Tag Archives: co2 emissions

US GDP, Energy Consumption and CO2 Emissions

A review of the structure of US GDP, imports and exports shows that none of these variables has contributed to the fall in US CO2 emissions post-2008 finance crash. The main contributions to reduced CO2 come from high energy prices and recession (36%), gas substitution for coal (20%) and growth in wind and solar (15%) which more or less corroborates the findings of Roger Andrew’s in his recent post on this topic. Continue reading

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Blowout Week 162

We kick off with the exaggerated reporting of blackout risks in the UK and follow up with: Trump gets busy rolling back US oil & gas regulations; world oil and coal demand to peak by 2020; new UK guidelines on North Sea oil, the high cost of “new generation” nuclear plants; Toshiba to pull out of Moorside, Dong & Deutsche Bank to pull out of coal; Japan to build 45 new coal plants; China launches green certificates, Brexit’s impact on Irish gas prices, UK asked to cut biomass subsidies, Npower’s “shocking” price hikes, European solar demand falls; energy storage in California, Australia and Somerset; the world’s largest offshore wind turbine; a wind turbine that flaps like a hummingbird; Google’s 100% renewable energy claim a “gimmick” and a slight increase in global lower troposphere temperatures in January. Continue reading

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The gulf between the Paris Climate Agreement and energy projections

According to the Paris Climate Agreement a rapid decrease in the world’s consumption of fossil fuels is now mandatory if the Earth is to be saved from climate disaster. Projections of future energy use, however, are unanimous in predicting an increase in the world’s consumption of fossil fuels in coming decades. Either the energy consumption projections are wrong or the Paris goal is unachievable. This post reviews the basic provisions of the Paris Agreement, compares them with six independent estimates of future energy consumption and concludes that while the energy consumption estimates are subject to uncertainty the goals of the Paris Agreement are indeed unachievable. Continue reading

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Emissions reductions and world energy demand growth

A major obstacle to cutting global CO2 emissions is growth in world energy demand. In this post I examine world energy growth projections from a number of different sources and compare them with the growth trends that will be necessary to meet emissions reductions goals. It goes without saying that there is an enormous gulf between the two. This leaves the world with a stark choice – cut fossil fuel consumption by 80% by 2050 or suffer the consequences of global warming, whatever they may be. Continue reading

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Electricity and energy in the G20

While governments fixate on cutting emissions from the electricity sector, the larger problem of cutting emissions from the non-electricity sector is generally ignored. In this post I present data from the G20 countries, which between them consume 80% of the world’s energy, summarizing the present situation. The results show that the G20 countries obtain only 41.5% of their total energy from electricity and the remaining 58.5% dominantly from oil, coal and gas consumed in the non-electric sector (transportation, industrial processes, heating etc). So even if they eventually succeed in obtaining all their electricity from low-carbon sources they would still be getting more than half their energy from high-carbon sources if no progress is made in decarbonizing their non-electric sectors. Continue reading

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An update on the Energiewende

Germany is still pursuing its goal of shutting down its nuclear plants but refuses to shut down its lignite plants. It is slashing renewable energy subsidies and replacing them with an auction/quota system. Public opposition is delaying the construction of the power lines that are needed to distribute Germany’s renewables generation efficiently. Renewables investment has fallen to levels insufficient to build enough new capacity to meet Germany’s 2020 emissions reduction target. There is also no evidence that renewables are having a detectable impact on Germany’s emissions, which have not decreased since 2009 despite a doubling of renewables penetration in the electricity sector. It now seems certain that Germany will miss its 2020 emissions reduction target, quite possibly by a wide margin. In short, the Energiewende is starting to unravel. Continue reading

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Blowout Week 138

This week’s Blowout features the arrival within the next few weeks of the first of many shiploads of US fracked shale gas scheduled to be delivered to Scotland, which fracking supporters hope will “undermine arguments against fracking for shale gas in Scotland’s central belt”. The SHALE GAS FOR PROGRESS painted on the ships’ sides alone (inset) will be like a red rag to a bull to the anti-frackers, so prepare for protests: Continue reading

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Blowout Week 129

This week’s Blowout focuses on the distressed UK North Sea oil & gas industry followed by speculators foresee $100 oil, Norway’s oil & gas fields lose $50 billion in value, oil industry to cut $1 trillion in spending, squabbles over US Arctic oil leasing, another blow to Japan’s nuclear renaissance, the first US reactor startup in 20 years, bleak outlook for Australia’s brown coal plants, India cancels 16GW of coal, Brexit’s impact on energy investment, smart meters not needed for an EU grid after all, solar potential in Ireland, the National Grid should be broken up, a new submarine cable to France and Obama’s energy storage initiative. Continue reading

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The Energy Return of Solar PV

A new study by Ferroni and Hopkirk [1] estimates the ERoEI of temperate latitude solar photovoltaic (PV) systems to be 0.83. If correct, that means more energy is used to make the PV panels than will ever be recovered from them during their 25 year lifetime. A PV panel will produce more CO2 than if coal were simply used directly to make electricity. Worse than that, all the CO2 from PV production is in the atmosphere today, while burning coal to make electricity, the emissions would be spread over the 25 year period. Continue reading

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Blowout Week 123

A few careless campers who forgot to extinguish their campfire, or maybe a few kids playing with matches, or a cigarette, or an arsonist, a piece of glass, whatever, have in the last few days done more to bring the global oil market back into balance than OPEC and the rest of the world’s producers put together. Continue reading

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CO2 Emissions Variations in CCGTs Used to Balance Wind in Ireland

The island of Ireland functions as a single electricity grid linked to the British mainland by two interconnectors with a combined capacity of 1 GW. The Republic of Ireland in the south has set a goal to have 40% of electricity generated from renewables, mainly onshore wind, by 2020. Variable intermittency will be balanced using frame type combined cycle gas turbines (CCGTs). As the level of wind penetration grows the CCGTs need to work harder ramping up and down to compensate for variable wind. This causes increased wear and tear on the CCGT plant and also significantly reduces the energy efficiency of the CCGTs raising their specific CO2 production. During 2014 and 2015, average wind penetration was 22%, the CCGTs produced 575 Kg of CO2 per MWh and the average fuel efficiency was 32% compared with a design specification of 55%. Continue reading

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The looming Nordic energy crisis

Nuclear power in Sweden has become uneconomical. Wholesale prices of electricity in Sweden have been much lower than the breakeven price for nuclear generation. Electricity has been sold at a record low price of €20 per megawatt hour (MWh), while the cost of generating nuclear power has been in the same ballpark, or even slightly higher. Continue reading

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Blowout Week 116

This week: the UK aims for a zero carbon economy, Hinkley point still on the drawing board, oil producers to meet, German utilities in trouble, Peabody in trouble, Russia plans Mars attack, Amber Rudd on a Green NGO called DECC, Venezuela on the brink, and UK’s £11 billion smart meter fiasco. Continue reading

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The record of recent Man-made CO2 emissions: 1965 -2014

If Greens wants to save the world from CO2 emissions this data wholly vindicates the use of Nuclear power for electricity generation. Their preference for Renewable Energy, with the closure of fossil fuel generation, may destroy the progress and benefits of western civilization. Continue reading

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Blowout week 104

In a departure from the normal format I’m kicking off today with a few stories from Germany. Else where there is news of renewables subsidies being cut everywhere, nuclear power expansion everywhere bar Europe, oil price woes, concentrating solar power in Chile, the marijuana harvest straining the US grid and France opts for cheese power over nuclear power. Continue reading

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The UK’s Fifth Carbon Budget – Without the Green Crap

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC), under the chairmanship of Lord Deben, recently released its report entitled Power sector scenarios for the fifth carbon budget. The CCC report provides three scenarios under which a ~75% reduction in electricity sector emissions can be achieved by 2030 plus four other “alternative” scenarios that either exceed it or fall short. Continue reading

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CO2 – The View From Space – update

A good starting point is to look at a map for a 52 week average of data and compare this with global forest cover. The 52 week average is understood to provide a picture of net sources and sinks of CO2 (upper map). Many of the net sources appear to correlate with global forest cover (lower map) which is counter to intuition that global forests have acted as a net sink for anthropogenic CO2. Continue reading

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Renewable Energy At The Crossroads – IEA

IEA has concluded that due to “persistent policy uncertainties” renewable energy is not expanding quickly enough to allow the world to meet its climate targets . This brief post concludes that renewable energy will not expand quickly enough to meet the world’s present climate targets even if these uncertainties are removed. Continue reading

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Blarney from Carney

Mark Carney’s claim that between two-thirds and four-fifths of the world’s proven global oil, gas and coal reserves could be left “stranded” because of climate change action is not supported by the data. All of the oil and gas reserves plus about 20% of the coal reserves could be consumed without exceeding the IPCC’s trillion-tonne carbon emissions limit. Continue reading

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Blowout Week 90

The oil wars are coming down to the wire. More on the travails of US shale oil below the fold, plus a looming shortage of US natural gas, the forthcoming uranium boom, China burning more coal than thought, nuclear plant decommissioning problems in Germany, more threats to the UK grid, Scotland’s SMAUG anti-fracking group, Australia’s greens unhappy with Turnbull, Ireland missing its renewables target, the Paris climate talks, climate scientists demand that skeptics be prosecuted, killer germs from melting Arctic Ice and mutant fish from Fukushima. Continue reading

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