The last Climate clippings was back in March 2012. I’ve decided to start it up again, so we’ll see how we go. What I try to do is to include up to eight entries with an average of no more than 125 words. Readers who want to keep up in a general way should be able to gain a basic understanding by reading the entries without following the links.
This time the entries blew out to an average of about 150 words.
Climate clippings also serves as an open thread to share interesting links.
1. Climate Consensus – the 97%
Announced at Skeptical Science as a new Guardian blog, John Abrahams and Dana Nuccitelli will be writing at Climate Consensus – the 97%. It does have comments, but to me is not formatted like a blog. Maybe a newspaper blog.
It really started on 24 April. So far it’s not high volume, but looks interesting. Nuccitelli blogs at Skeptical Science as dana1981. The new blog is targeted at a more general audience. It appears their output is going to include correcting the errors and myths of the climate change contrarians, which is welcome.
2. Going Solar
Laurie Eadie and Cameron Elliott have written a major report Going solar for the Centre for Policy Development which looks at the key role rooftop solar will play in our future electricity system. Both Tristan Edis at Climate Spectator and Giles Parkinson at RenewEconomy have had a look. From Parkinson:
A new report from the Centre for Policy Development recommends that Australia fully embraces solar energy as a hedge against volatile gas prices, and future electricity price shocks that could be caused by drought.
The report says rooftop solar can save consumers money, gives them real choice, improve competition and help address network problems. Already, one million homes have rooftop solar PV, and at the very least a million more should follow in coming years, even without high incentives that assisted the initial take-up.
It notes rooftop solar should play a key role in the transition of Australian electricity system to a “cleaner and affordable alternative”, but it warns that the technology would likely face fierce opposition from powerful interests seeking to protect their legacy assets, who are seeking to exploit a political divide over renewables.
We should maximise rooftop solar uptake, the report says, but in Oz in 2012-13 support for existing coal-fired electricity was $3.6 billion per year, compared to $1.4 billion for renewable energy.
3. Global action on climate change
The Climate Commission has released a report on global action on climate change. In brief the findings are:
- The energy giants China and the United States are accelerating action.
- China’s efforts demonstrate accelerating global leadership in tackling climate change.
- The United States has made a new commitment to lead.
- Global momentum to tackle climate change is growing. Every major economy is tackling climate change, setting in place policies to drive down emissions and increase investment and capacity of renewable energy.
- Australia is a major player and is important in shaping the global response to climate change.
- This is the critical decade for action.
This map shows the number of countries pledging action and the portion of emissions covered under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC):
4. United Nations action
If you are wondering what the UNFCCC is doing about climate change, the simple answer is they are having lots of meetings as their schedule shows. Currently the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP 2) is meeting at the Bonn World Conference Center in Germany, which seems to be the UNFCCC’s second home. According to the press release they are working on the platform for the new agreement to be reached by 2015 for implementation from 2020, as decided in Durban in 2011.
The Bonn talks are going well, according to the Irish Times, but we won’t really know until the Conference of Parties (COP) annual bash, this time in Warsaw in November, when the politicians show up. Meanwhile you can monitor happenings at the UNFCCC site and rejoice that Ethiopia plan to go carbon neutral by 2025.
5. PV solar storage set to take off
A new report by IMS Rsearch finds that PV storage to accompany PV rooftop solar is set to take off, according to Clean Technica also posted at at RenewEconomy. Two graphs tell the story. This one shows the expected world-wide growth forecast to reach $19 billion in 2017, from less than $200 million in 2012, led by subsidies in Germany:
This graph shows how the costs to the consumer stack up in Germany:
As costs of the new technology come down and grid electricity prices go up, future PV storage should be cost effective even without subsidies. The IMS press release is here.
6. Wind turbines with battery storage
If you thought wind power generation was a mature technology, here’s a couple of developments of interest.
GE, now ranking with Vestas as the biggest maker of wind turbines in the world, has announced that it will supply three wind turbines with battery storage using 50kWh sodium nickel chloride batteries, as part of an 86-turbine order for a new Texas wind farm.
GE says its modestly named 2.5-120 Brilliant turbine will incorporate short-term power-storage capabilities, using software to analyse wind speeds and batteries to retain excess power during gusty periods so that electricity can be fed into the grid when wind declines, thus smoothing the output.
The hope, according to an article in Quartz is to for every wind turbine to became a node in an energy internet, communicating with the grid and each other to adjust electricity production while storing and releasing electricity as needed.
Moreover the GE site tells us that the new model GE’s 2.5-120 will be:
the world’s most efficient high output brilliant wind turbine. The first wind turbine to combine world-class efficiency and power output at low wind speed sites capturing a 25% increase in efficiency and 15% increase in power over GE’s 2.85-103.
In case you missed it here is the link, courtesy of Jumpy, to new solar-wind hybrid power plant which should roughly twice as efficient.