Energy savings: Heat homes, cool the planet
29 January 2021 | 9:00 am
When it comes to energy efficiency, France is lagging behind its European neighbours, trailing Germany, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. Nearly seven million French people live in residences known as "passoires énergétiques" or energy sieves. These homes have an energy rating of F or G, meaning it's too cold in winter, too hot in summer and importantly, it adds considerably to the country's carbon footprint.
As EU member states consider tightening restrictions on Russian energy imports, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi is among those calling for closer European integration. He says the bloc needs “structural solutions” to deal with soaring energy prices. Meanwhile, Italy and the UK take different stances over “windfall taxes” for energy giants as they reap record profits, and India's heatwave pushes electricity consumption to a record high.
Coal mining has long polluted the natural environment, with devastating consequences. But today, could it be a source of renewable energy? Down to Earth travels to the UK where disused, flooded coal mines are now reservoirs of geothermal energy.
India cited threats to food security and rising prices as reasons behind the policy U-turn. Global buyers had turned to India for wheat supplies after Russia's war on Ukraine disrupted agriculture markets.
Nigerian entrepreneur Mustapha Gajibo has been converting petrol mini-buses into electric vehicles at his workshop, but he is now going a step further to build battery-powered buses from scratch in a push to promote clean energy and curb pollution.
The European Union plans to invest up to €300 billion to reduce its dependence on Russian fossil fuels, the European Commission announced.
It took the invasion of Ukraine for Europeans to realise that decades of short-sighted energy policy have caught up with them. As Germany strips its former chancellor of parliamentary privileges over his refusal to sever ties with Gazprom, Gerhard Schröder's downfall is a reminder that it's all of Germany and most of Europe that went for a quick buck by buying Russian oil and gas.
As Berlin seeks to ween itself off Russian energy sources, Chancellor Scholz has said Qatar "plays an important role" in energy policy. The visiting Emir of Qatar has confirmed could start LNG deliveries by 2024.
Germany's race to cut its reliance on gas from Russia has injected urgency into the first official visit to Africa by Olaf Scholz as he hunts new sources of energy supplies.
The burning of fossil fuels like coal and gas supercharged the heat wave that has scorched India and Pakistan in recent weeks, two separate attribution studies have found.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is in Niger, continuing a three-country tour of Africa. One of the main motivations is that Germany is interested in new sources of energy. We get analysis from Dr. Douglas Yates of the American Graduate School in Paris. Also, as Hassan Sheikh Mohamud is sworn in as president of Somalia, we take a look at the challenges ahead for him. Elsewhere, it's been a year since the explosion of Mount Nyiragongo near Goma in eastern DR Congo, with many still homeless as a result.
A primary school in Uganda with more than 1,000 pupils guarantees the fecal matter that can generate enough biogas to cook daily meals.
Germany is keen to ditch Russian oil and gas for good and find new sources of energy, while Africa has abundant fuel reserves. The German-Africa Energy Forum has helped delegates develop mutually beneficial partnerships.
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