Countering Fossil-Fuel’s Drawbacks

Countering Fossil-Fuel’s Drawbacks

Using fossil fuels has major drawbacks in addition to their combustion emitting greenhouse gases. A considerable portion of the energy produced goes to waste, mostly heat in combustion processes, power plants, and due to high-temperatures.

Specialist consultancy Capgemini recently produced its report ‘Investments in next-generation clean technologies. 55 Tech Quests to accelerate Europe’s recovery and pave the way to climate neutrality.’ in which they identify 55 actionable recommendations around the solutions and projects that can be scaled up to help meet net-zero targets, from new generation solar modules and bifacial solar panels to large-scale hydrogen production and combined solar generation, energy storage, and grids.

Solar takes center stage

Solar technologies took center stage in the report when it came to energy generation, with Capgemini identifying the need for giga-scale manufacturing of new solar modules and increased use of bifacial panels to improve efficiency. This appears to be confirmed by the International Energy Agency’s recent ‘World Energy Outlook’ report in which they place solar energy as the ‘new king’ of the energy sector. They estimate that globally, annual additions of the technology are set to almost triple by 2030 from today’s levels, setting new records for deployment each year after 2022.

Floating offshore wind as a solution

Offshore floating wind was also identified as a technology quest, with a need to “unlock” 80% of Europe’s offshore wind potential through a rapid scale-up of new generation floating wind structures. In the UK there is a growing push in the sector, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently increasing the country’s target to 40GW of offshore wind by 2030. To reach this he has committed £160 million of funding to develop the supply chain, with a particular focus on floating wind.

Heat Pumps are a hot recommendation

The Capgemini report highlighted heat pumps as a technology quest in their own right, with Capgemini identifying the need to multiply the number of installed heat pumps, betting on synergies with the EV industry to launch low-cost heat pump factories. 

Storing energy is important

Energy storage was also identified as its own separate technology, with a need to develop viable short to long duration storage alternatives to lithium-ion batteries, which the report suggests may not be the go-to choice for stationary storage for environmental and economic reasons.

More information

Green energy overtakes Fossil Fuels and Nuclear in Europe

Green energy overtakes Fossil Fuels and Nuclear in Europe

Environmental group Ember in London has reported that Renewable Energy has contributed a larger percentage to the European energy mix than fossil fuels or nuclear in the first half of 2020.

They state that in the first half of this year, approximately 40% of all the energy produced in the EU’s 27 countries came from renewable energy whereas fossil fuels accounted for 34%. The other 26% of energy production came from Nuclear and imports. Ember also reports that carbon dioxide emissions fell by 23%.

A continuing trend
This continues the trend of the last decade, as renewable energy generation gradually replaces fossil fuels based generation. In the first half of 2020:

  • renewables generated 40% of the EU-27’s electricity, whereas fossil fuels generated 34%. Most of this is as a result of coal being replaced by wind and solar.
  • Coal’s market share has halved since 2016 to just 12% of the EU-27’s electricity generation.
    Every country that had coal to start with saw a fall in coal generation.
  • Wind and solar has increased its market share from 13% in 2016 to 21% in the first half of 2020.
  • Hydro generated 13% of Europe’s electricity.
  • Bioenergy generated 6% of Europe’s electricity.


This article and the graph used are based on an original report by Dave Jones and Charles Moore at Ember under CC BY-SA 4.0

Header image produced in-house using original photography by Jörg Peter

Pin It on Pinterest