Category: New Energies

Policy Brief : Soil as Natural Capital: a factor for sustainable diversification

The soil is a living ecosystem that is capable of growth and diversification. It is also a productive capital but the conventional methods and technologies of its exploitation could lead to its destruction. Reversing this paradigm is the basis of a green growth strategy: the soil can become a carbon sink again, and the material and energy it produces can fuel genuinely sustainable industries, especially mobility. As a capital, the soil is not irremediably degraded; Sustainable management of soil capital is hence a priority for sustainable diversification and climate.

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T20/G20 Policy Brief : Innovative Green-Technology SMEs as an Opportunity to Promote Financial De-Risking

By Joël Ruet(The Bridge Tank and CNRS-CEPN), Elena Verdolini(FEEM and CMCC), Céline Bak(CIGI and Analytica Advisors),  Anbumozhi Venkatachalam(ERIA)

“We recommend that the G20 target innovative green-technology SMEs as an opportunity to promote financial de-risking while addressing Paris Agreement commitments and UN Sustainable Development Goals. This should be achieved by creating signals for private investors through: (1) a reporting system that can help monitor the scale-up of green-technology SMEs; (2) the use of public funds to signal innovative green-technology SMEs to investors; and (3) the inclusion of SMEs in the design of green finance platforms. By implementing these recommendations, the G20 will ensure that innovative, low- carbon SMEs become attractive, low(er)-risk investment opportunities for the private sector.” Read more …

Policy Brief: Transfers of Knowledge & Technology : the ultimate Development Challenge and key role of Entreprises

Technology transfer, coupled with the formation of knowledge, has long been an objective targeted by development policies. Issues related to climate and environmental transitions have reinforced the perception of the importance of technology transfer from the North to the South as a means to clean development. The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the Kyoto Protocol is the main tool of climate finance. Implemented in 2005, it aims to orchestrate this transfer of clean technologies. Criticized for its ineffectiveness, its mitigated success is above all a reminder of a truth that has been known for a long time: the technological absorption capacities of territories are more important than the technologies themselves. A strategy of development through technological diffusion cannot therefore ignore the support given to local economies and their enterprises – the support for the development of the market and probably also the support for the development of intellectual property regimes that underpin knowledge transfer to developing economies.

These last two points are necessary to articulate a healthy relationship between international technology-providing companies and local recipient companies and in build a framework that aids in appropriating, adapting and disseminating them … a necessary condition for the success of “technological seeding”.

Our recommendations are based on a logic spontaneously implemented by the countries that have been most effective in capturing the CDM “manna”: China, India and Brazil have been able to orchestrate their markets and, through generous offers in kind, to free themselves from the stakes blocking intellectual property elsewhere.

Read more in french. 

The Bridge Tank, a T20 member, participated in the G20 Summit in Hamburg

The Think20 (T20) is a network of research institutes and think tanks from the G20 countries. Its role is to provide policy recommendations to the G20. It also facilitates interaction between members and shares global issues through its blog.

The Bridge Tank, member of the T20, participated in the G20 Summit in Hamburg the 7th and the 8th of July and provided research-based policy briefs for the G20 Insights platforms that aims to support G20 policy making. The Bridge Tank has joined other expert think tanks in writing two policy briefs with the Climate Policy and Finance task force. One of those policy briefs got selected among the 20 best policy briefs that were presented during the G20 Summit. It analyses the role of innovative green-technology SMEs as an opportunity to promote financial de-risking.

To read those two policy briefs :

Ambitious mobility targets and industrial policy for India

India is ambitious. In order to reduce its CO2 emissions and to respond to urban air pollution issues, it announces, through the voices of its ministers of transport and energy, unprecedented green transition targets in the mobility sector: 22,5% biofuel and 100% electric vehicles by 2030. However, the measures that are supposed to ensure those ambitions seem to be weak, especially biofuels. The incorporation of biofuel ethanol, produced from sugar cane, also serves as a policy for reviving the sugar cane industry and energy independence; A program inspired by Brazil but whose example shows that it requires a coordinated industrial policy among the various sectors concerned. However, the weakness of the measures proposed by the Indian State is compounded by the difficulties of the domestic sugar cane industry and the demands of the domestic automotive industry, which is reluctant to invest in new production lines dedicated to ethanol vehicles.

The EV development program, although still unclear, looks to be better equipped politically and budgetary. However, it is not clear whether it is backed by a domestic industry development strategy or whether it is based on imports.

The green transition for countries in technological and industrial transition such as India cannot be based on the diffusion of imported technologies. Necessarily costly and requiring deep and sustained investment over the long term, it can only be sustainable if it is also the opportunity to accelerate and confirm a technological catch up that has already been well initiated in a specific field. The aim is to coordinate industrial policies with the climate and environmental objectives announced. Finally, new technologies complement one another and require, in order to be effectively deployed, a transversal, visionary industrial policy. The Indian market allows it, industry requires support but does public policy take the necessary measures?

Key points

The Indian objectives for transition to a low-carbon mobility are ambitious but for the moment the measures announced by the government to achieve them are weak.

India’s ability to achieve its objectives requires a more calibrated industrial policy.


India draws inspiration from Brazil for its ambitions in biofuels

Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport and Highways, told the Indian press that the blending rate for ethanol is expected to increase to 22.5% and that for biodiesel to 15% by 2030. A transition motivated by the objective of reducing urban air pollution but also and above all supporting the sugar cane industry and strengthening India’s energy security. The Minister refers to a strategy of broad diversification of the markets of the agricultural industry towards electricity and bioplastics; Similar to the one that has proved its worth in Brazil and which is inspiring for the minister.

Indeed, in this field, the current Indian context is comparable to that of Brazil in the 1970s, when excess sugar cane production was detrimental to the economic health of the sugar sector, the ethanol-fuel sector was created to absorb these surpluses. This has helped to stabilize sugar prices and stimulate the cane sector economy but also to secure the country’s energy supply. As for India, Brazil’s oil import bill was a strong argument in the government’s decision to support such a transition. However, the strategy implemented by India to achieve these objectives differs from that of Brazil. India prohibits the use of food raw materials for energy production; Ethanol is produced from molasses, the ultimate residue in the different cane sugar production cycles, which does not allow it to serve as an economic regulator of the sector. Beyond this tactical difference, Brazil supported its program on a substantive industrial that has allowed objectives to be achieved. The measures mainly targeted the two industries providing upstream and downstream ethanol value chains: agribusiness and automotive. Through these two industries, the Brazilian government has ensured the dissemination of alternative fuel production and consumption technologies, it has financed the establishment of an alternative technological system to the conventional and dominant system of petroleum. This program is necessary for India if it wants to achieve its objectives, and which is also an opportunity of a technological disruption for a more economic and environmental competitiveness. These two industrial pillars of any agrofuel development program face challenges in India that are not yet resolved by the government’s strategy. 

India’s industrial strategy questions itself,

Concerning the automotive industry, the government encourages manufacturers to produce “ethanol-compatible” models. Specifically, it is either to modify gasoline models so that they can continue to run efficiently with a fuel mix more charged with ethanol, up to 85 or 95%, or to produce models compatible with 100% ethanol fuel, such as the famous flex-fuel engine sold in Brazil. 

If some industrialists follow – the Volkswagen group, which is very present in Brazil, and should manufacture the first flex-fuel models adapted to the Indian market – representatives of national manufacturers express the reluctance of domestic manufacturers. According to them, the country’s manufacturers do not have the means to invest in new production lines dedicated to flex-fuel motors, they express their fears about competition from foreign manufacturers based in Brazil, more experienced on this technology. Finally, they do not believe in the capacity of the Indian ethanol-fuel industry to produce the volumes needed to create a profitable market. The Brazilian government has twice been faced with similar reticence from car manufacturers; To convince them, in addition to an ethanol vehicle sales subsidy program, he had to commit to taking agro-industry sufficient measures to ensure production and availability at the ethanol fuel pump. Indian carmakers do not believe in the take-off of a domestic fuel ethanol industry. This industry exists but fuel ethanol prices are not attractive enough and most of the locally produced ethanol is sold to the chemical industries. 

T20/G20 Policy Brief: GREEN SHIFT TO SUSTAINABILITY: Co-benefits & Impacts of Energy Transformation on Resource Industries, Trade, Growth and Taxes

By R. Andreas Kraemer (lead) – Center for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), Canada,Joël Ruet – The Bridge Tank, France,Barry Carin– Center for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), Canada, Max Gruenig– Ecologic Institute, Germany & United States, Fernando Naves Blumenschein & Renato Flores– Fundação, Getulio Vargas(FGV), Brazil, Akshay Mathur– Gateway House, India, Clara Brandi – German Development Institute (GDI-DIE), Thomas Spencer– Institut du développement durable et des relations internationales (IDDRI), France Sebastian Helgenberger & Sonja Thielges– Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS), Germany,  Scott Vaughan– International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), Canada,Shelagh Whitley– Overseas Development Institute (ODI), UK, Hermann Ott– Wuppertal Institute, Germany. 

“Energy transformation towards 100% renewable energy is economically inevitable, and socially and environmentally desirable, yet it may produce negative signals in outdated statistics as fossil trade diminishes and the sector shrinks. This paradoxon should be addressed in a joint report by, e.g., IRENA, IMF, OECD, andthe World Bank, and the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures.

Fossil fuel extraction and commodity trade will end, and fossil asset values erode. The industry’s role in capital formation, international trade, economic activity (GDP), and government revenue will decline. New energy systems, based on efficiency, renewables, storage, and smart management are cheaper to build, run and maintain. Growth of electricity use stimulates innovation, value creation, and growth in consumer rent, as renewable energy technologies harvest free environmental flows that are not traded and often for self-consumption. Total utility will grow while trade, GDP and the tax base may shrink. Reports should inform G20 Leaders, Ministers of Finance and Central Bank Governors on the true costs and benefits, and alert them to misleading signals.” Read More … 

Unlocking The Potential for Wind Energy in Southeast Asia: Evidence from Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand

The objective of this research paper is to provide an overview of the wind energy market in Southeast Asia and bridge the analytical gap.  Continue reading “Unlocking The Potential for Wind Energy in Southeast Asia: Evidence from Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand”

Insights into Emerging Economies n°8 – Perspective on China’s investments and a close-up on clean energy storage in the Global South

Although China’s growth experienced a moderate slowdown in 2015, its foreign investment on the other hand soared. Officially set up in December 2015, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is showing the Asian giant’s firm intention to move away from a strategy based on mass production towards a logic of enhancing its capital both regionally and globally. The Bridge Tank deciphers this new power of investment.

Continue reading “Insights into Emerging Economies n°8 – Perspective on China’s investments and a close-up on clean energy storage in the Global South”

Our take on the Low Emission Solutions Conference – COP 22

Download the full report here.

This report details the discussions and conclusions at the LESC conference from November 14th to 16th as part of the COP22 in Marrakesh. The report is meant to be a collection of data, quotes, and viewpoints put forth by the speakers and panelists over this three-day period. In addition, we have added our own analysis and evaluation throughout the document, which is meant to help connect the different ideas presented. The LESC conference was intended as a workshop over solutions to reach the objectives of the Paris Agreement. It was thus action-oriented, with panel discussions intermixed with presentations on different innovations potentially critical in reaching said goals. As this was the COP of “action”, this was an appropriate format, and should provide policymakers with plenty of options in planning their own pathways to drastically lower emissions.

Continue reading “Our take on the Low Emission Solutions Conference – COP 22”

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