Thursday, December 10, 2020

Alberta's goal is to eliminate coal-fired electricity production by 2023, ahead of 2030 provincial deadline

 In 2014, 55%  of Alberta’s electricity was produced from 18 coal-fired generators. The Alberta government announced in 2015 it would eliminate emissions from coal power generation by 2030.

Provincial electric utility Capital Power Corp. plans to spend nearly $1 billion to switch two coal-fired power units west of Edmonton to natural gas and stop using coal entirely. Capital Power expects that direct carbon dioxide emissions at its Genesee power facility will be about 3.4 million tonnes per year lower than 2019 emission levels when the project is complete. The natural gas combined cycle units will be the most efficient in Canada, and they will be capable of running on 30% hydrogen initially, with the option to run on 95% hydrogen in the future with minor investments.

The growing cost-competitiveness of renewable energy makes coal plant retirements possible, due to Capital Power’s plans to increase its investments in solar power.

Calgary-based TransAlta Corp. said it will end operations at its Highvale thermal coal mine west of Edmonton by the end of 2021 as it switches to natural gas at all of its operating coal-fired plants in Canada by four years earlier than previously planned.  The Highvale surface coal mine is the largest in Canada and has been in operation since 1970.


Sunday, October 11, 2020

Electric and hybrid car sales reached almost 90% of total September car sales in Norway

 ... and the country leads the world in the percentage of electric and hybrid cars on its roads (see the chart below). 

The monthly cost of owning a mid-sized electric car in Norway averaged over a four-year period ($883)  is substantially lower than for petrol ($1,002) and diesel ($1,075)  cars. The costs include fuel, depreciation, taxes, insurance, and maintenance.

While in 2019 the total world's electric car stock was around 7.5 million, or just 1.5-2% of the total world's car stock, continuously decreasing battery prices together with undeniable environmental benefits will inevitably lead to hybrid and electric car domination all around the world within the next couple of decades.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

European Commission raised Europe’s 2030 climate ambition

UPDATED.  On October 6, the European Parliament voted to increase the EU’s climate target for 2030, supporting a 60% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by the end of the decade, up from 40% currently. It is impressive that the adopted target is higher than one earlier proposed by the European Commission (55%)!

 EU-wide net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction target of at least 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels was proposed by EC on September 17.  Achieving of this level of ambition for the next decade will put the EU on a balanced pathway to reaching climate neutrality by 2050 but will require action in all sectors of the economy (see diagram below).

A comprehensive Impact Assessment of the social, economic, and environmental impacts demonstrates that this course of action is realistic and feasible.

CO2 emissions from the burning of fossil fuels are the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the EU, and together with fugitive non-CO2 emissions in the energy system, they are responsible for over 75% of EU greenhouse gas emissions.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Can China become carbon neutral by 2060?

The world's biggest polluter of greenhouse gases China  has pledged to go carbon neutral by 2060 during the United Nations General Assembly in New York  on Sep 22. It's the first time China has issued concrete plans to achieve net zero carbon dioxide emissions. If achieved, this could curb likely global warming by 0.2-0.3 Celsius this century.

China has not yet revealed details of how it will do this. But a research group at Tsinghua University presented a $15 trillion, 30-year road map on 27 September that calls for ending the use of coal for electricity generation around 2050, dramatically increasing nuclear and renewable power generation, and relying on electricity for 80% of China’s energy consumption by 2060.

Monday, June 1, 2020

Explosive growth of EVs global fleet over the next 20 years

The global EV fleet passed the 5‑million mark in 2018, which represents more than tenfold growth since 2013 (IEA, 2019). Despite the phenomenal recent growth, EVs still represent less than 0.5% of the total world stock of the cars on the road, estimated in the range of 1.2-1.4 billion (BNEF, 2019; carsguide, 2018).
BloomberNEF’s analysis slows that over the next 20 years fast growth of EVs will continue in all road transport vehicle segments (see the diagram above). It is expected that the shares of electric cars and electric buses will reach 30% and 65% in 2040, respectively.
Among commercial vehicles, a higher share of freight moves to smaller vehicles due to urbanization, city restrictions, and economics. 

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Average EV lithium-ion pack price fell down 7.5 times in 2010-2019

The rapid fall of lithium-ion pack prices is one of the main drivers behind the growths of EVs sales in recent years.
BNEF forecasts price parity between EVs and internal combustion vehicles (ICE) by the mid-2020s in most segments, despite possible wide variation between global regions and vehicle segments.

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Governments are planning to produce 50% more fossil fuels by 2030 than would be consistent with a 2°C pathway...

...,  and by 120% more than would be consistent with a 1.5°C pathway. Coal production planning is above numbers compatible with the climate goals by 150% and 280%, respectively.
These numbers are pointing at a huge challenge of  bringing the use of fossil fuels in line with climate goals, states The Production Gap report published by a group of leading research organisations supported by UNEP.
According to IEA, coal, oil, and natural gas remain the world’s dominant sources of energy accounting for 81% of total primary energy supply. These fuels are a source of over 75% of global GHG emissions, including about 90% of all CO2  emissions. IPCC estimates that CO2 emissions from fossil fuels will need to decline rapidly, by approximately 6% per year to remain on a 1.5°C-compatible pathway, and by roughly 2% per year to remain on a 2°C-compatible one. 

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Heliogen, a solar energy company backed by Bill Gates, made a breakthrough

Heliogen, a solar energy company, has discovered a way to use artificial intelligence and a field of mirrors to focus reflected sunlight so precisely that it generates extreme heat - up to 1500ºC. For the first time, concentrated solar energy can be used to create the high-temperature heat required to make cement, steel, glass and other industrial products. The Heliogen’s technology could eventually be used to create carbon-free, green hydrogen which could then be turned into fuel for cars, trucks and airplanes. 

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Germany, Spain, Ukraine and Netherlands are the leaders of European PV market

There was a sharp growth during the  last year in solar demand across multiple markets in Europe after several years of modest growth. Demand is concentrated within the top four markets of Germany, Spain, Ukraine, and the Netherlands. At 13 GW of installations, they are collectively representing almost 60% of the European  PV market in 2019.
This rapid rate of utility-scale growth allowed ground-mount installations to pass rooftop installations in 2019 for the first time in four years. Utility-scale installations are expected to account for 43% of total European installations in 2019, but distributed PV (both residential and commercial) are remaining a large and growing market segment, as self-consumption becomes increasingly important. 

Sunday, February 16, 2020

About a role of hydrogen in transition to clean energy and economy decarbonisation

Hydrogen Energy Ministerial Meeting (HEM) 2018 in Japan declared  that "hydrogen can be a key contributor to the energy transitions underway to a clean energy future and an important component of a broad based, secure, sustainable and efficient energy portfolio". The meeting brought together over 300 stakeholders, including ministerial officials, top executives from related companies and representatives from 21 countries, regions and organizations from around the world.
Key economic sectors, including transportation, industrial manufacturing, heat and power generation, can use hydrogen. Fuel cell technologies are can efficiently generate electricity and heat from hydrogen. And, what is very important, hydrogen stands out for its versatility and storage capability. 
Hydrogen can be produced from various sources, including renewable energy, nuclear and fossil fuels, using carbon dioxide capture, utilization and storage. Sourcing options can be categorised as “grey” (fossil fuel-based), “blue” (fossil fuel-based production with carbon capture, utilisation and storage) and “green” (renewables-based) hydrogen when considering associated CO2 emissions. Green hydrogen produced through renewable-powered electrolysis is projected to grow rapidly in the coming years, and this could create opportunities for decarbonisation of a number of economic sectors where it is difficult to essentially reduce CO2 emissions. 

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Federal government will invest $183 million in Low Carbon Cities Canada


Low Carbon Cities Canada (LC3)  is an initiative that will support and accelerate urban carbon emission reduction actions, helping Canada meet the 2030 and 2050 climate change mitigation targets. LC3 is a partnership between  the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and seven local centers located in largest metropolitan areas -  Vancouver and the Lower Mainland, Edmonton, Calgary, the Greater Toronto & Hamilton Area, Ottawa, Montreal Metropolitan Community, and the Halifax region, representing 43 per cent of the country’s population, and working in partnership with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. These centers will be serving more than 100 cities and towns all over the country. 

Sunday, February 9, 2020

EU boosts the circular economy among SMEs

Source: EC, 2016

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are well aware of the benefits and advantages of improving resource efficiency, such as saving material costs, creating competitive advantages, and accessing new markets.  However, small and medium businesses are facing various barriers and challenges in their transition to a circular economy, major of which are a lack of financial resources and lack of technical skills.
After adopting an ambitious Circular Economy Package in 2016,  the European Commission is introducing  measures to cut resource use, reduce waste and boost sustainable production and consumption, which will impact SMEs through  reinforcement of waste management (e.g.: reuse, recycling), measures on the usage of critical raw materials (e.g.: lithium) and support to implement the circular economy strategies and practices.

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Life cycle CO2 emissions for EVs are twice lower than for gasoline cars

Currently EV production results in higher emissions than the making of gasoline cars - mostly due to manufacturing of the EV lithium-ion battery.
Based on the average U.S. electricity grid emissions, producing a midsize, mid-range (84 miles per charge) EV similar to a Nissan LEAF typically results in 15 percent greater emissions than in manufacturing a similar gasoline vehicle. At the same time, replacing gasoline use with electricity reduces overall emissions by 51 percent over the life of the car.
A full-size long-range (265 miles per charge) EV similar to a Tesla Model S, increases manufacturing emissions by 68 percent over the gasoline version.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

How to boost the transition to low carbon technologies?

Source: UK BEIS, 2019

Luck of the strategic incentives is an important reason behind the slow progress in the transition to low carbon technologies. Three major overlapping transition phases may explain where and how technological transition actually occurs: emergence of new technology, diffusion through markets, and reconfiguration of socioeconomic systems.
Based on the detailed analysis of these transitional phases, authors of the report Accelerating the Low Carbon Transition considered ten key economic sectors (see above figure) in a broad sense, including not just the technology and its production, but also the systems of its use, financing, ownership, infrastructure and governance.

The key message for policymakers on a national level is that it is not enough just put a price on carbon or adopt ambitious emissions reduction goals.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Do you need to own a car to have a ride?

And the answer, of course, is no; there are better options even if not considering using public transport. 
When owning a car, you have a bunch of duties, responsibilities, and costs (see the table above). You have to manage car financing and insurance, service and repair, maintenance and cleaning, garage and parking, etc. Shared mobility services like car share, car rental, city car schemes, and taxi ride-share are the viable options which allow you to avoid car ownership. 

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Corporate sourcing of renewable electricity is seen in more than 75 countries

IRENA reviewed over 2 400 companies, identifying drivers, achievements and barriers, and providing recommendations to strengthen the momentum in corporate sourcing of renewables. Agency's report show that companies  consumed about 465 terawatt-hours (TWh) of renewable electricity in 2017.
About 200 companies reported that more than half of the electricity they consumed was sourced from renewables; 50 companies reported a share of 100%.