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Messages - Ken Feldman

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51
Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: November 21, 2019, 06:36:24 PM »
Yes.  He seems to think that China is acting like a 1930s Japan and trying to avoid an upcoming oil boycott.  Only with coal plants.

They could of course build renewable resources and not need to rely on coal, so the whole scenario seems a bit far-fetched.

Given that coal will no longer be used in the 2030s and natural gas is on the way out, it doesn't make a hell of a lot of sense.

But if he can get it by his thesis advisor, then good for him.

52
Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: November 20, 2019, 09:43:03 PM »
Asia's demand for natural gas is decreasing for several reasons, including slower economic growth and cheaper renewables.

https://www.spglobal.com/platts/en/market-insights/latest-news/natural-gas/112019-twin-woes-for-asia-gas-demand-slowing-economies-plenty-of-fuel-oil

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Analysis: Twin woes for Asia gas demand - slowing economies, plenty of fuel oil

 Singapore — An anticipated softer approach by some Asian governments in pushing coal-to-gas switching because of feeble economic growth and rising fuel oil supplies due to stricter shipping fuel norms may cast a shadow on the region's appetite for gas, analysts told S&P Global Platts.

While Asia's biggest energy consumers struggle due to slowing growth -- China is witnessing its slowest GDP growth in decades and India's economy is facing headwinds -- the argument to speedily replace coal with relatively expensive gas under the current economic climate is a tough sell for policy makers.



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After years of technological improvements, renewable fuel sources are now progressively able to compete with fossil fuels on an equal footing and are projected to be consistently more affordable by 2020, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency.

53
Policy and solutions / Re: But, but, but, China....
« on: November 20, 2019, 09:24:40 PM »
Cross-posted from the coal forum:

Once China peaks, global coal consumption will peak.  If you were to take all of the countries other than China, global coal capacity has declined.

https://endcoal.org/2019/11/new-report-out-of-step-china-is-driving-the-continued-growth-of-the-global-coal-fleet/

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Report: Out of Step – China Is Driving the Continued Growth of the Global Coal Fleet
Posted November 20, 2019 by Ted Nace

Today, Global Energy Monitor released Out of Step: China is driving the continued growth of the global coal fleet. The report, based on plant-by-plant research by the Global Coal Plant Tracker, finds that from 2018 through June 2019, countries outside of China decreased their total coal power capacity by 8.1 gigawatts (GW), due to steady retirements and an ongoing decline in the commissioning of new coal plants. Over the same period China increased its coal fleet by 42.9 GW, and as a result the global coal fleet overall grew by 34.9 GW.



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China’s proposal to continue growing its coal fleet through 2035 comes as 31 countries have proposed phasing out coal power by 2030. Of the countries that continue to develop coal, China is financing over a quarter (102 GW) of all proposed coal plants outside its borders, including most coal power capacity under development in South Africa, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, among others. Combined with domestic proposals, Chinese financing is behind over half of all global coal power capacity currently under development.

“China’s proposed coal expansion is so far out of alignment with the Paris Agreement that it would put the necessary reductions in coal power out of reach, even if every other country were to completely eliminate its coal fleet,” said Christine Shearer of Global Energy Monitor. “Instead of expanding further, China needs to make significant reductions to its coal fleet over the coming decade.”

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The report concludes: “China’s continued expansion of its coal fleet is not inevitable: the central government could strengthen its existing policies discouraging coal plant building, continue incentivizing low-carbon power over coal, and begin a transition toward clean energy. The path that China’s central government chooses could make or break Paris climate goals.”

54
Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: November 20, 2019, 09:21:00 PM »
Once China peaks, global coal consumption will peak.  If you were to take all of the countries other than China, global coal capacity has declined.

https://endcoal.org/2019/11/new-report-out-of-step-china-is-driving-the-continued-growth-of-the-global-coal-fleet/

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Report: Out of Step – China Is Driving the Continued Growth of the Global Coal Fleet
Posted November 20, 2019 by Ted Nace

Today, Global Energy Monitor released Out of Step: China is driving the continued growth of the global coal fleet. The report, based on plant-by-plant research by the Global Coal Plant Tracker, finds that from 2018 through June 2019, countries outside of China decreased their total coal power capacity by 8.1 gigawatts (GW), due to steady retirements and an ongoing decline in the commissioning of new coal plants. Over the same period China increased its coal fleet by 42.9 GW, and as a result the global coal fleet overall grew by 34.9 GW.



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China’s proposal to continue growing its coal fleet through 2035 comes as 31 countries have proposed phasing out coal power by 2030. Of the countries that continue to develop coal, China is financing over a quarter (102 GW) of all proposed coal plants outside its borders, including most coal power capacity under development in South Africa, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, among others. Combined with domestic proposals, Chinese financing is behind over half of all global coal power capacity currently under development.

“China’s proposed coal expansion is so far out of alignment with the Paris Agreement that it would put the necessary reductions in coal power out of reach, even if every other country were to completely eliminate its coal fleet,” said Christine Shearer of Global Energy Monitor. “Instead of expanding further, China needs to make significant reductions to its coal fleet over the coming decade.”

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The report concludes: “China’s continued expansion of its coal fleet is not inevitable: the central government could strengthen its existing policies discouraging coal plant building, continue incentivizing low-carbon power over coal, and begin a transition toward clean energy. The path that China’s central government chooses could make or break Paris climate goals.”

55
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: November 20, 2019, 08:57:21 PM »
Geroncrat,

You can get up to date statistics here:

https://chinaenergyportal.org/en/2019-q3-electricity-and-energy-statistics/

As you can see, the growth in carbon-free electricity generation from 2018 to 2019 is quite impressive:




56
Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: November 20, 2019, 08:34:27 PM »
Although this is the coal forum, it's interesting to look at the US projection for oil used to develop the 2030 emissions gap report.  Again, here's the link to the report:

http://productiongap.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Production-Gap-Report-2019.pdf

Table 3.1 on page 25 shows the projections for 2030 based on national production goals and compared to the IEA's New Policy Scenario (NPS).  Looking at the entries for the United States, it projects that oil production will be 22 million barrels per day according to the US projection (EIA) or 18 million barrels per day under the IEA's NPS. 

Current US oil production is at an all-time record of 12.8 million barrels, most of which is from fracked shale wells.  Fracked shale wells decline rapidly, with production declines ranging from 75% to 90% in the first year.  So to increase production, you need to replace the decline and then add new wells over and above the replacement wells.

Since most oil companies in the past few years burned through their cash to try to capture market share, they've lost money.  And investors are no longer pumping money into fracking companies (much of that money is going into renewable energy projects instead).  As a result, rig counts have been declining rapidly over the past year.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/producers-are-putting-the-brakes-on-the-shale-boom-heres-what-that-means-for-oil-prices-2019-11-01

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Producers are putting the brakes on the shale boom — here’s what that means for oil prices

Published: Nov 1, 2019 4:03 p.m. ET

U.S. shale oil, which was viewed as a key reason the U.S. became the world’s top oil producer last year, has seen a slowdown in production growth since late 2018. That may contribute to a rise in crude prices as other major oil producers look to adjust production levels to better balance the market.

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There’s been a “gradual” slowdown from the historical peak in shale oil production growth of about 1.8 million barrels a day year-over-year in the third quarter of 2018, says Teodora Cowie, an analyst at Rystad Energy. Shale production is likely to grow by about one million barrels a day year-over-year for the fourth quarter of this year, she says.

Cowie attributes the slowdown to the “significant expansion in well activity during 2017-2018,” which came at the “cost of a steeper base decline.” So-called young wells produce large amounts of oil in their first few quarters, then see output rapidly decline, she explains.

Also, once oil prices started to drop at the end of 2018, investors pressured public exploration and production companies to adopt more “disciplined” spending and focus on cash flow generation. That led to a decrease in investments and fewer wells drilled, she says.

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However, among the bullish price factors is “the potential for shale to disappoint faster than the industry thinks,” she says. U.S. shale has driven global oil supply growth for several years, Kim says. Nothing else out there that can match U.S. shale’s production growth rate of a million or a million and a half barrels of oil a day, and it’s a “consistent level of growth,” she says.

So “if shale slows down much faster than people think, then that would leave the market searching for other sources of big supply,” says Kim.

57
Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: November 20, 2019, 08:10:35 PM »
Keep in mind that the UNEP gap report is based on Government projections, not on reality.  For the US, we have no national energy plan, so the UN report would have to rely on EIA projections, which are basically fossil fuel company propaganda. 

Individual utility companies are closing coal plants as soon as they can build solar or wind or sign a PPA with renewable energy provider because they can save a lot of money by doing so.  Individual states have goals to cut emissions to net zero by 2050 (for Washington) or sooner (New York, California).

And if you made a similar projection in 2010, you'd have over-estimated the amount of new coal fire powered plant capacity by more than 1.4 million mega-watts.   Because with renewables being cheaper than coal, more than 1.4 million mega-watts of planned new coal power plants have actually been cancelled during the past decade. 

https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php?action=post;topic=347.1600;last_msg=237605

And that list is from July of this year, so it missed out on still more cancellations:

https://cleantechnica.com/2019/10/11/two-new-coal-plants-cancelled-in-botswana/

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Two New Coal Plants Cancelled In Botswana
October 11th, 2019

https://www.chinadialogue.net/article/show/single/en/11512-Bangladesh-may-suspend-new-power-plant-approvals

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Bangladesh may suspend new power plant approvals
11.09.2019

Chinese firms investing in overseas coal projects should take note of a potential power glut in Asian nations

In fact, we're close to the point when more coal capacity is being retired than new capacity added.

https://www.resilience.org/stories/2019-08-19/how-plans-for-new-coal-are-changing-around-the-world/

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How Plans for New Coal are Changing Around the World
By Christine Shearer, originally published by Carbon Brief
August 19, 2019

The global coal fleet continues to grow in 2019 but the pipeline shrank again, putting a peak in total operating capacity on the horizon.

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Around the world, 12.7 gigawatts (GW) of new coal capacity has been proposed so far in 2019 – less than 3GW above the amount that has retired (10GW). These trends mean the global coal fleet will soon decline, because only a third of proposed capacity has actually been developed since 2010.

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In 2019 to date, about 12.7GW of coal power capacity has been newly proposed across eight countries and 12GW of new construction has started across five countries.These developments are concentrated in China, India, Indonesia, the Philippines and Bangladesh. China also resumed construction on nearly 9GW of capacity that had been postponed under central government restrictions.

Conversely, 132GW of planned new capacity was cancelled in 2019, mainly from lack of activity. The largest numbers of cancellations were in China, India, Myanmar and Turkey.

58
Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: November 20, 2019, 06:51:32 PM »
The UNEP Prodution Gap Report released today throws cold water on the idea that the world is somehow in the process of slowing down fossil fuel production. Coal production in particular is projected to be completely misaligned with GHG emission targets.

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This analysis shows that:
  • In aggregate, countries’ planned fossil fuel production by 2030 will lead to the emission of 39 billion tonnes (gigatonnes) of carbon dioxide (GtCO2). That is 13 GtCO2, or 53%, more than would be consistent with a 2°C pathway, and 21 GtCO2 (120%) more than would be consistent with a 1.5°C pathway. This gap widens significantly by 2040.
  • This production gap is largest for coal. By 2030, countries plan to produce 150% (5.2 billion tonnes) more coal than would be consistent with a 2°C pathway, and 280% (6.4 billion tonnes) more than would be consistent with a 1.5°C pathway.
  • Oil and gas are also on track to exceed carbon budgets, as countries continue to invest in fossil fuel infrastructure that “locks in” oil and gas use. The effects of this lock-in widen the production gap over time, until countries are producing 43% (36 million barrels per day) more oil and 47% (1,800 billion cubic meters) more gas by 2040 than would be consistent with a 2°C pathway
Source: https://www.unenvironment.org/resources/report/production-gap-report-2019

A few interesting nuggets in that report:

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Many countries appear to be banking on export markets to justify major increases in production (e.g., the United States, Russia, and Canada) while others are seeking to limit or largely end imports through scaled up production (e.g., India and China). The net result could be significant over-investment, increasing the risk of stranded assets, workers, and communities, as well as locking in a higher emissions trajectory.

The suppliers planning to increase exports while the consumers plan to decrease imports implies that some of those projections are wrong.  But the report assumes that both will occur, as the last sentence in the paragraph implies.

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Alternatives to high-carbon development are now more abundant. In two thirds of the world, wind or solar technologies are now the least expensive option for adding new power-generating capacity. Combined with battery storage, they are poised to outcompete even existing gas and coal in most of the world by 2030 (Bloomberg New Energy Finance 2019). More broadly, as emphasized by past Emissions Gap Reports, “technologies and institutional innovations are available to bridge the emissions gap, and at reasonable cost”, while simultaneously providing many benefits for other important environmental, social, and economic goals (UNEP 2017, p. 9).

The first chapter of the report acknowledges that renewables are cheaper than fossil fuels, yet then seems to ignore that fact in the remainder of the report.

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But when such government plans and projections do not align with climate ambitions, too much fossil fuel infrastructure — too many platforms, pipelines, ports, and mines — gets built. Once built, this infrastructure is difficult to turn away from; it decreases fossil fuel prices, hooks consumers on fossil fuels, and deeply entangles many parts of society — including workers and communities — in a fossil fuel economy. In short, overbuilding fossil fuel infrastructure makes a low-carbon transition less likely. And from another perspective, it renders a low-carbon transition even more disruptive to those dependent on fossil fuels.

Nope, wrong, not even close to reality.  Fossil fuel prices actually increase because they lose the economies of scale in drilling, mining, refinining and shipping them to the power plants.  In the market economies (US, Western Europe), the stranded assets are retired.  In India and China, the power plants just sit idle.  It's already happening and will just increase in the future as China and India continue to keep construction workers busy on plants that wont be used.

59
Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: November 20, 2019, 06:36:41 PM »
While carbon emissions in China continue to climb (due to increased natural gas use), emissions from coal have already peaked and are declining.  And carbon emissions from all sources in China (and since China is by far the biggest emitter, and the only large emitter still increasing emissions, the total global carbon emissions) are projected to peak in 2022.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-coal-carbon/china-co2-emissions-from-energy-sector-still-on-rise-researchers-idUSKBN1XO0QL

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EnvironmentNovember 13, 2019 / 11:05 PM / 6 days ago
China CO2 emissions from energy sector still on rise - researchers

BEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China’s emissions of the climate-warming greenhouse gas carbon dioxide from its energy sector are expected to increase this year and next, driven by rising oil and gas consumption instead of by coal, a team of industry experts warned on Thursday.

The oil and gas sectors could add more than 200 million tonnes of carbon dioxide to China’s total emissions, meaning overall greenhouse gas from energy use would still rise 2% this year and 1.2% in 2020, said researchers with the “China Coal Cap Research Project” at a Thursday briefing.
 
Meanwhile, emissions from coal are expected to fall 75.6 million tonnes in 2020 after a concerted effort to switch to cleaner energy sources, they said.

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China lowered the share of coal in its energy mix to 59% last year, from 68% in 2012, and the researchers said it was expected to fall to 55.3% by 2020.

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A government researcher has also suggested China could meet a 2030 target to bring its emissions to a peak as early as 2022.

That would be 8 years earlier than their Paris commitment.

60
Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: November 20, 2019, 06:28:28 PM »
While China keeps adding coal capacity, they run the plants less frequently.  The capacity factors of China's coal plants are around 50%.

https://www.fool.com/investing/2018/06/04/china-is-using-this-not-renewable-energy-to-replac.aspx

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China can't use renewable energy to replace coal overnight, because wind and solar power are much less efficient. For instance, Chinese coal-fired power plants boasted capacity factors (the rate at which a generation asset produces at its installed capacity) of 48% in 2017. That's very low, hinting at a glut of coal capacity, but it's significantly better than the country's renewables. In 2017 Chinese wind and solar had capacity factors of just 21.3% and 10.7%, respectively.

And the coal plants are already unprofitable.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-climate-change-china-coal/china-coal-fired-power-capacity-still-rising-bucking-global-trend-study-idUSKBN1XU07Y

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“Over 40% of China’s existing coal fleet is already estimated to be loss making,” said Stephanie Pfeifer, chief executive of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change.


61
Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: November 20, 2019, 06:20:24 PM »
China's basically building a bunch of stranded assets to keep construction workers employed (and to prevent the oligarchs who run the coal companies from promoting political opponents to the current regime).

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia-pacific/years-after-freezing-new-projects-china-is-back-to-building-coal-power-plants/2019/11/20/b9075baa-0b38-11ea-8054-289aef6e38a3_story.html

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In a departure from earlier speeches, Premier Li Keqiang last month urged the coal industry to play a role in securing the country’s energy supply. Weeks earlier, top officials said they would relax air quality controls this winter, perhaps to buoy important but dirty drivers of economic activity, such as steel mills and construction. And at least 40 new coal mines have been approved this year, China’s energy administration told reporters last month.

Researchers who examine Chinese policy say a vigorous debate is taking place behind the scenes. The country’s Communist Party rulers are consulting industry and academia to formulate a comprehensive development blueprint, known as the five-year plan, to take effect in 2021.

“The coal industry’s propaganda is stressing that it’s imperative to maintain coal’s primary position in China’s energy mix, and that narrative is now back in favor,” said Yixiu Wu, a researcher at Chinadialogue, an environmental nonprofit in Beijing. “The trajectory is worrying because we’re right in the window when China is shaping its 14th five-year plan.”

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Propaganda officials these days produce books and classroom materials to promote Xi's “Ecological Civilization” concept with collections of his thoughts and sayings, often accompanied by imagery of lush mountains and blue rivers.

The picture on the ground is murkier. To be sure, China’s coal consumption peaked in 2013 and gradually declined, although it has ticked upward again since 2017.

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Elsewhere in the province, other coal projects roared ahead. By the time a central government environmental protection team inspected Shandong in 2018, it found a local company that had, in the space of five years, illegally built 45 coal power facilities that produced the equivalent of Australia’s coal-fired capacity. That disclosure forced the company to lay off 180,000 workers.

Shearer, from Global Energy Monitor, said Chinese local officials were under tremendous pressure to meet economic targets and often looked the other way if coal facilities were generating jobs.

“These are massive projects,” she said. “Once a coal plant has been permitted, there’s momentum and political pressure to let that plant go through to commissioning.”




62
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: November 18, 2019, 10:26:36 PM »
With solar now cheaper than coal and near parity with natural gas, a lot of money is being invested in improving solar power. Each year, the manufacturing capacity of the industry has grown.  As a result, future installations will see increased efficiency and lower prices.  And the industry will be able to increase growth rates to keep up with demand.

https://www.pv-magazine.com/2019/11/18/solar-will-power-ahead-to-offer-20-more-output-for-25-lower-module-costs-within-15-months/

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Solar will power ahead to offer 20% more output for 25% lower module costs within 15 months
PV industry veteran Karl-Heinz Remmers recalls the trajectory of solar power this decade and predicts stronger than expected development for the ten years ahead.
November 18, 2019

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Global markets and production capacity have been growing every year since 2012, and since 2016 we have seen a leap in efficiency and cost reductions. Despite the current weak demand in China, a market volume of significantly more than 100 GW is expected worldwide this year. By 2023, analysts at PV InfoLink expect global production capacities to grow to almost 250 GW.

Simultaneously, further increases in efficiency and cost reductions will be achieved in connection with a series of technical innovations which will go into mass production. The long dominance of polycrystalline modules has quickly come to an end – mono is the new normal. Tomorrow bifacial panels should become standard, with some manufacturers already offering them with transparent backsheets at almost the same prices as conventional products. That will further reduce solar prices and thus open more new markets almost automatically. The result is a good chance of 300 GW of new solar per year in 2025.

63
Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: November 15, 2019, 11:53:03 PM »
Fracked shale wells deplete quickly, often losing 75% to 90% of their initial producing capacity within a year.  So to keep production level, oil and gas companies need to be constantly drilling new wells to replace production losses due to the rapid depletion.  In the US, hundreds of fewer wells are being drilled this year compared to last year.

https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/US-Rig-Count-Crashes-Again-Loses-Nearly-100-Rigs-In-3-Months.html

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U.S. Rig Count Crashes Again: Loses Nearly 100 Rigs In 3 Months
By Julianne Geiger - Nov 15, 2019, 12:20 PM CST

The US oil and gas rig count continued its downward slide this week, according to Baker Hughes, as the rig count piles on a string of losses with a drop of 11 rigs for the week, according to Baker Hughes.

For oil rigs specifically, this week marks eleven decreases out of the last thirteen weeks, falling 96 rigs in that timeframe.

The total oil and gas rig count now stands at 806, or 276 down from this time last year.

The total number of active oil rigs in the United States decreased by 10 according to the report, reaching 674. The number of active gas rigs fell by 1 to reach 129.

Oil rigs have seen a loss of 214 rigs year on year, with gas rigs down 65 since this time last year.

64
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: November 15, 2019, 12:36:37 AM »
India rebid a recent solar power tender that was previously undersubscribed.  They got much better results this time.

https://www.renewablesnow.com/news/indian-solar-tender-with-manufacturing-finally-oversubscribed-676334/

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Indian solar tender with manufacturing finally oversubscribed
November 14 (Renewables Now) - The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) received bids for 8 GW of solar power projects linked with 2 GW of photovoltaics (PV) manufacturing capacity in a tender after its increased the solar electricity tariff cap.

The government solar agency extended the deadline for bids in the 7-GW solar tender several times this year as it failed to attract significant interest. It amended certain clauses to make the tender more attractive, including lifting the maximum tariff for the solar electricity from the projects to INR 2.93 (USD 0.041/EUR 0.037) per kWh, from INR 2.75/kWh previously.

65
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: November 15, 2019, 12:23:53 AM »
Seoul, South Korea is putting solar panels on all public buildings and a million homes by 2022.

https://electrek.co/2019/11/14/seoul-south-korea-solar-public-buildings-1m-homes/

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Seoul is putting solar on all public buildings and 1 million homes
Michelle Lewis
- Nov. 14th 2019 9:52 am ET

In Seoul, South Korea, every public building and 1 million homes will have solar panels by 2022. South Korea, the world’s fourth-largest coal importer, is making a concerted effort to shift to green energy after public pressure to do so and aims to generate 35% of its electricity from renewables by 2040.

66
Quote
when there is no other source of greenhouse gas emissions that can make up for the missing coal emissions.
Such certainty gives you away. 30 years of the IPCC and we have not changed the shape of the keeling curve appreciably.
Coal has mostly been swapped for new gas assets with a fifty year life.
I can think of a few potential sources of greenhouse gas emissions including permafrost melt, burning the Amazon and furtive methane from fracking and faulty infrastructure  that could push us over RCP 8.5
RCP 8.5 is very unlikely but not "impossible" at this point.

On the other hand the lower RCP's always have been impossible being based on technology we do not actually have and the application of which we could not achieve in any reasonable expectation of the  economic and political future. 

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In fact, studies indicate that if we can keep the temperature rise to 1.5 C the WAIS won't collapse.
@1.2 C now  and  0.2C  a decade that's less than two decades away without allowing for warming masked by human induced aerosols.
1.5C is already blown 2C is highly unlikely and 3C probable on our present path.

You're entitled to your opinion.

However, the science on temperature increases says:

https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/

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Pathways consistent with 1.5°C of warming above pre-industrial levels can be identified under a range of assumptions about economic growth, technology developments and lifestyles

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In model pathways with no or limited overshoot of 1.5°C, global net anthropogenic CO2 emissions decline by about 45% from 2010 levels by 2030 (40–60% interquartile range), reaching net zero around 2050 (2045–2055 interquartile range).1 For limiting global warming to below 2°C with at least 66% probability CO2 emissions are projected to decline by about 25% by 2030 in most pathways (10–30% interquartile range) and reach net zero around 2070 (2065–2080 interquartile range).

As to natural gas infrastructure, I hope you haven't invested in that Ponzi scheme as the wells, pipelines, power plants and associated infrastructure are going to be stranded assets by 2035.

https://solarmagazine.com/natural-gas-power-stranded-asset-risk-reaches-a-tipping-point/

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atural Gas Power Stranded Asset Risk Reaches a Tipping Point
By Andrew Burger - Oct 07, 2019

Investment risk in new and proposed natural gas power plants is on the rise. The risk of them becoming stranded assets has reached a tipping point, according to two companion reports produced by the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI).

Sharp declines in the costs and improving performance of clean energy portfolios (CEPs) that include solar and wind power generation, battery energy storage, energy efficiency and utility-customer demand-side response (DSR) by and large have driven the cost-competitiveness of CEPs below that for new natural gas power plants and electricity across the U.S. That includes investments in the latest, highest efficiency combined-cycle power plants, especially new “peaker” plants designed just to start up quickly and meet sudden, unexpected shortfalls in grid supply or spikes in demand, RMI highlights in The Growing Market for Clean Energy Portfolios and Economic Opportunities for a Shift from New Gas-Fired Generation to Clean Energy Across the United States Electricity Industry.

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It will be less expensive to operate new solar and clean energy portfolios than 90% of the proposed combined-cycle natural gas power capacity slated to come online by 2035—some 68 gigawatts’ (GW) worth, according to RMI’s analysis.  And that assumes the pace of clean energy cost declines will slow dramatically and doesn’t consider the impact of prospective climate or renewable energy policies.





67
On 2, keep in mind that even if MICI is valid the conditions for it according to DeConto and Pollard are:

An increase in ocean temperatures around Antarctica to 2 degrees above current temperatures and extensive hydrofracturing (lots of surface melt that would allow enough melt water to build up that it would penetrate 100 meter plus ice cliffs).  We're nowhere close to seeing those conditions.

In DeConto and Pollard 2016 they instantaneously raised the temperatures (I'm assuming from a 2015 start date) by 2 degrees.  They also used the RCP 8.5 scenario which keeps ramping up the GHG forcings well beyond what is now projected to occur.  The result was that 40 years later the Larsen C ice shelf at the south end of the Antarctic Pennisula collapses.  Thwaites and PIG are closer to the pole than Larsen C so would not collapse until later.  East Antarctica doesn't begin to contribute significantly to sea level rise until the 2100s in their scenario.

So a projection of MICI starting in Antarctica in the 2040s doesn't appear to be supported by science.  In fact, studies indicate that if we can keep the temperature rise to 1.5 C the WAIS won't collapse.

68
Let's take a look at RCP 8.5.  Basically, all of the IPCC RCPs look very similar until the 2020s and then diverge rapidly in the rest of the 21st century.



So when you read that we are currently closer to RCP 8.5 then we are RCP 4.5 or RCP 2.6, it sounds pretty alarming.  However, we still have 80 years left in this century.



While I imagine that some readers benefit from your posts, it seems to that:

1. Many readers may very well take your posts on anthropogenic radiative forcing scenarios to mean that they have plenty of time left before they need to take effective action; and if this the case then your posts are increasing the likelihood that society will remain on, or close to, a BAU pathway than we would have without your posts, thus moving us away from the left-tail of the first attached image towards the right tail of that conceptual PDF.

2. If some of my observations about ice-climate mechanisms, and MICI-type of failure modes, prove correct then even if society becomes carbon neutral by 2040 a cascade of ice-climate feedback mechanisms could have a major impact on mankind anyway (see the second image)

Edit: The third image from Hansen et al. (2016) shows a representative temporary increase in planetary energy imbalance for a 5-year Doubling time; which is close to my assumed scenario where at least the Byrd Subglacial Basin sustains a MICI-type of collapse circa 2040.  Such a pulse of the planetary energy imbalance could conceptually trigger the ice-climate cascade illustrated by the second image.

AbruptSLR,

1. You misinterpret my posts.  We need to get off of fossil fuels fast. 

What I'm saying is that we're doing that.  My posts are meant to keep hope alive and to correct the misimpressions that many people on this website have that we're too late.  You can see that just upthread of this post someone linked to a very dubious paper (not peer reviewed and not be a climate scientist) saying that we're all doomed and society is going to collapse.

I think that many people read what you post and assume it's true and come away from here thinking that society is doomed.  If we're doomed to collapse, what would be the point of trying to change anything?

Many of your posts take very speculative or extreme projections and imply that they're definitely going to occur.  I think readers of this forum should be told when you point out extreme right tail risks that the conditions for those events occurring haven't yet been met.

Also, you tend to completely ignore facts that make the extreme right tail risks unlikely to occur.  Case in point, renewables have been less expensive than coal for almost two years now.  Investments in new coal plants have plummeted and retirements of coal power plants have accelerated.  Coal use is projected to peak within a few years and then rapidly decrease afterwards.  Even thought that's been pointed out, you seem to think that we'll still be on the RCP 8.5 scenario when there is no other source of greenhouse gas emissions that can make up for the missing coal emissions.

69
Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: November 13, 2019, 08:35:26 PM »
An overview of the current status of coal world-wide.

https://energypost.eu/peak-coal-on-the-horizon-a-country-by-country-review/

Quote
Peak coal on the horizon: a country-by-country review
September 2, 2019 by Christine Shearer

Though the global coal fleet still increased by 17GW in the first half of 2019, net of retirements, the pipeline is definitely shrinking. Two thirds of proposed projects never even get started. Notably, in China existing coal plants have been running, on average, only 50% of the time since 2015, evidence of a large excess of capacity. But is it enough? The IPCC’s pathway to 1.5C requires unabated coal power generation to fall by 55-70% by 2030 and be effectively phased out by 2050. That’s why all eyes are on the 15 countries – headed by China (49%), the US (13%) and India (11%) – responsible for 91% of the global coal fleet, generating 2,027GW worldwide, to turn that shrinking pipeline into shrinking capacity. Christine Shearer of Global Energy Monitor dives deep into the latest global stats.

Around the world, 12.7 gigawatts (GW) of new coal capacity has been proposed so far in 2019 – less than 3GW above the amount that has retired (10GW). These trends mean the global coal fleet will soon decline, because only a third of proposed capacity has actually been developed since 2010.

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Conversely, 132GW of planned new capacity was cancelled in 2019, mainly from lack of activity. The largest numbers of cancellations were in China, India, Myanmar and Turkey.

Quote
China continues to push forward with previously postponed coal plants. However, new proposals are slowing and existing coal plants have been running only around 50% of the time since 2015 on average, indicating a large excess of capacity.

India has undergone a large downscaling in its future coal plans, in favour of lower-cost renewables. Turkey has 34GW of coal in the pipeline, but has commissioned only 12% of its proposed capacity since 2010 – a rate that would lead to only 4GW of the 34GW being completed. In reality, the figure may ultimately be even lower than this.

Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan have all reduced their proposed coal capacity, with no new large proposals since 2015. Meanwhile Japan and Korea are also facing public pressure to cut their international financial support for coal, which would leave only China as a significant source of global coal funding – given over 100 financial institutions are restricting coal financing.

70
Even the IEA, which consistently underestimates the growth of renewables and makes the best case for fossil fuels, thinks oil demand will peak in the next decade.

https://oilprice.com/Energy/Crude-Oil/IEA-Peak-Oil-Demand-Is-Less-Than-A-Decade-Away.html

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IEA: Peak Oil Demand Is Less Than A Decade Away
By Irina Slav - Nov 13, 2019, 9:00 AM CST

Global oil demand will reach its peak in the mid-2020s and plateau around 2030, the International Energy Agency said in its World Energy Outlook for 2019.

Until about 2025, the IEA said, global oil demand will expand by about 1 percent annually, exceeding 100 million bpd and reaching 105.4 million bpd. After that growth will shrink substantially and demand will reach a plateau at less than 110 million bpd—106.4 million bpd.

The key to how long the plateau will last is how fast transportation will be electrified.  Most projections of when battery electric vehicles (BEVs) become cheaper than gas or diesel fueled (internal combustion engine abbreviated ICE) vehicles indicate the cross over will occur between 2022 and 2026. 

https://singularityhub.com/2019/04/29/electric-cars-are-estimated-to-be-cheaper-than-regular-cars-by-2022/

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Electric cars have developed a reputation as the ultimate status symbol of the champagne environmentalist, but that could be very close to changing. New research from BloombergNEF says they could be cheaper than combustion-engine cars by 2022.

Ten years ago, few would have predicted the meteoric rise of the electric vehicle industry. In 2010 the global stock was about 12,500, but more than two million were sold in 2018, accounting for around 2 percent of car sales. There are now five million on the road.

That’s been driven by a steady reduction in the price and size of batteries, as well as a healthy kick up the backside from Tesla that jolted automotive incumbents into prioritizing electric vehicle development. Despite the progress, though, these cars still lag behind their gas-guzzling cousins on price, range, and refueling time.

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That’s been changing rapidly, though. In a recent blog post, BloombergNEF energy analyst Nathaniel Bullard notes that in 2017 the point at which an electric vehicle would become cheaper than a combustion-engine vehicle of the same size was estimated to be 2026. Last year that closed to 2024, and he says the latest analysis suggests it’s now 2022 for large vehicles in the European Union.

That’s because the falling price of lithium-ion batteries means they account for a shrinking share of the total cost of a vehicle. While a few years ago they made up around half the price of a car, today they account for about 33 percent of the total cost, and that’s due to drop to about 20 percent by 2025. Those same dynamics are likely to see the range of electric vehicles broaden, says Bullard, to include battery-powered diggers and electric boats and planes.

And, with the emergence of the "transportation as a service" model affecting automobile use, global oil demand could decrease quite rapidly.

https://energi.media/markham-on-energy/electric-vehicles-will-kill-global-oil-industry-by-2030-says-stanford-economist-tony-seba/

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Electric vehicles will kill global oil industry by 2030, says Stanford economist Tony Seba
May 5, 2017 JZadmin Markham on Energy

Will the emerging electric vehicle “transportation as a service” business model kill the global oil industry in 10 years? Tony Seba thinks it will. The Stanford economist released a landmark study Thursday about the revolutionary changes soon to be wrought by electrification of the transportation sector.

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If EVs compete head-to-head as a replacement for internal combustion engine cars, then there are far more constraints than accelerators to adoption. And the effect of the constraints – high cost, range anxiety, lack of choice, etc. – is much more intense.

The replacement model argued for a traditionally gradual rise up the diffusion S-curve, perhaps reaching 70 to 80 per cent marketshare in 50 years.

But a business model disruption – like transportation as a service – that dramatically enhances the value of EVs to consumers is another animal altogether.

In Rethinking Transportation 2020-2030: The Disruption of Transportation and the Collapse of the ICE Vehicle and Oil Industries, Seba not only explains why the new business model disruption will triumph, and how its success will be so complete that by 2030 “95 per cent of US passenger miles traveled will be served by on-demand Autonomous Electric Vehicles (A-EVs) owned by companies providing Transport as a Service (TaaS).”

“We are on the cusp of one of the fastest, deepest, most consequential disruptions of transportation in history,” the RethinkX think tank founder says in a press release. “But there is nothing magical about it. This is driven by the economics.”

Economics that include:

    A-EVs engaged in TaaS will make up 60 per cent of U.S vehicle stock.

    As fewer cars travel more miles, the number of passenger vehicles on American roads will drop from 247 million in 2020 to 44 million in 2030.

    Using TaaS will be four to 10 times cheaper per mile than buying a new car, and two to four times cheaper than operating an existing paid-off vehicle, by 2021.

    The cost of TaaS will be driven down by several factors, including utilization rates that are 10 times higher; electric vehicle lifetimes exceeding 500,000 miles; and far lower maintenance, energy, finance and insurance costs.

    The average American household will save $5,600 per year by giving up its gas-powered car and traveling by autonomous, electric TaaS vehicles.

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And what of the mighty oil industry? The impact will be “catastrophic,” says Seba: “Global oil demand will peak at 100 million barrels per day by 2020, dropping to 70 million barrels per day by 2030. This will impact different companies and countries disproportionately — and in many cases, dramatically — depending on their exposure to high-cost oil.”

Here's a link to the report.

https://www.rethinkx.com/transportation




71
Let's take a look at RCP 8.5.  Basically, all of the IPCC RCPs look very similar until the 2020s and then diverge rapidly in the rest of the 21st century.



So when you read that we are currently closer to RCP 8.5 then we are RCP 4.5 or RCP 2.6, it sounds pretty alarming.  However, we still have 80 years left in this century.

Here is what RCP 8.5 assumes for fossil fuel use for this century.





Coal is that huge black portion.  Wind is barely visible and solar is only a small sliver of gold on top of the tiny sliver of wind in pink.

In short, RCP 8.5 assumed that renewables would continue to be too costly to be deployed widely and that coal would be mined extensively for the rest of the century.  The scenario predicted that coal use would accelerate from 2030 on.

In 2018, new wind and solar power plants were both cheaper than operating coal power plants in most of the world.  That means that power customers will save money as soon as their suppliers can build a new renewable power plant and shut down the coal plant.

Here is what that looks like for coal use today.

https://energypost.eu/peak-coal-on-the-horizon-a-country-by-country-review/

Quote
Peak coal on the horizon: a country-by-country review

September 2, 2019 by Christine Shearer

Quote
Though the global coal fleet still increased by 17GW in the first half of 2019, net of retirements, the pipeline is definitely shrinking. Two thirds of proposed projects never even get started. Notably, in China existing coal plants have been running, on average, only 50% of the time since 2015, evidence of a large excess of capacity. But is it enough? The IPCC’s pathway to 1.5C requires unabated coal power generation to fall by 55-70% by 2030 and be effectively phased out by 2050. That’s why all eyes are on the 15 countries – headed by China (49%), the US (13%) and India (11%) – responsible for 91% of the global coal fleet, generating 2,027GW worldwide, to turn that shrinking pipeline into shrinking capacity. Christine Shearer of Global Energy Monitor dives deep into the latest global stats.

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In 2019 to date, about 12.7GW of coal power capacity has been newly proposed across eight countries and 12GW of new construction has started across five countries. These developments are concentrated in China, India, Indonesia, the Philippines and Bangladesh. China also resumed construction on nearly 9GW of capacity that had been postponed under central government restrictions.

Conversely, 132GW of planned new capacity was cancelled in 2019, mainly from lack of activity. The largest numbers of cancellations were in China, India, Myanmar and Turkey.

Quote
Despite this shrinking pipeline, the global coal fleet increased by 17GW in the first half of 2019, net of retirements. New capacity remains highly concentrated: nearly 85% (23GW) of the 27GW commissioned in 2019 was in China (17.9GW) or India (4.8GW).

The other 11 countries that commissioned coal-fired capacity in 2019 added less than 1GW each. Meanwhile over 10GW of capacity was retired in 2019, led by the US (6.4GW) and European Union (2GW). To date, 2019 is on track to be the fourth highest year for coal plant retirements on record in the US.

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China continues to push forward with previously postponed coal plants. However, new proposals are slowing and existing coal plants have been running only around 50% of the time since 2015 on average, indicating a large excess of capacity.

India has undergone a large downscaling in its future coal plans, in favour of lower-cost renewables. Turkey has 34GW of coal in the pipeline, but has commissioned only 12% of its proposed capacity since 2010 – a rate that would lead to only 4GW of the 34GW being completed. In reality, the figure may ultimately be even lower than this.

Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan have all reduced their proposed coal capacity, with no new large proposals since 2015. Meanwhile Japan and Korea are also facing public pressure to cut their international financial support for coal, which would leave only China as a significant source of global coal funding – given over 100 financial institutions are restricting coal financing.

Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, and Pakistan have all scaled back plans for coal in their future national energy plans, with many of them experiencing significant coal-related financial problems.

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Unabated coal power generation falls by 55-70% by 2030 and is effectively phased out by 2050 in pathways outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change last October for limiting global temperatures to no more than 1.5C above pre-industrial temperatures – the aspirational goal of the Paris Agreement.

As the pipeline for new coal dries up and older capacity reaches retirement, the lifetime and running hours of the world’s younger coal plants will therefore be a key determinant of whether global climate goals can be met.




72
Per the linked article under the recently released IEA's STEPS projection, due to increased: plastic, chemical, SUV, aircraft and natural gas (see image) production; anthropogenic GHG emissions are not likely to plateau before 2040.  If the WAIS collapses before that timeframe, the associated decadal-long increasing in planetary energy imbalance could likely push many Earth Systems past tipping points in the 2040 to 2050 timeframe:

Title: "‘Profound shifts’ underway in energy system, says IEA World Energy Outlook"

https://www.carbonbrief.org/profound-shifts-underway-in-energy-system-says-iea-world-energy-outlook

Extract: "The world’s CO2 emissions are set to continue rising for decades unless there is greater ambition on climate change, despite the “profound shifts” already underway in the global energy system.

That is one of the key messages from the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) World Energy Outlook 2019, published today. This year’s 810-page edition is notable for its renamed central “Stated Policies Scenario” (STEPS), formerly known as the “New Policies Scenario”.

In this scenario, which aims to mirror the outcome of policies already set out by governments, a surge in wind and solar power would see renewable sources of energy meeting the majority of increases in global energy demand. But a plateau for coal, along with rising demand for oil and gas, would mean global emissions continue to rise throughout the outlook period to 2040.

Oil demand for freight, shipping, aviation and chemicals “continues to grow”, the IEA says, with the growing popularity of SUVs another potential factor propping up demand. (Notably, documentation for the Saudi Aramco share sale also has global oil demand levelling off from around 2035.)"

The EIA and IEA continue to underestimate the growth of renewables (as they have every year for decades).  And they overstate the projected growth of the US fracking production, which is near peak and starved for investment funds because most of the operations lose money.

https://www.dw.com/en/is-the-iea-underestimating-renewables/a-43137071

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Is the IEA underestimating renewables?

Scenarios from the International Energy Agency (IEA) have failed to predict the growth of renewables and overestimated the role of nuclear. Critics say that's a political choice.

Last year, the world's photovoltaic power capacity overtook nuclear for the first time – reaching 402 gigawatts, compared to 353 (GW). Wind power outstripped nuclear back in 2014, and by the end of 2017 amounted to 539 GW.

Quote
Back in 2010, you might not have predicted such a shift in the global energy mix – at least, not if you were basing your predictions on the International Energy Agency's annual Word Energy Outlook (WEO), which estimated annual deployment of less than 10 GW of photovoltaic capacity.

According to this scenario, globally installed solar capacity would hit around 85 GW last year – 315 GW less than the actual figure.

Critics say this is part of a pattern of the IEA consistently underestimating the growth of renewables while making unrealistic assumptions about the development of nuclear.

https://cleantechnica.com/2017/09/06/iea-gets-hilariously-slammed-continuously-pessimistic-renewable-energy-forecasts/

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IEA Gets Hilariously Slammed For Obsessively Inaccurate Renewable Energy Forecasts

One of our readers recently shared this beauty of a post on Quora. Author Paul Mainwood starts out his short post like this:
I was trawling through the International Energy Agency reports (the way you do) and was struck by two features.
The close similarity of their projections to those put out by the fossil fuel industry (e.g., Shell’s Outlook)
The extraordinary consistency with which they under-forecast the role that renewables will play in energy mix
Like the US Energy Information Administration, the IEA uses various methodologies and assumptions that just consistently bias their forecasts against renewables. It’s easy to assume there are some nefarious ulterior motives underneath these consistent errors — crony capitalism and controlling hand of the pollution industry kind of stuff. That’s certainly possible, but I haven’t seen strong evidence of it and won’t jump to conclusions.



Quote
Hard to see which line stands out from the rest, eh?

Looking at the IEA forecasts without the corrected projection, the growth can look positive at first glance … but also depressingly slow. Looking at the corrected projection, we get an adoption trend that is much more in line with the disruptive S-curve many people closely following clean energy have been expecting.

https://oilprice.com/Energy/Crude-Oil/The-EIA-Is-Grossly-Overestimating-US-Shale.html

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The EIA Is Grossly Overestimating U.S. Shale
By Nick Cunningham - Nov 12, 2019, 6:00 PM CST

The prevailing wisdom that sees explosive and long-term potential for U.S. shale may rest on some faulty and overly-optimistic assumptions, according to a new report.

Forecasts from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), along with those from its Paris-based counterpart, the International Energy Agency (IEA), are often cited as the gold standard for energy outlooks. Businesses and governments often refer to these forecasts for long-term investments and policy planning.

In that context, it is important to know if the figures are accurate, to the extent that anyone can accurately forecast precise figures decades into the future. A new report from the Post Carbon Institute asserts that the EIA’s reference case for production forecasts through 2050 “are extremely optimistic for the most part, and therefore highly unlikely to be realized.”

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He notes that in some instances, the EIA’s forecasts are so optimistic that the production volumes exceed the agency’s own estimates for proven reserves plus unproven reserves. The EIA also assumes that every last drop of proven reserves is produced, along with a high percentage of unproven reserves by 2050.

“Although the ‘shale revolution’ has provided a reprieve from what just 15 years ago was thought to be a terminal decline in oil and gas production in the U.S.,” Hughes writes, “this reprieve is temporary, and the U.S. would be well advised to plan for much-reduced shale oil and gas production in the long term.”

73
I note that DeConto and Pollard (2016) indicated that Totten Glacier (located in the Aurora Subglacial Basin) is susceptible to an MICI-type of ice mass loss this century, and the attached image from the linked reference shows that the Wilkes Subglacial Basin is interconnected with the Aurora Subglacial Basin.  Thus, if Totten Glacier were to sustain an MICI-type of collapse this century, it would likely undermine the ice in the Wilkes Subglacial Basin:

...

You're mistaken about that.  Here are the projections for RCP 8.5 from DeConto and Pollard 2016:

https://www.geo.umass.edu/climate/papers2/DeConto2016.pdf

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In RCP8.5, increased precipitation causes an initial, minor gain in total ice mass (Fig. 4d), but rapidly warming summer air temperatures trigger extensive surface meltwater production and hydrofracturing of ice shelves by the middle of this century (Extended Data Fig. 4). The Larsen C is one of the first shelves to be lost, about 2055. Around the same time, major thinning and retreat of outlet glaciers commences in the Amundsen Sea Embayment, beginning with Pine Island Glacier (Fig. 4h), and along the Bellingshausen margin. Massive meltwater production on shelf surfaces, and eventually on the flanks of the ice sheet, would quickly overcome the buffering capacity of firn. In the model, the meltwater accelerates WAIS retreat via its thermomechanical influence on ice rheology (Methods) and the influence of hydrofacturing on crevassing and structural failure of the retreating margin. Antarctica contributes 77 cm of GMSL rise by 2100, and continued loss of the Ross and Weddell Sea ice shelves drives WAIS retreat from three sides simultaneously (the Amundsen, Ross, and Weddell seas), all with reverse-sloping beds into the deep ice-sheet interior. As a result, WAIS collapses within 250 years. At the same time, steady retreat into the Wilkes and Aurora basins, where the ice above floatation is >2,000 m thick, adds substantially to the rate of sea-level rise, exceeding 4 cm yr−1 (Fig. 4c) in the next century, which is comparable to maximum rates of sea-level rise during the last deglaciation. At 2500, GMSL rise for the RCP8.5 scenario is 12.3 m. As in our LIG simulations, atmosphere–ice sheet coupling accounting for the warming feedback associated with the retreating ice sheet adds an additional 1.3 m of GMSL to the RCP8.5 scenario (Fig. 4b).

So in the worst case emissions scenario, which is no longer feasible because we aren't going to burn that much coal, the West Antarctic ice shelves collapse after the Larsen C, which collapses in the 2050s.  The Wilkes and Aurora basins would contribute to sea level rise next century, after 2100.

And Rob DeConto has publicly backed off of these projections.

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/01/sea-level-rise-may-not-become-catastrophic-until-after-2100/579478/

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Two years ago, the glaciologists Robert DeConto and David Pollard rocked their field with a paper arguing that several massive glaciers in Antarctica were much more unstable than previously thought. Those key glaciers—which include Thwaites Glacier and Pine Island Glacier, both in the frigid continent’s west—could increase global sea levels by more than three feet by 2100, the paper warned. Such a rise could destroy the homes of more than 150 million people worldwide.

They are now revisiting those results. In new work, conducted with three other prominent glaciologists, DeConto and Pollard have lowered some of their worst-case projections for the 21st century. Antarctica may only contribute about a foot of sea-level rise by 2100, they now say. This finding, reached after the team improved their own ice model, is much closer to projections made by other glaciologists.

It is a reassuring constraint placed on one of the most alarming scientific hypotheses advanced this decade. The press had described DeConto and Pollard’s original work as an “ice apocalypse” spawned by a “doomsday glacier.” Now their worst-case skyrocketing sea-level scenario seems extremely unlikely, at least within our own lifetimes.

Skeptical Science has a very good overview of MICI.

https://skepticalscience.com/new-light-antarctica-contribution-slr.html

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DeConto and Pollard are also currently revisiting their 2016 results in a new paper. DeConto says he is not able to comment on it directly as it is undergoing peer review. However, he has presented some preliminary results at the Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) in December.

An article published in the Atlantic shortly afterwards reported that DeConto and Pollard “have lowered some of their worst-case projections for the 21st century” after making improvements to their model. The results are likely to put Antarctica’s contribution to sea level rise in 2100 at “about a foot” (30cm), the article says, which is “much closer to projections made by other glaciologists”.

And new models of ice sheet failure published just last month indicate that when realistic time frames of ice shelf collapse (such as the two weeks it took for Larsen B when the it collapsed) are applied to high ice cliffs, the ice cliffs flow semi-viscously instead of shattering in brittle collapse, which is what the MICI model predicts.

There are also studies that show that past incidents of sea-level rise can be explained without MICI and that water can flow (and does in Antarctica) off of the surface of an ice sheet instead of penetrating down into crevasses to create the hydrofractures necessary for the  initiation of MICI.

So to recap:

- AbruptSLR continues to confuse the timeframes of the original MICI models published in 2016
- The authors of the original MICI models now state that the 2016 projections were too pessimistic
- Other studies have shown that ice flows instead of fails in a brittle manner, which casts doubt on the mechanism needed for MICI to occur.
- Past sea level rise could have occurred without needing the MICI mechanism
- MICI needs hydrofracturing to occur before MICI can occur and yet there are areas in Antarctica where water flows off the ice sheet rather than penetrating through it to create hydrofractures
- Coal is now more expensive than solar and wind power and coal use is expected to peak next decade, so the emission projections of RCP 8.5 from the 2020s through 2100 aren't possible.







74
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: November 13, 2019, 01:48:08 AM »
India is a curious country.  They curtail solar and wind generation in certain states due to not being able to integrate it into the grid.

https://www.livemint.com/market/mark-to-market/what-is-behind-the-curious-decline-in-generation-of-renewable-energy-11569864546939.html



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What is behind the curious decline in generation of renewable energy

Updated: 01 Oct 2019, 07:15 AM IST R. Sree Ram

Renewable energy generation fell 20% in August despite a notable expansion in capacity. This was the biggest monthly fall in at least three years, according to data collated by SBICAP Securities Ltd.

Wind power generation fell despite an expansion in installed capacity. As of June, the combined installed capacity of wind and solar energy was 15% higher year-on-year. What gives?

Beginning June, renewable energy generation, typically, undergoes a seasonal slowdown for a couple of months largely due to change in weather conditions and wind speeds.

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Apart from variation in wind speeds, part of the fall in renewable energy generation in August was also attributed to curtailment in power offtake by several states in the southern part of the country.

These states—Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu—have a high share of installed renewable energy capacity compared with the rest of the country.

States generally realign their purchases due to the softness in demand during the monsoon, often leading to reduction in utilization levels of thermal power plants. Thermal power generation dropped 3.5% in August.

The impact is more pronounced in the renewable power segment. “They are not able to do proper integration of renewables," says a renewable energy developer referring to curtailment in power offtake by certain states.

Another industry observer agrees, attributing the sharp fall in renewable energy generation to backdown in power offtake by certain states. Even so, with the monsoon season drawing to a close, these experts say generation should improve hereon. “We have passed that period (June–August) when demand is low and generation also falls," says the developer mentioned above on condition of anonymity.

Still, coal use is going down, which was the point of the articles.


75
Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: November 12, 2019, 08:59:01 PM »
Coal use in India has dropped as renewables increase market share.

https://www.reuters.com/article/column-russell-india-energy/column-indias-economic-woes-hit-coal-imports-but-crude-oil-soldiers-on-for-now-russell-idUSL4N27S13C

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LAUNCESTON, Australia, Nov 12 (Reuters) - A sharp plunge in India’s electricity demand in October has been matched by falling coal imports, but weakness in vehicle sales and fuel demand hasn’t yet showed up in crude oil imports.

Power demand in Asia’s third-largest economy slumped 13.2% in October from a year earlier, the steepest monthly decline in more than 12 years, according to government data.

Coal imports fell to 14.7 million tonnes in October, the lowest since January and the third straight month of declines, according to vessel-tracking and port data compiled by Refinitiv.

Imports were also down 16.9% from the 17.7 million tonnes recorded in October last year, a further sign that India’s coal demand is softening in the face of slower economic growth.

Quote
In the first seven months of the fiscal year that started in April, Coal India has produced 280.36 million tonnes, down 8.5% from the same period last year.

The weakness in both coal imports and domestic coal output is not only a reflection of slowing industrial power demand, but also of how renewable energy is making increasing inroads into India’s generation mix.

India’s thermal coal use over the seven months to end-October was steady on a year earlier, compared with average annual growth of 6.3% over the past 12 years, the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) said in a report released earlier this month.

And coal generation actually fell by 12,500 gigawatt hours (GWh) in the first seven months of the fiscal year, compared with the same period last year, IEEFA said.

In the meantime, generation from all non-coal sources, which include solar, hydro, wind and natural gas, rose by 24,000 GWh, or 8.4%, over the same period, the report said.


76
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: November 12, 2019, 08:56:13 PM »
Coal production and imports are down in India this year, in part due to lower electricity demand but also due to the growth of renewables.

https://www.reuters.com/article/column-russell-india-energy/column-indias-economic-woes-hit-coal-imports-but-crude-oil-soldiers-on-for-now-russell-idUSL4N27S13C

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LAUNCESTON, Australia, Nov 12 (Reuters) - A sharp plunge in India’s electricity demand in October has been matched by falling coal imports, but weakness in vehicle sales and fuel demand hasn’t yet showed up in crude oil imports.

Power demand in Asia’s third-largest economy slumped 13.2% in October from a year earlier, the steepest monthly decline in more than 12 years, according to government data.

Coal imports fell to 14.7 million tonnes in October, the lowest since January and the third straight month of declines, according to vessel-tracking and port data compiled by Refinitiv.

Quote
In the first seven months of the fiscal year that started in April, Coal India has produced 280.36 million tonnes, down 8.5% from the same period last year.

The weakness in both coal imports and domestic coal output is not only a reflection of slowing industrial power demand, but also of how renewable energy is making increasing inroads into India’s generation mix.

Quote
And coal generation actually fell by 12,500 gigawatt hours (GWh) in the first seven months of the fiscal year, compared with the same period last year, IEEFA said.

In the meantime, generation from all non-coal sources, which include solar, hydro, wind and natural gas, rose by 24,000 GWh, or 8.4%, over the same period, the report said.

Given that renewables are increasingly cost competitive against existing coal-fired generation, it’s likely that India’s electricity growth will continue to be dominated by solar and wind.

77
Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: November 12, 2019, 08:33:23 PM »
The latest fact check on the EIA's most recent projections for US oil and gas forecast production through 2050 has been published.  Shockingly, it appears that those projections may be a trifle optimistic.

https://www.resilience.org/stories/2019-11-12/david-hughes-shale-reality-check-2019/

Quote
1.9 million. 13 trillion. 10 billion. These are the numbers that jumped off the page when I read PCI Fellow David Hughes’s latest “shale reality check” report on the U.S. government’s forecasts of domestic oil and gas production. To elaborate, these forecasts mean that by 2050:

1.9 million new oil and gas wells will need to be drilled;

$13 trillion will need to be spent to drill all those wells; and

10 billion barrels of tight oil production will be “missing” from shale plays to meet the reference case forecast for cumulative production.

These are just some of the crazy numbers behind the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest forecasts for U.S. oil and gas production through 2050.

Quote
Hughes’s Shale Reality Check 2019  finds that the EIA’s forecasts for major plays like the Bakken, Eagle Ford, Marcellus, Utica, and the Permian Basin are terribly unrealistic. Of the 13 shale plays analyzed, nine are rated as extremely optimistic, three highly optimistic, and only one moderately optimistic. And even with all this optimism, the overall forecast falls short by nearly ten billion barrels of tight oil, or 10% of the production volume required through 2050.

The EIA anticipates that tight oil production will be 38% higher in 2050 than in 2018 and shale gas 81% higher, with tight oil providing nearly 70% of all US oil production over the next three decades and shale gas 74% of all gas produced over that same period. For the shale portion alone, this would require over 1.5 million new wells to be drilled at a cost of roughly $11 trillion, and would consume by 2050 most of the proven reserves and unproven resources of tight oil the EIA estimates exist. For good or bad, David Hughes finds that this rosy forecast is highly unlikely to materialize.


78
Policy and solutions / Re: But, but, but, China....
« on: November 12, 2019, 07:07:30 PM »
More about China's supposedly efficient coal plants.

https://www.scmp.com/comment/opinion/article/3037206/problem-chinas-clean-coal-push-there-no-such-thing-clean-coal

Quote
The problem with China’s ‘clean coal’ push is that there is no such thing as ‘clean coal’

China’s leadership in renewable energy is at odds with the fact that it has too much coal-fired power capacity. But Beijing is not yet ready to make the tough decisions necessary to acknowledge the problem and downsize coal production

Melissa Brown 
Ghee Peh 
Published: 10:00pm, 11 Nov, 2019

Quote
Yet in October, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang renewed the focus on what the global public relations arm of the mining industry calls “clean coal” with comments on China’s potential for development of new coal and coal bed methane technologies.

As China knows, “clean coal” simply does not exist. “Clean coal” describes a hope that new technology like emissions abatement or carbon capture and sequestration might one day solve the coal problem. To date, both technologies have proven uneconomic and unsuccessful in reducing emissions.

Quote
While it is tempting to believe that China’s leadership may be hatching some special plans for “clean coal”, the more likely scenario is that they are using the “clean coal” narrative to distract attention from a more uncomfortable problem.

Simply stated, China has far too much under-utilised coal-fired power capacity. In commercially driven power systems, this would be unsustainable. Beijing, however, is not yet ready to make the tough decisions necessary to acknowledge the problem or to fund the type of regional stabilisation programmes that may be needed to downsize coal production and power.

And here's where the article discusses those new coal plants that are so much more efficient than the older plants that the United States is retiring:

Quote
These decisions are tough for three reasons. The first is that China’s coal power fleet is young – reflecting a legacy of planning mistakes and overbuilding due to local government incentives. Tragically, much of this overbuilding took place over the past five years even as Chinese renewable energy technologies were winning market share.

Quote
The third reason relates to the fundamental nature of coal itself. In a word, coal is dirty and any effort to make it “clean” raises costs and reduces operational efficiency.

Quote
China’s leading coal-fired power companies are enthusiastic about reporting to investors on dramatic improvements they have made with their new ultra-low emission coal-fired power units. For example, China Shenhua reports reductions in per kilowatt hour emissions of “soot”, SOx and NOx of 5.5 per cent, 9.3 per cent and 17.9 per cent respectively over the past five years.

These improvements must be put in context, however. China Shenhua increased its installed capacity of coal power by 46.8 per cent during the same period and coal generation by 25.1 per cent. This means that any gains are offset by more coal-fired generation, adding to the company’s conventional pollution emissions and its still unreported carbon emissions.




79
Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: November 12, 2019, 06:53:26 PM »
And, in the interest of full disclosure, there is still new one coal power plant in the planning phase in the US.

https://www.eenews.net/stories/1061524609

Quote
Just one new coal plant is planned — and it's on the ropes
Benjamin Storrow, E&E News reporter Climatewire: Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Time is running out on plans to build a new coal plant in Kansas. The Holcomb 2 plant, an 895-megawatt unit planned by Sunflower Electric Power Corp., is the only new coal-fired power plant on the drawing board in America today.

Sunflower must begin construction on the facility by March or lose its state permit. Kansas officials say the electric power cooperative has not been in communication with the state since it filed for a permit extension in August 2018.

Holcomb 2 has long been watched by coal industry representatives and environmentalists alike. Federal figures show that about 48,000 MW of coal capacity, or roughly a fifth of the U.S. coal fleet, has retired since 2014, when the last large coal plant in America came online.

Coal retirements have been the primary force behind U.S. emissions reductions in those years. But the shutdowns have decimated the coal industry, which has struggled to deal with contracting demand.

Quote
Holcomb 2 would be the second unit at Sunflower's existing 358-MW coal plant in Holcomb, Kan. Federal data shows the plant is already running less. Where Holcomb 1 ran 63% of time in 2014, it ran only 32% and 47% of the year in 2017 and 2018, respectively, according to figures from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Sunflower declined comment. It instead pointed to a statement given to the Eagle, which said it will "continue to explore project options."

The power cooperative arguably faces a more challenging path forward today than it did last year. Its partner in Holcomb 2 is Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association Inc., a Colorado-based electric cooperative. In 2017, Tri-State said the chances of building the plant were "remote" (Climatewire, Sept. 15, 2017). A spokesman for Tri-State declined to comment.

Quote
"We don't see a future beyond 2030 for coal production and generation," Tri-State CEO Duane Highley told Colorado regulators last months, in comments reported by the Energy News Network.

80
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: November 12, 2019, 06:45:11 PM »
Japan plans to build a 600 MW wind and solar plant on land abandoned in the wake of the Fukishima nuclear disaster.

https://e360.yale.edu/digest/fukushima-to-be-transformed-into-renewable-energy-hub

Quote
E360 Digest
November 11, 2019
Fukushima to be Transformed into Renewable Energy Hub

Eight years after an earthquake and tsunami transformed Fukushima into the site of one of the world’s worst nuclear disasters, plans are underway to turn the Japanese prefecture into a hub of renewable energy. Japanese officials announced a new $2.7 billion project that will include 11 solar plants and 10 wind farms, built on abandoned or contaminated lands, according to The Nikkei, a Japanese newspaper.

The new solar and wind projects will generate up to 600 megawatts of electricity — roughly two-thirds the output of an average nuclear power plant. Sponsors of the project include the government-owned Development Bank of Japan and Mizuho Bank. Construction is expected to be finished in March 2024.

81
Policy and solutions / Re: But, but, but, China....
« on: November 12, 2019, 06:38:52 PM »
And when the world urgently needs to retire coal power plants, not build more of them, let's compare and contrast countries.

The United States is retiring larger and newer coal plants now.

https://pv-magazine-usa.com/2019/07/26/bigger-younger-coal-plants-are-retiring/

Quote
Bigger, younger coal plants are retiring

An analysis of coal plant retirements from the U.S. Department of Energy shows that more than 100 GW of coal-fired power plants have already retired this decade, as solar, wind and gas eat coal’s lunch.

July 26, 2019 Christian Roselund

The last decade has seen a dramatic change in the U.S. generation fleet, with hundreds of older coal-fired power plants being shut down, and replaced with at first gas plants, and increasingly wind and solar.

Quote
It’s hard to draw too many conclusions from the overall capacity of coal plants that have retired, as the pattern is highly uneven from year to year. But of the 546 coal-fired power plants totaling over 102 GW which have gone offline during the last decade, the ones that have shut down in the last few years have been both younger and larger than previous plants.

According to EIA, The average age of coal plant that shut down in 2018 was 46 years – 10 years younger than the ones that shut down in 2015. Additionally, the average capacity of plants that are shutting down has nearly tripled, from around 100 MW in 2015 to 350 MW last year. And this means that it is not only small, ancient coal plants that are feeling the heat, but younger, bigger units, which have better economies of scale.

China keeps building new coal plants.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/28/asia/china-coal-plant-inner-mongolia-intl-hnk/index.html

Quote
China struggling to kick its coal habit despite Beijing's big climate pledges
By David Culver, Lily Lee and Ben Westcott, CNN

Updated 9:06 PM ET, Sat September 28, 2019

Inner Mongolia, China (CNN)On the coal-rich plains of Inner Mongolia, thick white smoke curls from the huge chimney of a thermal coal power plant which the Chinese Communist Party had pledged to stop constructing two years ago.
The huge Mengneng Xilin Thermal Power Plant's third unit, expected to deliver 700 megawatts of power to China's north, was ordered to cease construction in January 2017.

The order came from China's National Energy Administration as part of a government plan to eliminate millions of tons of "overcapacity" caused by a rush of approvals and the construction of "illegal" power plants. It is also part of President Xi Jinping's pledge to reduce the country's reliance on coal and reach peak carbon emissions by 2030.

But even as China reiterated its commitment to reducing emissions last week in New York, earlier this month at least three large, new coal-fired power stations appeared to be either operating or under construction in Inner Mongolia in northern China -- including Mengneng Xilin.

Quote
According to Climate Action Tracker, China's carbon emissions rose an estimated 2.3% in 2018, the second consecutive year of growth after emissions appeared to stall between 2014 and 2016.

Quote
Mengmeng Xilin isn't the only coal power plant to have quietly restarted construction or gone into operation since the notice was sent in 2017.

Huaneng North Victory Thermal Power Plant is due to begin operating in October 2019, generating more than 1,000 megawatts of power. Similarly, Xilinhot's Datang Power Plant is expected to finish construction in July, set to provide up to 1320 MW, despite also being on the list of power stations put on hold.

Satellite images from Google Earth show that, after a brief pause in 2017, the construction of all three suspended plants continued. The resumption work has raised questions about the status of dozens of other supposedly suspended heavily-polluting power stations across the country.

82
Policy and solutions / Re: But, but, but, China....
« on: November 12, 2019, 06:29:56 PM »
^^^

That article from 2017 relies on some information that appears to be incorrect.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/29/climate/china-coal-climate-change.html

Quote
China’s Coal Plants Haven’t Cut Methane Emissions as Required, Study Finds
By Somini Sengupta
Jan. 29, 2019

China, the world’s coal juggernaut, has continued to produce more methane emissions from its coal mines despite its pledge to curb the planet-warming pollutant, according to new research.

In a paper published Tuesday in Nature Communications, researchers concluded that China had failed to meet its own government regulations requiring coal mines to rapidly reduce methane emissions, at least in the five years after 2010, when the regulations were passed.

It matters because coal is the world’s dirtiest fossil fuel, and China is, by far, the largest producer in the world.

Coal accounts for 40 percent of electricity generation globally and an even higher share in China, which has abundant coal resources and more than four million workers employed in the coal sector. Scientists and policymakers agree that the world will have to quit coal to have any hope of averting catastrophic climate change.

Quote
“Our study indicates that, at least in terms of methane emissions, China’s government is talking the talk but has not been able to walk the walk,” Scot Miller, a professor at Johns Hopkins University who led the research team, said in a statement.

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-07891-7#citeas

Quote
Miller, S.M., Michalak, A.M., Detmers, R.G. et al. China’s coal mine methane regulations have not curbed growing emissions. Nat Commun 10, 303 (2019) doi:10.1038/s41467-018-07891-7

Quote
Abstract

Anthropogenic methane emissions from China are likely greater than in any other country in the world. The largest fraction of China’s anthropogenic emissions is attributable to coal mining, but these emissions may be changing; China enacted a suite of regulations for coal mine methane (CMM) drainage and utilization that came into full effect in 2010. Here, we use methane observations from the GOSAT satellite to evaluate recent trends in total anthropogenic and natural emissions from Asia with a particular focus on China. We find that emissions from China rose by 1.1 ± 0.4 Tg CH4 yr−1 from 2010 to 2015, culminating in total anthropogenic and natural emissions of 61.5 ± 2.7 Tg CH4 in 2015. The observed trend is consistent with pre-2010 trends and is largely attributable to coal mining. These results indicate that China’s CMM regulations have had no discernible impact on the continued increase in Chinese methane emissions.

83
Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: November 12, 2019, 06:25:16 PM »
China hasn't cut coal bed methane emissions as they stated they would.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/29/climate/china-coal-climate-change.html

Quote
China’s Coal Plants Haven’t Cut Methane Emissions as Required, Study Finds

By Somini Sengupta
Jan. 29, 2019

China, the world’s coal juggernaut, has continued to produce more methane emissions from its coal mines despite its pledge to curb the planet-warming pollutant, according to new research.
In a paper published Tuesday in Nature Communications, researchers concluded that China had failed to meet its own government regulations requiring coal mines to rapidly reduce methane emissions, at least in the five years after 2010, when the regulations were passed.

It matters because coal is the world’s dirtiest fossil fuel, and China is, by far, the largest producer in the world.

Coal accounts for 40 percent of electricity generation globally and an even higher share in China, which has abundant coal resources and more than four million workers employed in the coal sector. Scientists and policymakers agree that the world will have to quit coal to have any hope of averting catastrophic climate change.

Quote
It required that 6.2 million tons of methane produced from coal mining be put to use by 2015.

An examination of satellite data collected between 2010 and 2015 painted a different picture. Not only were the reductions not made, but Chinese methane emissions actually increased by 1.2 million tons per year during the five-year period.

That study linked in the article:

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-07891-7

Quote
Miller, S.M., Michalak, A.M., Detmers, R.G. et al. China’s coal mine methane regulations have not curbed growing emissions. Nat Commun 10, 303 (2019) doi:10.1038/s41467-018-07891-7

Quote
Abstract

Anthropogenic methane emissions from China are likely greater than in any other country in the world. The largest fraction of China’s anthropogenic emissions is attributable to coal mining, but these emissions may be changing; China enacted a suite of regulations for coal mine methane (CMM) drainage and utilization that came into full effect in 2010. Here, we use methane observations from the GOSAT satellite to evaluate recent trends in total anthropogenic and natural emissions from Asia with a particular focus on China. We find that emissions from China rose by 1.1 ± 0.4 Tg CH4 yr−1 from 2010 to 2015, culminating in total anthropogenic and natural emissions of 61.5 ± 2.7 Tg CH4 in 2015. The observed trend is consistent with pre-2010 trends and is largely attributable to coal mining. These results indicate that China’s CMM regulations have had no discernible impact on the continued increase in Chinese methane emissions.

84
Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: November 12, 2019, 06:07:16 PM »
Yet another article on Oilprice.com about the gas industry facing the stranded asset problem.

https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Natural-Gas-Is-Fighting-For-Survivial.html

Quote
Natural Gas Is Fighting For Survival
By Irina Slav - Nov 11, 2019, 3:00 PM CST


Natural Gas Is Fighting For Survival
By Irina Slav - Nov 11, 2019, 3:00 PM CST
Join Our Community
 
Natural gas has been hailed as the bridge fuel between the fossil fuel economy of the past and present, and the renewables economy of the future. With renewable energy costs falling steadily and considerably, some are beginning to worry that gas is facing increasingly fierce competition amid fast-growing supply.

A recent couple of reports from a nonprofit organization promoting renewable energy suggested solar and wind, plus storage, could become cheaper than most gas-fired power plants in the United States in just 16 years.

“We find that the natural gas bridge is likely already behind us,” one of the reports said, “and that continued investment in announced gas projects risks creating tens of billions of dollars in stranded costs by the mid-2030s, when new gas plants and pipelines will rapidly become uneconomic as clean energy costs continue to fall.”

85
Policy and solutions / Re: Electric cars
« on: November 08, 2019, 07:32:12 PM »
I've seen forecasts for initial cost parity between EVs and ICEs as early as 2022.  This one estimates it between 2022 and 2026.  (Note they also think Toyota will have a solid-state lithium ion battery in the early 2020s).

https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/The-One-Metric-That-Matters-For-Electric-Cars.html

Quote
Looking beyond the dramatic headlines—the cliff-hanger nature of Tesla’s financial statements and the Trump administration’s efforts to re-engineer the auto industry—we need to focus on one number that determines when electric vehicles (EVs) will make economic sense. So says a report out of Argonne Laboratories sponsored by the Department of Energy. That number, according to researcher George Crabtree, is the price of the battery (as measured in $ per kwh), which he says has to halve in order to make EVs competitive with conventional cars. Not promising one might think. Well, researchers now believe that battery prices could reach the magic level somewhere between 2022 and 2026.

But, there is more to come. Researchers are working on lithium ion-solid state batteries. These would not only eliminate the unfortunate flammability issue that dogs lithium batteries but also possibly double the milage per charge. Toyota hopes to have such a battery ready in the early 2020s.

86
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: November 08, 2019, 12:06:33 AM »
Import energy from where the wind is blowing and the sun is shining.
I have a vague memory of a Europe-wide plan to build a network of ultra-high DC voltage transmission lines capable of shifting large amounts of power all around Europe as and when needed.

Will it happen?

Is it necessary?  The article I linked to indicated that it can be done now through existing grids using cloud computing to control the switching.

87
The rest / Re: Political theatre/wrestling
« on: November 07, 2019, 10:22:12 PM »
The article in the Atlantic that I linked to above is a wonderful read if you're into history.  It goes to great length about how the nobles in England used impeachment to reign in a monarch's power well before Parliament became more powerful than the King or Queen.

However, what's really interesting is the brief summary it gives of the articles of impeachment for President Nixon.  I've bolded the part that may be most applicable these days.

Quote
Finally, and most pertinently, the House Judiciary Committee approved three articles of impeachment against Richard Nixon: the first for obstruction of justice, the second for abuse of power, and the third for defying House subpoenas during its impeachment investigation. Article 3 obviously did not allege a crime. But even in the first two articles, which did involve some potentially criminal conduct, the committee was at pains to avoid any reference to criminal statutes. Rather, as the committee staff observed in its careful study of the question, “high Crimes and Misdemeanors” is a phrase that reaches far beyond crimes to embrace “exceeding the powers of the office in derogation of those of another branch of government,” “behaving in a manner grossly incompatible with the proper function of the office,” and “employing the power of the office for an improper purpose or personal gain.”

I could now go and link to numerous articles about current Administration officials ignoring Congressional subpoenas on the Ukraine investigation, but there are so many that it alone would derail this thread.  Basically, many Administration officials are now in deep sh!t and it won't be long before some of them start singing to limit thier personal exposure to possible fallout from this debacle.

And this will keep going for the months that it takes to build a thorough case for impeachment.  It might even drag on until some of the GOP Representatives and Senators face primary opponents when they're up for relection next year.

Of course, some of those internet vloggers may be right about how the Democrats are screwing this up.  But given the results in Virginia and Kentucky this week, that doesn't appear to be the case.

88
The rest / Re: Political theatre/wrestling
« on: November 07, 2019, 09:55:05 PM »
Impeachement IIRC is for "High crimes and misdemeanors".
What is a rigorous definition of that phrase?

A lot of ink has been spilled on this one.  In short, it's not limited to criminal conduct.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_crimes_and_misdemeanors

Quote
The charge of high crimes and misdemeanors covers allegations of misconduct by officials. Offenses by officials also include ordinary crimes, but perhaps with different standards of proof and punishment than for non-officials, on the grounds that more is expected of officials by their oaths of office. Indeed the offense may not even be a breach of criminal statute. See Harvard Law Review "The majority view is that a president can legally be impeached for 'intentional, evil deeds' that 'drastically subvert the Constitution and involve an unforgivable abuse of the presidency' — even if those deeds didn’t violate any criminal laws."

Here's some history from a constitutional law website:

https://law.justia.com/constitution/us/article-2/50-impeachable-offenses.html

Quote
Impeachable Offenses
SECTION 4. The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

Annotations
The Convention came to its choice of words describing the grounds for impeachment after much deliberation, but the phrasing derived directly from the English practice. On June 2, 1787, the framers adopted a provision that the executive should “be removable on impeachment & conviction of mal-practice or neglect of duty.” The Committee of Detail reported as grounds “Treason (or) Bribery or Corruption.” And the Committee of Eleven reduced the phrase to “Treason, or bribery.” On September 8, Mason objected to this limitation, observing that the term did not encompass all the conduct that should be grounds for removal; he therefore proposed to add “or maladministration” following “bribery.” Upon Madison’s objection that “o vague a term will be equivalent to a tenure during pleasure of the Senate,” Mason suggested “other high crimes & misdemeanors,” which was adopted without further recorded debate.

And here's an article written by a current law professor about how supporters of the about to be impeached elected officials often try to use Tom's argument against impeachment.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/10/what-does-high-crimes-and-misdemeanors-actually-mean/600343/

Quote
The Common Misconception About ‘High Crimes and Misdemeanors’
The constitutional standard for impeachment is different from what’s at play in a regular criminal trial.

October 22, 2019
Frank O. Bowman III
Professor at the University of Missouri School of Law

“High crimes and misdemeanors” is surely the most troublesome, misleading phrase in the U.S. Constitution. Taken at face value, the words seem to say that impeachable conduct is limited to “crimes”—offenses defined by criminal statutes and punishable in criminal courts. That impression is reinforced by the fact that the phrase follows the obviously criminal “treason” and “bribery” in Article II’s list of the kinds of conduct for which the “President, Vice President and all civil officers” may be impeached.

But this is not, in fact, what the Constitution requires. “High crimes and misdemeanors” is not, and has never been, limited to indictable criminality. Nonetheless, despite centuries of learning on the point, there the phrase sits, begging to be taken at its delusory face value.

Accordingly, in nearly every significant American impeachment since 1788, the defenders of the impeached official—whether president, judge, senator, or Cabinet officer—have argued that their man can’t properly be removed, because what he did wasn’t actually a statutory crime. This process has already begun for President Donald Trump. Among the first things the president’s personal lawyer Jay Sekulow said in a September 27, 2019, CBS interview about the Ukraine affair was that the phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky involved “no violation of law, rule, regulation, or statute.”

Quote
There are two strong arguments against the idea that the phrase requires criminal behavior: a historical one and a practical one. The history of the phrase “high crimes and misdemeanors” and of how it entered our Constitution establishes beyond serious dispute that it extends far beyond mere criminal conduct. The practical reasoning is in some ways more important: A standard that permitted the removal of presidents only for indictable crimes would leave the nation defenseless against the most dangerous kinds of presidential behavior.

It will be up to Congress to decide if withholding Congressionally appropriated military aid (which the President signed into law and which the State Department and Defense Department indicated Ukraine was eligible to receive) for an ally under attack by Russia and making it contingent on providing dirt on a political opponent in an upcoming election is an impeachable offense. 

It's interesting to note that several members of this President's 2016 election campaign are currently serving prison sentences for seeking Russian interference in the 2016 election.  One of the conspiracy theories that Ukraine had to attest to in order to receive the aid was that it was Ukraine, not Russia, that interfered in the election.  That may allow the impeachment inquiry to follow up on several suggested investigations from the Mueller report.

89
The rest / Re: Political theatre/wrestling
« on: November 07, 2019, 09:28:17 PM »
You may not have heard about Carter or Reagan attempting to extort foreign countries for dirt on their political opponents because no other President has attempted to extort a foreign power for personal information on a political opponent. That's what makes this different.

This isn't about pushing around a foreign country for the US' benefit or even a US company's benefit.  This is about the President trying to get dirt on a political opponent for an upcoming election.

90
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: November 07, 2019, 08:55:09 PM »
Renewables delivered more power than coal to Australia's grid for the first time this week.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/nov/07/renewables-meet-50-of-electricity-demand-on-australias-power-grid-for-first-time

Quote
Renewables meet 50% of electricity demand on Australia's power grid for first time

Quote
Australia’s main electricity grid was briefly powered by 50% renewable energy this week in a new milestone that experts say will become increasingly normal.

Data on the sources of power in the National Electricity Market showed that at 11.50am on Wednesday, renewables were providing 50.2% of the power to Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia – the five states served by the market.

Rooftop solar was providing 23.7% of all the power demand, followed by wind at 15.7%, large-scale solar with 8.8% and hydro at 1.9%.

Quote
Dylan McConnell, of the University of Melbourne’s Climate and Energy College and who helped develop the tool, said: “We will start to see this happening more frequently. It was just a snapshot in time, but it’s indicative of an underlying trend in the system.”

Renewables maintained the 50% mark for only about 10 minutes and over the entire day contributed 31.2% of the electricity used across the five states.

91
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: November 07, 2019, 08:49:54 PM »

We just need a government that understands and pushes for action.

I don't disagree in the slightest. Storage is key, but we had 2 days where renewables delivered ~10% of nameplate power.  So do we size renewables to 10 times current capacity?  There is no solution which will store whole grid overcapacity for an extended period.

Storing 90% of UK grid power for a 2 day supply constraint is impossible with current tech. I have discussed this before.  On that scale, every EV in the country would need to go V2G and they do not, on average, have enough power for that.

...

We still haven't answered the question.  What happens when all the wind farms are becalmed for a week. Because in the UK that averages out to around 3.6 TW/h of storage needed.

...



Import energy from where the wind is blowing and the sun is shining.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/11/07/business/statkraft-virtual-power-plant/index.html

Quote
London (CNN Business)Virtual power plants could solve one of renewable energy's most vexing challenges: the weather.

By supplying electricity from renewable sources even when the sun isn't shining and the wind isn't blowing, virtual power plant technology could help tackle the climate crisis.

Quote
Virtual power plants attempt to solve that problem by connecting disparate sources of renewable production, generation and storage. By pooling those resources, engineers can make them behave like a conventional power plant.

For example, a virtual power plant might be connected to 10 geographically dispersed wind farms to smooth the variability in output of each one. It could also include an energy storage component, so that if production from the wind farms outstrips demand a fleet of batteries can be charged so they can supply more power later when required. Other features that encourage consumers to optimize their energy use can also be incorporated.

Quote
Norwegian company Statkraft has been running one of Europe's biggest power generation facilities in this way since 2011.

The virtual power plant, in Germany, has capacity greater than 12,000 megawatts and could theoretically power 5 million homes.

It uses a cloud-based artificial intelligence platform to connect more than 1,500 wind, solar and hydropower plants across Europe with electricity generation and storage facilities, such as batteries.

Quote
When there is excess electricity supply, production at plants can be throttled or energy can be stored for use at a later date. This ensures smaller producers always have a market for their power and helps to avoid negative energy prices.

"We can connect batteries from Spain with wind farms in Germany, and that makes it scalable," Andreas Bader, vice president for sales at Statkraft told CNN Business.

92
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: November 07, 2019, 07:21:29 PM »

For the real picture of California renewables, why not look at how California generates its electricity or how much renewable capacity is being installed? 
So I have - data from https://www.energy.ca.gov/data-reports/energy-almanac.

No simple data for 2019 tabulated found by me. Nor could I find total energy - to include transportation and direct use of natural gas & coal.

Perhaps of most significance is California has divorced growth in electricity use from growth in GDP. So growth in renewables has not been perpetually chasing growth in demand.

And some data       2001    2018             Percentages of total electricity generation
Wind+ Solar            1.2%    13.6%
Coal                      10.3%      3.3%
Natural gas            43.4%    31.8%

So to get the 33% renewables often quoted they have to chuck in all sorts of other stuff.

Geroncrat,

I don't think you used the correct numbers.  I followed the link you provided and see this instead:

In 2018, wind (32.7 GWh, 11.46%) and solar (32.5 GWh, 11.40%) provided 22.86% of California's electricity.  The total share of renewables, excluding large hydro, was 31.36%. 




93
Policy and solutions / Re: Nuclear Power
« on: November 07, 2019, 06:51:22 PM »
So I clicked on this link from an energy news aggregator:

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/11/02/nuclear-fission-and-fusion-could-be-integral-to-a-carbon-free-future.html

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How nuclear power will drive our energy future

It's laugh out loud funny.  I'm not sure if it's a serious article or if the writer meant to post it to The Onion and got it mixed up with a story for CNBC.  Here's the opening sentence:

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Think of nuclear power and you may imagine the worst — atomic bombs, reactors melting down and radioactive waste.

Not exactly a positive start for a story about driving our energy future.  The story goes on to state,

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That’s because nuclear power plants are expensive to build, construction often takes longer than expected and public opposition is strong.


It's conclusion is pretty weak too.

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For nuclear power to be effective in the future, one key lies in upgrading technology, designing safer and more efficient fission reactors with the support of philanthropists like Bill Gates.

Government labs, private investors, and intergovernmental organizations are also devoting vast resources to what many consider the holy grail of energy — nuclear fusion. Fusion is the process that powers our sun and every other star in the universe. And if we figure out how to harness that power here on earth, it would be a game changer.

And that's the argument for nuclear power these days.  Too expensive, too long to build, but hey, Bill Gates may come up with something that works and fusion is only a few decades away!

94
Policy and solutions / Re: Global economics and finances - impacts
« on: November 07, 2019, 06:40:32 PM »
Investment fund managers are starting to short real estate at risk from climate change.  In the US, the 30-year mortgage is the chief financial instrument that people use to buy their houses.  If the house is literally underwater in 30 years, a lot of people will be defaulting on those mortgages.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/climate-change-will-break-the-housing-market-says-david-burt-who-predicted-the-2008-financial-crisis-2019-11-01

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Climate change will break the housing market, says David Burt, who predicted the 2008 financial crisis

Published: Nov 4, 2019 1:56 a.m. ET

Risk to the housing market from underestimated climate change echoes lessons from the 2008 subprime-mortgage debacle — as does the chance to capitalize on these miscalculations.

That’s the view of David Burt, whose old firm and its timely escape from the financial crisis just over a decade ago featured in Michael Lewis’s book “The Big Short.”

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The first serious market ripples from industry nonchalance, Burt says, could materialize as early as next year.

Burt was a consultant at Cornwall Capital, the firm that made about $80 million when it shorted the subprime mortgage market whose eventual implosion left the housing market in a shambles and lured well-positioned investors to pick through the bones. Cornwall was profiled in the Lewis narrative and one of Burt’s colleagues was played by Brad Pitt in the movie adaptation.

95
Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: November 07, 2019, 06:26:24 PM »
Canadian oil and gas producers are also struggling with the low prices due to inventory builds and decreased demand forecasts.

https://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/Another-Canadian-Oil-Gas-Producer-Bites-The-Dust.html

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Another Canadian Oil & Gas Producer Bites The Dust
By Tsvetana Paraskova - Nov 06, 2019, 2:30 PM CST

Calgary-based Houston Oil & Gas Ltd has become the latest victim of the struggling oil and gas sector in Canada, ceasing operations as lower oil and natural gas prices and an investor exodus continues to weaken Alberta’s energy sector.

Houston Oil & Gas Ltd operated some 1,200 wells in Alberta, of which 95 percent were gas wells and 5 percent, oil wells.

But Houston Oil & Gas has informed the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) that it is halting operations and no longer has any employees, CBC News reports, citing court documents

96
Science / Re: 2019 CO2 emissions
« on: November 07, 2019, 06:08:45 PM »
^^^
I think the IPCC SR on 1.5C used CO2 equivalent, which includes other greenhouse gases whereas that website with the clock left off the "eq".

https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/

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Limiting warming to 1.5°C depends on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions over the next decades, where lower GHG emissions in 2030 lead to a higher chance of keeping peak warming to 1.5°C (high confidence). Available pathways that aim for no or limited (less than 0.1°C) overshoot of 1.5°C keep GHG emissions in 2030 to 25–30 GtCO2e yr−1 in 2030 (interquartile range). This contrasts with median estimates for current unconditional NDCs of 52–58 GtCO2e yr−1 in 2030. Pathways that aim for limiting warming to 1.5°C by 2100 after a temporary temperature overshoot rely on large-scale deployment of carbon dioxide removal (CDR) measures, which are uncertain and entail clear risks. In model pathways with no or limited overshoot of 1.5°C, global net anthropogenic CO2 emissions decline by about 45% from 2010 levels by 2030 (40–60% interquartile range), reaching net zero around 2050 (2045–2055 interquartile range).1 For limiting global warming to below 2°C with at least 66% probability CO2 emissions are projected to decline by about 25% by 2030 in most pathways (10–30% interquartile range) and reach net zero around 2070 (2065–2080 interquartile range). {2.2, 2.3.3, 2.3.5, 2.5.3, Cross-Chapter Boxes 6 in Chapter 3 and 9 in Chapter 4, 4.3.7}

97
I think Kassy is right on this one.  I've read many stories about older gardeners saying they plant different flowers now because of the changing climate zones.  I've read about hunters talking about how the migrations of the animals they hunt have changed due to climate change.

People who have been around long enough may remember the time when temperatures actually got colder than the baselines used to calculate the anomalies.  I think it's been more than 30 years now since we had a monthly global temperature colder than the 1950s - 1980s baselines that NASA uses.

98
The rest / Re: Political theatre/wrestling
« on: November 07, 2019, 05:43:39 PM »
Neven asked me to post impeachment news in this forum (although it will surely impact the 2020 elections too).

The complicated story boiled down into a few easy to read paragraphs:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/11/07/four-big-facts-that-blow-up-gops-latest-defense-trump/

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Four big facts that blow up the GOP’s latest defense of Trump

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By
Greg Sargent
November 7, 2019 at 7:04 a.m. PST

With the impeachment inquiry heading into its public phase, Republicans are road-testing yet another deeply absurd defense of President Trump: They are conceding that, yes, there may have been a quid pro quo, but there’s no proof Trump himself was behind it.

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Here are four facts revealing this new line to be epic nonsense.

Trump himself suspended the military aid.

Trump personally ordered acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney to inform budget officials that the aid that had already been appropriated by Congress was being frozen, officials told The Post.

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Giuliani publicly confirmed the whole plot, and that he was acting at Trump’s direction.

Trump froze the aid to Ukraine at a time when Trump lawyer Rudolph Giuliani had already said publicly for months that he was pressuring Ukraine to carry out these investigations. As far back as early May, Giuliani explicitly said he wanted those investigations to target both the conspiracy theory and Biden specifically.

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Those texts demonstrate the meaning of Sondland’s confession.

In Sondland’s statement, he concedes that on Sept. 1, he directly informed a top aide to Zelensky that “resumption of U.S. aid would likely not occur until Ukraine provided the public anti-corruption statement that we had been discussing for many weeks.”

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Pence directly delivered the message about suspended aid to Ukraine.

On Sept. 1, the same day Sondland informed a top Zelensky aide that the military aid was conditional, Vice President Pence met with Zelensky.

Zelensky raised the withheld aid with Pence. And as The Post reports, Pence informed Zelensky that the administration was “still looking at” the aid, i.e., it was on hold. Pence also told Zelensky he needed to do more to fight “corruption.”

I guess the stories Republican representatives tell during the next year as they try to avoid impeaching Trump and Pence and removing them from office, thus paving the way for Nancy Pelosi to take the Presidency (the Speaker of the House is the next one up after the VP if the President can't serve) will make for some interesting political theater during the elections.

99
Science / Re: ECS is 2.5
« on: November 06, 2019, 09:05:49 PM »
An update on the CMIP6 model intercomparison study has been posted at Real Climate.

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2019/11/sensitive-but-unclassified/#more-22857


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The results from climate models that are being run for CMIP6 have been talked about for a few months as the papers describing them have made it in to the literature, and the first assessments of the multi-model ensemble have been done. For those of you not familiar with the CMIP process, it is a periodic exercise for any climate model groups who want to have their results compared with other models and observations in a consistent manner. CMIP6 is the 5th iteration of this exercise (we skipped CMIP4 for reasons that remain a little obscure) that has been going since the 1990s.
The main focus has been on the climate sensitivity of these models – not necessarily because it’s the most important diagnostic, but it is an easily calculated short-hand to encapsulate the total feedbacks that occur as you increase CO2.

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As more models have been put into the database (all of which is publically available), more consistent estimates are possible, for instance:



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So what should people make of this? Here are some options:

These new higher numbers might be correct. As cloud micro-physical understanding has improved and models better match the real climate, they will converge on a higher ECS.

These new numbers are not correct. There are however many ways in which this might have manifest:
- The high ECS models have all included something new and wrong.
- They have all neglected a key process that should have been included with the package they did implement.
- There has been some overfitting to imperfect observations.
- The experimental set-up from which the ECS numbers are calculated is flawed.

There are arguments pro and con for each of these possibilities, and it is premature to decide which of them are relevant. It isn’t even clear that there is one answer that will explain all the high values – it might all be a coincidence – a catalogue of unfortunate choices that give this emergent pattern. We probably won’t find out for a while – though many people are now looking at this.

100
Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: November 06, 2019, 06:40:49 PM »
OPEC is starting to include electric vehicle growth cutting demand for oil into their forecasts.

https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/OPEC-Braces-For-Drastic-Drop-In-Oil-Demand.html

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OPEC Braces For Drastic Drop In Oil Demand
By Nick Cunningham - Nov 05, 2019


OPEC Braces For Drastic Drop In Oil Demand
By Nick Cunningham - Nov 05, 2019, 7:00 PM CST
Join Our Community
 
OPEC admitted that demand for its oil over the next few years could be drastically weaker than it previously thought, due to a combination of a weakening economy, rising supply elsewhere, and pressure from climate activists.

In its World Oil Outlook, OPEC said that demand for its oil may only reach 32.8 million barrels per day (mb/d) by 2024, a figure that is substantially lower than the 35 mb/d from last year’s estimate. Demand is still expected to grow in non-OECD countries going forward, but OPEC admitted that demand may peak in the OECD in 2020.

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Meanwhile, the attention paid to the risks of demand destruction in the OPEC report is notable. The phrase “climate change” appears nearly 50 times in the report and the cartel acknowledged that electric vehicles are “gaining momentum.”

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