Half the price of coal!
- In last week’s energy auction, Chile accepted a bid from Spanish developer Solarpack Corp. Tecnologica for 120 megawatts of solar at the stunning price of $29.10 per megawatt-hour (2.91 cents per kilowatt-hour or kwh). This beats the 2.99 cents/kwh bid Dubai received recently for 800 megawatts. For context, the average residential price for electricity in the United States is 12 cents per kilowatt-hour.
- The U.K. government on Tuesday approved phase two of the world’s largest wind farm, adding 300 turbines to a project 55 miles off England’s shore, in the North Sea.
The Hornsea Two project will provide 1.8 gigawatts of generating power, in addition to the first phase’s 1.2 gigawatts. In all, the 3 gigawatts provided by Hornsea is enough to power 2.5 million average (U.S.) households. At that size, the combined project is roughly equivalent to a nuclear power plant.
A 6,000 square kilometre chunk of ice is threatening to break off the Larsen C Ice Shelf of the Antarctic Peninsula:
The crack has grown 22 kilometres since the beginning of the Arctic winter, when it was last seen, and is now about 350 metres wide.
Ice shelves float so there will be no impact on sea level rise as such. However, ice shelves buttress ice piled up on land, so the calving of this humungous iceberg is part of ice sheet decay.
I believe it’s area is about the same size as Brisbane.
John Fasullo and colleagues predict that satellites will detect accelerating sea level rise within the next decade.
Satellites have provided super accurate measurements of sea level rise only since 1993. It’s too early to definitely identify a trend, but they think sea level rise will accelerate in coming decades.
I don’t think it will all come in a rush, not just yet, but give it another 50 years or so and all bets are off. During Meltwater Pulse 1A about 14k years ago it rose roughly a metre per 20 years for 400-500 years.
5. Keeping global warming to 1.5℃ rather than 2℃ makes a crucial difference
The Climate Institute commissioned Climate Analytics to examine the impacts on Australia of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C and 2°C and to look at the carbon budgets involved.
- The report predicts that half of the world’s identified tipping points – such as the collapse of polar ice sheets and the drying out of the Amazon rainforest – would be crossed under 2℃ warming, compared with 20% of them at 1.5℃.
If we go to 2℃, we will have a very different climate and there is a good chance we won’t be able to stabilise there.
The bad news is that if we just carry on we’ll reach 1.5℃ by 2024, and 2℃ by 2036.
What the report is telling us, says Giles Parkinson, is that if we don’t update our 2030 targets, we’ll have just a further five years at that point to reach zero emissions.
- At least 98% of the cars used daily on US roads could be replaced by electric cars on a single charge, according to new research.
The 2013 Nissan Leaf had a battery capacity of 24 kilowatt hours (kWh) and a published range of 70-80 miles. That covered 87% of US daily travel.
More recent Leaf models already have a larger 30kWh battery.
- Similarly, the 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf will have a 39kWh battery, compared to 24kWh for the current model. The 2017 Chevy Bolt will have a 60kWh battery, similar to that rumoured for the Tesla Model 3, and a 90kWh Tesla Model S is now on the market.
These larger battery sizes will push the share of cars on the road that could be replaced with an electric model on a single charge from 87% to around 98% for the 60kWh Bolt and, perhaps, 99% for the 90kWh Tesla.
A new study shows that some parts of the globe began to warm as early as 1830.
- Our findings show that warming did not develop at the same time across the planet. The tropical oceans and the Arctic were the first regions to begin warming, in the 1830s. Europe, North America and Asia followed roughly two decades later.
Surprisingly, the results show that the southern hemisphere began warming much later, with Australasia and South America starting to warm from the early 20th century. This continental-scale time lag is still evident today: while some parts of Antarctica have begun to warm, a clear warming signal over the entire continent is still not detectable.
The warming in most regions reversed what would otherwise have been a cooling trend related to high volcanic activity during the preceding centuries.