17 May 2013
01 March 2013
Tom exclaimed to me the other day "Solar electricity generation has really taken off in Germany!"
I thought I would obtain the data from the US EIA international web page and see for myself.
So yes from that chart, I see that solar generation has gone from zero in the early 1990s to 20 billion kilowatt hours in 2011. And both wind and biomass generation contributed more than 40 billion kilowatt hours in 2011.
But, Germany's thermal generation (meaning fossil fuels, coal, gas and oil) has been consistently over 300 billion kilowatt hours for the lat 30 years. There was a slight dip in 2008 and 2009, which I would say reflects the Eurozone debt crisis rather than the European Emissions Trading Schme. Then an increase in 2010.
So Germany's thermal generation (read "coal") still dwarves (or is that "dwarfs"?) the renewables.
And German coal consumption seems pretty steady at over 200 million tonnes consumed annually since 2000.
02 February 2013
What do economists think is the best policy to adopt to respond to climate change? Hat-tip to the Environmental Economics blog.
The New York Times discusses energy taxes as tools to help tackle climate change. Hat tip again to the Environmental Economics blog.
The Davos World Economic Forum is not ignoring climate change. They have commissioned a report saying that curbing climate change will cost $700 billion a year.
Leo Hickman of the Guardian concludes you can't assume your flying emissions are 'offset' just because the EU has an ETS.
A UBS analyst concludes that the emission allowances (emission permits/units/credit) in the European Union emissions trading scheme are “worthless” without a change in the rules to tighten supply and curb the record glut of excess allowances.
According to UBS, the European Commission’s strategy for the glut is to reduce the supply of allowances into the market by postponing the sale of 900 million allowances from the 2013-2015 period to 2019-2020. This is being called "backloading".
However, "The European Commission, the bloc’s regulatory arm, will not get support from governments for its plan to temporarily cut oversupply by delaying auctions of some permits"
Consequently, the "EU nations and the region’s parliament have two options now: to “sit back and do nothing and see the market crash” or to support the short-term rescue plan to backload allowances".
31 January 2013
"Lord Nicholas Stern acknowledged just days ago that he had "got it wrong". Climate change is already far worse than he thought it would be only 6 years ago when he released his report."
"We are no longer likely to achieve the 2 degrees Celsius limit that the international community set for itself only 2 years ago. We are now on target for 3.5 degrees to 6 degrees. That takes us beyond the dangerous dimension of climate change, which the 1992 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change sought to prevent, and into what the World Bank calls "cataclysmic" climate change."
"What to say to a Government that in face of these developments guts its domestic climate legislation and refuses to enter a second binding international commitment period?"
"What to say to a Prime Minister who, in his annual statement to Parliament, omits climate change on the grounds that he touched on it last year?"
"What to say to a Minister for Climate Change Issues who says that New Zealand is ahead of the curve, that it is time to move beyond the Kyoto Protocol and join the largest polluters of the world, and who derides the global civil society when it criticises New Zealand for being one of the chief obstacles to progress at the UN conference in Doha?"
"We say this to John Key and Tim Groser. We say this: you are on the wrong side of history, both of you, in your respective ways."
Kia kaha, Kennedy!
Thursday evening and Friday early morning are not good times to have insomnia. National Radio has an unlistenable jazz programme before midnight, which is soon followed by a programme about differently-abled people.
Much better to watch and listen to Paul Krugman talk about the economy of the USA from the start of the GFC in 2008 being like Japan in the 1990s - except with more unemployment and suffering.
Krugman tells the joke that the US has so badly managed it's economic response to the GFC, that he and the other US-based 'Japan worriers' (the economists who criticised Japan's management of it's economy in the 1990s for its failure to stimulate growth in a period of near-zero interest rates) are planning to go to Japan to apologise to the Emperor, for the worse US management of the GFC
30 January 2013
I have made a chart showing the trend in China's primary energy production and consumption.
I got the raw data from International Energy Statistics part of the US Energy Information Administration webpage. I downloaded two sets of time series data, production and cosumption, from 1980 to 2011 as Excel spreadsheets. I opened each sheet with a spreadsheet program (Gnumeric) and saved each file as a comma separated values file. I then opened each CSV file with a text editor and copied the numbers separated by commas into the script sheet of Rkward, the script editor I use with R.
That made it easy to read the data into R
China Total Primary Energy Consumption (Quadrillion Btu)
Being American, the data is expressed in the bizarre unit Quadrillion British thermal units (BTU) WTF? It's the amount of energy needed to heat one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. Not even the British use the BTU. The conversion factor to joules is 1 Quadrillion BTU = 1055 × 10^15 joules.
#num [1:30] 1.82e+19 1.81e+19 1.89e+19 2.01e+19 2.16e+19 ...(telling us the data is a numeric R object, consisting of 30 numbers )
# 9.522205e+19 (the maximum number in the data series is 9.522205 x 10^19)
ejc<-c(jc/10^18) #convert data from joules to exajoules
p<-c(18.12198,17.9451,18.92106,20.2361,22.12683,24.30279,25.04091,25.93877,27.14594,28.77554,29.38537,29.62193,30.32492,31.97204,34.13204,35.04591,35.668,37.81456,36.38594,34.99918,34.19953,37.5048,42.8456,49.44335,59.38067,64.44807,66.78499,70.841,78.34819,81.88698) #China Total Primary Energy Production
Year<-c(1980:2009) # need a time integer
png("China-primary-energy-ej-2009v1.png", width=650, height=500, pointsize = 16)
plot(Year,ejc,las=1,ylim=c(0,95),type="n",cex.main=1.6, cex.lab=1.2, main="China Total Primary Energy 1980 to 2009",xlab="Year", ylab="exajoules (10^18 joules)")
mtext(side=1,line=-2,"Data: US EIA")
legend("top",bty='n',bg="white", c("Energy consumption","Energy production"),lty = 1,lwd=3,col = c(2,4))
Give that a go!
24 January 2013
TV3's Campbell Live has started a series of quick (what else but quick can you say about one fifth of a current affairs news show?) investigations into the state of New Zealand's environment. TV3 are calling it 'Challenging New Zealand's '100 percent pure' reputation' and the first segment, which went to air today, featured Massey freshwater ecologist Mike Joy Massey, Dr Jonathan Garden, Simon Kingham, Alan Palmer, James Renwick and Diane Brunton from Massey.
Each scientist was asked for a realistic alternative percentage of pure to the much-hyped "100% Pure"
I am refusing to go with percentages. So I will note the scores out of a total of ten. Just like school essays of yesteryear.
The lowest score was 1.5 out of 10 for biodiversity, awarded by Diane Brunton from Massey. Climate change was next lowest at 4.5 out of 10. Former NIWA climate scientist James Renwick, now at Victoria University of Wellington, gave NZ 4.5/10 for NZ's high agricultural emissions, high car ownership, and opting out of the Kyoto Protocol.
The gimmick was for the reporter to conclude the series of 60 second interviews bt averaging all the scores. The final average for NZ was 5.66/10.