Australia’s 2013 heatwave due to climate change, researchers conclude http://www.theage.com.au/environment/australias-2013-heatwave-due-to-climate-change-researchers-conclude-20140930-10o1sj.html September 30, 2014 Lisa Cox National political reporter Record temperatures in Australia in 2013 were almost certainly caused by man-made climate change, five separate studies have found.
Researchers from the University of Melbourne, the Australian National University and the University of NSW have concluded it is “virtually impossible” that the heatwaves that hit Australia in 2013 would have occurred were it not for carbon emissions caused by human activity.
The reports have been published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society as part of a global project examining the impact of climate change on extreme weather.
The results, which are the strongest statement yet on the impact of climate change on Australia’s weather patterns, are a wake-up call for the Abbott government a week after it was criticised for failing to take beefed-up emissions reduction targets to a special summit of world leaders in New York.
Five teams of researchers examined the heat that baked Australia for much of 2013, leading to the hottest day, month, spring and summer since records began.
They concluded that the record temperatures for the whole of that year would almost certainly not have occurred without man-made climate change and that the chance of heatwaves occurring was more than 2000 times greater because of human-caused climate change.
Professor David Karoly, one of the authors, said the results mark the first time that researchers had concluded that a specific weather event couldn’t or most likely couldn’t have occurred in Australia without the increase in greenhouse gas emissions caused by human activity.
“The Prime Minister last year said that studies hadn’t been done and the CSIRO cautioned against attributing individual extreme weather events to climate change,” Professor Karoly said.
“Now the studies have been done and the results are very clear.”
The teams of researchers used a variety of computer-based simulations that modelled 20th and early 21st century temperatures.
One set of models factored in natural variations in climate and human influences on climate, while another set showed what temperatures would have looked like without man-made climate change.
Out of 12,500 simulated years, only one result in the latter group produced temperatures higher than those seen in Australia in 2005 – the hottest year before 2013 – and none as hot as 2013.
“There was an increase in the frequency of heatwaves in 2013 and the intensity of heatwaves due to climate change,” Professor Karoly said “It was three times the frequency and two times the intensity.”
Australia’s climate stance savagely condemned at New York summit SMH September 27, 2014 Nick O’Malley US correspondent for Fairfax Media “…….in his address to the General Assembly, Leonardo DiCaprio sought to buttress his call for drastic and immediate action to reduce carbon emissions with a voice harder to challenge than his own.
it was Australia and to an extent Canada that were subject to most of the opprobrium, in part because they have already enjoyed the economic benefits of carbon emissions, in part because China is perceived to be on the brink of significant action.
One of the successes of Tuesday’s meeting was China’s announcement for the first time ever that it would set an emissions target, aiming to reduce its emissions of carbon per unit of GDP by 45 per cent by 2020, compared with levels in 2005.
“As a responsible major country, a major developing country, China will make even greater effort to address climate change,” Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli said.
“All countries need to follow the path of green and low carbon development that suits their national conditions, [and] set forth post-2020 actions in light of actual circumstances.”
An adviser who attended a meeting of small island states that excoriated Australia’s inaction on climate said the group now viewed China’s commitments optimistically.
The reaction to Australia’s presence could not have been more different. Tony de Brum, the Foreign Minister of the Marshall Islands, told Fairfax that small islands states were frustrated and baffled by Australia’s stance, especially as they had regarded the nation as a “big brother down south” and advocated for its seat on the United Nations Security Council.
Asked if “betrayal” was too strong a word, he paused and said, “Now it is, maybe not soon.”
On Tuesday the Pulitzer Prize-winning climate change news website Inside Climate News published a story about the “Canada-Australia axis of carbon”. It suggested that not only were the two nations not willing to pull their weight, but that they were seeking to derail the binding agreement on emissions reductions at next year’s talks in Paris that many view as the world’s last best hope to prevent catastrophic climate change.
“Neither the prime ministers of Canada nor Australia will speak at the summit, and the subordinates they have sent will not be offering the kind of “bold” new steps that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is seeking on the way to a treaty in Paris late next year,” it reported.
“Instead, these two governments, with their energy-rich domains sprawling across opposite ends of the earth, will present strikingly similar defences against what much of the rest of the world is offering. And their stance is earning them opprobrium among advocates of strong and immediate action.”
The online magazine Slate published a story headlined, “The Saudi Arabia of the Pacific, How Australia became the dirtiest polluter in the developed world.”
It charted Australian climate politics since the last election – noting for an international audience Australia’s history as a leader in solar technology, the creation and then scrapping of a carbon trading scheme, the promotion of climate change sceptics to key advisory roles, the attacks on the solar industry, the scrapping of the mining tax, the failed bid to expand logging in Tasmanian wilderness.
“Let’s hope that the rapacious policies of the current government represent only a temporary bout of insanity,” Slate concluded. “If the Australian people cannot recover some of their earlier regard for their environment they may find in time that their great land is no longer merely apathetic toward their residence there but openly hostile.” http://www.smh.com.au/world/australias-climate-stance-savagely-condemned-at-new-york-summit-20140926-10mc0x.html#ixzz3Eac7HHfN
Sea change: big US businesses now support climate policy theguardian.com, Saturday 27 September 2014 Jennifer Kho Climate Week might have been a washout politically, but insiders found reasons for optimism in the business discussions Plenty of attendees expressed disappointment with the United Nations climate talks this week in New York. “The bottom line is I’m not turning cartwheels after the talks yesterday,” said Greg Barker, UK prime minister David Cameron’s envoy on climate change, at a Climate Week session on clean energy investment Wednesday. “This hasn’t been the show many of us hoped it would be.”
But while the political commitments may have fallen short of the “bold new announcements and action” that UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon called for, several industry insiders found reasons for optimism in the business discussions.
Kevin Moss, head of UK-based telco BT’s Net Good program, said he’s seen a major shift in sentiment from US companies leading up to Climate Week. “In the last few weeks, I’ve been much more encouraged than I was a year ago,” he said. “I think we’re at a turning point.”
It’s an interesting viewpoint from someone who witnessed – and actively supported – climate change policy in Europe, which has outpaced that in the US. There’s still less business resistance to regulation in Europe, Moss said. “But I’m really feeling that changing here (in the US),” he said. “American companies are supporting a price on carbon.”…….
There’s also more objective proof that opinions are changing: the World Bank on Monday announced it had received pledges of support for carbon pricing from 1,000 companies and investors, as well as 73 national and 11 regional governments. And a report from nonprofit CDP earlier this month found that 150 major companies already have put an internal price on carbon.
What has spurred this change?
Compared to 2010, when a US climate bill failed and climate talks were held in Cancun, Mexico, clean energy has grown a lot cheaper and has become a far more mainstream investment, Juska said. Meanwhile, successful state and local climate policies – such as in New York, California and Hawaii – have instilled more confidence, he added…….
Meanwhile, the private sector has made “stunning advances”, such as dramatically cutting the cost of clean energy, Barker said. And the perceived risk from climate policy has also fallen as several countries – such as the UK – have demonstrated the ability to cut emissions while growing the economy.
“There are reasons to be cheerful, but I think one of the strongest reasons to be cheerful is finance,” Barker said during a session on clean energy investment at Bloomberg on Wednesday. “There is without doubt a growing appetite and interest in finding ways to harness the great growth industry of the 21st century, which is clean energy.”……http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2014/sep/25/business-came-out-on-top-during-climate-week?commentpage=1
Nuclear solutions to climate change are anything but, Aljazeera Americaby Gregg Levine @GreggJLevine 23 Sept 14 “……While major climate polluting nations such as China, India and Canada have declined to send a top-level official to this year’s summit, the U.S. was expected to go all in, with President Obama touting his recent proposals to curtail the nation’s carbon output.
That plan to limit CO2 production has already come under fire from fossil fuel-friendly corporations, trade groupsand politicians who balk at the regulation, and from climate scientists and activists who point out that the president’s plan does not do enough to meet the maximum-2-degrees-of-warming goal, but a group you will not hear complaining is the nuclear energy sector.
Buried in the proposal and absent from many initial reports on the plan is a series of programs and pledges thatencourage the preservation and possible expansion of the nation’s nuclear electrical generation capacity. The president’s proposed carbon rules assume nuclear power to be a clean, low-carbon energy option, and so put forth a nuclear industry Christmas list of subsidies, incentives and financial backstops that potentially funnels billions of public dollars into private industry hands and risks missing emissions targets while increasing the danger of a nuclear mishap.
The inventory of specifics that make nuclear power a terrible option in the fight to stem global warming would almost work as a joke if the consequences of this wrong turn weren’t so serious. Here are but some of the many reasons why nuclear power is a terrible way to deal with climate change.
First and foremost, nuclear power is not greenhouse neutral. Nuclear boosters of late have grabbed hold of climate change as their latest raison d’être, if not their last best hope of restoring relevance to their half-century-old technology. And sure, the fission going on inside a nuclear reactor is not a major source of greenhouse pollution, but nuclear reactors do not exist in a vacuum.
Beyond the operation of the reactor, the nuclear fuel cycle includes the mining, milling, processing, enrichment, fabrication and transport of the uranium-based fuel — each step is energy intensive and greenhouse pollution rich.
The plants themselves have huge carbon footprints, requiring in most cases over a decade of heavy construction, large staffs and elaborate waste-handling protocols. The operation of the plant and the storage of the waste both require a constant flow of electricity — a loss of power for any significant amount of time creates a scenario much like that seen in Fukushima, Japan. In fact, it is one of the most paradoxical parts of the world’s light-water reactor fleet — in order to safely generate electricity, the plants need a significant and consistent supply of electricity. Sometimes the plant can supply that electricity — meaning the net output of the plant is lower than the announced rate — and sometimes it cannot, in which case, the plant becomes an energy consumer.
Another thing nuclear plants consume in copious amounts is water, making them particularly ill suited to a warming climate. Reactors need water to keep their cores and condensers cool — not to mention their spent fuel storage pools — and that water needs to be plentiful, circulating, and relatively cool. Over the last decade, as the globe has warmed, nuclear plants have experienced numerous shutdowns and many more days of reduced output because there was simply no effective heat sink.
In some cases, especially in some European plants set on rivers, droughts caused the water level to drop too low for a plant’s intake valves. In the case of plants that rely on lakes, warmer days and, perhaps more importantly, warmer nights have meant the water is simply not cold enough to effectively cool the reactors. In recent summers across the U.S., this has become a regular problem, especially during prolonged heat waves, which, ironically, are when demand for electricity is highest.
Even nuclear facilities built on the coasts are vulnerable to warming water. In recent years, plants in Connecticut and Massachusetts have had to reduce output or shut down entirely because of water temperature.
But plants near the oceans have other headaches exacerbated by climate change. Rising sea levels, increasingly severe hurricanes and superstorms, and the surges that come with them all threaten to overwhelm the cooling systems and the plants themselves. Superstorm Sandy caused seven plants in the eastern U.S. to shutdownbecause of flooding, storm debris, wind damage, or interruptions to the external power supply. In the case of one aging reactor in southern New Jersey, rising waters came within inches of breaching flood walls, and external pumps and hoses were brought in to provide water for the reactors when the cooling system’s intake valves were clogged with flotsam.
Clogging is also a major concern for southern and west-coast reactors. In those cases, fish, jelly fish and an invertebrate called salp, made more numerous by warming seas, have completely blocked cooling system intakes, requiring weeks of plant shutdown, cleaning, and filter replacements.
But even if all these problems, insurmountable though they seem, could somehow be solved, nuclear power is a poor investment for a world on the brink of climate disaster.
Numerous studies predict that something like 1,500 to 2,000 new nuclear reactors would need to be up-and-running to have a significant affect on greenhouse emissions (there are currently fewer than 400 reactors operating worldwide). If those reactors replaced coal plants, it is predicted the world would see realize a 20 percent decrease in CO2 production. But if the new plants were just there to service new demand, there would actually be an increase in carbon emissions (because, as noted, these are not greenhouse-neutral endeavors).
What would such an undertaking cost? Well, the only new plants under construction in the US, the Vogtle reactors in Georgia, were projected to cost around $15 billion, but only a couple of years into production, those plants are already billions of dollars over budget. They are also already years behind schedule.
And that brings up the time it would take to build the new nuclear capacity. It takes 6 to 10 years in the best cases to bring a new reactor online. Some of the newer plants in the US (which means they are still decades old) took more than twenty years to begin operation. Building 1,500 reactors would mean firing up a new one every two weeks for the next 60 years, which is not only an impossible schedule to meet, it puts the planet long past its drop-dead date for zero greenhouse emissions.
But let’s say, through the magic of magical thinking, you get all of that out of the way, what will you do with the waste? http://america.aljazeera.com/blogs/scrutineer/2014/9/23/nuclear-solutionstoclimatechangeareanythingbut.html
Global carbon report: emissions will hit new heights in 2014, The Conversation, Pep Canadell Executive director, Global Carbon Project at CSIRO Michael Raupach Director of the Climate Change Institute at Australian National University, 22 September 2014,
As heads of state gather in New York for tomorrow’s United Nations climate summit, a new report on the state of the world’s carbon budget tells them that greenhouse emissions hit a new record last year, and are still growing.
It shows that global emissions from burning fossil fuels and cement production reached a new record of 36 billion tonnes of CO2 in 2013, and are predicted to grow by a further 2.5% in 2014, bringing the total CO2 emissions from all sources to more than 40 billion tonnes. This is about 65% more fossil-fuel emission than in 1990, when international negotiations to reduce emissions to address climate change began……..
Is it too late to tame the climate?
Despite this apparently imminent event, economic models can still come up with scenarios in which global warming is kept within 2C by 2100, while both population and per capita wealth continue to grow. Are these models playing tricks on us?…
At UN, Obama to urge nations to go big on climate SF Gate, By JOSH LEDERMAN, Associated Press , September 18, 2014 WASHINGTON (AP) — Having spent political capital fighting climate change at home, President Barack Obama will turn his sights overseas next week, urging fellow heads of state to be as ambitious as possible as they negotiate a make-or-break global treaty to be finalized in Paris next year.
Obama will attend a United Nations climate summit where he will announce new U.S. commitments, aiming to ramp up the pressure on other major polluters like India and China to demonstrate they’re not laggards in the global campaign against climate change.
White House officials said the U.S. will offer tangible contributions such as American technology to help vulnerable populations deal with food security, sea level rise and other negative effects of climate change.
“Our hope is that others will do the same and that can build momentum toward an agreement in Paris,” Dan Utech, Obama’s top adviser on climate and energy issues, said in an interview…….
By taking time out at the U.N. for climate change, Obama is working to keep the issue at the top of the global agenda even after the crises of the day recede from memory. More than 100 heads of state will join Obama at the summit, which U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is hosting…….http://www.sfgate.com/news/science/article/At-UN-Obama-to-urge-nations-to-go-big-on-climate-5765158.php
Maybe we should all be concerned at the absurdity of this idea of all our data “in the cloud”. It’s not up in the clouds – it’s in dirty great computers taking up acres of space, and using up ever more electricity. In this sense, we are all complicit in pollutting the planet. Why on Earth can’t the IT ndustry grow up, and learn to chuck out unwanted stuff – instead of this mindless, endles storage of DIGITAL STUFF!
Amazon’s cloud is about to get dirtier http://grist.org/news/amazons-cloud-is-about-to-get-dirtier/By Sam Bliss17 Sep 2014 In the latest effort to satisfy our desire to save every photo, thought, and fragment of information in cyberspace, Amazon plans to build a fat new server farm that will offer “cloud” storage for such companies as Yelp, Netflix, Pinterest, Dropbox, Spotify, Soundcloud, Tumblr, and Vine, to name more than a few.
According to the Seattle Times, the $1.1 billion server farm will be located in Dublin, Ohio. The city is served by an electric utility that gets two-thirds of its juice from coal-fired power plants, and has a history of lobbying for the coal industry.
As a Greenpeace report from earlier this year shows, not all energy-hogging data centers warm the climate equally, and Amazon’s are among the worst of the worst. Fossil fuel burning provides over half the energy used by Amazon’s colossal digital network — and nuclear power supplies another quarter. Here’s the breakdown: (diagram)
By contrast, the Greenpeace report raves that Apple powers the iCloud with 100 percent renewables; Facebook put a data center in Iowa to spark the world’s largest purchase of wind turbines; and Google is signing long-term contracts to buy cleaner power for some of its centers. What’s more, these three web giants teamed up in North Carolina to pressure Duke Energy, the largest U.S. utility and one of the country’s biggest emitters, to offer customers — including their data warehouses — the choice to buy greener electricity.
To avoid adding to Amazon’s dirty energy use (and supporting its labor-abusing,writer-exploiting, bookstore-bullying, and publisher-extorting ways) we can host our websites and store our digital stuff elsewhere until the company cleans up its act — and maybe even shop in a real store like back in the old days.
Yet given Amazon’s’s dominion over many of the apps and sites we use for fun, entertainment, information, and procrastination, we’d basically have to give up our computers and all other devices to steer clear of its sovereign realm.
If all the less desirable impacts of the internet were as palpable as the gratification we get from instantly streaming the last five Parks and Recreation episodes (made possible by Amazon’s web infrastructure), it would be a lot easier to make an informed decision about how much digital property we really want.
Maybe we need an app that’ll kick a could of smoke out of the back of our laptops every time we order a bag of groceries from Amazon Fresh.
Pacific Islanders reject ‘climate refugee’ status, want to ‘migrate with dignity’, SIDS conference hears ABC News 4 Sept 14 They have long been described as climate refugees: the hundreds of thousands of people living on low-lying Pacific islands who may be forced to migrate if rising sea levels leave their homes uninhabitable.
But it is a term Pacific leaders say is loaded with political connotations and does not reflect the true dimensions of the problem.
“They see [refugee] as a negative term that connotes victimhood and people in need of protection by the international community,” Professor Jane McAdam, director of the Andrew & Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law at UNSW, told the ABC.
“For them it signifies that they’ve become people who don’t have any agency or aren’t able to contribute.
They can be worthwhile citizens when we relocate them as a community, not as refugees.Kiribati’s president Anote Tong
“What Pacific Islanders have told me is that, ‘we want to be seen as active economic and social contributors to any country to which we might need to move. We would like to have opportunities to migrate with dignity rather than have to wait until the situation becomes so dire that we are forcibly displaced’.”
The sentiment was echoed at the International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) which wrapped up in Apia, Samoa, on Thursday………
Australia has joined the steering group of the Nansen Initiative on Disaster-Induced Cross-Border Displacement, which aims to “build consensus on the development of a protection agenda” for those forced to flee natural disasters and the effects of climate change.
“We do need to enable people to have opportunities to migrate … but we also need to combine that with disaster risk reduction strategies, with adaptation strategies and with good development practices so that we have a holistic approach to the issue,” said Professor McAdam, who sits on the Nansen Initiative’s consultative committee.
She said the Nansen Initiative will put forward “a comprehensive framework of solutions” next year.http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-09-05/pacific-islanders-reject-calls-for-27climate-refugee27-status/5723078
China’s national carbon market to start in 2016, official says SMH, September 1, 2014 China plans to roll out its national market for carbon permit trading in 2016, an official said Sunday, adding that the government is close to finalising rules for what will be the world’s biggest emissions trading scheme.
The world’s biggest-emitting nation, accounting for nearly 30 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, plans to use the market to slow its rapid growth in climate-changing emissions.
China has pledged to reduce the amount of carbon it emits per unit of GDP to 40-45 per cent below 2005 levels by 2020.
It has already launched seven regional pilot markets in a bid to gain experience ahead of a nationwide scheme…….The Chinese market, when fully functional, would dwarf the European emissions trading system, which is currently the world’s biggest.
It would be the main carbon trading hub in Asia and the Pacific, where Kazakhstan and New Zealand already operate similar markets. South Korea will launch a national scheme on Jan. 1, 2015, while Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam are drawing up plans for markets of their own. http://www.smh.com.au/business/carbon-economy/chinas-national-carbon-market-to-start-in-2016-official-says-20140901-10arz1.html#ixzz3CDBKLO8u
Global warming is already here and could be irreversible, UN panel sayshttp://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/aug/26/global-warming-irreversible-un-panel-report A 127-page draft report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change describes what can be done about it
Global warming is here, human-caused and probably already dangerous – and it’s increasingly likely that the heating trend could be irreversible, a draft of a new international science report says.
The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on Monday sent governments a final draft of its synthesis report, which combines three earlier, gigantic documents by the Nobel Prize-winning group. There is little in the report that wasn’t in the other more-detailed versions, but the language is more stark and the report attempts to connect the different scientific disciplines studying problems caused by the burning of fossil fuels, such as coal, oil and gas.
The 127-page draft, obtained by The Associated Press, paints a harsh warning of what’s causing global warming and what it will do to humans and the environment. It also describes what can be done about it.
“Continued emission of greenhouse gases will cause further warming and long-lasting changes in all components of the climate system, increasing the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems,” the report says. The final report will be issued after governments and scientists go over the draft line by line in an October conference in Copenhagen.
Depending on circumstances and values, “currently observed impacts might already be considered dangerous,” the report says. It mentions extreme weather and rising sea levels, such as heat waves, flooding and droughts. It even raises, as an earlier report did, the idea that climate change will worsen violent conflicts and refugee problems and could hinder efforts to grow more food. And ocean acidification, which comes from the added carbon absorbed by oceans, will harm marine life, it says.
Without changes in greenhouse gas emissions, “climate change risks are likely to be high or very high by the end of the 21st century,” the report says.
In 2009, countries across the globe set a goal of limiting global warming to about another 2 degrees Fahrenheit (-16.67C) above current levels. But the report says that it is looking more likely that the world will shoot past that point. Limiting warming to that much is possible but would require dramatic and immediate cuts in carbon dioxide pollution.
The report says if the world continues to spew greenhouse gases at its accelerating rate, it’s likely that by mid-century temperatures will increase by about another 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius) compared to temperatures from 1986 to 2005. And by the end of the century, that scenario will bring temperatures that are about 6.7 degrees Fahrenheit warmer (3.7 degrees Celsius).
Heavy Rain in South Korea Kills Five, Shuts Nuclear Plant Officials Say Five People Still Missing WSJ, By
JEYUP S. KWAAK 25 Aug 14, SEOUL-Heavy rainfall on Monday killed at least five people and shut down a nuclear reactor in South Korea, pushing the country’s populous southeast region to a near-standstill. …… A 650-megawatt nuclear reactor in Busan, about 330 kilometers (204 miles) southeast of Seoul, was also suspended on Monday after rising water flowed into the facilities, the national nuclear-power-plant operator Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co. Ltd said. The reactor remained shut down as of Tuesday morning…….http://online.wsj.com/articles/heavy-rain-in-south-korea-kills-five-shuts-nuclear-plant-1409023982
Ten firms say they will not represent clients that deny man-made climate change or seek to block emisson-reducing regulations Suzanne Goldenberg and Nishad Karim theguardian.com, Monday 4 August 2014 Some of the world’s top PR companies have for the first time publicly ruled out working with climate change deniers, marking a fundamental shift in the multi-billion dollar industry that has grown up around the issue of global warming.
Public relations firms have played a critical role over the years in framing the debate on climate change and its solutions – as well as the extensive disinformation campaigns launched to block those initiatives.
Now a number of the top 25 global PR firms have told the Guardian they will not represent clients who deny man-made climate change, or take campaigns seeking to block regulations limiting carbon pollution. Companies include WPP, Waggener Edstrom (WE) Worldwide, Weber Shandwick, Text100, and Finn Partners.
“We would not knowingly partner with a client who denies the existence of climate change,” said Rhian Rotz, spokesman for WE.
Weber Shandwick would also not take any campaign to block regulations cutting carbon emissions or promoting renewable energy. “We would not support a campaign that denies the existence and the threat posed by climate change, or efforts to obstruct regulations cutting greenhouse gas emissions and/or renewable energy standards,” spokeswoman Michelle Selesky said…… http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/aug/04/worlds-top-pr-companies-rule-out-working-with-climate-deniers
Wind Energy Beats Nuclear & Carbon Capture For Global Warming Mitigation Clean Technica July 29th, 2014 by Mike Barnard There’s an enduring myth related to wind energy and nuclear energy that needs to be put to bed. That myth is that only nuclear can be scaled to sufficient capacity to reduce the impacts of global warming, and that wind energy is much less scalable so it should be ignored.
Most recently, this appeared as a broad generalization without any supporting evidence in a pro-carbon capture series by a CCS researcher on the Siemens-sponsored Energy Collective, which features this particular myth regularly, being a bit of an echo chamber for it. Of course the nuclear industry’s PR professionals love this line as well.
And there’s another myth related to carbon capture and sequestration being more significant than renewables that has to be assessed as well.
China is the true test bed for maximum scalability of nuclear vs wind. It has a tremendous gap between demand and generation. It can mostly ignore lack of social license for nuclear. It is building both wind and nuclear as rapidly as possible. It has been on a crash course for both for about the same period of time. It has bypassed most of the regulatory red tape for nuclear which sensibly exists elsewhere given concerns about economic fallout of Fukushima-scale disasters, nuclear proliferation and terrorism. And in four years it has built significantly less nuclear generation capacity than it built of wind generation capacity in 2013 alone…….
Where does this leave the claims about nuclear and CCS?
Nuclear isn’t more scalable than wind or other renewables, in fact it’s going in reverse while renewables are being expanded rapidly. And CCS won’t dodge more climate change than renewables because wind and solar are being built in production rapidly and CCS isn’t and won’t be in comparable scales because the economics don’t support it. Both are busted myths.
Wind energy isn’t the only answer. It is likely to reach a maximum of 30% to 40% of supply in a century worldwide. That’s impressive and amazing, but far from the only tool necessary to deal with climate change. Solar will be in the same range. Storage will likely be necessary somewhere from 15% to 20% and grid interconnections will improve substantially. Biomass and geothermal will add their bits, as will tidal possibly. And demand for electricity will go up a lot as countries become richer and transportation and other forms of energy usage become electrified. It’s a complex space, and CCS has an important if smaller and only bridging role to play in it. Nuclear is useful as well, although diminishing as a percentage of total worldwide generation.
But the heavy lifting will be done by displacing fossil fuel generation with renewables, not trying to mitigate the extraordinary problems with burning fossil fuels or building nuclear generation. That’s what the empirical data tells us………. http://cleantechnica.com/2014/07/29/wind-energy-beats-nuclear-carbon-capture-global-warming-mitigation/
Sweden’s nuclear plants forced to cut output due to warm weather Planet Ark, 24-Jul-14 Balazs Koranyi Sweden’s top nuclear power generators have been forced to cut output because of exceptionally warm weather in Scandinavia, and their output could be reduced for over a week, their operators said on Wednesday.
Oskarshamn, part of Germany’s E.ON and Forsmark, operated by Swedish utility Vattenfall have both cut output because warm sea water temperatures are limiting their ability to cool down.
“For each degree above 23 decrees Celsius in the cooling water, each unit has to decrease power by 3 percent,” Forsmark said in a market message. “It is uncertain how long this will last, but according to meteorologists, the warm weather will last for at least 11 more days.”
Temperatures exceeded 30 degrees in the southern part of Scandinavia this week, hitting their highest level in years…….http://planetark.org/enviro-news/item/71927
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