Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue 2021 event

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Robbie Morrison

Mar 16, 2021, 8:36:24 AMMar 16
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Hello all

I have been attending the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue 2021 today.  There are known technical problems with the landing page so try these in turn:

Highlights for me:

  • standout delivery from Vanessa Nakate, climate activist and founder of the Rise Up Movement, Uganda
  • clear commitment on the energiewende from Heiko Maas, Federal Foreign Minister, Germany
  • Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission pushing green hydrogen and carbon pricing

As always, I tried to fly the flag for open data and open analysis (see the question dialog box):

[open data

But absolutely no one has mentioned access to public interest data as an issue so far, so I guess this will remain a hidden problem.  That DOI in the chat window again:

A session I thought rather useful was this:

  • smart market designs for the global energy transition (Tuesday 12:30–13:00)

United States Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry is scheduled for 15:45 +0100 (CET) today (in about two hours).

Official YouTubes to be uploaded "later this week".  I'll post some links in due course therefore.

This event runs tomorrow Wednesday 17 March 2021 as well.  Registration is required but you might well pick up the live feed on YouTube without having to go thru that process?

cheers, Robbie

Robbie Morrison
Address: Schillerstrasse 85, 10627 Berlin, Germany
Phone: +49.30.612-87617

Robbie Morrison

Mar 20, 2021, 3:39:25 AMMar 20

Hello all

My concluding follow‑up. The two day event transitioned to a complete hype‑fest for green hydrogen. Some useful links:

Keynote speakers

Two keynote speakers stood out for me. Vanessa is a youth climate activist and had earlier launched the Africa‑based Rise Up Movement. And Michael Mann should be no stranger to this list.

A technical issue for green hydrogen

I see the "apportionment" problem everywhere (my term). Here are some examples. Who should be able to book their residual emissions to negative emissions technologies (NET)? Can and should renewable generation be booked to individual loads — more specifically, to green hydrogen or to 24/7 zero carbon demand (as sought by Google and supported by Europe‑based Renewables Grid Initiative). Should islanded assets that can be readily connected to networks be assessed with some kind of optimized interconnector in place — reminiscent of optimized deprival valuation (ODV) methodology used by network regulators, see Gale, Stephen, and Vhari McWha (August 2000). The origins of ODV — Report to Air NZ. Wellington, New Zealand: NZ Institute of Economic Research (NZIER).

This all looks rather like the investment and carbon "additionality" tests from the Kyoto Protocol but even more muddy to define and harder to calculate?

Take a practical scenario. The New Zealand electricity system is dominated by renewable generation, supported by low‑inventory hydro lakes (six weeks storage without inflow), and thermally firmed (meaning that gas‑fired thermal plant fill in for the annual hydro shortfall). Instantaneous generation is often renewable but over the course of a year, the marginal generation remains natural gas. Should hydrogen production from realtime marginal renewables be deemed green or gray? I would argue the latter but I am sure government advisors will seek to label it as renewable for export and for international exposure.

My preference would be to hit emissions hard using increasing artificial scarcity over time. And forget about renewables apportionment. With 2050 providing a complete ban — not on fossil fuel utilization but on emissions. We had that with the EU emissions trading scheme but no one government would tighten the thumb‑screws. NET can naturally be included in the scheme as well.

Instead we will have a never‑ending discussion on who "gets" the renewable energy, directly or indirectly. With endless opportunity for spin and astroturfing. And unbelievably complex and intellectually flawed rules about "origin" and "tracing" as the hydrogen economy takes hold.

Eventually, as the system transition completes, the apportionment problem will evaporate.

Please respond if you agree or disagree! Robbie

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Robbie Morrison

Mar 20, 2021, 4:48:06 AMMar 20

Sorry, that Michael Mann video is here:

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