Sunday, 29 November 2009

How energy research spending goes mostly to nuclear, ignoring emerging alternatives

Projections of renewable energy growth given "business as usual"‏

Renewable energy today supplies only 6 percent of the country's energy needs, and much of that comes from decades-old dams supplying hydropower. Under current policies, the Energy Information Administration estimates, renewables will increase only slightly in importance in the decades ahead. They would supply 7 percent of United States energy supplies by 2030, while coal would increase over the same period from 23 percent to 26 percent.
"Denmark gets 22 percent of its electrical energy from wind today and we get 0.5 percent," noted Robert Thresher, director of the lab's National Wind Technology Center. "That shows you what you can do when you really want to."

Saturday, 21 November 2009

World's largest coal loading facility quietly planning to raise land height to avert being flooded by sea level rise

Coal exports are the heroin trade of the carbon world - the fossil fuel that James Hansen and others tell us we have to stop using urgently if we're to have any chance of avoiding catastrophic climate change.

I've been in Australia this week, and a friend briefed me on this amusing story: Newcastle in Australia handles more coal exports than any other port in the world. A $900 million project to develop an existing coal loading facility into the world's largest facility was approved in 2007 in the face of an extended community campaign against it by climate change groups.

A few months ago the consortium developing the project quietly applied for a variation to their planning consent - to raise the height of the whole island two metres. Why? to protect it against sea level rises expected as a result of climate change.

There is a delicious irony in there.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

When will the trillionth tonne of Co2 be emitted?

To have a better than 25% chance of avoiding runaway climate change we have to limit C02 emissions at a trillion tonnes. Check this out to see when the trillionth tonne of CO2 be emitted.