Alternative energy

The big picture

Wind and solar would struggle to replace coal-mining jobs

Renewable energy helps combat climate change, but the jobs potential is less clear.

Feb 5, 2020
Why some in Big Oil are looking to go big in offshore wind

European oil and gas majors are leading the way.

Oct 30, 2019
As wind and solar energy grow, so do their challenges

When it's not windy or sunny, issues can arise.

Aug 16, 2019
Solar energy use is on the rise worldwide

A new report offers a look at the global picture on solar.

Jun 23, 2019

All Alternative energy stories

How coronavirus will alter natural gas markets

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The coronavirus is set to alter global natural gas markets that are already in the midst of transformation, per a new Center for Strategic and International Studies analysis.

What's next: Via CSIS's Nikos Tsafos, one of the trends to watch is demand. It'll be affected, but the extent depends on "how much is activity falling due to GDP, how much is gas privileged or disadvantaged relative to other fuels, and how will people adapt their behavior to protect their health."

Lawmakers reject renewables aid in latest round of coronavirus relief

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The renewable power sector would not get sought-after aid in the COVID-19 economic plans before lawmakers on Capitol Hill, a setback for the industry warning of steep job losses and scuttled projects.

Driving the news: House Democrats' $2.5 trillion proposal unveiled last night omits what industry groups and some lawmakers wanted: an extension of deadlines to use tax credits and the ability to quickly monetize them. The provisions are also absent from the Senate's GOP-drafted "phase three" proposal.

Gulf between Asian central banks on climate rhetoric and action

Data: Study of 18 central banks and monetary authorities from the Asia-Pacific region conducted in Q2 2019; Chart: Axios Visuals

Most Asian central banks and other monetary facilities say finance into low-carbon areas is important — but most have also not issued any policies on the matter.

Coronavirus response should promote clean energy — IEA

Photo: picture alliance / Contributor/Getty Images

The International Energy Agency is urging governments to weave policies that support climate-friendly energy into their economic responses to the novel coronavirus.

What they're saying: "These stimulus packages offer an excellent opportunity to ensure that the essential task of building a secure and sustainable energy future doesn’t get lost amid the flurry of immediate priorities," IEA executive director Fatih Birol said.

Utah hydrogen hub inches closer to reality

Photo: Bruno Vincent/Getty Images

A Utah power plant could run at least partially on hydrogen within the next five years, according to a contract awarded today between an energy-technology manufacturer and a Utah power agency.

Why it matters: Governments, companies and experts around the world are increasingly looking to renewable hydrogen as a long-term pathway away from oil, natural gas and coal while still using infrastructure initially made for them.

Why the gap between offshore wind and oil-and-gas might narrow over the 2020s

Reproduced from Wood Mackenzie; Chart: Axios Visuals

A Wood Mackenzie analyst note shows that the gap in global investment between offshore wind and offshore oil-and-gas is expected to narrow as the 2020s progress.

The intrigue: The brief report explores why investors should be interested in a sector in which projects typically offer lower returns than oil-and-gas projects.

Private-sector heavyweights push for more energy R&D federal spending

Reproduced from AAAS via the American Energy Innovation Council; Chart: Axios Visuals

The chart above shows how the share of federal spending on energy research and development has largely declined over decades.

Driving the news: It's one of the data points in a report last week urging Congress to greatly expand the federal programs that help develop and commercialize climate-friendly tech.

Wind, solar power in Europe outpaces coal for the first time

Here's one thing that helped global emissions growth seemingly flatten: Wind and solar power combined outpaced coal-fired generation in the EU for the first time last year, a pair of think tanks said.

Why it matters: Energy transitions are notoriously slow — until they're not.

Wind and solar dominate new U.S. power capacity

Reproduced from EIA; Chart: Axios Visuals

Wind and solar make up more than three-quarters of the electricity capacity coming online in the country this year, new U.S. Energy Information Administration data show. 

Why it matters: These two renewable sources of energy are increasingly becoming cost-competitive, even while government subsidies for them are lessening, compared to traditionally dominant sources, such as natural gas and coal.

Go deeperArrowJan 15, 2020
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