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Marga Edens SPECIAL
Marga Edens SPECIAL
28 april 2015

Marga Edens presents 6 Major Energy Challenges

P+ People Planet Profit invited Marga Edens to write a series on the 6 Major Energy Challenges of our time in order to provide a look behind the scenes of the European energy industry. Marga Edens works for RWE, one of the continent’s major players. 

This series is now bundled as a Special Report, free for all readers of our media-platform on sustainability, based in the Netherlands (PDF, see the Social Media corner on the left).

Major Challenge #1 On cooling down
Experts expect global electricity consumption to increase by over two-thirds between 2011 and 2035. If nothing changes, the energy sector will meet growing demand with an energy mix dominated by a 57% fossil fuel share (mostly coal). Corresponding CO2 emissions will rise to over 15 gigatonnes in 2035. This is hardly the road to achieving a no more than 20 C temperature increase by 2050. Is energy efficiency the fastest solution?

Major Challenge #2 On the right price
Is the price we pay for energy the right price? The level of electricity tariffs varies hugely in the different countries of Europe. Furthermore, the taxes for household and industrial electricity differ. Should energy prices be reduced?

Major Challenge #3 On connecting
Private households that undertake the decentralized generation of power and heat now represent 22% of the total energy production in Europe. Should all of those small producers share some of the responsibilities of the major players in our energy supply?

Major Challenge #4 On carbon solutions
It is better to use CO2 as a product than to store it underground. Scientists are exploring various solutions. Is it possible to prevent 10% of the annual emissions by using captured CO2 to enhance oil recovery or produce biofuels? And can CO2 really be transformed into fertilizers and plastics?

Major Challenge #5 On better coal
What to expect from the promise of better coal, including improved social conditions for the mineworkers in far away countries? The process has started. A group of major coal buyers, representing more than 56% of the total amount of coal imported into Europe, wants to bring change on the ground.

Major Challenge #6 On circularity
When professor Michael Braungart began his triumphal march there were also critical questions from the audience. “You can make products that are circular, but what if the energy used for that production is not Cradle to Cradle?” Today the stage is set for supplying certified electricity on a large scale.

Link to this Energy Special


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