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Messages - rboyd

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1
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: Today at 12:20:46 AM »
After slowing down their solar investment last year, it looks like China is going to reverse the policy and provide subsidies for 30GW of solar projects this year.

https://cleantechnica.com/2019/04/17/chinas-447-million-solar-subsidy-could-yield-30-gigawatts-in-2019/

For the past few years, the additions to Chinese solar capacity have been (IRENA figures); 2014: 10GW; 2015: 15GW; 2016: 34GW; 2017: 53GW; 2018: 44GW. So 30-50GW (hi-lo forecasts) would be about the same to less than 2018.

If I take the mid of the forecasts for 2019, then the percentage yearly increase in installed capacity would be 2014: 60.7%; 2015: 53.9%; 2016: 79.3%; 2017: 68.7%; 2018: 34%; 2019: 22.9%. The kind of slowdown that would be expected as the installed capacity gets bigger, and therefore more absolute capacity has to be added to maintain the % growth rate.

In 2017 solar provided 1.84% of Chinese electricity generation. If they can keep going at 22% growth the solar capacity (and assuming generation grows in line with capacity) and solar electricity generation would double every 3.3 years. They would be needing to install 80GW/yr 3.3 years from now and 160GW 6.6 years from now, which should be doable. That would mean approx. 8% of Chinese electricity generation would be from solar in 2025, 16% in 2028ish and 32% in 2031ish (probably a bit lower due to the fast growth in overall electricity generation). Would be a great achievement but faster growth would be needed to reduce electricity-related GHGs given the high growth in electricity demand.

Wind was 4% of Chinese electricity generation in 2016, but that is growing at only 10% per year (doubling every 7 years). So maybe solar + wind growth could start offsetting the growth in electricity in the mid 2020s with a little help from nuclear and hydro.

Given the role of EV's in slowing oil consumption growth, and perhaps stopping that growth in the mid 2020's, then China's emissions could start falling from the mid 2020s. That would be a huge achievement for an economy growing at 6% a year, and massively expanding the use of coal until quite recently.


2
Science / Re: 2019 Mauna Loa CO2 levels
« on: April 17, 2019, 11:54:50 PM »
Thawing Permafrost Emitting Higher Levels of Potent Greenhouse Gas Than Previously Thought: Study

I had assumed that N20 atmospheric concentrations would stay on the same straight line increase that they have been on for decades, and certainly did not thinks permafrost thaw would change this. Seems every day I learn something new, and it tends not to be something good! N20 is 300 times worse than CO2 and lasts in the atmosphere for over 100 years.

Quote
N2O "has conventionally been assumed to have minimal emissions in permafrost regions," the report said, citing research published in the 1990s.

But the new study's findings challenge that assumption.

A team of researchers, led by Harvard University scientists, used a small plane to measure greenhouse gas levels over 120 square miles of thawing permafrost in the North Slope of Alaska. They found that in just one month of 2013, emissions of nitrous oxide in the region reached what was previously believed to be the yearly total.

"This revelation could mean that the Arctic—and our global climate—are in more danger than we thought," explained a statement from Harvard

Quote
What is clear, though, is that "much smaller increases in nitrous oxide would entail the same kind of climate change that a large plume of CO2 would cause," Wilkerson said.

The team's findings align with other recent studies that have relied on chambers—or "covered, pie plate-sized containers planted into tundra"—or the extraction of cylindrical "cores" from the permafrost to measure greenhouses gases, according to Harvard's statement.

The new study, said Wilkerson, "makes those findings quite a bit more serious."

The findings also bolster experts' previous warnings that policymakers around the world aren't adequately considering the impacts of permafrost thaw in their plans—based on the goals of the Paris climate agreement—to cut down planet-heating emissions and prevent climate catastrophe.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/04/16/thawing-permafrost-emitting-higher-levels-potent-greenhouse-gas-previously-thought

3
In 2017, the forecast for when BEVs would be comparable in price to ICEs was 2026.

Last year, the forecast for when BEVs would be comparable in price to ICEs was 2024.

Now, the forecast for when BEVs will be comparable in price to ICEs is 2022.

https://cleantechnica.com/2019/04/17/bnef-shocker-electric-cars-price-competitive-in-2020-as-battery-costs-plummet/

The title of the piece may very well end up being true, "electric cars price competitive in 2020".

4
Science / Re: 2019 Mauna Loa CO2 levels
« on: April 17, 2019, 10:06:39 PM »
Lurk,

We certainly seem to share the same realistic/pessimistic view of things. As the shit truly starts to hit the fan I see increasingly desperate attempts at geo-engineering etc. but most probably too late as the Earth systems take back control from the humans. The Anthropocene may turn out to be a very short era.

At least the Mauna Loa numbers are taken directly from the atmosphere, rather than the anthropogenic emission numbers that are open to so much possible error and manipulation to be meaningless for identifying trends over a relevant time horizon. I have pretty much given up on those and just watch the atmospheric concentration numbers, the policy makers should be doing the same.

5
China’s EV Sales Grow 118% Year On Year & Fossil Sales Fall 13% — Q1 Charts!

Possible for China EV market share to hit 10% this year, over 2 million vehicles, predominantly BEVs instead of PHEVs.

https://cleantechnica.com/2019/04/10/china-q1-ev-sales-grow-118-year-on-year-fossil-sales-fall-13-charts/


6
Science / Re: 2019 Mauna Loa CO2 levels
« on: April 16, 2019, 09:20:37 PM »
Its greenhouse gases as a whole that cause climate change, not just CO2.

Yes of course, that's correct. And also very relevant to overall warming especially going forward.

But as a much more closely monitored and therefore more consistent oft reported proxy for success/failure, CO2 is an excellent superior guide to monitor, and so this thread (I imagine)

CH4 emissions are tracked monthly by NOAA, and with the 20-year impact being 100 times that of CO2, the combination of tracking the two gives a much better view of whats happening. The acceleration in CO2 is bad enough, I absolutely agree, the addition of increasing levels of CH4 makes it go from bad to worse. Also matches better to the acceleration in temperature changes.

https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends_ch4/

7
Consequences / Re: Global Surface Air Temperatures
« on: April 16, 2019, 09:14:46 PM »
This fits the "accelerating climate sensitivity" concept, the hotter it gets the higher the climate sensitivity. Also fits with the concepts of feedbacks kicking in, one after the other, as temperature rises.

8
Science / Re: 2019 Mauna Loa CO2 levels
« on: April 16, 2019, 04:45:08 AM »
Probably, but do you recall or find which IPCC report iteration (esp. AR5) had the RCP 8.5 hitting 500 ppm CO2 by 2050? I don't recall one off hand.

AR5

https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uploads/2018/05/SYR_AR5_FINAL_full_wcover.pdf

9
Science / Re: 2019 CO2 emissions
« on: April 15, 2019, 11:31:12 PM »
Increase in lake emissions equivalent to 13% of fossil fuel related emissions due to "moderate levels of eutrophication" due to increased temperatures

We are rapidly getting to the point where cuts in anthropogenic emissions could be matched by increased sources and reduced sinks.The UNIPCC takes absolutely no account of this.

Quote
Our study shows that GHG emissions from lakes and impoundments are equivalent to ∼ 20% of global fossil fuel CO2 emission (9.3 Pg C‐CO2 yr−1; Le Quéré et al. 2016) and that emissions will rise even further with the continued eutrophication of Earth's lentic ecosystems.

[quote This analysis suggests that these moderate levels of enhanced eutrophication could increase the atmospheric effect of GHGs emitted from lakes and impoundments by 5%, 26%, or 42%, respectively (Supporting Information Table S7). This increased emission would be equivalent to around 1 Pg CO2eq yr−1 or about 13% of the effect of the current global emission of CO2 by the combustion of fossil fuels, and about equal to the excess CO2 emissions to the atmosphere from global land use change (Ciais et al. 2013).[/quote]

https://aslopubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/lol2.10073

10
Hubert Horan: Can Uber Ever Deliver? Part Nineteen: Uber’s IPO Prospectus Overstates Its 2018 Profit Improvement by $5 Billion

Basically, the IPO prospectus is a complete misrepresentation of reality and should have multiple people being jailed/disbarred immediately for intentionally misleading investors. Mixing operating revenues with one off sale gains etc....

Quote
Uber has internal data that could address all of these efficiency, pricing and margin questions in great detail. One can reasonably presume that they chose not to include any of it in the IPO prospectus because it would raise serious doubts about the company’s future growth and profit potential.

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2019/04/hubert-horan-can-uber-ever-deliver-part-nineteen-ubers-ipo-prospectus-overstates-its-2018-profit-improvement-by-5-billion.html

11
Science / Re: 2019 Mauna Loa CO2 levels
« on: April 15, 2019, 10:58:40 PM »
2018 increase in global atmospheric methane levels

NOAA's preliminary figures are for a rise of 10.99ppb in 2018, quite a jump from the 6.89ppb last year. Biggest jump since 2014. Will give the CO2e increase for the year quite a boost.

Anything to do with Trump watering down the fugitive methane regulations Obama put in place, together with the large jumps in US fracked oil production in 2018? There must be a lot of methane floating above Texas.

https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends_ch4/

https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=38992

And US oil production is still surging....

US expects record domestic oil production in 2019, 2020

https://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory/us-expects-record-domestic-oil-production-2019-2020-61023486

12
Science / Re: 2019 Mauna Loa CO2 levels
« on: April 15, 2019, 10:45:19 PM »
Its greenhouse gases as a whole that cause climate change, not just CO2. On that count using CO2e100 numbers we are already increasing at 4-5ppm/year (at about 498ppm in 2018 so we will hit the doubling of pre-industrial levels in about 12 years - 2030). If we use perhaps a more appropriate CO2e20 for methane, well above that (600ppm+ now and conservatively increasing by 100ppm every 15 years); unless we cut meat consumption and stop increasing the use of natural gas.

The other problem is increases in the carbon cycle kicking in as feedbacks (wetlands, peat bog fires, forest fires, permafrost, lakes ...), so that we could cut anthropogenic emissions and find that we are not reducing the trajectory of climate change. In addition of course we have Bolsonaro helping his buddies to clear the Amazon to grow soybeans and graze cattle, and Trump gutting any regulation related to combating climate change he can find (at last until 2020 if not beyond).

I will be stunned if we aren't into full discussions of implementing geoengineering by 2025 at the latest given the trajectory that we are on. That's without a "Blue Ocean Event" of course.

https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/aggi/aggi.html

13
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: April 15, 2019, 04:41:19 PM »
Vattenfall tests salt-based electricity storage technology

Interesting technology, especially if it is scaleable.

Quote
Swedish power producer Vattenfal in partnership with SaltXtechnology has started operations of a new 10 MWh salt-based power storage pilot plant. The pilot project is attached to Vattenfall's 160 MW Reuter CHP coal-fired facility in Spandau, Berlin. It will use a SaltX system that is based on nano-coated salt technology which enables this “salt battery” to be charged several thousand times and allowing the energy to be stored for months without losses. The pilot project will run until summer 2019. Vattenfall seeks to completely phase out coal in the Berlin region by 2030. The coal-fired Reuter C unit will be shutdown and will be replaced by a 120 MWh electric heat-only boiler (HOB) and a 120 MWh gas HOB by 2020.

Vattenfall owns and operates three coal-fired power plants in the Berlin area: the Reuter CHP plant along with the 140 MWe Moabit combined heat and power (CHP) and the 564 MWe Reuter West CHP plant. Vattenfall stopped its lignite-fired 185 MW Klingenberg CHP plant in May 2017. All coal-fired power plants in the Berlin area are slated to be shut down by 2030 as the Berlin government decided to ban hard coal-fired power generation in the city territory by this date to reduce CO2 emissions.

https://www.enerdata.net/publications/daily-energy-news/vattenfall-tests-salt-based-electricity-storage-technology-germany.html?utm_source=Enerdata&utm_campaign=d28d3dead0-Email_Daily_Energy_News_04_2019&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_838b1c9d18-d28d3dead0-124066705

14
Consequences / Re: Global Surface Air Temperatures
« on: April 13, 2019, 07:22:31 PM »
In the past few years the trends of both warming (increased methane and CO2 levels) and cooling (switching from coal to natural gas cuts sulfate aerosols, same with low-sulfate ship fuel and scrubbers) are accelerating in the wrong direction - so an accelerated increase in temperatures would be expected.

Using the 20-year CO2 equivalent for methane delivers an overall CO2E for all GHG's of over 600ppm, net that out with the aerosol cooling effects and we may still be at a level of radiative forcing that is double that of pre-industrial times, and only just at the start of the accelerated trend in temperatures.

All government policies point to more of the same:
- Continued focus on fracking with Trump removing the regulations on methane leaks. The energy expended in liquefaction makes this even worse.
- Increased gas supplies from Russia, with its leaky old infrastructure and no methane leak regulations
- Stabilization to low growth in coal use, with increased use of scrubbers (use up in Asia and Africa, down in Europe and the USA)
- The ongoing replacement of high-sulfur transport fuels
- Rates of wind and solar growth that are not high enough to offset even half of overall energy growth

The end result may catch the global community very much by surprise in the next few years, maybe we get a crisis in 2021/2022 in time for the big UN FCCC meetings. Then we get an accelerated focus on geoengineering?

15
Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: April 12, 2019, 06:18:23 PM »
China's coal consumption to rise to 3.89 bln tonnes in 2019 - China National Coal Association President

I suppose that we can be thankful that it's only a very small rise (3.87 billion tonnes to 3.89 billion tonnes), but means Chinese emissions will increase again with more oil and natural gas being burned. I certainly hope that the rise is no worse than that.

Quote
China’s coal consumption is set to rise slighly to 3.89 billion tonnes in 2019 from 3.87 billion tonnes last year, the president of the China National Coal Association said

https://af.reuters.com/article/energyOilNews/idAFB9N20600M

16
Science / Re: 2019 CO2 emissions
« on: April 12, 2019, 06:37:47 AM »
Thankyou, actually google translate tends to do a very good job.

17
Policy and solutions / Re: Aviation
« on: April 12, 2019, 02:38:28 AM »
GSY, having lots of fun today or is that rose-coloured glasses I spy?

18
Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: April 11, 2019, 09:13:53 PM »
India Draft National Energy Policy

This is the 2017 draft, still awaiting cabinet approval.

In 2040: solar 14-18%/3-5% and wind 9-11%/2-3% of electricity generation/commercial energy usage; oil 25-27% and gas 8-9% of commercial energy usage; coal 44-50% of commercial energy usage. The share of fossil fuels falls to 78% in 2040 (from 81% in 2012), overall energy usage more than doubles - so oil and gas usage more than doubles in absolute terms, and coal nearly doubles.

Very depressing document, hopefully the actual outcome is a lot better than this. It does show the issue in a country with rapidly expanding energy usage (which will still be much lower per capita in India with respect to Europe and North America); increases in renewables are eaten up by growth in energy consumption rather than reducing fossil fuel usage. Even with a much faster rate of growth in renewables and electrification of transport, Indian emissions could be rising into 2040.

Quote
Energy mix
In an increased electricity share, while in the immediate run-up towards universal
coverage of electricity it may not be viable to tap rooftop solar for homes, but by
2040 it would have become the norm. The share of solar and wind is expected to be
14-18% and 9-11% in electricity, and 3-5% and 2-3% in the primary commercial
energy mix respectively. The advent of EVs will have helped curb a rise in share of
oil and environment friendly gas would substitute oil in many uses. However, the
share of oil and gas would have almost maintained their shares of 26% and 6.5% in
2015-16 to 25-27% and 8-9% in 2040, respectively. In spite of a more than three
times increase in gas consumption, owing to large increase in total energy, the
increase in gas would be less in percentage terms. While coal would have risen in
absolute terms (nearly double), but in relative terms, it would have reduced its
contribution from 58% in 2015 to 44-50% in 2040. The overall share of fossil
fuels would have come down from 81% in 2012 to 78% in ambitious pathway in
2040.

19
Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: April 11, 2019, 07:25:51 PM »
Coal in India Adjusting to Transition - Brookings Institute

Quote
Coal provides about half of India’s commercial primary energy supply today and is the dominant fuel for power production in India. In 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi established ambitious goals for renewable energy (RE) development, aiming to quadruple its capacity by 2022. Despite expected growth in RE, we project that coal will remain the dominant fuel for electricity generation in India through 2030 and beyond, even though its share of generation will fall. Although coal will continue to dominate power supply, the coal industry in India faces significant challenges and upcoming change.

https://www.brookings.edu/research/coal-in-india/

20
Science / Re: 2019 CO2 emissions
« on: April 11, 2019, 06:05:14 PM »
Perhaps look in "2019 Mauna Loa CO2 levels"?

Atmospheric levels represent the actions of all sources (natural and anthropogenic) and sinks, and there is a significant amount of natural variation (e.g. La Nina/El Nino). There is also the possibility of feedbacks increasing natural emissions and reducing sinks. So probably not a good link between the two, especially in the short-term.

Coal Usage
Maybe the best proxy is coal usage in China and India, as the increase in coal usage accounted for 70% of the rise in emissions in 2017 and 2018. Forecasts are for 4% growth in India coal usage ongoing and it looks like China is quietly building new coal-fired power stations, so they may not peak for quite a while. Coal consumption statistics are usually quite delayed in reporting though. I ignore any reduction due to increased natural gas usage, as the significantly underreported fugitive methane leaks make it as bad as coal (yes, that means that emissions grew by more than reported in 2018).

Wind and Solar Electricity Generation
Another could be the forecast for the increase in wind and solar electricity generation (not capacity addition which is very misleading due to differing capacity factors) versus the forecast increase in overall electricity generation (growing at about 2.5% per year). If the ratio is greater than 1 (currently less than 0.5) electricity generation is decarbonizing. I ignore hydroelectricity (growth limited and net up-front emissions due to construction and the flooding of vegetation) and the highly questionable bio-fuels (e.g. wood pellets may be just as bad as coal and therefore UK emissions probably did not fall by as much as claimed).

In 2017 humanity utilized approximately 22,000 Terawatt hours of electricity, wind provided 5% of that, and solar 2% of that. Their combined share grew by 1%, which was much less than the 2.6% growth in overall generation. The growth rate would need to treble to start decarbonizing. You can get the data for look-back IRENA (International Renewable Energy Association) and look-forward data from GWEC (Global Wind Energy Council) and Solar Power Europe. Their forecasts for 2019 (which are usually pretty good) point to slowing growth rates in wind and solar, so not decarbonization. Same to 2022.

Internal Combustion Engine Car Fleet
As long as this is growing (as it is rapidly in China and probably soon India, and slowly in the US and Europe) emissions will tend to increase, offset a little by more efficient engines (offset a lot by increases in the size of cars). In 2019 car sales may fall somewhat, but the overall ICE car fleet will continue to grow. Until EV's are a significant share of sales in the USA and Europe this increase will continue. Monthly sales numbers, and EV share, are published monthly. Still too low to reduce the ICE fleet in the USA and EU.

Sorry that its not that simple to do. I track these things in detail because it is necessary for my PhD, it can be quite a pain tracking down accurate (and not misrepresented) data. My take is that, short of a recession, emissions will increase between now and 2022.

https://www.theepochtimes.com/secret-coal-plants-reveal-chinas-strategy-of-the-green-mirage_2860707.html

https://yearbook.enerdata.net/electricity/electricity-domestic-consumption-data.html

https://yearbook.enerdata.net/renewables/wind-solar-share-electricity-production.html

https://www.irena.org/publications/2019/Mar/Capacity-Statistics-2019

https://gwec.net/global-wind-report-2018/

http://www.solarpowereurope.org/global-market-outlook-2018-2022/

21
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: April 10, 2019, 10:22:19 PM »
Global Energy Storage to Hit 158 Gigawatt-Hours by 2024, Led by US and China - Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables projects a thirteenfold increase in grid-scale storage over the next six years.

Global electricity production is over 20,000 Terawatt-Hours (5,683 in China and 3,808 in the USA), and growing at about 2.6% per year (much faster in China). That's about 55 Terawatt-Hours (55,000 Gigawatt-Hours) per day, which puts 158 Gigawatt-Hours into perspective: about a minute and a half of storage. Will be a bit better if concentrated in China and the USA. A player in retail installations, but not in grid installations for a long time yet.

It still stuns me to be reminded of the colossal amounts of energy modern societies use, an amount that keeps increasing every year as we get new clever energy-sucking devices and the poorer nations climb the consumption ladder toward the richer ones.

https://yearbook.enerdata.net/electricity/electricity-domestic-consumption-data.html


22
Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: April 10, 2019, 09:52:31 PM »
New Wind and Solar Power Is Cheaper Than Existing Coal in Much of the U.S., Analysis Finds
Coal-fired power plants in the Southeast and Ohio Valley stand out. In all, 74% of coal plants cost more to run than building new wind or solar, analysts found.
https://insideclimatenews.org/news/25032019/coal-energy-costs-analysis-wind-solar-power-cheaper-ohio-valley-southeast-colorado

A quote from the article:

Quote
William Nelson, a co-author of the BloombergNEF report, says he is leery of comparing the costs of building new wind and solar to the costs of operating existing coal plants because a coal plant is capable of running around the clock, which makes it a different type of resource than wind and solar unless there is large-scale battery storage.

Any price needs to be adjusted for Quality of Service (QoS) characteristics, which will be a problem until very large scale batteries are available for the periods when wind and solar aren't providing much electricity (unless there is a lot of hydroelectricity available). We won't be there for a while, and that battery cost will have to be built into the price. A non-QoS adjusted price is simply misleading. In addition, there will be the non-depreciated cost of the coal plant to be written off. Probably not much of an issue in the US with its ageing fleet of coal plants, but could be quite an issue for other countries.

We are getting there just not at the pace that such overly-optimistic articles would have is believe.


23
Apart from the writing off of massive amounts of fossil fuel assets (intellectual property, production plants etc.), as pointed out above, BEVs will be much less profitable than ICE cars for the traditional manufacturers:

- They will lose all the market advantages of being able to produce ICEs (something that the Chinese were not good at) that provides a barrier to entry.

- Those ICEs require regular servicing and new parts as they age, which provide a very profitable cash flow for the traditional manufacturers

- The biggest drivers of competitiveness will be battery power/efficiency, electronic control systems and platform integration. The manufacturers will not have any real control over the first one, will have to share control over the second and keep control of the third - providing much less competitive control than they currently have.

- The premium for performance will be greatly reduced given the inherent acceleration advantage of a BEV vs an ICE, reducing the profitability of the currently more expensive cars.

So, no wonder they are dragging their feet. It won't save them, especially in the Chinese market and then beyond.

24
Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: April 08, 2019, 03:58:50 AM »
Because that is the position they are in.

25
So much for sustainable profitability, just dragging out things with yet more government-provided financial support, this time through an EU government directive. Better to hold Fiat-Chrysler's feet to the fire to produce EV's.

26
Thinking through the effect of EV's

Some basic thoughts:
- The Big 4 car markets are China (22 million), the USA (16 million), the EU28 (15 million), and India (4+ million)
- China and India are still growing car ownership and the average car age is very low (4.5 years in China) so the vast majority of new cars will be additions to the car fleet (i.e. not replace an ICE car)
- The USA and Europe are much more a replacement car market, but still with some additions to the car fleet (especially in the newer EU28 members that have less car penetration).

Therefore any growth in EV market share in China and India may reduce the rate of increase in GHG emissions and oil usage, by reducing the growth rate of the ICE car fleet, but not reduce absolute emissions and usage. Inversely, growth in market share will start to reduce the # of ICE vehicles in the USA and Europe once it gets over the 15-20% level (the incremental new car share of vehicle sales).

- USA car fleet is approximately 270 million
- EU28 car fleet is approximately 300 million
- The average US car is much older than the average EU28 car. Seems a lack of buying power, plus increased reliability, is driving people to keep cars much longer. Car loans for 6-7 years are now regularly offered.
- Its much cash flow cheaper (maintenance plus gas) to keep driving a 4-5 year old car than buy a new one (ICE or EV).

The "oil market apocalypse" will depend mostly upon the mix of increases/decreases in oil supply (i.e. mainly growth/decline in US tight oil) and the market share of EV's in the US and Europe. Anything above 20% market share in the US and Europe will probably trigger a price collapse. Within 5 years?

The "gas station and car maintenance apocalypse" in the US and Europe will be slow up to probably the mid 2020's, then accelerate rapidly after that - given the probable rate of ICE fleet reduction. It could be brought forward if the higher mileage drivers (taxis, fleets etc.) are the early adopters.


27
Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: April 07, 2019, 08:23:50 PM »
Excellent Glen Peters podcast on negative emissions, thanks Sleepy. Looks like CCS will not die, as it is about the only way to reconcile fossil-fuel driven economic growth with the need to deal with climate change. Shame that it works more in the political discourse sense than in reality. Am looking forward to the expanding propaganda on "clean coal" and the "circular CO2 economy" /sarc.

If I understand correctly there needs to be a massive-scale rollout of CCS (with coal, with bio-energy etc.) starting at the latest from 2030. Currently, there is no successful (i.e. commercially viable without supporting fossil fuel exploration that negates the climate benefits and capturing the vast majority of the CO2) CCS plant in operation.


28
Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: April 07, 2019, 12:15:42 AM »
China’s power industry calls for hundreds of new coal power plants by 2030

Looks like possible backsliding by China, what happens to this proposal will be very interesting.

Quote
The largest power producers in China have asked the government to allow for the development of between 300 and 500 new coal power plants by 2030 in a move that could single-handedly jeopardise global climate change targets.

It comes as coal-fired power capacity additions in 2018 slowed to their lowest rate since 2004, both in China and globally, though carbon emissions from the sector continued to rise, according to the International Energy Agency.

In its review of the government’s five-year-plan, China Electricity Council (CEC) – the influential industry body representing China’s power industry – recommended adopting a ‘cap’ for coal power capacity by 2030 — but the 1300GW limit proposed is 290GW higher than current capacity. The target is for the country’s coal-fired capacity to continue to grow until peaking in 2030.

The cap would enable China to build 2 large coal power stations a month for the next 12 years, and grow the country’s capacity by an amount nearly twice the size of Europe’s total coal capacity.

If this happens it could single-handedly end any chance of keeping global warming below 1.5C, and also conflicts with the 2C target, with even a conservative analysis of the goal requiring that China cut its coal capacity by roughly 200GW by 2030.

The Chinese government has not adopted the industry proposal, but it is under consideration.

https://unearthed.greenpeace.org/2019/03/28/china-new-coal-plants-2030-climate/

29
There was an interesting comment on one of the sites that I was checking on about a possible 80/20 type rule for total car miles driven.

Their point was that by the time you get 35-40% market share you will have covered about 80% of incremental miles driven as you will have covered all the high mileage drives (who get the most cost benefit from EV's given the fixed cost vs variable cost breakdown - e.g. taxi drivers and sales people).

Does anyone have any sources that could verify such as assertion?

30
I checked on the China Energy Portal for the Electricity Generation Stats:

For 2017: Coal was 66% and other thermal (mostly gas and some oil) was 5% of electricity generation - a total of 71% for fossil fuels.

For 2018: Overall Thermal (they have not split out coal, gas and oil yet for 2018) was 69% of electricity generation was fossil fuels.

So definitely below 80% share, so there will be some emissions benefit from EV's in China. Given that the vast majority of Chinese car sales are net new additions to the fleet still, it will be a reduction in the growth of emissions rather than an absolute emissions reduction.

Hopefully the Chinese push drives Europe and the US harder, where most cars sold are replacements and the electricity grid is more decarbonized.

P.S. A lot of sites mix up "total energy consumption" with "electricity production" which is very confusing. This site is pretty clear on what its stats are.

https://chinaenergyportal.org/en/2018-electricity-other-energy-statistics/


31
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: April 05, 2019, 10:05:49 PM »
Norway is still trying to find more oil and gas to export, even in the Arctic...

Norway defends new Arctic oil drilling

https://euobserver.com/energy/140648

32
Agreed, although that may have the effect of reducing aerosols that reduce the level of warming. People breathe more healthily, but it gets a little warmer.

33
Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: April 05, 2019, 05:59:40 PM »
Yes, a very good article. Interesting details on the levers being pulled to juice demand, and some left for the next quarter.

34
How clean are electric vehicles? Evidence-based review of the effects of electric mobility on air pollutants, greenhouse gas emissions and human health
Atmospheric Environment Journal 185 (2018), 64-77.

Abstract

There is a growing need for a broad overview of the state of knowledge on the environmental aspects of Electric Vehicles (EVs), which could help policymakers in the objective of making road transportation more sustainable and environmental friendly. This study provides a comprehensive review of the effects of EVs adoption on air quality, greenhouse gas emissions, and human health. Specifically, we (i) synthesized relevant published literature related to environmental implication of EVs, (ii) quantitatively evaluated the effect of EVs on environment and human health, and (iii) identified research gaps and recommend future research areas for the adoption of EVs and their benefits to society. We assessed in total 4734 studies and selected 123 articles of more
detailed review, with 65 articles fulfilling the inclusion criteria. The studies reviewed consistently showed reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and emissions of some criteria pollutants. Particularly on PM and SO2, the increases or decreases are very dependent on the context. Overall, the positive benefits of EVs for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and human exposure depends on the following factors: (i) type of EV, (ii) source of energy generation, (iii) driving conditions, (iv) charging patterns, (v) availabilty of charging infrastructure, (vi) government policies, and (vii) climate of a regions. This study provides a comprehensive analysis and review on the benefits of electric mobility.

Quote
3.1.2. GHG emissions
Most studies have considered CO2 emissions to link GHGs with electric mobility. From the 65 articles that fulfilled the inclusion criteria, 51 reported results for CO2 emissions. Fig. 8 indicates that EVs are associated with substantial reductions in CO2 emissions. According tothe literature reviewed, CO2 emissions due to EV penetration are less sensitive to the variation of source of energy generation than particulate and gaseous pollutants. In other words, some studies have shown
that even with a high percentage of electricity generated by coal power plants, EVs may still reduce emissions of CO2. For example, in China where the electric grid is mostly dominated by coal generation, BEVs can reduce CO2 emissions by 20%, but increase PM10, PM2.5, NOx, and
SO2 emissions by 360%, 250%, 120%, and 370%, respectively (Huo et al., 2013). However, when we focus on government targets for GHG emissions reduction, studies have reported that EVs can reduce petroleum imports, but it will be challenging for EVs to achieve the government goals for CO2 reduction (Doucette and Mcculloch, 2011; Shen et al., 2014a,b).

Looks like the 20% figure for China is from a single study in 2013. I found two later papers by Huo et. al.

Life-cycle assessment of greenhouse gas and air emissions of electric vehicles: A comparison between China and the U.S.
Atmospheric Environment 108 (2015) 107-116

Abstract

We evaluated the fuel-cycle emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and air pollutants (NOx, SO2, PM10 and PM2.5) of electric vehicles (EVs) in China and the United States (U.S.), two of the largest potential markets for EVs in the world. Six of the most economically developed and populated regions in China and the U.S. were selected. The results showed that EV fuel-cycle emissions depend substantially on the carbon intensity and cleanness of the electricity mix, and vary significantly across the regions studied. In those regions with a low share of coal-based electricity (e.g., California), EVs can reduce GHG and air pollutant emissions (except for PM) significantly compared with conventional vehicles. However, in the Chinese regions and selected U.S. Midwestern states where coal dominates in the generation mix, EVs can reduce GHG emissions but increase the total and urban emissions of air pollutants. In 2025, EVs will offer greater reductions in GHG and air pollutant emissions because emissions from power plants will be better controlled; EVs in the Chinese regions examined, however, may still increase SO2 and PM emissions. Reductions of 60e85% in GHGs and air pollutants could be achieved were EVs charged with 80% renewable electricity or the electricity generated from the best available technologies of coal-fired power
plants, which are futuristic power generation scenarios.

Quote
The fuel-cycle emissions of EVs depend substantially on the carbon intensity and cleanness of the electricity mix. With an electricity generation as in 2012, EVs running in regions with a
large share of natural gas based electricity and good pollutant control of power plants (as is the case in CA and NPCC) can reduce GHG emissions and the total and urban emissions of air pollutants
(except total PM in CA) compared with conventional gasoline vehicles. However, EVs operating in regions where coal dominates the power mix (Chinese regions and the three U.S. Midwestern states)
could increase both the total and the urban emissions, or offer limited reductions. In 2025, as the share of coal-based electricity decreases and emissions from power plants are controlled further,
EVs could offer greater reductions in GHG and air pollutant emissions, although Chinese regions may still increase SO2 and PM emissions. On the other hand, considering that EVs transfer a significant
proportion of vehicle fuel-cycle emissions from nearground tailpipes in populated cities to high chimneys that are usually far from people, EVs may be able to reduce the urban pollutant concentrations and benefit human health.

Assessment of electrical vehicles as a successful driver for reducing CO2
emissions in China

Applied Energy 184 (2016) 995–1003

Abstract

This paper analyses the impacts of the gasoline vehicle replacement programme with EVs at different penetration rates on petroleum and electricity sectors and their CO2 emissions. The study utilises a top-down-type Environmental Input–Output (EI–O) model. Our results show that the replacement of gasoline cars with EVs causes greater impacts on total gasoline production than on total electricity generation. For example, at 5%, 20%, 50%, 70% and 100% gasoline vehicle replacement with EVs, the total gasoline production decreases by 1.66%, 6.65%, 16.62%, 23.27% and 33.24% in policy scenario 1, while the total electricity production only increases by 0.71%, 2.82%, 7.05%, 9.87% and 14.10%. Our study
confirms that the gasoline vehicle replacement with EVs, powered by 80% coal, has no effect on overall emissions. The CO2 emissions reduction in the petroleum sector is offset by the increase in CO2 emissions in the electricity sector, leaving the national CO2 emissions unchanged. By decarbonising the electricity sector, i.e. using 30% less coal in electricity generation mix, the total CO2 emissions will be reduced by 28% (from 10,953 to 7870 Mt CO2) on the national level. The gasoline vehicle replacement programme with EVs, powered by 50% coal-based electricity, helps reduce CO2 emissions in petroleum sector and contributes zero or a very small proportion of additional CO2 emissions to the electricity sector (policy scenario 2 and 3). We argue that EVs can contribute to a reduction of petroleum dependence, air quality improvement and CO2 emission reduction only when their introduction is accompanied by aggressive electricity sector decarbonisation.

Quote
7. Conclusion

The purpose of this paper is to examine direct impacts on total gasoline production and electricity generation and their CO2 emissions as a result of gasoline vehicle replacement with EVs in China. We find that the introduction of EVs in China is only sensible if the power sector is decarbonised by using renewable energy sources. As long as power is generated by coal, the vehicle replacement programme has no effect (policy scenario 1). As soon as the electricity sector is decarbonised, EVs contribute zero or a very small amount of additional CO2 emissions to the electricity sector (policy scenario2 and 3). Our study shows that EVs are able to reduce dependency on petroleum and to improve air quality, however, they are not the main driver for reducing the national CO2 emissions in China. Policies on structural changes in primary economic sectors, i.e. improvement of carbon intensity in the electricity sector, are needed to achieve a substantial reduction of national CO2 emissions before any new products, such as EVs, can be rolled out in the transportation sector in the future. Currently, renewable and low-carbon energy sources are still under-used and the electricity sector is largely powered by coal in China [75,76]. It is therefore an ineffective and counterproductive activity for Chinese Government to promote EVs.

The last sentence states it very clearly, unless the Chinese electricity supply is significantly decarbonized, EV's will not reduce GHG emissions. For other countries, with much less fossil fuels in their electricity supply, EV's will significantly reduce GHG emissions. Unfortunately, China is decarbonizing at a very slow rate (there was a burst of activity in the past couple of years but the growth rate has been greatly reduced due to government policy changes). What EVs will do is greatly increase Chinese energy security as they shift demand from imported oil to domestically produced coal. This makes great sense given the increasingly competitive relationship with the US and the easily interdictable (and easily affected by sanctions) nature of oil tankers travelling through the Straits of Malacca.

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a 20% reduction in emissions reduction in one of the worst grids, China, is not marginal.

Where did you get the 20% figure from for China, I did not see that in the article? I searched some peer reviewed journals for comparisons and found this article from 2017:

Abstract:

In the transport sector, electric vehicles (EVs) are widely accepted as the next technology paradigm, capable of solving the environmental problems associated with internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs).  However,  EVs  also  have  environmental impacts  that are  directly  related  to  the country’s electricity  generation  mix.  In  countries  without  an  environmentally  friendly  electricity  generation  mix,  EVs  may  not  be  effective  in  lowering  greenhouse  gas  (GHG)  emissions.  In  this  study,  we  analyzed the extent to which the GHG emissions associated with EVs differs among 70 countries in the world,  in  relation  to  their  domestic  electricity  generation  mix.  Then,  we  compared  the  results  with  the  GHG emissions from  the ICEVs.  Countries  with  a  high  percentage  of  fossil  fuels  in  their  electricity  generation  mix  showed  high  GHG emissions  for  EVs,  and  for  some  of  these  countries,  EVs were associated  with more GHG emissions than ICEVs. For these countries, policies based on the positive environmental impact of EVs may have to be reconsidered. In addition, different policies may need to be considered for different vehicle types (compact car, SUV, etc.),  because the ability of EVs to reduce GHG emissions compared to that of ICEVs varies by vehicle type

Some highlights from the text:

Quote
The GHG  emissions  calculated  for  BEVs  for  each  country  are strongly related  to  the electricity generation mix of the country. The GHG emissions calculated for BEVs were the highest in  South  Africa,  which  has  a  high  ratio  of  fossil  fuels  (93%)  in  its  electricity  generation  mix,  specifically  102.7  to  149.5 g⋅CO2eq/km.   Similarly,  countries  with  high  fossil  fuel  ratios  in  their  generation mix such as Australia (88%), India (81%), and China (74%) also had high GHG emissions. However, for countries such as Russia, which has 66% fossil fuels in their mix, GHG emissions were lower because the majority of the fossil fuels used was natural gas, which emits much less GHG than coal or oil

Quote
Finally,  we  analyzed  the  global effects  of  BEV  and  ICEV  technologies  on  GHG  emissions  by taking the average of the GHG emissions from BEVs for 70 countries weighted by their total net electricity generation. The results showed that for the subcompact category, BEVs may or may not be associated with lower GHG emissions depending on the choice of the emission factors. On the other hand,  for  the  other  three  categories,  gasoline  ICEVs  had higher  GHG  emissions  than  BEVs  regardless of the emission factors chosen ... However,  the trend of downsizing cars running on gasoline and diesel (ICEVs) together with the advances in exhaust reduction technologies have considerably reduced the GHG emissions of ICEVs. In countries with high coal dependency in their  electricity  generation  mix,  BEVs  may  be  associated  with  increased  emissions  of GHGs compared  to  the conventional  ICEVs.  Therefore,  the  ratio  of  coal  in  the  electricity  generation  mix should be lowered for the BEVs to be effective in alleviating GHG emission problems

So, the benefit of BEVs will be bigger in countries with generally larger vehicles (e.g. big SUVs and trucks) and a cleaner electricity mix. For China it is questionable. The report does make the mistake of counting natural gas as "cleaner" than coal, but that is highly questionable given the fugitive methane emissions (fracking and leaky infrastructure) and the energy cost of liquefaction (freezing) for sea transport. This is important for my PhD research, so I will be searching for other sources as well.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/314216388_Well-to-wheel_analysis_of_greenhouse_gas_emissions_for_electric_vehicles_based_on_electricity_generation_mix_A_global_perspective

36
Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: April 04, 2019, 10:47:28 PM »
The medium-term issue is that Tesla is soon to be losing its nearly uncontested market position, as other car makers finally start putting out some real competition. The prospect of this may also delay people from buying a Tesla if they know a mainstream manufacturer is going to have models out within a year or so. This is especially true for their higher margin variants, with companies like Porsche coming out with models in 2019. The early-adopter rich set that are not price sensitive may just wait for that.

I see Tesla struggling along for a few quarters then striking an alliance/takeover by another manufacturer that can leap frog using Tesla's technical know-how allied to volume manufacturing ability. Either one of the US manufacturers or maybe also the Japanese manufacturers like Toyota that are so far behind. The price would have to be a relatively small percentage of the current valuation though - way below $200.

On the Elon margin call - he could pledge more stock but if the price is falling the financial institution will impose a pretty big "haircut" to limit their risk.

37
Quote
Simply moving from oil emissions to coal emissions.

Even when powered by coal EV’s emitt less than ICE’s cradle to grave.

That is absolutely not true, as it depends on the average mpg of the ICE cars in the market and the amount of coal in the electricity supply. The Union of Concerned Scientists shows this below for the different US states. China has an over 60% share of coal in its electricity supply (plus some natural gas and oil) and an average mpg for its new cars of 37.4mpg in 2017. So at best, a marginal emissions benefit for new EV's. With EV emissions front-loaded (i.e. in manufacturing), emissions could get worse in the short-term. A short-term that could last quite a long time if EV volumes keep growing fast.

https://chineseclimatepolicy.energypolicy.columbia.edu/en/fuel-efficiency

38
Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: April 04, 2019, 06:49:45 PM »
There is no support for the price below $200, so could fall very, very fast once it breaks that level.

39
Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: April 04, 2019, 06:46:36 PM »
Looks to me that Tesla sucked up all the demand for the early adopters in the US (not helped by the loss of the tax benefit) and is now doing the same in Europe and Asia. So there will be some big jumps in Europe/Asia market share for a short while then a quick fall off. If that happens, there will be a severe liquidity issue at Tesla - especially if they are playing games to goose their cash position at reporting time (which is quite likely given all the other games going on).

The 1-year chart of TSLA shares looks awful, as the price keeps getting rejected at the falling moving average - which does not bode well for the future. If it breaks $250 we will be at $200 pretty fast, which will mean that buyers all the way back to 2013 will have at best broken even. Then we have the Musk margin-call price that will make everyone very antsy. Things could get ugly very fast - a bit like Nortel in the dot.com bubble.

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Piece on the Growth of India's Vehicle Market

India is pushing EV's, but like China, unless they significantly decarbonize their energy mix there will be no real change with respect to ICE cars. Simply moving from oil emissions to coal emissions.

Quote
With India set to remain susceptible to energy shocks, it has launched a massive rollout of electric cars to curb oil consumption as well as air pollution in major cities. Environmental campaigners including Greenpeace say it has become a public health issue, with 1.2m Indians dying from poor air quality each year.

After initially aiming for all passenger vehicles sold by 2030 to be electric, India reduced this to 30 per cent in March. Aside from battery costs and the readiness of manufacturers, the revised plan came amid debate over the infrastructure and power capacity to support a mass rollout.

There is also a question over how much difference electric cars will make to pollution levels, given that coal generation will remain dominant in the country’s electricity system. Coal-based power provides 75 per cent of electricity supply in India while contributing around 35 per cent of carbon emissions.

“Electricity expansion is still very much reliant on coal,” says Laura Cozzi, head of demand outlook at the International Energy Agency. “Solar is as cheap as coal in certain areas, but the challenge is to keep up with demand and to do it cheaply. Turning to electric vehicles is pointless if you need to rely on coal-fired power.” In a sign of the price sensitivities of big energy companies, Nayara’s Vadinar refinery is entirely powered by imported coal.   

The government is targeting deployment and integration of 175 gigawatts of renewable capacity by 2022, including solar and wind power into the national grid, as part of its clean energy programme.

The cost of renewable technologies, such as solar photovoltaics, is falling sharply. But despite huge investment, renewables’ share of Indian power generation is only expected to rise to barely a quarter by 2040, according to BP.

https://www.ft.com/content/9db641ba-d121-11e8-a9f2-7574db66bcd5

But Electric car sales in India declined by 40% in 2018

Quote
EV sales retreated to a mere 1,200 units in the 2018 financial year, but electric two-wheeler sales rose 138%, to 54,800 units, according to research and consultancy group Wood Mackenzie.

https://www.pv-magazine.com/2019/01/23/electric-car-sales-in-india-declined-by-40-in-2018/

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I find AbruptSLR to be a refreshing break from the UN Climate Circus prognostications, which continually use sleights of hand (ignoring increased natural emissions, restrictive confidence intervals, low values for climate sensitivity, ignoring the growth in methane levels, assumptions of massive rollouts of hypothetical technologies, assuming a frictionless rollout of renewables etc.) to be able to say that "we can still do it and keep growing" from every report.

His posts remind us that there definitely are possible climate devils out there which we should not be taking the risk of triggering - i.e. The Precautionary Principle. In addition the scientific community/policy keeps taking its time to catch up to the likes of Hansen and others.


42
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: April 03, 2019, 10:05:18 PM »
The drop in the growth of hydro capacity is interesting, I need to do some research on that. There has been a lot of reports about hydro not being that climate friendly, especially in the tropics that have very lush vegetation that will get waterlogged and emit lots of GHGs. Also, there are quite a few movements in place to stop the taking of lands for hydro projects.

A few years ago the World Bank put a lot of focus on funding new big hydro projects:

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/may/14/world-bank-hydropower-dam-rethink

The collapse of a new World Bank funded dam in Laos can't help, and may slow down the gung-ho plans of the Laos government to turn it into a hydro battery for its neigbours.

https://www.devex.com/news/in-laos-a-world-bank-model-dam-and-the-myth-of-sustainable-hydropower-93716

Seems that we are ripping dams out in the North while the global south is still trying to build new ones, and quite a few of the news ones aren't achieving the output that was promised. Also, there is the issue of climate-change droughts reducing power outage in some areas (recently Brazil and South East/East Africa).

Quote
Dams are now being removed at a rate of more than one a week on both sides of the Atlantic ... In the developing world, an estimated 3,700 dams, large and small, are now in various stages of development.

https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-46098118

And...

Quote
New research finds that the world’s hydroelectric dams generate a surprising amount of greenhouse gas emissions

https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2016/nov/06/hydropower-hydroelectricity-methane-clean-climate-change-study

Laos could end up as a major GHG emitter if it builds all those dams....

Quote
However, estimates for life-cycle global warming emissions from hydroelectric plants built in tropical areas or temperate peatlands are much higher. After the area is flooded, the vegetation and soil in these areas decomposes and releases both carbon dioxide and methane. The exact amount of emissions depends greatly on site-specific characteristics. However, current estimates suggest that life-cycle emissions can be over 0.5 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent per kilowatt-hour [5,6].

To put this into context, estimates of life-cycle global warming emissions for natural gas generated electricity are between 0.6 and 2 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent per kilowatt-hour and estimates for coal-generated electricity are 1.4 and 3.6 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent per kilowatt-hour

https://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/our-energy-choices/renewable-energy/environmental-impacts-hydroelectric-power.html




43
Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: April 03, 2019, 09:49:27 PM »
Coal in China may get additional support from the rapid growth of EV's, as this basically transfers energy usage from oil burnt in the cars to electricity - the majority of which is provided with coal burnt in electricity generating plants. The extra growth in electricity demand may end up burning more coal unless China rapidly accelerates its renewables growth.

With Chinese ICE cars having very high mpg versus North American cars, and the high percentage of coal in the electricity supply, the EV's won't affect the emissions trajectory very much without a decarbonizing of the electricity supply. The biggest benefit would be to reduce the growth in Chinese oil imports, which are highly at risk to interdiction or sanctions from the US, and replace that growth with domestic sourced electricity (coal or renewables). The Chinese are also building as many oil pipelines as possible to other countries to bypass the risky water-born traffic.

44
Policy and solutions / Re: Nuclear Power
« on: April 03, 2019, 09:36:52 PM »
China to Restart Approvals for New Nuclear Plants - Enerdata

Quote
Chinese state-owned nuclear group China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) expects the nuclear project approval process to return to normal soon, since China suspended all conventional reactor approvals over the three past years until it cleared two new nuclear plants in early 2019. China initially planned to reach 58 GW of nuclear capacity by 2020 and to have another 30 GW under construction, but the country is lagging behind its objectives, with only 45 GW operational at the end of 2018 and 12 GW under construction.

CNNC expects new nuclear projects to help China meet its 2030 energy, climate and pollution targets. The country aims to raise the share of non-fossil fuels in its energy mix from 15% in 2020 to 20% in 2030 and to peak greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by around 2030.

15% to 20% doesn't look big, but if energy demand doubles at the same time (quite possible with the rate of Chinese economic growth), it means a 166% absolute increase in that period. Given the issues that they are having with their nuclear program, this puts a lot of dependence on the rapid growth of wind and solar. And this only to stabilize emissions in 2030, while they grow for the next 12 years.

45
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: April 03, 2019, 08:32:14 PM »
IRENA 2018 Numbers

Irena (International Renewable Energy Agency) has published their numbers for 2018.

Global Growth for All Renewables Capacity
2015 9.26%
2016 8.61%
2017 8.54%
2018 7.86%

Global Growth for Hydro-Electric Capacity
2015 3.23%
2016 2.91%
2017 2.29%
2018 1.67%

Global Growth for Wind Capacity (5% of global electricity production in 2017)
2015 18.58%
2016 12.5%
2017 10.14%
2018 9.54%

Global Growth for Solar Capacity (2% of global electricity production in 2017)
2015 27.23%
2016 31.65%
2017 31.54%
2018 24.23%

https://www.irena.org/publications

https://yearbook.enerdata.net/renewables/wind-solar-share-electricity-production.html

46
Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: April 02, 2019, 05:03:45 AM »
I wish that I could be more optimistic, but again and again when we dig beneath the "positive" headlines the underlying trend is very different. A big reason that the number of net new coal plants is declining is that India added a huge amount of capacity in the past few years, hence its low utilization rate (and therefore ability to burn a lot more coal with the current fleet). China also has a very low utilization rate.

When it comes to coal, what happens in China (over 50% of global coal usage) and India (over 11% of global coal usage) dwarfs everything else. The Rest of the World (14%) and Indonesia (2%) are also growing coal usage. So cuts in Europe and the USA (less than 9% of global coal usage) that hit the headlines get more than offset by the rest (Germany is only 2% and Poland 1% of global coal usage).

Much of the reduction in coal usage in the United States etc. is with natural gas, which is at least as bad as coal for climate change when the methane fugitive emissions and lack of climate cooling aerosols are taken into account.

Much, much more aggressive government action is required to move away from fossil fuels at the rate required.

47
The UNFCCC and IPCC have turned into a device to enable growth while keeping the pressure for more fundamental change at bay by creating a mirage of real progress. Every time there is a clash between the need to reduce GHG emissions and growth another rabbit is pulled out of the hat - such things as the inclusion of BECCS and DACS, the manipulation of confidence intervals, and the usage of low estimates for climate sensitivity.

It does look like the science is starting to remove some of the rabbits (e.g. low estimates of climate sensitivity) and the confidence interval cant be messed with any more (the 50% for 1.5 degrees was the lowest that I think they can get away with). The continued increase in atmospheric CH4 is also adding pressure. So the new rabbits for the 2022 IPCC report may be even greater use of BECCS/DACS, plus maybe rock weathering and SRM?

Reading some of Radoslav Dimitrov's articles on the UN FCCC processes (he was a delegate at Copenhagen and Paris) helps show what a political circus it is. He calls the Copenhagen Accord and Paris Agreement "decoy institutions" meant to hide the reality of a lack of any real progress.


48
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2019 melting season
« on: April 01, 2019, 10:44:47 PM »
Trying to short-term predict a complex chaotic system like the Arctic is a mugs game. We know that the heat imbalance is rising, and we know that there are a lot of possible "cliffs" for values to fall down, but we also know that there are some short-term negative feedbacks and sheer randomness that mess with the predictions. The trend is there, but also a lot of noise. Then, in addition we have outside influences such as the ENSO.

At some point the Arctic sea ice will go "poof", probably quite soon given the trends, and once it goes poof there is a high probability that it will stay poofed given the probable feedbacks that will be triggered. We may all then be very much f**d, so I am personally hoping for (not predicting) a slow move to the poof event.


49
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: April 01, 2019, 10:31:13 PM »
Ken,

Your source for global wind energy growth actually pretty much agrees with my sources, 59GW vs. 55GW per year is a small difference. It still represents 10% or less yearly growth in installed capacity.

There is a whole lot of inertia in the system that is reducing renewable growth rates, Germany is a very good case. It has taken them forever to agree to close their coal fields, and they are reducing support for RE while building natural gas pipelines with the Russians. Also a lot of NIMBY stuff happening there over the building of the required high voltage lines.

Also marginal cost (even if we ignore the extra worth of dispatchable vs non-dispatchable energy) is only one variable used for energy investment purposes. A big one is the non-depreciated value of current assets (who pays for the losses?) as well as the political power of fossil fuel incumbents. Just look at what happened to the New Green Deal in the US, quietly smothered to death by the Democratic leadership, or the Canadian government deciding to buy a pipeline.

50
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: April 01, 2019, 09:45:40 PM »
Rate of Growth In Global Solar Decelerating Rapidly

The net additions of solar capacity in China fell by 18% in 2018 (vs 2017), after a big jump the previous year. Given the scale of China solar capacity, and the importance of its growth to overall growth, this can only presage a big drop in the percentage increase in global capacity in 2018 (vs 2017). New capacity additions will drop again in China in 2019 given the policy changes.

Quote
China put just over 43 gigawatts (GW) of new solar generation capacity into operation in 2018, down 18 percent from a year earlier, an industry group said on Thursday, after a government move to curb new capacity and ease a subsidy payment backlog.

Quote
China announced last year that it would suspend new projects after a record 53 GW capacity increase in 2017 left it struggling to find spare grid capacity and pay a renewable subsidy backlog amounting to more than 140 billion yuan ($20.69 billion) last year.

The US will not be picking up the slack:

The absolute level of new installations fell in 2018 (so the % increase fell more). Forecast is for a doubling in the next five years, which would represent a 14.4% annual growth rate to 2023. Then another doubling in the next 7 years to 2030, a 10% annual growth rate.

Quote
The U.S. installed 1.7 gigawatts (GW) of solar PV capacity in Q3 2018 to reach 60 gigawatts (GW) of total installed capacity, enough to power 11.3 million US homes, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). While these numbers do represent a 15% year-over-year decrease and a 20% quarter-over-quarter decrease, many positive developments were moving solar in a positive direction.

Quote
The Solar Energy Industries Association anticipates that total installed US PV capacity is will more than double over the next 5 years, and by 2023, over 14 GW of PV capacity will be installed annually. With installations rising to around 240 GW by 2030

India incremental capacity additions fell in 2018, forecast to recover to a new high in 2019. Still a relatively small base that will not offset trends in China and the US.

Japan's growth is also slowing markedly - 17GW in 3 years is a 10% annual growth rate. Then forecast to decelerate much more after that.

The European solar market is very small versus the global market.

Quote
Growth in Japan’s solar power sector is predicted to slow over the coming decade, according to a new analysis from the Fitch Group, but not before the industry adds 17 gigawatts (GW) worth of new solar capacity between the end of 2017 and the end of 2020.

Quote
Specifically, while Fitch expects Japan’s solar sector to add 17 GW in the next few years, it conversely expects Japan will only see 14 GW of new solar brought online between 2021 and 2027.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-solarpower/china-installed-18-percent-less-solar-power-capacity-in-2018-idUSKCN1PB09G

https://cleantechnica.com/2019/02/24/2019-us-solar-market-outlook/

https://qz.com/india/1519929/india-will-add-a-record-level-of-solar-power-capacity-in-2019/

https://cleantechnica.com/2018/10/12/japan-to-add-17-gigawatts-of-new-solar-by-end-of-2020/

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