Germany’s expensive switch to renewables
Following the decision to phase out nuclear Germans are being told that achieving 35% renewables by 2020 will only cost 1c per kilowatt hour, or the price of a latte per month. Others calculate the cost at five times that amount, or an additional cost of €175 ($250) a year, a figure confirmed by an internal estimate making the rounds at the Economics Ministry.
Electricity customers already pay more than €13 billion this year to subsidize renewable energy. PV solar receives almost half all renewable energy subsidies, even though it makes up less than one 10th of total green electricity production, or 1.9% of total production.
What do they say about governments picking winners?
Barry Brook looks at what Germany is attempting. He reckons they’ll have to increase wind and solar 17-fold in 9 years, or build 10-20 new fossil fuel power plants, or see whole industry sectors go overseas.
Make that 20GW of fossil-fuel power stations by 2020, including 9GW of coal by 2013 according to New Scientist as “the new bridging technology”. Oh dear!
China goes “fourth generation” nuclear
China has built a 20MW experimental fast-neutron reactor near Beijing.
According to the World Nuclear Association, it aims to increase nuclear power capacity to 80 gigawatts by 2020 from 10.8 gigawatts in 2010.
Hansen looks at renewables
Courtesy of quokka on the last thread, James Hansen puts PV solar on his barn and looks at renewables. This is how they stood in 2008:
I make non-hydro renewables just 2.8% of the whole. Pathetically small. This is how the sectors have been growing:
If you find that hard to read, in the first graph blue represents renewables. In the second, blue represents hydro and green non-hydro. In the third, green represents biomass and waste, purple wind and red geothermal. Solar is negligible.
Of course, that may change, but meanwhile fossil fuels continue on their winning ways. Hansen sees nuclear as the one to run with. Sorry. See his piece for the reasons. BTW he says the UN “has estimated global deaths due to fossil fuel air and water pollution to be of the
order of one million annually.”
For myself, I’ll take his advice and keep an open mind.
Rising seas, rising confusion, rising anger
It seems that the issue of sea level rise is creating tensions in NSW. There is inconsistency around the nation:
each state government has adopted these CSIRO/IPCC projections as their benchmark, with slight modifications for local conditions. As a result, there is no consistent national projection for sea level rise over the next 90 years, with Queensland and Victoria projecting an 80cm rise by 2100, while NSW projects a 90cm rise, South Australia a 1m rise and Western Australia a 38cm rise.
At a local government level, if you live in Lake Macquarie the issue is taken seriously and the Council is mindful of the legal implications. If you live in Wyong, the joint is run by a bloke who thinks we’ll all get over it eventually. He’s doing as little as possible and “being flexible” not to upset anyone.
In Nambucca Shire they are still trying to work out whether they’ll use the 2050 figure or the one for 2100.
Meanwhile according to the Tele Tanya Plibersek is the Prophet of Doom. They do quote Professor Lesley Hughes as saying, “I would call Ms Plibersek’s statements alarming because climate change is an alarming issue,” whereas back at the Oz they are inclined to quote some local who has been there 30 years and hasn’t noticed any change. At 3mm pa or 3cm per decade that is hardly surprising. And quite irrelevant to the 21C.
Combet finds the going tough…
…when he ventured into Albanese’s inner-Sydney seat of Grayndler.
The main problem here is people inclined to vote for The Greens telling him he’s not doing enough, but
the only other person in a suit apart from the two politicians, Tim, a lawyer from Marrickville, was worried about the cost of living, even after installing solar panels on his roof. Such is the state of confusion.
My wife just met someone fresh back from the snow fields. Resort occupancy was down to 40% and guess what, they are blaming the fricken carbon tax!
NZ trading scheme slashes carbon emissions
One year into carbon pricing and it’s going swimmingly:
NEW Zealand’s emissions trading scheme has helped boost investment in renewable energy and cut greenhouse gas emissions, according to a review by the country’s conservative government.
It also appears to have won over a sceptical business community, with 63 per cent of companies saying in submissions to a government panel they backed the climate scheme. Two years ago 78 per cent were opposed.
“How to Get Expelled from School”
That’s the working title of Ian Plimer’s new children’s book, with a forward (sic) by Czech President Václav Klaus. Together with Alan Jones you have, methinks, three hominid specimens masquerading as Homo sapiens.
This space is meant to also serve as an open thread on climate change.