Killing King Coal is the First Step Towards Halving Our Emissions

As I have spent some sleepless nights since the latest IPCC report on how Mankind has to halve its carbon emissions by 2030. For both the European Union and the United States of America, the first step in doing so is killing King Coal. As we shall see, this is already currently happening, it is the moral … Read more

Book review: Enlightenment Now, by Steven Pinker

Enlightenment Now is Steven Pinker’s latest book. Pinker was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world in 2004 and his books are regularly featured in the best-selling lists. 

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Carbon Capture and Storage is still nowhere to happen

A recent article in the New York Times recently outlined the massive problems of one of the key CCS project in the United States. The plant is still not online and is way over costs.

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On biomass energy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS)

Biomass energyIf my Friday post got you down, this might cheer you up a little bit. After the study quoted three weeks ago, another one states that we could actually limit rising temperatures to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. But we have to act FAST.

This one was carried out by the Climate Action Network and Climate Analytics and shows that global emissions levels have to peak in 2020 if we want our beautiful planet to cool from the middle of the century. Now that’s good news !

One of the leading scientists quoted in RTCC stated that we need new technologies, a derivative of carbon capture and storage.

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Too much uncertainty on CCS

I blogged two years ago that CCS won’t solve the climate change problem as it is too risky, too expansive, too little and… too late. Joe Romm, the main contributor behind Climate Progress recently noted : ” There are simply too many unanswered questions for anyone to say today that we could rely on large-scale … Read more

A new idea : Carbon Capture and Utilization

Since carbon capture and storage (CCS) doesn’t make much sense and is nowhere near being ready (we have seen it here and  there), why not capture carbon and simply use it ? To CleanTechnica :

” Rather than treating carbon dioxide as a waste, technology, energy, industrial and power industry participants, would be better served investing in researching and developing Carbon Capture & Utilization (CCU) systems.”

I think that applying the 3R to something as huge as CO2 is great idea. Indeed, using something previously seen as waste is typically sustainable. Let’s hope these applications will reach daylight soon.

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Carbon Capture and Storage fails to deliver

You may perhaps remember it, the International Energy Agency is banking a lot on carbon capture and storage (CCS). Indeed, the IEA believes that it could account for 15 % of greenhouse gases emissions reductions.

However, CleanTechnica got an interesting article on how this solution fails to deliver. One of the main reasons is that ” globally there are now fewer than half a dozen full-scale CCS projects in operation around the world. ”

I believe we should stop banking on this technology. I previously wrote that it won’t solve the climate change problem as it is is too risky, too expansive, too little and… too late.

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Cleantech is progressing fast

… but fossil fuels are progressing even faster. This is in a nutshell the message from the International Energy Agency’s (IEA, the OECD energy office) latest report, the Clean Energy Progress Report. As GreenTechMedia noted :

” Renewable energy generation has grown, on average, by 2.7 percent a year since 1990. Electricity generation, however, has grown by 3 percent, meaning that the steps forward have been eclipsed by the overall market.”

Indeed, coal, despite being dozens of times dirtier than renewables, has fulfilled 47 percent of the new electricity demand in the past decade.

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Coal costs the United States $500 billion each year

It made the headlights last week on practically all environmental websites. The hidden costs – the negative externalities if you prefer – of coal are of 500 billion Dollars per year for the United States alone.

Yes, you read it right : burning coal costs the country half a trillion dollar on health costs, premature deaths – we saw about this earlier – and of course environmental issues as it pollutes soil, air and water…

Luckily, the United States can cut by two thirds their consumption by 2020 and become completely coal-free by 2030 just by investing in energy efficiency. What are they waiting for ?

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Biochar and its potential role

To CleanTechies : « Biochar is charcoal type created by the pyrolysis of biomass, and differs from ordinary charcoal only in the sense that its primary use is not for fuel, but for biosequestration or atmospheric carbon capture and storage.» «As much as 12 % of the world’s human caused greenhouse gas emissions could be … Read more

My humble opinion on Bill Gates’ speech at TED

Last month the founder of Microsoft gave a speech on low carbon energy and climate change at TED, a renowned event on Technology, Entertainment and Design.

To Mr. Gates we need five means : carbon capture and storage, nuclear power and renewable energies (solar PV, Concentrated Solar Thermal and Wind power). I agree with that.

To him, we need 20 years to research on the needed breakthroughs to achieve zero emissions energy sources and twenty other years to apply them. I beg to differ on this.

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IEA believes carbon capture and storage is crucial

International Energy Agency logoThe International Energy Agency recently released a report on how carbon capture and storage (CCS) could account for 19 percent of the greenhouse gases emissions cuts needed by 2050.

The IEA specialists believe Mankind would need to install up to 3,000 plants by 2050. This however might prove to be a problem as CCS is not completely ready yet and this albeit the numerous tests around the world.

Halving the world’s greenhouse gases emissions by mid-century is indeed a challenge as the energy consumption is due to at least double meanwhile.

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