Category: Events

Introductory Chapter: Sustainable Energy Investment and the Transition to Renewable Energy-Powered Futures

“Sustainable energy investment” is a widely used phrase and concept in the fields of finance, engineering and economics. Typically, it focuses on evaluating renewable power development and includes assessments of political and regulatory risks, energy risk hedging and portfolio diversification. Often publications on this topic contribute to the climate change response agenda: promote investments in solar- or wind-powered technologies in order to realize a more equitable, sustainable and prosperous future; evaluate financial aspects of carbon budgeting and energy asset risk management; and respond to financial and climate risks associated with mitigation and adaptation policy interventions. Policymakers and energy regulators correctly perceive climate change to pose threats to energy assets, research and development (R&D), technological innovation to accelerate energy transitions and these impacts are projected to grow in the coming decades.

Concurrently, the energy sector is experiencing a myriad of challenges, from aging infrastructure, retiring workforces, years of stagnant investment to the need to attract new investment in smart grid resilience, business model innovation reforms, changing customer expectations, and more recently COVID-19 forced disruptions.

To mitigate the worst possible impacts, attention is now shifting to strategies for de-risking energy investments—for example, long-term climate-risk hedging and adaption strategies in energy infrastructure development around financing, costs, and revenue—to foster local, national and supranational systems of resource autonomy and reduce the risks of climate change. Read more>>

Photo credit: IRENA’s World Energy Transitions Outlook 

Tackling the Risk of Stranded Electricity Assets with Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence

The Paris Agreement on climate change requires nations to keep the global temperature within the 2°C carbon budget. Achieving this temperature target means stranding more than 80% of all proven fossil energy reserves as well as resulting in investments in such resources becoming stranded assets. At the implementation level, governments are experiencing technical, economic, and legal challenges in transitioning their economies to meet the 2°C temperature commitment through the nationally determined contributions (NDCs), let alone striving for the 1.5°C carbon budget, which translates into greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) gap.

This chapter focuses on tackling the risks of stranded electricity assets using machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies. Stranded assets are not new in the energy sector; the physical impacts of climate change and the transition to a low-carbon economy have generally rendered redundant or obsolete electricity generation and storage assets.

Low-carbon electricity systems, which come in variable and controllable forms, are essential to mitigating climate change. These systems present distinct opportunities for machine learning and artificial intelligence-powered techniques. This chapter considers the background to these issues. It discusses the asset stranding discourse and its implications to the energy sector and related infrastructure. The chapter concludes by outlining an interdisciplinary research agenda for mitigating the risks of stranded assets in electricity investments. Read More>>

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