The fallout from the conflict in Ukraine continued to dominate the global energy agenda as governments weigh the impact of soaring fossil fuel costs and the need to escape reliance on Russian exports.
The European Commission – whose EU member states include some of those most enmeshed with Vladimir Putin’s gas supplies – unveiled unprecedented plans for a “dash into renewable energy at lightning speed” and expansion of green hydrogen ambitions, in an accelerated decoupling from Russia that one commissioner described as “bloody hard – but possible”.
Germany, where the issue is at the very top of the national agenda, announced further moves of its own, including a new €200bn ($219bn) funding bonanza for its Energiewende and called for a “Tesla-speed” expansion of clean energy.
Recharge also reported that there were welcome signs of returning demand in German onshore wind with an oversubscribed gigawatt-scale tender, while the nation’s consumers area also turning to solar storage in record numbers in a flight to ‘freedom energy’ as renewables have been dubbed by one minister.
The effects of the Russian invasion continued to ripple across the energy sector, with Recharge reporting how green hydrogen is now cheaper than highly polluting grey H2 in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and China, according to a new paper by analyst BloombergNEF.
Offshore wind’s unceasing search for new markets welcomed another contender this week when Colombian officials said they aimed to advance the nation’s first development, a 350MW Caribbean project in conjunction with Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners in seas that a World Bank study recently said offer some of the best potential wind resources globally.
It doesn’t seem that long since Australia and its first project, Star of the South, created a stir at the prospect of turbines off that nation. These days, hardly a week goes by without news of another huge plan off the Australian coast, most recently in the shape of a 3GW project off Perth advanced by Copenhagen Energy.
Andy Evans, the Australian offshore wind pioneer who now wants to develop large-scale floating wind off New South Wales, in an exclusive interview with Recharge urged that state’s government to follow the lead of Victoria and let the sector fill the gap left by large-scale coal generation.
of offshore wind’s coming markets, Vietnam, has moved more slowly than some had hoped. However, in an Opinion article for Recharge experts from the nation’s energy sector confidently predicted it can still leap its hurdles and fulfil its potential.
Returning to the horrors of Ukraine, as the world struggles to make sense of the events, world leaders past and present are inevitably asked for their wisdom and insight into what comes next. Former leaders such as ex-US president Donald Trump, who when quizzed on the most burning issue in global foreign policy responded with a rant against ‘windmills’. In an uncertain era, some things at least never change...