk exposure followed by Canada, China and Australia, according to the report.

Emerging Markets's Record Investments in Renewables 

In 2014, emerging markets invested a record $126 billion in clean energy, 39% more than in the prior year, according to a new analysis by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. For the first time, more than half the world's annual investments in clean energy have come from emerging markets. China dominated, adding 35GW of clean energy, more than the US, the UK and France combined. China, Brazil, Chile, South Africa, and India were the top-markets, attracting capital for low-carbon energy projects.  

Science Update

Economics of Global LNG Trading Based on Hybrid PV-Wind Power Plants

A new study by Dr. Christian Breyer, co-chairman of the EWG scientific board and professor for Solar Economy at Lappeenranta University of Technology, introduces a new value chain design for liquefied natural gas (LNG) and a business case for hybrid PV-wind power plants. The value chain is based on renewable electricity converted by power-to-gas facilities into synthetic natural gas, which is finally liquefied into LNG. The study shows that this renewable-LNG can be economically competitive with fossil LNG. The substitution of fossil fuels by hybrid PV-wind can create a 9.5TW PV-wind market potential.

Eurasian Super Grid for 100% Renewable Energy Power Supply

A new study by Bogdanov and Breyer (2015) highlights the prospects of a SuperGrid connecting different Eurasian energy resources to reach synergy effects and enabling a 100% renewables supply. For every sub-region the study defined a cost-optimal distributed and centralized mix of energy technologies and storage options, optimal capacities and hourly generation. The results show that a 100% RE-based system is lower in cost than nuclear and fossil carbon capture and storage alternatives in Eurasia.


EWG News

Energy Watch Group Keeps on Growing

As our international network of scientists and parliamentarians is growing, we are happy to announce our new members:
  • Sylvia Kotting-Uhl, Member of the German Parliament
  • Dr. Leonid Dombrovsky, Institute for High Temperatures under the Russian Academy of Sciences
  • Adam Brandt, Member of the Australian Parliament
  • Dr. Georgy Ermolenko, Institute for Energy, Moscow Higher School of Economics
  • Dr. Rudolf Rechsteiner, Department of Environmental Systems Science, ETH Zurich
Welcome on board!

Energy Watch Group is now on Twitter!

Please follow: @EWGnetwork. All our latest reports and analyses brought to you via Twitter.

EWG at Sustainable Energy Forum in CIS and Central Asia

On November, 17-18, some 100 representatives of government, business and international organizations discussed the prospects of renewable energy markets in the CIS and Central Asia at the SEF-2015 in Almaty, Kazakhstan. EWG was a Partner and keynote speaker at the conference. More details on the conference can be found here.

EWG in the Press

The latest EWG report, revealing that the International Energy Agency has consistently undermined wind and PV potential in the last decade, was well covered by international media. VOX has published a very comprehensive take. Following the release of the WEO 2015, EWG President Hans-Josef Fell called on the IEA to finally release realistic scenarios. The public pressure on the IEA keeps growing, as journalists increasingly question the agency’s credibility.
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