What Experts Say About the Future of the Energy Industry

Source: the Challenges for the Energy Industry, by Alina Tugend, October 15, 2017, the New York Times

This week, the 38th annual Oil & Money Conference was held in London, gathering over 500 executives, policy makers, financiers and experts from the international oil and gas industry. The following summarizes what experts say about the future of the energy industry.

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[번역/요약] 트럼프 행정부의 청정전력계획 폐지

Source: Trump Is Repealing the Clean Power Plan. Here’s What It Means, by the NYT Climate Team, October 10, 2017, the New York Times / EPA Announces Repeal of Major Obama-Era Carbon Emissions Rule, by Lisa Firedman and Brad Plumer, October 9, 2017, the New York Times

트럼프 행정부와 미 환경보호청(EPA) 스콧 프루이트는 청정전력계획(Clean Power Plan, CPP)을 폐지할 계획이다. CPP 폐지가 의미하는 바는 무엇일까?

Continue reading [번역/요약] 트럼프 행정부의 청정전력계획 폐지

NREL Project: Life Cycle Assessment Harmonization

As discussed in a previous post,  the respective contribution of each electricity generation technology to total greenhouse gas emissions is sometimes analyzed by lifecycle assessment. Currently, U. S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is conducting a research project on this particular topic in order to reduce uncertainty around estimates for environmental impacts and to increase the value of these assessments to the policymaking and research communities.

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C-ROADS: Modeling Policy Impacts on GHG Emissions

Even though the United States withdrew itself from the landmark Paris Agreement, countries around the world are still committed to cut their carbon emissions in accordance with their respective INDCs (Intended Nationally Determined Contributions) in the UNFCCC framework. Nonetheless, experts say there exists a ‘gap’ between the collective outcome of these efforts and what is required to achieve the so-called 2-degree goal. How do they figure out the existence and the width of such a gap? There is a special tool to quantify and simulate the effects of various policies on the emissions.

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[Summary]Measuring the progress and impacts of decarbonising British electricity

  • Title:  Measuring the progress and impacts of decarbonising British electricity
  • Date: December 2016
  • Author: Staffell, I.
  • Published: Energy Policy

Most advanced economies around the world are striving to cut its greenhouse gas emissions through a diversity of policies. But how could one measure the progress? This paper gives a good example of examining which data sources to look into, how to calculate carbon emissions from different sources, and what uncertainties are.

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[Summary] Electricity Generation from Renewables in the United States

  • Title: Electricity generation from renewables in the United States: Resource potential, current usage, technical status, challenges, strategies, policies, and future directions 
  • Date: April 2013
  • Author: Atif Osmani, Jun Zhang, Vinay Gonela, Iddrisu Awudu
  • Published: Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews

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Associating GHG Emissions with Electricity Generation

It is elementary: a large part of greenhouse gas emissions are attributable to power generation, especially to fossil fuel combustion. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), electricity production accounted for 30 percent of the U. S.’s total GHG emissions in 2014, marking the largest share [1]. About two-thirds of the produced electricity comes from fossil fuel combustion, mostly coal and natural gas [2]. It can be implied that employing less carbon-intensive technologies such as renewables and nuclear—although the latter can be politically charged—would lead to less GHG emissions.

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Little Ice Age Reflected in Dutch Landscape Paintings

  • Title: Ice and snow in paintings of Little Ice Age winters
  • Date of publication: February 2005
  • Authors: Peter J. Robinson
  • Published by: Weather

Artists will probably find beauty in a piece of Dutch landscape paintings in the 17th Century, but climate scientist may see it as a data set; art work can be important evidence of the Little Ice Age that lasted from 1300 to 1850 [1]. An interesting study titled “Ice and snow in paintings of Little Ice Age winters” examines how artists in Europe depicted the colder weather and how we can get information about climate from those paintings.

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Observed vs. Modeled Climate Sensitivity

  • Title: Reconciled climate response estimates from climate models and the energy budget of Earth
  • Date: June 2016
  • Authors: Richardson et al.
  • Published by: Nature Climate Change

Naturally, there are always some gaps between the real world and the results from simulation models. In case of climate sensitivity, which refers to the temperature increase from doubling CO2, the real-world data that has been historically recorded gives us around 1.3 , while models gives us a little bit higher value. Climate skeptics often use this fact to support their argument; that global warming is not in fact that serious as scientists predict. However, a study published by Nature Climate Change this last June, Reconciled climate response estimates from climate models and the energy budget of Earth (Richardson et al., 2016), addresses why climate sensitivity is predicted differently from climate models and observed data.

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‘Recycling’ the Funds from Carbon Tax or Cap and Trade

Reducing the national emissions often involves a powerful policy tool such as carbon tax or emission trading. While many focus on the effectiveness of such measures in cutting carbon emissions, there have been some serious discussions on how to spend the money gained from tax or cap-and-trade auctions. We are talking about some BIG money here; for example, California is reaping over $2 million annually from its cap and trade, and the proceeds are expected to grow over time [1].

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