Friday, May 29, 2015

About hidden costs of greenhouse gas emissions.

If so called “climate damages” are added , a gallon of regular gas in the United States would really cost $6.25! 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

California and Peru provide free solar panels to their poorest residents

The first California resident, who is a disabled man,  received a free rooftop solar system. If it performs as expected, the 2.5 kW solar electric system will save  $818 in the first year and $22,800 over its 30-year lifetime.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

European Commission is launching the Smart Specialisation Platform on Energy (S3P-Energy) to develop low carbon solutions

 S3P-Energy will support regions and Member States in using Cohesion Policy funding more effectively for promoting sustainable energy. For 2014-2020, more than EUR 38 billion of Cohesion Policy funding will be invested in achieving the EU Energy Strategy  and boosting the shift towards a low-carbon economy in all sectors. This represents more than a doubling of funding compared to the previous period. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

High death toll from India’s heat wave...

At least 1,400 people died in India in less than one week from unprecedentedly high temperatures, which reached  50C  (122F)  In some regions. 

Monday, May 25, 2015

Model for the world - British Columbia significantly reduced its fossil fuel use by adopting a carbon tax


In 2008 British Columbia (B.C.) became the first jurisdiction in North America to adopt an economy-wide carbon taxStewart Elgie, a professor  at University of Ottawa, describes  the results of that tax as “remarkable”, because the move towards low carbon economy was achieved without harming province's economy. The carbon tax is revenue neutral, meaning every dollar generated by the tax is returned to tax payers through reductions in other taxes.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

75 countries signed a new International Energy Charter at a High-Level Ministerial Conference held in The Hague, the Netherlands.

The new Charter modernises the existing European Energy Charter of 1991 and widens its scope to a global level. The purpose of the new Charter is to engage as many new countries as possible who are willing to cooperate in the field of energy and who recognise the importance of energy security for energy producing, transit and consuming countries. Document promotes such important principles as efficient functioning of energy markets, investment protection, free transit of energy resources, facilitating trade in energy and energy-related goods, and cooperation in energy policy development, including energy efficiency and environmental protection. Key new points are the recognition of the importance of access to modern energy for all and the growing share of low-carbon and renewable energy. Read more at http://international.energycharter.org/

More about Ministerial Conference on the International Energy Charter, May 20-21

Friday, May 22, 2015

Global renewable energy jobs market dynamics: world is 18% up, and Europe is 4% down

Number of renewable energy jobs worldwide is growing fast, over  7.7 million people are employed across the industry now, up 18 percent from 6.5 million last year, according to IRENA’s recent report. The most renewable energy jobs now are located in Asia region, mainly in China, India, Indonesia, Japan, and Bangladesh, while the European Union and the United States now represent 25 per cent of global renewable energy jobs, compared to 31 per cent in 2012. PV sector is employment leader, where jobs have tripled since 2011 and now totals an estimated 2.5 million, most in downstream jobs such as PV system installation. Biofuels (1.8 million), wind power (over 1 million), biomass (822,000), solar heating/cooling (764 000) and biogas (381,000) are also major employers. Read more at  http://www.irena.org/

At the same time, the EU lost 50,000 renewable jobs – a drop from 1.25 million to 1.2 million. The solar energy sector was hit the most with about 35 percent of jobs lost, because of a sharp decrease in overall investment. The EC defends the EU’s renewable industry saying that  it still has twice more renewable jobs per capita than the global average. Read more at http://eubulletin.com/

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Most energy efficient U.S. cities

Boston is at the top and Oklahoma City is at the bottom of the ranking published by ACEEE. 51 major cities in the U.S. were ranked for energy efficiency efforts across five policy areas: local government operations, community-wide initiatives, buildings, energy and water utilities, and transportation.  New York, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Minneapolis and Portland are among energy Efficiency leaders. Read more at http://nextcity.org/

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Canada is committing to a goal of reducing its GHG emissions by 30 percent by 2030 compared to 2005 levels

Also, Canada announced its “intention to develop new regulatory measures for the oil, gas, and chemical industries. At the same time the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) noted that Canada’s pledges were also concerning because, as of now, the country isn’t on track to meet its 2020 emissions reductions targets. Without significant new policies, Canada wouldn’t meet its Copenhagen Accord target to reduce its emissions 17 percent by 2020, compared to 2005 levels. The NRDC also called Canada’s commitment “significantly weaker” than that of the United States. Read more at http://thinkprogress.org/

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

China CO2 reduction this year could equal UK total emissions over same period

Coal consumption in the world’s largest economy fell by almost 8% and CO2 emissions by around 5% in the first four months of the year, compared with the same period in 2014.  China’s coal use fell for the first time this century and government recently ordered more than 1,000 coal mines to close. This is very encouraging news on the eve  of crucial climate talks in Paris this year. Read more at http://energydesk.greenpeace.org/
Read also about China as world’s largest energy consumer and greenhouse gas emitter

Monday, May 18, 2015

Biomass instead of natural gas for heating in the Netherlands

 biomass heating facility was recently constructed to replace natural gas-fired heating In Pumerend, a city of 80,000 residents in the Netherlands.The Dutch National Forest Service supplies the 10-inch wood chips used as feedstock under a 25-year deal. The plant is powered by 4 boilers each with 11-megawatts of capacity. Residents pay for their heat at a price level that is similar to the natural gas “reference price”. The plant’s state-of-the-art design cuts CO2 emissions by 50,000 tons compared to natural gas.  Read more at theenergycollective.com

Friday, May 15, 2015

Ontario First Province in Canada to Set 2030 GHG Emission Reduction Target

A new mid-term target is to reduce emissions by 37 per cent below 1990 levels by 2030. Ontario already has a goal to decrease GHG pollution by 15 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020 and 80 per cent by 2050. Ontario is joining other leading subnational jurisdictions -- including California, Québec and British Columbia -- that have or will set mid-term targets to limit global warming to 2°C. In April Ontario announced it would be putting a limit on the main sources of greenhouse gas pollution through a cap and trade program, to be linked with Québec and California. Read more at http://news.ontario.ca/



Thursday, May 14, 2015

Solar power dish outperforms the photovoltaic panels in terms of efficiency

The concentrated solar power (CSP) system, created by Swedish  company Ripasso Energy, converts 34% of the sun’s energy to grid-ready electricity, while solar panels typically convert only 23% (making that usable on the grid means efficiency drops to just 15%). Ripasso’s CSP system works by combining a parabolic 12 meter diameter mirror dish  with a Stirling engine, which doesn't require water for power generation. Read more at http://www.geek.com

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A new World Bank report lays out three steps for a smooth transition to a zero-carbon future

The study claims the first step is to “plan for the end goal and not just the short-term”, then to “get prices right as part of a broad policy package, which triggers changes in investment and behaviour”, and the  final point is to “smooth the transition for those most affected”.
The report, called ‘Decarbonizing Development: Three Steps to a Zero Carbon Future’, states the transition to zero net emissions is affordable if governments act today. Read more at www.worldbank.org

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Tidal power - next big thing among renewables?

May be, if the tide industry continues at its current rate of development. According to GE Reports, in Scotland, for example, a major project was announced for the Pentland Firth, which will see more than 60 turbines submerged on the seabed by 2020. They should generate enough energy to power 42,000 homes. The first phase of the project will consist of four turbines over the next two years, each generating 1.2 MW.
Tidal power is a reliable form of energy, because the tide is cyclic as opposed to being weather dependent like solar and wind. Its output can be predicted and anticipated. Also, it’s limitless and out-of-sight, as it relies on machinery that lies underwater, unlike the more conspicuous wind turbines and fields of solar cells. Read more at https://gereports.ca

Monday, May 11, 2015

Chernobyl New Safe Confinement (NSC): 43 countries confirmed their intentions to finance its completion

International donors already confirmed commitments to provide €540 million of necessary €615 million. EBRD will coordinate the negotiations with countries-donors to arrange the remaining €75 million.This information is from the  briefing of Ukrainian Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Igor Shevchenko, who took part last week in international conference in London for raising funding to  build NSC structure above destroyed nuclear reactor,   Read more at http://www.menr.gov.ua
The New Safe Confinement will eventually rise to a height of 110 metres, will be 165 metres long, have a span of 260 meters and a lifetime of a minimum of 100 years. The arch-shaped structure will weigh more than 30,000 tons. Its frame is a huge lattice construction of tubular steel members built on two longitudinal concrete beams. Work on the NSC at the site started in late 2010 and, according to the current schedule, is expected to be completed by 2017. Read more at http://www.ebrd.com/

Impressive VIDEO from the construction site of Chernobyl NSC, and...  Forbes' esse about current state of Chernobyl exclusion zone, the area where humanity will not be able to return to during next 20 000 years!!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

A common EU-China approach will help make the Paris climate talks a success

Federica Mogherini. EU foreign policy chief, said in Beijin last weeek she's confident the EU and China can agree to a common approach on climate change. She praised China's targets for gradually reducing its greenhouse gas emissions and said the sides should be able to agree on other goals at an upcoming bilateral summit. China is the world's biggest emitter and has pledged to level off carbon emissions by around 2030. Read more at www.sunherald.com

 

Friday, May 8, 2015

Will the world become battery-powered?

Two billion Powerpacks – low-cost batteries for homes and businesses to store power from wind or solar – could store enough electricity to meet the entire world’s needs. That’s certainly the ambition of Elon Musk, the PayPal billionaire turned would-be space explorer and electric car baron.  Read more at http://www.theguardian.com

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Climate change alert: Global carbon dioxide tops 400 ppm for first time

The first time an atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration of above 400 parts per million was measured was in the Arctic in 2012. That same threshold was reached at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii in 2013. And now, NOAA reports the monthly global average concentration of the greenhouse gas has surpassed 400 parts per million for the first time. This isn’t good. In fact, the last time it happened was up to 5 million years agoRead more at http://www.washingtonpost.com

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The BRIC nations' response to climate change is critical to the fate of the planet

 The four largest developing economies – Brazil, Russia, India and China, collectively known as the BRICs – are critically important to the cause. These four countries, with a combined population of 3 billion people and a GDP of $16tn, will have a huge direct impact on global emissions.  Read more at http://www.theguardian.com

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Better ways of using natural gas

For maximum advantage, instead of substituting gas directly for coal in the power generation sector, we should rather use every single cubic foot of gas we possibly can to displace electricity in end uses.  Attention to this issue by policy makers can save untold gigatons of carbon emissions over the coming decades.  Read more at http://theenergycollective.com

Monday, May 4, 2015

25 Cents Per Watt for Solar Panel?!

In January 2015, Saudi Arabian company ACWA Power surprised industry analysts when it won a bid to build a 200-megawatt solar power plant in Dubai that will be able to produce electricity for 6 cents per kilowatt-hour. The price was less than the cost of electricity from natural gas or coal power plants, a first for a solar installation. Electricity from new natural gas and coal plants would cost an estimated 6.4 cents and 9.6 cents per kilowatt-hour, respectively, according to the U.S. Energy Information Agency. Technological advances, including photovoltaics that can convert higher percentages of sunlight into energy, have made solar panels more efficient. At the same time economies of scale have driven down their costs.  Read more at http://www.climatecentral.org/

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Obama signs bill to boost energy efficiency in buildings

The law aims to cut energy use in commercial buildings, manufacturing plants and homes.
The bill exempts some energy-efficient water heaters from pending Energy Department rules. It also requires federal agencies to increase energy efficiency in federal buildings, among other provisions. Read more at http://www.wral.com

Friday, May 1, 2015

Jean-Pascal van Ypersele: Climate change not only policy issue — but climate confusers losing ground completely

Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, professor of climatology and environmental sciences at the Universite Catholique de Louvain (UCL) Belgium, is top contender for the position of chairman of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), vacant after the recent resignation of Indian scientist R K Pachauri. Speaking with Vishwa Mohan, Ypersele discussed his priorities if elected, his view of nations’ equations between development and environment. http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/