In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • Sweden’s EV registrations triple in a year, from 12.7% to 30.3%.
  • The US EIA’s “Annual Energy Outlook 2020” report is out. Here’s the good news and the bad news.
  • The UK may ban gas boilers in order to reach 2050 net zero targets.

The Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB): A daily technical, financial, and political review/analysis of important green energy news.

EVs on a sharp rise in Sweden

Electric vehicle sales have tripled in a year in Sweden. In January 2019, there were 2,680 passenger EV registrations, or 12.7% of the market. In January 2020, there were 5,382 registrations, or 30.3% of the market.

Meanwhile, ICE cars have dropped:

  • New petrol cars went from 8,828 (41.8%) registrations in January 2019 to 6,557 (36.9%) registrations in January 2020.
  • New diesel cars plummeted, going from 8,113 (38.4%) registrations in January 2019 to 3,840 (21.6%) registrations in January 2020.

There’s a new incentive system in Sweden, as CleanTechnica explains:

Vehicles with CO2 emissions from zero to 70 g/km can receive a sliding scale of up to ~€5,700 in incentives in Sweden, and vehicles with emissions above 95 g/km pay additional yearly taxes. A diesel vehicle emitting 122 g/km (the country’s 2018 average) costs ~€425 per year in taxes. A sports car with 225 g/km (e.g., the Porsche 911) costs ~€1,250 per year.

In 2021, the EV share is predicted to rise to 40%. The top-selling EVs in January were the Kia Niro EV, Renault Zoe (pictured), and Kia Soul EV.

EIA 2020 report findings

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) recently released its “Annual Energy Outlook 2020” report. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) published an expert blog on Friday that summarized the EIA report’s findings.

Here are the EIA’s main projections for the US energy sector:

  • Renewable sources of electricity generation will overtake coal as the second-largest source of electricity as early as 2021.
  • Wind and solar will surpass both gas and coal as the largest share of the electricity fuel mix by 2045, largely due to falling costs.
  • EIA projects renewables will grow from 17% of today’s generation to 24% in 2030 and 38% in 2050. It’s possible green energy could surpass these projections.
  • It’s not enough to reduce emissions. This is because the EIA predicts emissions from generating electricity will steadily drop through 2030 but then stagnate through 2050 due to coal power plant capacity staying online post-2030 and gas capacity rapidly expanding.
  • Emissions in the buildings sector will stagnate through 2050.
  • Emissions from transportation will decline through 2027, when fuel efficiency standards are set to expire, and then rise through the 2030s and 2040s.
  • To meet the Paris Accord goal (from which the US withdrew), the US must reduce emissions about 3% annually over the next six years — much faster than the 0.9% average annual reduction achieved since 2005.
  • The US must achieve a 45% reduction in emissions by 2030 (compared to 2005) to avert 2 degrees of warming.

The NRDC offers up the following solutions:

Enacting policies that promote construction of net-zero emissions buildings, more electric vehicles, acceleration of clean energy resources, and retirement of dirty fossil plants.

UK may ban gas boilers

Gas boilers may be banned from British homes, according to Climate Change Minister Lord Duncan of Springbank. The British government will be looking at a range of options to cut the country’s carbon footprint.

He said that options include electrifying the whole grid or putting hydrogen into the system.

Lord Duncan told the Sunday Telegraph:

Decarbonizing domestic heating will be a real challenge … We will need to do so in tandem with fuel poverty; again, there is no point decarbonizing while making people cold and sick.

We need to make sure we go hand-in-hand with that just transition for all the people.

Energy regulator Ofgem’s chief executive Jonathan Brearley identified possible options:

This might include using hydrogen boilers or electricity to power heat pumps and may see more customers connected to heat networks.

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