Why banning financing for fossil fuel projects in Africa isn’t a climate solution

  Today’s global energy inequities are staggering. Video gamers in California consume more electricity than entire nations. The average Tanzanian used only one-sixth the electricity consumed by a typical American refrigerator in 2014. Globally, the top 10% of countries consume 20 times more energy than the bottom 10%. And 1.1 billion sub-Saharan Africans share the … Read more

Government targets emerging technologies with $1.9 billion, saying renewables can stand on own feet

  The government has unveiled a $1.9 billion package of investments in new and emerging energy and emission-reducing technologies, and reinforced its message that it is time to move on from assisting now commercially-viable renewables. The package will be controversial, given its planned broadening of the remit of the government’s clean energy investment vehicles, currently … Read more

4 strategies for a global breakthrough on energy and climate change

  Two important global events are coming up that are widely hoped to help address what the United Nations calls the “dual challenge” – fighting climate change and ensuring that poorer countries can develop sustainably. Energy is a central theme in both. For the first time in 40 years, the U.N. General Assembly is convening … Read more

China will no longer build overseas coal power plants – what energy projects will it invest in instead?

  Chinese President Xi Jinping recently announced at the UN General Assembly that China “will not build new coal-fired power projects abroad”. Chinese banks have already swung into gear. Three days after Xi’s speech, the Bank of China declared it would no longer provide financing for new coal mining and power projects outside China from … Read more

Getting more energy from the sun: how to make better solar cells

  Global demand for energy is increasing by the hour as developing countries move toward industrialization. Experts estimate that by the year 2050, worldwide demand for electricity may reach 30 terawatts (TW). For perspective, one terawatt is roughly equal to the power of 1.3 billion horses. Energy from the sun is limitless – the sun … Read more

‘Digital twins’ can help monitor infrastructure and save us billions

  Urban infrastructure – bridges, roads, railways, pipelines, power transmission towers and so on – must be inspected regularly to operate safely. Imagine if we used advanced technologies available to us, such as wireless sensors, mobile apps and machine learning, to remotely inspect and maintain this infrastructure. This could eliminate the need for regular daily … Read more

  The future impacts of artificial intelligence (AI) on society and the labour force have been studied and reported extensively. In a recent book, AI Superpowers, Kai-Fu Lee, former president of Google China, wrote that 40 to 50 per cent of current jobs will be technically and economically viable with AI and automation over the … Read more