Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
×
Earth

The World Set a New Record For Renewable Power in 2017, But Emissions Are Still Rising (qz.com) 306

In 2017, the world deployed an ever-expanding amount of solar and wind power, setting a new record for renewable-power capacity added to the grid. From a report: In fact, the money spent on renewable installations was more than twice the sum spent on nuclear and fossil-fuel power, according to the annual Global Status Report published by renewables policy group REN21. Over the past 10 years, global installed renewable-power capacity, which includes hydropower, has doubled.

That growth, however, isn't enough to reduce emissions. World demand for energy increased by 2.1% last year, and low-carbon sources could not keep pace. As a result, the word's energy-related carbon emissions rose by 1.7%, the first rise in four years. It's an important reminder that, despite all the talk about the growth of renewables, we still rely heavily on fossil fuels.

The World Set a New Record For Renewable Power in 2017, But Emissions Are Still Rising

Comments Filter:
  • by goombah99 ( 560566 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2018 @12:48PM (#56731698)

    Take all proven reserves and extrapolate the new finds, add 25% for extraction methods. All of this will become C02 or methane. No matter how much one tries not to, there will be burning of fossil fuels. since lifetime of CO2 in the atmosphere is longer than the time it will be reuired to burn it all you now know how much CO2 will be in the atmosphere. We will roast ourselves, and acidify the ocean. The real question is are there any positive feedback effects? such as the acidity of the ocean causing a fall off in it's absorption, the build up of oil films decrasing the flux of CO2 into the oceans, the metltng of the tundra releasing methane?

    And finally there's the one big one we already have the in sedimentary layers to guide us: forests die, release carbon, and the heat kills more forests. Oddly many people think that is the origin of hysteresis that causes the iceage cylce. It's not proven but the theory says ice ages are triggered by global warming transporting more water to the cold regions.

  • So how does this square with this?

    https://news.slashdot.org/stor... [slashdot.org]

    Show just a complex topic this is, I guess, and that coordinated action is required at a truly global level if we are to effectively tackle climate change.
    However, given our recent track-record on that, and tackling other man-made disasters like war, I'm not holding my breath.

    • by urusan ( 1755332 )

      The carbon bubble/fossil fuel capital abandonment issue is an issue that is looming 10+ years from now (though there are present situations that can be held up as analogies, such as the ongoing conversion of coal plants to natural gas plants https://energynews.us/2017/02/... [energynews.us] which is causing coal capital abandonment). Renewables are near the bottom of the adoption S-curve, where they're just starting to take off, so they're still a small player today even if they're starting to have a visible impact and tha

  • Most of it is probably bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies (and the rest - youtube videos, porn and other "cloud entertainment services").

  • A cynic might say the world needs a massive recession or war -- carbon emissions actually went down in the 2008-9 recession.
    • by lorinc ( 2470890 )

      A cynic might say the world needs a massive recession or war -- carbon emissions actually went down in the 2008-9 recession.

      The world would undergo a massive recession and the accompanying war when the decline in energy production due to the end of fossil fuel will violently meet the growth in energy demand due to a growing population with higher standard of living. The exact date is up to prediction, though.

  • But they have to be high enough to start ratcheting down demand for fossil fuels and causing a switch to alternatives.

    Government leaders need to have more brains and courage to implement that.

    And populations need to be better educated (in systems thinking, how the dots connect, basic science and why it is more valid than random opinion) so that they begin choosing rational, well-informed, physically effective policy.

    There are enough effective alternatives now for many applications that a carbon tax should n

  • Is this a science site or is this CNN? (Yeah, I know that the quality of this site has gone way down. I'm just lamenting the change).

    It's like being surprised that total population is still rising even though birth rates are plummeting.

    Solar power is growing at exponential rates. And, just because last year set a record doesn't mean that fossil fuels did not also increase.

    What we do know is - if this rate of growth continues for another 30-40 years we will be living in a world which does not consum
  • While I applaud the concept of electric vehicles for their emissions-reducing capability, the impact they actually have on greenhouse gas emissions are probably far less than would be assumed. The electricity to recharge them is still mostly generated from coal-fired power plants, so even if the cars themselves aren't emitting as much carbon dioxide, the eplants providing the power for them are.

    Also, as the summary states: "The money spent on renewable installations in 2017 was more than twice the sum spent

    • by jwhyche ( 6192 )

      While I applaud the concept of electric vehicles for their emissions-reducing capability, the impact they actually have on greenhouse gas emissions are probably far less than would be assumed. The electricity to recharge them is still mostly generated from coal-fired power plants, so even if the cars themselves aren't emitting as much carbon dioxide, the eplants providing the power for them are.

      The over all impact of electric vehicles on emissions is negligible for just reasons you listed here. But this will not always be the case. As wind and solar become more widespread electric vehicles will start to make real impacts on environmental standards, for the better.

    • by jwhyche ( 6192 )

      These articles require more context. For example, hydro-electric plants generate 7.5% of the total electrical production in the U.S., wind generates 6.3%, and solar power still provides only about 1.3%. So, clean energy only represents about 15% of electrical production. Nuclear could also be considered "clean energy," and it produces 20% of energy. But, coal-fired power plants still produce 30% of America's power and natural gas plants provide 32%. So, fossil fuels still provide the majority of America's electricity.

      Really? Are these numbers accurate? I hope you don't mind if I double check these. I actually though the numbers for renewable energy use was actually far lower than what you have here. If these are accurate then my information is out of date, which is good news.

      • I got my numbers from the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Here's the website: https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs... [eia.gov]
        • by jwhyche ( 6192 )

          Thank you for the numbers. The fossil fuel numbers are higher than I would like them to be at 62.7%. But the numbers for wind are up to twice what I thought they would be at 6.3%. Still a long way to go but I'm going to be happy with this.

    • Your argument ignore a couple of important facts:
      1. Electric cars are far more energy efficient than ICE vehicles.

      2. There are a lot of electric vehicles in California (in fact, there may be more EVs in California than all the other states combined), where electricity generation has a higher proportion than the overall USA.

      See the maps on this page [ucsusa.org]. Note especially, states such as CA where an electric vehicle has an equivalent MPG of 109.

  • "World demand for energy increased by 2.1% last year, and low-carbon sources could not keep pace. As a result, the word's energy-related carbon emissions rose by 1.7%, the first rise in four years. It's an important reminder that, despite all the talk about the growth of renewables, we still rely heavily on fossil fuels."

    World demand increased by 2.1%, resulting in carbon emissions rising by 1.7%, so that means that new renewable energy only contributed 0.4%? We are truly on the verge of eliminating foss
    • World demand increased by 2.1%, resulting in carbon emissions rising by 1.7%, so that means that new renewable energy only contributed 0.4%?

      Not necessarily. There could also be shifts in type of fossil fuels.

  • It's not just as simple as the number of renewable energy sources used, or total output from those sources, you have to look at the total amount of energy that went into producing that renewable generation source. Solar panels with efficiency better than 10% require a slew of rare earth minerals. A large amount of fossil fuels go into the mining, and then the refining of those minerals. Then there is the mining and refining of the metals and conductors used. Then there is the fuel for the transportation.

    Whe

    • have read more than once that large wind turbines will be at an energy deficit for nearly 20 years before they are able to reach a net positive in terms of energy produced vs spent in production and transportation

      I read it was 6 months on a good location.

    • I've already adapted to using less energy by switching my display resolution to 1366x768 instead of 1920x1080, by never going over 4GB of RAM usage out of 8GB available and always leaving 50% of my SSD capacity free of data.

    • but I have read more than once that large wind turbines will be at an energy deficit for nearly 20 years before they are able to reach a net positive in terms of energy produced vs spent in production and transportation

      Perhaps you should be more skeptical of the articles you read. The fossil fuel industry has a lot of money to spend on misinforming people and it was obviously successful with you.

      • by molog ( 110171 )

        I'm more than willing to admit I'm wrong and would appreciate being pointed out to an accurate source of information. Perhaps a little bit more respect and less personal attack in responses?

        • Really? I should respect your ignorance?

          The first link on Google when I searched for
          "turbines net energy manufacture"

          https://www.scientificamerican... [scientificamerican.com]

          ""Within a few months, a wind turbine generates enough electricity to pay back all of the energy it took to build it,"

          The *very* *first* link.

  • The steady CO/CO2 increase plus the mysterious plume of ozone damaging CFCs wafting out of China, exact source yet undetermined, will ensure more damaging climate change in the short and medium terms. But to claudicate now will ensure ruin for our future generations.

  • We cannot reduce greenhouse gasses significantly without new nuclear. We have known that for more than 5 decades. Renewables can't even keep up with bitcoin, let alone power our grid 24/7.

    Thankfully a company based in Oregon, http://www.nuscalepower.com/ [nuscalepower.com], just completed phase 1 NRC review ahead of schedule. Their reactor is a type of small modular reactor. It can be built on an assembly line like an airplane and then shipped anywhere in the world. The economics of scale will reduce the cost significan

  • Governments of the world need to stop 'encouraging' people to have more kids. The reason we keep using more power is that more people keep popping up. Duh!
  • Seriously, the single worst source of Co2 is coal, with the second worst being cargo ships. The reason is that most power plants are going to be kept going for a minimum of 30 years and up to 60 years. China is now building plants all over the world and these will not be shut down until 2060 at the earliest, if not 2080. Keep in mind that these are more coal plants than the entire west has today. And even at it's best, these will emit out at 2-3x co2 what a Nat gas plant does. And that does not include the

"Let every man teach his son, teach his daughter, that labor is honorable." -- Robert G. Ingersoll

Working...