Jun 282016
 

Presentation given at the Asia LEDS Forum on Mobilizing Finance for Priority Actions in Hanoi, Vietnam, Day 2 (June 28th, 2016), as introduction to Track 4: How to attract sustainable energy investments? I chaired this track with my colleague Xander van Tilburg from ECN.

ALP_Track4_Ochs_Final_160627

May 182016
 

CSM_LogoProving its leadership in renewable energy, Portugal powered all of its electricity with only renewable energy for four days.

By Story Hinckley, CSM

From the morning of May 7 to the afternoon of May 11, Portugal’s electricity consumption was fully covered by renewable sources. For 107 hours, Portugal powered all of its electricity from biofuels, hydropower plants, wind turbines, solar panels, and geothermal heat. But this is not the first time that Portugal has boasted an impressive energy statistic. (…)

“How did Portugal assume such impressive leadership in the clean energy transition?” asks WorldWatch Institute. “The key, as usual, lies in ambitious supportive policies.”

Feed-in tariffs, which provide renewable electricity producers with a guaranteed price for each megawatt-hour of energy fed into the country’s power grid, were first introduced in 1988 and have continued to develop, according to WorldWatch. Also, host municipalities of renewable energy receive payments of 2.5 percent of revenue. And the government bought transmission lines from private power companies at the turn of the century, refitting the grid infrastructure to better connect with small electricity generators such as domestic solar panels.  (…)

Find the full article [here].

Apr 182016
 

LEDS_GP_logo*Join us for our Second Webinar in our Webinar Series*

Hosted by the Asia LEDS Partnership and Energy Working Group of the LEDS Global Partnership

Session 2:  Assessing Renewable Energy Potential Using the Geospatial Toolkit (GsT): Applications in Vietnam’s Thanh Hoa Province

Date:                                April 21, 2016
Time:                               10:00 AM Indochina Time (ICT)

Speakers
Jon Duckworth, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
Donna Heimiller, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
Khanh Nguyen, USAID Low Emission Asian Development (LEAD) Program Country Coordinator

Moderators
Sandra Khananusit, Asia LEDS Partnership Secretariat
Alexander Ochs, LEDS GP Energy Working Group

Register here.

Check the time of the webinar according to your location here. Continue reading »

Mar 282016
 

By Ben Adler

You’ve probably heard that Bernie Sanders has the most impressive climate agenda of any major-party presidential candidate in history. His proposals may be politically unrealistic, but they are bold. If Sanders were president and he had a pliant Congress, his carbon tax and investments in renewables would radically overhaul our energy system for the better. (…)

Some other green groups take a more nuanced approach. NRDC, for example, supports relicensing plants in situations where it’s safer and the plants can’t yet be replaced by renewable energy, and it calls for rejecting those — such as Indian Point in Westchester, N.Y. — that are uniquely dangerous.

Alexander Ochs, senior director of climate and energy at the Worldwatch Institute, says we should put a moratorium on new nuclear plant construction and subject existing plants to “the closest safety scrutiny.” In the end, while these policy positions are based on a different analysis than Sanders’, they differ from his in degree more than in kind: they would hasten the natural death of nuclear energy, only more slowly than Sanders would, in the interest of limiting short-term emissions. (…)

Read full article [here].
grist_1

Mar 112016
 

DW.Image
The Fukushima disaster convinced the German government under Angela Merkel that nuclear power was not the way to go. The country decided to start phasing out nuclear energy and give financial support to the development of renewable energy technologies. This helped to boost alternative energy production around the globe. So how far have we got in the last five years?

Permalink: http://dw.com/p/1IAQD

Mar 112016
 
diariolibre_logo
Worldwatch: pueden suplir toda la energía de necesita el país
| 11 MAR 2016, 12:00 AM ROSALÍA ROMANO
SANTO DOMINGO. Desde parques eólicos, pasando por plantas solares, centrales hidroeléctricas y generadores a partir de la biomasa, las posibilidades de producción de energía renovable en el país son diversas y elevadas. De acuerdo con el informe “Aprovechamiento de los Recursos de Energía Sostenible de la República Dominicana”, publicado en julio del año pasado por el Worldwatch Institute, el país tiene el potencial de revolucionar la manera en que produce y consume electricidad.

En su estudio, el Worldwatch Institute sostiene que que República Dominicana puede lograr hasta un 85% de generación eléctrica renovable para el 2030, con costos de inversión de menos de US$47,000 millones entre los años 2013 y 2030.

Continue reading »

Mar 102016
 

DW.ImageFive years ago, the world was shocked by the news that a massive earthquake had triggered a devastating tsunami along the coast of Japan. Entire villages were destroyed and the nuclear plant at Fukushima went into meltdown. What does the region look like today and where are we at with the push for renewable energy?

Permalink: http://dw.com/p/1IAXb

Mar 042016
 

DW.ImageEuropean Union environment ministers are discussing implementation of the Paris Agreement on Friday (04.03.) A timely transition out of fossil fuels is doable, says Alexander Ochs from Worldwatch. That is, if we act now.

Protest at Eiffel Tower at COP21 in Paris (Photo: REUTERS/Benoit Tessier)

Can we switch from fossil fuels to renewables in time to keep temperature rise to 2, ideally 1.5 degrees Celsius?

Not only can we do a transition to truly sustainable systems – financially, economically, socially and environmentally sustainable – we are in the midst of it. There is no one global trend in that direction, but there are many places, municipalities, provinces, whole countries, regions that are transitioning away from fossil fuels toward renewable ways of producing energy, and smarter ways of consuming energy. So it is absolutely doable.

Can you name some examples?

Alexander Ochs (Photo: Irene Quaile)Ochs says renewables are fast outpacing fossil fuels

Germany has managed over the last two decades to transition away from fossil fuels. We have seen enormous growth rates of renewable electricity production. Or take Denmark, which has always been seen as a renewable energy champion. But it’s not a trend restricted any more to developed countries.

Look at Costa Rica, look at many places on all continents – you find very dramatic examples, transitions away from fossil fuel energy toward sustainable energy sources – not always at the level of nations, but often sub-federal levels like communities or provinces. We have a lot of really great examples now, best practice examples. We really have to learn from experience and share that experience internationally.

Continue reading »

Feb 122016
 

Feb 052016
 

Presentation at GECCO-IUCN-USAID webinar on Gender equality & mitigation: COP21 implications for implementing mitigation activities, 5 Feb 2015

Recording of the Webinar is available [here].

Jan 292016
 

By Zadie Neufvillelogo-IPS

KINGSTON, Jan 18 2016 (IPS) – By year’s end, Jamaica will add 115 mega watts (MW) of renewable capacity to the power grid, in its quest to reduce energy costs and diversify the energy mix in electricity generation to 30 per cent by 2030. With 90 per cent of its electricity coming from fossil fuels, the government is committed to reducing the country’s carbon emissions by increasing the amount of electricity generated from renewables from 9 per cent now, to 15 per cent by 2020. (…)

WorldWatch Institute’s Sustainable Energy Roadmap for Jamaica 2013 stated that increasing the number of households using solar water heaters, could save an additional 75 to 100 GWh of electricity per year. It concluded that there was a need to create a “smooth transition” to a sustainable and economically viable energy system. (…)

Alexander Ochs, Worldwatch’s Director of Climate and Energy confirmed the report’s findings, noting that Jamaica’s “entire electricity demand could be met with renewable resources” from solar and wind energy. The public sector has already begun its own programme of retrofitting and energy reduction strategies that is said to be saving millions of dollar in expenditure at government agencies and institutions.

Worldwatch noted that investments of roughly 6 billion dollars could increase the contribution of renewables to Jamaica’s electricity production to 93 per cent by 2030, while significantly slashing energy costs. So armed with feasibility studies that points to the possibility for hydropower development along six rivers, Robinson is setting his sights on the road ahead, and another 26MW of power in the very near future.

Find full article here: Jamaica’s Climate Change Fight Fuels Investments in Renewables _ Inter Press Service

Jan 142016
 

earthtalk_logo

By Ethan Goffman, http://earthtalk.org/interview-alexander-ochs/

For the past 15 years, Alexander Ochs has been an important figure in international efforts to fight climate change and develop green energy, working with United Nations and other international agencies. Among many endeavors, he is President of theForum for Atlantic Climate and Energy Talks, is Founding Chair of the LEDS-GP Energy Working Group, and is an adviser to the German Government’s International Climate Initiative. Ochs’ academic career is also distinguished; he teaches at Johns Hopkins University and has co-edited three books and published dozens of research articles. As Senior Director of Climate and Energy at the Worldwatch Institute, Ochs has developed a series of sustainable energy roadmaps and implementation plans that are helping bring clean energy to Central America and the Caribbean, with plans to expand to new regions. Ochs also participated in the Paris climate summit. EarthTalk’s Ethan Goffman interviewed him via Skype in his Berlin, Germany office…

 

Or read the full transcript below…

EarthTalk: You’ve worked at the Worldwatch Institute on a series of sustainable energy roadmaps to help countries transition to a clean economy. Why are such roadmaps necessary?

Continue reading »

Jan 112016
 

January 10th 2016 NationalObserver_160111

In December global leaders met in Paris to hammer out an agreement to try and hold global warming to a 1.5 Celsius degree rise in temperature. But while we hold our elected officials responsible for greenhouse gas emission reductions, what can we and what do we do ourselves to contribute to that goal? National Observer asked a number of experts for tips on how you can reduce your personal carbon footprint. (…)

Alexander Ochs, senior director of climate and energy for Worldwatch Institute, questions the ideal of the typical North American, two-garage home with a large lawn. “Is it really worth the two hours commute you do every day to get to your workplace?” he rhetorically asks. Continue reading »

Dec 092015
 

IISD_ReportingServices

COP 21 Panel, 8 December 2015, African Pavilion. Presented by: The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE). This panel discussed advancing low carbon development in West Africa and was moderated by Youba Sokona, Special Advisor on Sustainable Development, South Centre.

Alexander Ochs, Director of Climate and Energy, Worldwatch Institute, said there will be no sustainable economic growth or social development if Africa’s main energy source is fossil fuels. He said centralized fossil fuel based energy systems are not going to solve the problem of climate change or increase access to energy because they are too expensive, and he therefore recommended decentralized systems and renewable energy. He said Africa is not starting from scratch and that there have already been some “enormous advances” in technology and policy development.

COP21_Panel_AfricanPavilon

Mahama Kappiah, Executive Director, ECREEE, outlined that of the 334 million people in the ECOWAS region only 42% have access to energy and that the energy used mostly comes from fossil fuels and biomass. He said the ECOWAS Energy Strategy for 2030 aims to provide 100% of the region’s population with access to clean cooking energy by 2030 and increase the share of renewable energy in the overall electricity mix to 35% by 2020. He noted another aim to improve the electrification rate from 34% to 88%, an increase equivalent to 60 million households gaining access to electricity between 2015 and 2030. Continue reading »

Dec 052015
 

Alexander Ochs, published as Worldwatch Institute blog

Many of us still remember the images from the Copenhagen climate summit in 2009, which was launched as “Hopenhagen” with great expectations and concluded in the “Flopenhagen” fiasco: the disappointment of freezing environmentalists lining up in front of the Bella Convention Center; the desperate faces of exhausted negotiators; the Danish sherpas trying to argue small successes in the summit’s failure.

But America’s political superstars would not succeed if they didn’t manage to emerge as winners, even in moments of defeat. U.S. president Barack Obama somehow thwarted the image of Europeans marked by the poor results of months of negotiations. Obama flew in to Copenhagen by helicopter, cut through the icy Scandinavian winds toward the conference venue, and assembled those around him whom he decided were the chosen few.

It is this other image that we conjure up when remembering Copenhagen: the U.S. president, with his sleeves rolled up, surrounded by the representatives of Brazil, China, India, and South Africa. The message: “We saved what could be saved.” But to anyone familiar enough with the negotiations to look behind the façade, this image actually showed those who had sabotaged the ambitious plans of Europeans and their coalition of “more willing but less mighty.” The picture was deceptive: What was rescued was not the climate, the environment, or sustainable development, but a minimal consensus to continue talking. After that, the world became relatively silent on climate diplomacy. But the talking did continue, and it led to much more progress than could have been expected shortly after Copenhagen.

Continue reading »