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Low Carbon Pulse - Report on Reports - Edition 1

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    Welcome to Edition 1 of Report on Reports – sharing summaries of papers, reports and studies published in respect of net-zero emissions (NZE), and related matters. This edition covers paper, reports and studies published during July 2021, and some from June (noting that the Report on Reports idea arose in July 2021). As noted in recent editions of Low Carbon Pulse, each Report on Reports is intended to provide a summary of key findings.

    All reports and studies in this Edition 1 of Report on Reports, were covered in the editions of Low Carbon Pulse published during July 2021: Edition 21, click here, and Edition 22, click here.

    A PDF version of this article is available for download below.

    The following table details each paper, report and study covered in this July Report on Reports, and has a link to it:

    APPG Report
    The role of hydrogen in powering industry
    DB PlanDecarbonising Transport – A Better, Greener Britain
    ETC Report Bioresources within a Net-Zero Emissions Economy: Making a Sustainable Approach Possible
     EHB Report Analysing future demand, supply, and transport of hydrogen
     H2E GO Paper H2ero Net Zero: different energy carriers require separate systems of guarantees of origin
    H2E Maritime Paper How hydrogen can help decarbonise the maritime sector
    IKA CCS / CCUS SEA Report Carbon capture, utilisation and storage: the opportunity in Southeast Asia
    IEA Hydropower Report Hydropower Special Market Report
    IEA Smart Cities Empowering Cities for a Net Zero Future- Unlocking resilient, smart, sustainable urban energy systems
    IRENA WETO World Energy Transitions Outlook
    IRENA RP Report Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2020
    OIES ET Report Energy Transition: Modelling the Impact of Natural Gas

    APPG - Hydrogen report:

    • Title, and provenance, of report: The role of hydrogen in powering industry (APPG Report): The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) in the UK published the APPG Report. The APPG Report was researched by Connect, and was funded by Baxi, Bosch, Cadent, EDF Energy, Energy and Utilities Alliance, Equinor, Johnson Matthey, National Grid, Northern Gas Networks, SGN and Shell (all key players in UK energy markets).

      Neither APPG nor the APPG Report have formal standing in the UK Parliamentary context, including in a policy setting context, but the members of APPG, and the organisations funding the APPG Report, make the publication, and the contents, of the APPG Report significant.
    • Purpose of APPG Report: To identify "measures that can be taken to support the overall delivery of decarbonising industry through hydrogen, and establishing the UK as a global leader in hydrogen technology". (The concept of establishing the UK as a global leader in hydrogen technology, informs at least one of the recommendation contained in the APPG Report (i.e., the third recommendation).
    • Findings: Ten recommendations:

      The UK Government must continue to expand beyond its existing commitments to 5 GW of low-carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030;
      2. Any forthcoming policies must be complementary of the wider UK low-carbon commitments.
      Comment: This may be read as a "motherhood statement", it is not if read with the detail that sits beneath it: which detail notes that it is critical to co-ordinate and to streamline policy settings and implementation;
      3. The UK Government must commit to incentivising hydrogen production within the UK as opposed to importing hydrogen.
      Comment: This recommendation is consistent with the purpose of the APPG Report, but overtime it is likely to succumb to lower cost imports of hydrogen, in particular Green Hydrogen;
      4. The UK Government must align hydrogen production pathways with nuclear technology to enhance hydrogen production.
      Comment: The UK Government's Ten point plan for a green industrial revolution (Ten Point Plan), provides for the development of the nuclear power sector (Point 3 of Ten Point Plan), a low-carbon source of electrical energy, that may be used to produce hydrogen. In this context, the recommendation is a good one;
      5. A UK wide hydrogen network to support the transport sector is required, include a larger-scale implementation of hydrogen refuelling stations.
      Comment: Decarbonising Transport – A Better, Greener Britain states that close to 90% of GHG emissions arising from the transport sector in the UK arise from road transport, and as such development of refuelling stations, and recharging stations, is key;
      6. Industrial clusters will be key catalysts for driving forward the UK's decarbonisation of industry using CCS / CCUS and hydrogen and should be an immediate priority for the UK Government.
      Comment: This recommendation is a good one, and in many ways reflects what is already happening, with six clusters (some may say seven) identified and being developed by the private sector (including some of the organisations funding the APPG Report), with five clusters and hubs identified on July 30, 2021 (see Edition 23 of Low Carbon Pulse) as eligible for the Track 1 CCS Programme;
      7. Changes in regulation by the UK Government are required to support hydrogen's role in powering industry.
      Comment: This recommendation is a good one, and like Recommendations 5 and 6, it is a recommendation "at home" in any jurisdiction globally: each country and economic bloc needs to develop laws and regulations that provide safety and certainty;
      8. For hydrogen to expand in the UK, a technology neutral approach is required for all types of energy systems.
      Comment: This recommendation goes to the core of Blue Hydrogen versus Green Hydrogen, and one being preferred over the other. The recommendation is a good one, not least by Blue Hydrogen, using subsidised CCS / CCUS, is needed to develop the supply side for hydrogen, with Green Hydrogen likely to displace Blue Hydrogen;
      9. Significant and long-term financial support is required for the development, deployment and operation of hydrogen technologies:
      Comment: Like Recommendations 5, 6, 7 and 8, this is a recommendation that is at home in any country, with support required for CCS / CCUS to produce Blue Hydrogen, and a likely role for Government to allow the deployment of Green Hydrogen production and storage technologies; and
      10. Ofgem must ensure that the hydrogen market is subject to effective competition to drive down prices for consumers.
      Comment: This is a laudable recommendation, but it is likely "to care of itself" as choices will exist for consumers in respect of many consumer choices, critically, the price of energy for the daily drive.

    Department for Transport: Decarbonising Transport – A Better, Greener Britain:

    • Title, and provenance, of report: Decarbonising Transport – A Better, Greener Britain (DB Plan): The Department for Transport in the UK released the DB Plan on July 14, 2021 (the same day as the European Commission released its Fit for 55 package (see Edition 22 of Low Carbon Pulse)). The DB Plan may be regarded as a consolidation of initiatives and plans already developed to provide the policy setting framework for the decarbonisation of the UK's transport sector.
    • Purpose of DB Plan: To act as a point of consolidation for decarbonisation commitments across the transport sector, and more importantly, to outline the key enablers to decarbonisation. Edition 22 of Low Carbon Pulse outlined the key enablers, and they are considered in more detail below. Rather than report further on the DB Plan, the key facts and statistics are the focus.
    • Scale of Decarbonisation required:

      Total GHG emissions: In Q1 of 2021, the UK passed the half way mark to achieving NZE: the reporting in the DB Plan has yet to catch up with this achievement. So as to provide a like-for-like comparison with the facts and statistics it is necessary to use the 2019 statistics in the DB Plan. In 2019, human activities in the UK gave rise to 414.1 million tonnes CO2 equivalent GHG emissions (414.1 MtCO2-e): at that point, a 48.8% reduction in the mass of GHG emissions arising was required compared to 1990. By any measure, a first rank performance. But a performance that is likely to be accelerated.

      Total Transport sector GHG emissions: On the basis of the same source data, in 2019 the UK domestic transport emissions were 122.15 MtCO2-e, a little short of 30% of all GHG emissions. It is likely that the absolute mass of GHG emissions arising in 2020 was lower because of the impacts of Covid-19, but it may be that the percentage of GHG emissions arising from the transport sector has increased slightly. The transport sector in the UK may be regarded as more difficult to decarbonise than other sectors of the economy. The UK is not the only country in which this the case, but it is eminently achievable in the case of the UK.

      UK domestic transport emissions 2019: The following graphics outline the 2019 level of GHG emissions arising from each segment of the transport sector, and the profile of reductions in GHG emissions to achieve NZE. To achieve NZE, policy settings need to be finalised, funded and implemented.

      View the below figures in the report for further details on decarbonising transport domestic transport GHG emission projects, versus the baseline:
      • UK domestic transport emissions 2019 (page 15)

      • Figure 2: Decarbonising Transport GHG projections for UK domestic emissions (page 45)

      • Figure 5: Decarbonising Transport bus and coach GHG projections, versus the baseline (page 71)

      • Figure 7: Decarbonising Transport rail GHG projections, versus the baseline (page 84)

      • Figure 9: Decarbonising Transport car GHG projections, versus the baseline (page 104)

      • Figure 10: Decarbonising Transport van GHG projections, versus the baseline (page 105)

      • Figure 13: Decarbonising Transport HGV GHG projections, versus the baseline (page 142)

    ETC on Bioresources within a Net-Zero Economy report:

    • Title, and provenance, of report: Bioresources within a Net-Zero Economy : Making a Sustainable Approach Possible (ETC Report): The Energy Transitions Commission (ETC) is a global coalition of leaders from across the energy sector (producers and users). The ETC publishes reports from time to time. (In addition to the ETC Report, in April 2021 the ETC published the excellent, Making Clean Electrification Possible: 30 Years to Electrify the Global Economy and Reaching climate objectives: the role of carbon dioxide removals).
    • Purpose of ETC Report: To assess the extent of the role of the use of bio-resources to provide energy carriers on a sustainable basis. This is in the context of increased interest on bio-energy sector, with most if not all reports on studies on pathways to achievement of net-zero emissions (NZE) contemplating a material role of bioenergy in the mix by 2050, for example, each of the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), contemplate that bio-energy is a pillar to decarbonisation.
    • Findings:

      1. "Not all biomass is good biomass"
      : There is a working assumption that any bio-resource (i.e., biomass) is a renewable resource, and that the use of any renewable resource to derive or to produce energy (electrical or heat) or an energy carrier (gaseous, liquid or solid) is a good thing. All bio-resources contain carbon. Decomposition of carbon gives rise to CH4 and oxidation (partial or complete) of carbon gives rise to CO2 (and NOx and SOx: each a GHG).

      If GHG emissions arising during production of energy or an energy carrier are captured and stored, and renewable electrical energy is the source of all electrical and heat energy to produce an energy carrier, on use, GHGs will arise. The theory is that the GHGs produced on use will be absorbed because bio-resources will be grown to absorb those GHGs. As a matter of theory, this is a little rough-and-ready, and by no means sound in all instances. As a matter of practice, this is rougher-and-readier, and not sound in many instances.

      2. Bioresources should have low lifecycle emissions and growth must comply with three rules:
      For the theory to be firmer, production of bio-resources should take into account the "opportunity cost" related to carbon that should be absorbed without intervention. Critically, there are three rules, growth of any bio-resource, must not: (a) compete with use of land for food production; (b) trigger any land use change (direct or indirect) that could release absorbed carbon into the atmosphere; and (c) impact biodiversity negatively.

      3. Use of bioresources for bioenergy:
      On the basis of compliance with the three rules on a strict basis, the ETC Report estimates that by 2050 on a sustainable basis it will be possible to derive up between 40 and 60 EJ pa from bio-energy. (The ETC Report outlines the conditions to deriving more than 60 EJ from bio-resources as bio-energy.)

    Report Card on EC - A hydrogen strategy for a climate neutral Europe:

    • Title and provenance: July 8, 2021, was the first anniversary of the publication of the Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions – A hydrogen strategy for a climate-neutral Europe (EU Hydrogen Strategy). In Edition 21 of Low Carbon Pulse, it was noted that the July Report on Reports would include a piece assessing progress.

      Given that many of the actions in the EU Hydrogen Strategy contemplate achievement in 2021, the thought is to assess progress at the end of 2021, likely as part of the fourth article in the Shift to Hydrogen (S2H2): Elemental Change series on Hydrogen Plans, Roadmaps and Strategies (publication of which has been deferred until the UK Hydrogen Strategy is published).
    • Purpose of EU Hydrogen Strategy: To set out a vision of how the European Union (EU) can turn clean hydrogen into a viable solution to decarbonise different sectors of the economy over time, including installing at least 6 GW of renewable hydrogen electrolysers in the EU by 2024 and 40 GW by 2030. The production of Green Hydrogen is the subject to specific targets, the reference to clean hydrogen (see the note below) does not limit the EU Hydrogen Strategy to Green Hydrogen.

      The use of hydrogen to decarbonise is an integral part of the European Green Deal.

      (Note: For these purposes, clean hydrogen means renewable hydrogen, i.e., "hydrogen produced through electrolysis of water (in an electrolyser, powered by electricity), with electricity stemming from renewable resources. The full life-cycle of greenhouse gas emissions of the production of renewable hydrogen are close to zero. Renewable hydrogen may [also] be produced through the reforming of biogas (instead of natural gas) or biochemical conversion of biomass, if in compliance with sustainability requirements".)

    European Hydrogen Backbone – Analysing future demand, supply, and transport of hydrogen:

    • Title and provenance: The European Hydrogen Backbone (EHB) is an initiative of European Gas Transmission System Operators (TSOs) (the Initiative): it covers 23 TSOs, with gas networks across 19 EU member states.

      In June 2021, the EHB launched a paper entitled Analysing future demand, supply, and transport of hydrogen (EHB Study).

      In June 2020, the Initiative published a paper outlined an initial vision of the EHB. An updated report was published in April 2021. These papers outline the physical assets and infrastructure that are available for use to haul hydrogen across Europe, anticipating assets and infrastructure across 21 EU members states will comprise the EHB as currently contemplated.
    • Purpose of the EHB Study: The EHB Study (intended to complement the existing papers from the Initiative) considers the development of supply and demand of hydrogen across the continent, as part of progress to achieved "a climate-neutral continent". The EHB Study considers both Blue and Green Hydrogen.
    • Findings: Key findings of the EHB Study were reported in Edition 20 of Low Carbon Pulse, in terms of demand and supply. View figure 1 "Overview of hydrogen supply potential and hydrogen demand in 2050" on page 8.

    Hydrogen Europe (H2E)– Different energy carriers required separate systems of guarantees of origin:

    • Title, and provenance, of paper: Different energy carriers require separate systems of guarantees of origin (H2E GO Paper): Hydrogen Europe (H2E) is an organisation drawing its membership from across the private and the public sector, providing thought leadership and direction for the hydrogen industry in Europe, viewing hydrogen as "the other leg of the energy transition – alongside renewable electricity". H2E represents the interests of the European Hydrogen industry, and it publishes papers, reports and studies from time to time.
    • Purpose of H2E Paper: To assess the current Guarantees of Origin (GO) system under the Renewable Energy Directive (RED), including to assess any shortcomings in its design.
    • Findings: Four recommendations as follows, each of which feeds into the design and architecture of the RED as it relates to GOs:

      Create a distinct hydrogen GO, separate from electricity and gas.

      Encourage the use of GOs to prove the renewable character, and CO2 intensity, of electricity procured for the production of renewable hydrogen.

      Initiate the development of a global system of Hydrogen Guarantees of Origin (H2GOs), with track-and-trace and auditing functionality.

      Set clear ground rules that avoid false or misleading claims. Enable the cancellation of H2GOs, and the issuance of a natural gas GO when physical volumes are blended.

      These recommendations are carried forward through detailed recommendations on four T's: Traceability and Trackability, Tradability, and Transparency.

    H2E – How Hydrogen Can Help Decarbonise The Maritime Sector:

    • Title, and provenance, of paper: How Hydrogen Can Help Decarbonize The Maritime Sector (H2E Maritime Paper). As noted above, H2E represents the interests of the European Hydrogen industry. As might be expected, H2E is seeking to promote the development of the hydrogen industry, critically, in each area that may be regarded as difficult to decarbonise. In the area of shipping, H2E has been advocating that the EU takes the lead in the absence of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) doing so. The H2E Maritime Paper provides helpful background on GHG emissions arising from the shipping industry, and IMO initiatives.
    • Purpose of H2E Maritime Paper: To assess the potential of hydrogen and hydrogen-based fuels to contribute to the decarbonisation of the maritime sector, noting there are challenges, and, in the context of those challenges, to identify what the EU can do to address them. In this context, H2E notes the importance of the EU taking the lead, for example, the inclusion of "the maritime sector in the European Union Emission Trading Scheme [EU ETS]". As reported in Edition 22 of the Low Carbon Pulse, the shipping has been included in the EU ETS.
    • Findings: The key points that arise from the H2E Maritime Paper are as follows:
      • the choice of the fuel of the future for the shipping industry is uncertain. Factors that need to be balanced are:
        • cost and ease of storage on board, including volume, noting that energy density is a key factor;
        • for smaller vessels and short distance vessels, pure hydrogen is convenient, and cheaper than other future fuels, for larger vessels and longer distance vessels, ammonia is the cheapest future fuel; and
        • a considerable amount of clean hydrogen will be required, which goes to assurance, cost and quantity, and timing, of supply development;
      • the choice of Green Hydrogen as the future fuel enables a 100% reduction of Well-to-Wake (WTW) GHG emissions;
      • the choice is not simple, and certainly not a Green Hydrogen only choice: there is a range of choices:
        • Green Hydrogen or Green Ammonia (combination / synthesis of H2 and N);
        • E-Fuels (or Bio-fuels): e-diesel, e-kerosene, e-LNG and e-methanol; and
        • Blue Hydrogen and Blue Ammonia.

        The H2E Maritime Paper considers each possible future fuel for the shipping industry, and each facet that arises.

    IEA Reports:

    The International Energy Agency (IEA) was established in 1974 as a response to the oil price crises during that year. The IEA now comprises 30 member countries, and 8 association countries. 

    The IEA has become one of the leading energy data collection and analysis organisations, and from this key to information provision and to research globally.

    IEA Reports during July, 2021 (and late June):

    • Energy Prices: Overview;
    • Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage: The Opportunity in Southeast Asia (CCS / CCUS SEA Report);
    • Hydropower Special Market Report – Analysis and Forecast to 2030 (Hydropower Report);
    • Trends and developments in electric vehicle markets;
    • Empowering Cities for a Net Zero Future: Unlocking resilient, smart, sustainable urban energy systems (Smart Cities Report); and
    • Sustainability Tracker: Monitoring Progress towards sustainable recovery from Covid-19 crisis.

    For the purposes of this July 2021, Report on Reports, the CCS / CCUS SEA Report, the Hydropower Report the Smart Cities Report are reported upon in more detail, with headlines only included in respect of the other reports, first those headlines:

    • Energy Prices: Overview: Rightly the IEA regards monitoring end-use energy prices as critical for the purposes of understanding markets, and framing policy settings, and as end-use energy prices increasingly cease to be regulated, this monitoring becomes ever more important, and relevant. The Overview is commended because it looks at energy prices and energy taxes;
    • Trends and development in electric vehicle markets: The IEA notes that in 2020 "the global electric car stock hit the 10 million mark": this is 1% of total global car stock, but in 2020, 3 million new battery electric vehicles (BEVs) joined the global stock. Low Carbon Pulse will continue to cover developments in BEVs.
    • Sustainability Tracker: Monitoring Progress towards sustainable recovery from Covid-19 crisis: The Sustainability Tracker provides a report card against the IEA Sustainable Recovery Plan (IEA SRP) from 2020. The high level summary is that governments, globally, have committed to spend an additional USD 350 billion a year between 2021 and 2023, but this is 35% of the amount envisaged as required by the IEA SRP, which is the amount that the IEA considers necessary to put the world on track to achieve NZE by 2050.

    CCS / CCUS SEA Report:

    • Purpose: It is recognised that CCS / CCUS has a key role to play in clean energy transition in Southeast Asia: CCS / CCUS may capture emissions from existing chemical, petrochemical and power production, and other industrial activities, including cement, glass, and iron and steel. Regional cooperation to store CO2 captured will accelerate capture and storage, and transportation, development.
    • Findings and strategic priorities: To facilitate the development of CCS / CCUS regional co-operation is required as is the development of legal and regulatory frameworks consistent with policy settings, including incentives under those policies. The key findings from the CCS / CCUS SEA Report are the strategic priorities for CCUS in Southeast Asia as follows:
      • Increase regional cooperation and collaboration: to identify and to develop opportunities for shared infrastructure development, and to develop CCS / CCUS capabilities;
      • Identify and develop on-shore and off-shore CO2 storage resources in parallel with the development of robust legal and regulatory frameworks for safe and secure storage of CO2, and in this context to leverage support available from policy banks;
      • Encourage early investment in CCUS projects, critically, pilot projects to demonstrate feasibility and scalability, and to make use of industrial hubs as hubs for carbon capture; and
      • Build International support and financing for CCUS in Southeast Asia, critically, to access grant and loan support, noting that on-going subsidy support (of the kind that is provided in Europe) is less likely to be feasible, and as such upfront grant and loan support is to key. 

    Hydropower Report:

    • Purpose: It is recognised that hydropower (pumped storage, reservoir and run-of-river) capacity has grown significantly since 2000, and that the growth of the sector needs to continue as part of progress towards NZE

      View figure 1.1 "Low-carbon electricity generation by technology and shares in global electricity supply, 2020" on page 16.

      In this context, the IEA presents forecasts for the potential for growth. The IEA reminds the reader that hydropower is the backbone of existing low-carbon electricity generation, providing almost half of the low-carbon electricity generation.
    • Findings and priority areas: It is recognised that hydropower has a key role to play, and a greater role to play in progress towards NZE. Looking forward to 2030, the bar chart below indicates that headline hydropower capacity is projected to increase by 230 GW (net, taking account of retirement of existing capacity). View figure 3.1 "Global hydropower capacity forecast, retirements, and gross and net additions, 2020 and 2030" on page 43. 

      While this represents a 17% increase 2021 to 2030, it is a slower rate of increase than occurred 2010-2020. The IEA considers that this slower rate of increase will be a missed opportunity. In this context, the IEA identifies seven priority areas for governments so as to avoid missing the opportunity:
      • Move hydropower up the energy and climate policy agenda;
      • Enforce robust sustainability standards for all hydropower development with streamlined rules and regulations;
      • Recognise the critical role of hydropower for electricity security and reflect value through remuneration mechanisms;
      • Maximise the flexibility capabilities of existing hydropower plants through measure to incentivise their modernisation;
      • Support the expansion of pumped storage hydropower;
      • Mobilise affordable financing for sustainable hydropower development in developing economies; and
      • Take steps to ensure to price in the value of multiple public benefits provided by hydropower plants.

    The Hydropower Report is well-rounded, and it considers the challenges of hydropower, including cost.

    Smart Cities Report:

    • Purpose: It is recognised more than 50% of the world's population lives in cities, and that this concentration will increase as the pace of urbanisation increases, and the standards of living increase, overtime in countries whose populations are continuing to grow, with 70% of the world's population expected to live in cities by 2050. Currently, 70% of CO2 emissions arise from activities undertaken in cities, and as the number of cities increases, and the populations of them increases, the reduction of GHG emissions arising from cities will be critical to the reduction of over 80% of the GHG emissions arising globally so as to achieve NZE. In this context, energy production, transportation and use is central to policy settings in the urban setting. View "Key facts" on page 12. 
    • Findings and recommendations: It is recognised that improved efficiency of energy use is critical in the built environment as is the reduction in GHG emissions arising from urban transport, and of course the increased electrification and the use of low-carbon or no carbon energy carriers, including hydrogen and hydrogen-based fuels. View "The urban influence on energy systems" figure on page 25. 

      Digitisation is seen as a key means of improving efficiency of energy use across all sectors and industries. View "Digital opportunities for clean energy and system-wide efficiency) image on page 40. 

      The IEA makes six recommendations:
      • Design inclusive policies and programmes with people at their core;
      • Build capacity across digitalisation and energy;
      • Ensure timely, robust, transparent access to data;
      • Ensure the availability of finance and promote financial innovation;
      • Promote the development and uptake of international standards and benchmarks; and
      • Create opportunities for sharing and learning.

    While the findings and the recommendations of in the Smart Cities Report are not surprising, the Report is helpful in collating research, and outlining what needs to be done.

    IRENA Reports:

    The Intentional Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) is an intergovernmental organisation supporting countries in the transition to renewable / sustainable energy, and is reported to be actively engaged with more than 180 countries in this endeavour.

    IRENA Reports during July, 2021 (and late June)


    The WETO was long-awaited, not least because it was previewed in Q1 of 2021 (Preview to World Energy Transition Outlook, and reported on in Edition 13 of Low Carbon Pulse). Editions 21 and 22 provide high level summary of the key elements of WETO (and comparison with the IEA Net Zero by 2050 – A Roadmap for Global Energy Sector, the IEA Roadmap). In this report on report, the key facts and statistics are extracted, and presented:

    • Purpose of WETO: The purpose of WETO is to provide "an energy transition pathway aligned with the 1.5OC climate ambition" (i.e., to limit global average temperatures increase to 1.5OC above pre-industrial levels), and in so doing to provide a tool-kit for those developing and implementing policy settings in countries and economic blocs globally. View "IRENA's 1.5°C Scenario" box on page 21. 

      Throughout WETO the Planned Energy Scenario (PES Scenario) and the 1.5OC Scenario (1.5-S) models are considered side by side. This is different from the IEA Roadmap, which uses the specific policy setting model (STEPS) and the announced pledges model (APC).
    • Findings: The findings of WETO are many and varied, and the findings are best summarised in the following graphic that identifies IRENA's assessment of the sources of abatement of GHG emissions to achieve NZE across the energy sector. 
      • Figure S.4 "Carbon emissions abatements under the 1.5°C Scenario (%)" on page 23 shows the abatement as modelled. It needs to be read with the next graphic, figure S.5 "Evolution of emissions with phaseouts of coal and oil, 2021-2050" on page 25 which outlines the progress required to reduce GHG emissions arising from the use of the current mix of technologies, with abatement of GHGs from the use of other the technologies (and other means).
      • How much energy now and then?

        The concepts that arise from the above graphics, are explained equally plainly by reference to total final energy consumption as shown on figure 2.4 "Breakdown of total final energy consumption (TFEC) by energy carrier in 2018 and 2050 (EJ) in the 1.5°C Scenario" on page 71.
      • How much electrical energy now and then?
        The core of energy transition under any model is the need to increase electrical energy from renewable sources, both for direct supply and for the derivation and production of energy carriers (including hydrogen, and hydrogen-based fuels). 

        Figure 2.5 "Electricity generation and capacity by source, 2018 and 2050 (TWh/yr and GW) in the 1.5°C Scenario" on page 73 explains this graphically!

        If there is one graphic in all the papers, reports and studies published in recent times that conveys the magnitude of the level of electrification required, it is this figure 2.5. 

        While other papers, reports and studies may have provided statements that are different (invariably higher) as to the electricity generation and capacity required, this graphic speaks loudly to the scale of what needs to occur in electrical energy generation capacity and electrical energy generated.

        The hard numbers, reflect how hard the task is going to be.
      • How?

        Six Pillars: WETO
        provides six pillars to frame thinking and development policy setting and its implementation: (1).. Energy Conservation and efficiency; (2) Renewables (power and direct uses); (3) Electrification of end use (direct); (4) Hydrogen and its derivatives; (5) CCS and CCUS in industry; and (6) BECCS and other carbon removal measures.

        While the IEA Roadmap has seven pillars, whether six or seven, pillars cover the activities that needed to achieve NZE. In some ways, the pillars are more helpful than the detailed modelling, because they allow the framing of thinking and policy setting and implementation while at the same time showing that certain activities will require more government support than others, because there is differing execution risk.

        Government role: In addition to government policy settings, governments need to take an active role, critically in respect of the right policy settings to encourage the development of renewable electrical energy and grids, ahead of load, the development of CCS / CCUS projects to achieve scale use as quickly as possible, both to capture GHGs and to allow the development of Blue Hydrogen production capacity, to fund or co-fund the development of infrastructure, including recharging and refuelling infrastructure, and critically to consider whether it becomes a "forward-buyer" of hydrogen and hydrogen-based fuels to allow government to provide the right supply and demand side mix, and as such the right price point.

      (As is the case with the IEA Roadmap and BloombergNEF's New Energy Outlook, WETO assesses the pathway through energy transition to NZE across the energy sector. As such, not all activities giving rise to anthropogenic GHGs emissions are covered: in short, abatement of GHG emissions arising from Agriculture, Forestry and other Land Use (AFOLU) and from waste and waste water is not covered in WETO).

      RP Report

    • In what has become an annual event, in July 2021, IRENA released its Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2020. Edition 20 of Low Carbon Pulse reported on the headlines from the RP Report.  Those reading the RP Report tend to focus on the comparative cost of renewable energy versus fossil fuel. 

      The RP Report provides a consistent lens through which to consider and to analyse the development of the renewable energy sector, critically, the scale of development from 2000 to 2020, from 754 GW to 2,799 GW. The accurate and consistent reporting provides confidence in the broader analysis undertaken by IRENA, critically WETO

      At the risk of labouring the point made above as to the scale of development of renewable electrical energy required on the road to achieving NZE, for those who have followed the IRENA Renewable Power Generation Costs reports, the scale of development required has been visible for a while.

    OIES – Energy Transition: Modelling the Impact on Natural Gas

    • Title, and provenance, of paper: The Energy Transition: Modelling the Impact on Natural Gas (OIES Report) was prepared by The Oxford Institute For Energy Studies (OIES), a non-governmental organisation that operates as a research organisation and think tank.
    • Purpose of OIES Report: To share two scenarios on the possible role of natural gas, both stated to have been developed and modelled to be consistent with the sustainable development model of the IEA, which is fully aligned with the Paris Agreement to hold the rise in global average temperature to "well below 2OC … and pursuing efforts to limit [it] to 1.5OC". Each of the two scenarios is compared to business as usual. The OIES Report is helpful as a counter-point to other reports, critically, those that may be regarded as understating the role of natural gas as progress towards NZE is made. Further, the report takes a regional perspective, which may be regarded as critical because the use of natural gas will differ by region.
    • Findings: The key finding is that in Asian markets the use of natural gas will continue to grow as part of energy transition.

    All papers, reports and studies covered in Low Carbon Pulse during July 2021

    All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG)
    The role of hydrogen in powering industry
    Commonwealth Government of Australia, Advisian and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC)
    Australian hydrogen market study – Sector analysis study
    Dii & Roland BergerThe Potential for Green Hydrogen in the GCC Region
    Electric Power Research InstituteImpact of carbon dioxide removal technologies on deep decarbonization of the electric power sector
    Energy Transition CommissionBioresources within a Net-Zero Emissions Economy: Making a Sustainable Approach Possible
    European CommissionA hydrogen strategy for a climate neutral Europe
    European Hydrogen BackboneAnalysing future demand, supply, and transport of hydrogen
    European Union Agency for the Corporation of Energy Regulators (ACER)Transporting Pure Hydrogen by Repurposing Existing Gas Infrastructure: Overview of existing studies and reflections on the conditions for repurposing

    Hydrogen Counsel and McKinsey & Company

    Hydrogen Insights: An updated perspective on hydrogen investment, market development and momentum in China

    Hydrogen Europe

    Hydrogen Europe's How Hydrogen Can Help Decarbonise the Maritime Sector

    Hydrogen Europe

    H2ero Net Zero – Different energy carriers required separate systems of guarantees of origin

    Hydrogen Valley Platform

    Hydrogen Valleys: Insights into the emerging hydrogen economies around the world


    Net Zero Emissions by 2050 and the Role of Hydrogen

    International Energy Agency (IEA)

    Unlocking the Economic Potential of Rooftop Solar PV in India

    International Energy Agency (IEA)

    Net Zero by 2050: A Roadmap for the Global Energy Sector (IEA Roadmap)

    International Energy Agency (IEA)

    Energy Prices: Overview – High-Quality data on end-use energy prices

    International Energy Agency (IEA)

    Carbon capture, utilisation and storage: the opportunity in Southeast Asia

    International Energy Agency (IEA)

    Hydropower Special Market Report

    International Energy Agency (IEA)

    Trends and Developments in Electric Vehicle Markets

    International Energy Agency (IEA)

    Empowering Cities for a Net Zero Future- Unlocking resilient, smart, sustainable urban energy systems

    International Energy Agency (IEA)

    Sustainable Recovery Tracker

    International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)

    World Energy Transitions Outlook

    International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)

    World Energy Transition Outlook: 1.5OC Pathway: Preview

    International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)

    Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2020

    Jet Propulsion Laboratory

    Changes in global terrestrial live biomass over the 21st century


    Study of Hydrogen Imports and Downstream Applications for Singapore

    McKinsey & Company

    Creating the -zero carbon mine

    McKinsey & Company

    How negative emissions can help organizations meet their climate goals

    NASA and NOAA

    Satellite and Ocean Data Reveal Marked Increase in Earth’s Heating Rate

    National Nuclear LaboratoryUnlocking the UK's Nuclear Hydrogen Economy to Support Net Zero
    NavigantCarbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage, (CCUS): Decarbonisation Pathways for Singapore’s Energy and ChemicalsSectors
    Regulatory Horizons CouncilRegulatory Horizons Council Report of Fusion Energy
    Swiss Re GroupThe Insurance Rationale for Carbon Removal Solutions
    The Oxford Institute for Energy StudiesEnergy Transition: Modelling the Impact of Natural Gas)
    University of Houston and the Center for Houston's FutureHouston: The Low Carbon Energy Capital
    Zickfeld, K., Azevedo, D., Mathesius, S. et al.Asymmetry in climate – carbon cycle response to positive and negative CO2 emissions

    The author of the July Report on Reports is Michael Harrison.

    The information provided is not intended to be a comprehensive review of all developments in the law and practice, or to cover all aspects of those referred to.
    Readers should take legal advice before applying it to specific issues or transactions.

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