Archive for the month “June, 2015”

India Is Now World’s Fastest-Growing Major Polluter

620smoke

Sajai Jose

For the first time ever, the year 2014 saw India’s carbon dioxide emissions growth accounting for the largest share of global emissions growth, according to a new global report. India’s CO2emissions from energy use had increased by 8.1% during the year, making it the world’s fastest-growing major polluter.

It was the single-most significant trend revealed in the latest edition of British Petroleum’s comprehensive Statistical Review of World Energy, but the Indian media got the story upside down. Most coverage celebrated India’s sky-high energy-consumption figures, while glossing over its record-breaking emissions growth, a historical milestone with serious implications. Read more…

News update

Peak Oil: Myth Or Coming Reality?
Gaurav Agnihotri, Oilprice.com
We have yet to see evidence that we are nearing a peak in oil production. On the contrary, agencies like EIA and IEA have predicted a stable increase in crude oil production for the next few years at least. But supplies may not be the only, or even the most important factor when analyzing the end of the oil era. The world is making progress at moving beyond oil. So instead of discussing Peak Oil in terms of supply, perhaps it is now more useful to analyze ‘Peak Demand’.

Global oil demand to peak in 2020 under IEA climate proposal
Platts.com
Global oil demand would need to peak within five years under an ambitious set of low-carbon policy measures being proposed by the International Energy Agency to limit greenhouse gas emissions within accepted safe levels. The proposal is the result of a major new assessment of the energy sector impact of global climate change pledges that the IEA is presenting ahead of the critical COP 21 Paris climate talks in December.

Will methane hydrates be the future of energy or bring on the apocalypse?
Cleanleap.com
At the bottom of our oceans and buried deep beneath permafrost surrounding the arctic circle is a vast store of methane – a natural gas produced by the anaerobic decomposition of millions of years of organic matter. If permafrost temperatures rise (as predicted with global warming) the ice crystals will thaw, releasing methane directly to the atmosphere. As is well known, methane is a powerful greenhouse gas, 20 times more potent than CO2 on a weight-for-weight basis.

Catch them if you can: the pragmatic ways to cut carbon emissions
The Guardian UK
Within five years Britain could have three power stations that capture around 90% of their carbon before it reaches the atmosphere. And in the US, a synthetic resin could absorb CO 2 far more efficiently than trees. We examine the technologies involved in the battle against climate change.

How Tesla will change the future
Tim Urban, Wait But Why
An extremely long but thoroughly well-researched piece that traces the arc of energy use by humans, the history of the automobile industry and how Elon Musks Tesla Motors could revolutionise things all of it written in a lucid and simple style.

The Front-Runners In Fusion Energy
Michael McDonald, Oilprice.com
Fusion power has been something of a holy grail in the energy field for decades. At the same time, despite decades of research, fusion energy has yet to come close to being a reality. In the last decade, there has been a proliferation of interest in fusion power from commercial sources. The largest company doing work in fusion power is probably Lockheed Martin. Lockheed claims that it will have a prototype reactor in a just a few years’ time and that a commercial product could be coming within a decade.

First Ecologise! workshop at Nakre, near Udupi, Karnataka

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Ecologise is a programme through which those living in cities can explore living in an ecologically more sensitive and sustainable manner. Specifically, it is a programme involving stay and work on an organic farm for varying periods, as a volunteer. The programme will be preceded by a weekend orientation workshop , during which the participant may decide which farm they wish to work on, and for how long. The duration will vary according to the needs and land cycles of each farm.

There will be a few break periods’ during which participants can go home or travel. It is possible that participants may not be in a position to commit for a longer period. They can still attend the orientation workshop . This workshop will also introduce the volunteer to practices one can incorporate in one’s life to live a more healthy and a less resource-intensive lifestyle. Read more…

News update

G7 leaders bid Auf Wiedersehen to carbon fuels
Reuters
Leaders of the worlds major industrial democracies resolved on Monday to wean their energy-hungry economies off carbon fuels, marking a major step in the battle against global warming that raises the chances of a U.N. climate deal later this year. The Group of Sevens energy pledge capped a successful summit for host Angela Merkel, who revived her credentials as a climate chancellor and strengthened Germanys friendship with the United States at the meeting in a Bavarian resort. (Also read: Merkel convinces Canada and Japan on CO2)

India’s energy consumption increase at all-time high: BP
Livemint.com
India’s energy consumption increased by 7.1% in 2014, reaching an all-time high and accounting for 34.7% of the global consumption increment in 2014, said British oil and gas giant BP Plc. in its review of world energy consumption in 2014. The note by BP, called as the BP Statistical Review 2014, said India’s domestic energy consumption reached an all-time high in 2014 with the year seeing the fastest growth for the last five years.

BP boss widens transatlantic rift in energy industry over climate change
The Guardian UK
Bob Dudley,CEO of British Petroleum, said the UNs global warming summit in December needed to broker agreements that encourage energy efficiency, renewable power such as wind and the use of gas. His comments came amid signs of a transatlantic rift in the oil and gas industry over how to tackle global warming. Last week, BP and a group of European oil companies including Shell and Total of France wrote a letter to the Financial Times calling for “widespread and effective” carbon pricing to be part of a Paris deal. It was dismissed by John Watson, chief executive of US-based Chevron, who said he believed that putting a price on carbon emissions was unworkable.

No, BP, the U.S. did NOT surpass Saudi Arabia in oil production
Kurt Cobb
Even the paper of record for the oil industry, Oil & Gas Journal, got it wrong. With the release of the latest BP Statistical Review of World Energy, media outlets appeared to be taking dictation rather than asking questions about which countries produced the most oil in 2014. If they had asked questions, they would have ended up with a ho-hum headline announcing that last year Russia at 10.1 million barrels per day (mbpd) and Saudi Arabia at 9.7 mbpd were once again the number one and number two producers of crude oil including lease condensate (which is the definition of oil). The United States at 8.7 mbpd remained in third place.

Why EIA, IEA, and BP Oil Forecasts are Too High
Gail Tverberg
It is easy to get the idea that we have a great deal of oil resources in the ground. Given these large amounts of theoretically available oil, it is not surprising that forecasters use the approach they do. There appears to be no need to cut back forecasts to reflect inadequate future oil supply, as long as we can really extract oil that seems to be available.

We Could Power Entire World on Renewables by 2025, Says Global Apollo Program
Ecowatch.com
The authors of an initiative called the Global Apollo Program say that, given the required high level of investment, it should be possible within 10 years to meet electricity demand with reliable wind and/or solar power that is cheaper—in every country—than power based on coal. They say the scale of ambition needed to produce “baseload” power from renewable energy that is generated consistently to meet minimum demand matches that which sent the first humans to the Moon in 1969—at a cost, in today’s prices, of about $230 billion.

The Difficulties Of Powering The Modern World With Renewables
Roger Andrews, Energy Matters
Even if the world succeeds in developing wind and solar to the point where they supply 100% of its electricity the job is still less than half-done because electricity supplies the world with only about 40% of its energy. The remaining ~60% comes from the oil, gas and coal consumed in transportation, heating etc. How to decarbonize that? Again no solution is presently in sight.

Renewable Energy Will Not Support Economic Growth
Richard Heinberg
The world needs to end its dependence on fossil fuels as quickly as possible. That’s the only sane response to climate change, and to the economic dilemma of declining oil, coal, and gas resource quality and increasing extraction costs. The nuclear industry is on life support in most countries, so the future appears to lie mostly with solar and wind power. But can we transition to these renewable energy sources and continue using energy the way we do today? And can we maintain our growth-based consumer economy? The answer to both questions is, probably not.

Sagar Dhara: Response to Alan Rusbridger

Pot calling the kettle black will not mitigate global warming, eco-socialism can

by Sagar Dhara

(This article was originally published on Frontierweekly.com on 2 June, 2015)

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In a recent interview published in The Hindu, Alan Rusbridger, the former editor-in-chief of the Guardian, expressed the fear that India “is going to burn a vast amount of dirty coal in very inefficient ways, and that could be really devastating.”  He advises India to use more solar energy.

By withholding inconvenient facts that developed countries emitted 78% of carbon dioxide (CO2) released since 1750 (historic emissions), Rusbridger is like the pot that called the kettle black.  Per the Guardian’s website UK’s per capita historic emissions of 1,127 T, is the second highest in the world, and forty times that of India’s. Read more…

A ‘People’s Report’ on Climate Change in Karnataka

Shankar Sharma

climate karnataka

On World Environment Day, Karnataka’s chief minister Siddharamaiah released a people’s report on the action plan needed to ‘mitigate’ and ‘adapt’ to Climate Change issues in the state of Karnataka.  This report was prepared because of the efforts of Karnataka State Pollution Control Board.

The report is termed as “people’s report” because it is based on wide ranging consultations held in different parts of the state in 21 meetings between 28th Jan and 5th May, most of them being public consultations covering all districts of the state.  People from diverse background such as teachers, college Professors, Doctors, engineers, NGOs, state govt. employees, college students, women, activists, industrialists, farmers and others participated actively in the public consultations.

Keeping in view that there were about 2,000 people who participated in these meetings, and more than 1,000 people have contributed to this report, it is reasonable to state that the report represents public’s expectations on the state’s developmental pathway keeping in view the issues of Climate Change in proper perspective. Few overarching principles with reference to successive governments in India are also described along with the state’s strengths and constraints. These recommendations are expected to be included in the state’s action plan on CC.Keeping in view the serious threats of Climate Change faced by our communities the larger civil society cannot afford to leave all such planning/implementation initiatives to the authorities alone, knowing well how such issues have been acted on in the past.  So it is in the collective interest that the larger civil society should do all that is possible to persuade the state govt. to prepare a specific and detailed action plan for the state to ‘mitigate’ and ‘adapt’ to Climate Change. It would be highly desirable if such public consultations are undertaken in every state effectively involving all sections of the society.

You can send your feedback on the report to:
Shankar Sharma
Power Policy Analyst
# 1026, 5th Main Road, E&F Block, Ramakrishna Nagara
Mysore, Karnataka, India – 570022
Phone: 0821 2462333 & 94482 72503
sharar00aiom
aarhma0oac

Peak Oil from the Demand Side: A Prophetic New Model

Avery Morrow, Peak Oil Barrel

The most attention-grabbing attempts to predict oil futures have come from geologists and environmental activists, who tend to look solely at production. An overlooked doctoral thesis by Christophe McGlade, Uncertainties in the outlook for oil and gas, in contrast, focuses on how both supply and demand might be constrained in the coming decades. Peak oil researchers should take note of McGlade’s thesis because he predicted, in November 2013, that oil prices would sink, and that they will stay low throughout the second half of this decade. I found this paper on Google Scholar and have no connection with the author, but I appreciate his careful consideration of peak oil arguments, and his ability to distance himself from the more narrow-minded aspects of both economic and geological thinking. Here’s a representative quote from the middle of the thesis, p. 216:

The focus of much of the discussion of peak oil is on the maximum rates of conventional oil production. Apart from issues over how this term is defined, results suggest that focussing on an exclusive or narrow definition of oil belies the true complexity of oil production and can lead to somewhat misleading conclusions. The more narrow the definition of oil that is considered (e.g. by excluding certain categories of oil such as light tight oil or Arctic oil), the more likely it is that this will reach a peak and subsequent decline, but the less relevant such an event would be.

Read more…

News update

G7: End of fossil fuel era?
BBC News
The G7 has called for a transformation of electricity generation towards renewables and nuclear by 2050. And they said fossil fuel should not be burned in any sector of the economy by the end of the century. Their targets are not binding – but they send a clear message to investors that in the long term economies will have to be powered by clean energy. The world’s leaders have effectively signalled the end of the fossil fuel era that has driven economies since the Industrial Revolution.

The coal boom choking China
The Guardian UK
Chinese miners last year dug up 3.87bn tonnes of coal, more than enough to keep all four of the next largest users – the United States, India, the European Union and Russia – supplied for a year. The country is grappling with the direct costs of that coal, in miners lives, crippling air pollution, expanding deserts and “environmental refugees”. Desire for change contends with fears that cutting back on familiar technology could dent employment or slow growth, and efforts to cut consumption do not always mean a clampdown on mining.

Delayed gratification for OPEC, more pain for investors
Kurt Cobb
Delayed gratification is said to be a sign of maturity. By that standard OPEC at age 55 demonstrated its maturity this week as it left oil production quotas for its members unchanged. Why OPEC members chose to leave their oil output unchanged is no mystery. The explicit purpose for keeping oil prices depressed is to close down U.S. oil production from deep shale depositsproduction that soared when oil hovered around $100 a barrel, but which is largely uneconomic at current prices. That production was starting to threaten OPECs market share.

Over the barrel: For a low carbon path
Vikram S Mehta, The Financial Express
The government’s policy pronouncements over the past year have thrown into sharp relief the conflict between its energy policy and its green agenda. It should endeavour to settle this conflict over the coming year. The purpose of this article is to recommend the steps it should take to do so.

Forget peak oil. Is the worlds economy heading toward peak demand?
Nathanial Gronewold, E&E Publishing
Peak oil, meet peak demand. The hypothesis that oil production is about to peak is being swiftly replaced by the idea that the worlds thirst for crude oil is about to hit a ceiling, posing challenges for firms that face investor pressure to grow. One idea has it that even crude demand in emerging markets is on track to peak and then steadily decline, as is occurring in much of the developed world today.

Peak oil isn’t dead: An interview with Chris Nelder
Brad Plumer, Washington Post
Warnings about peak oil have been with us since the OPEC crisis in the 1970s.But after a worrisome series of price spikes starting in 2007, oil triumphalism is once again ascendant. Not everyones convinced, however, that oil is really on the verge of a new boom. Energy analyst Chris Nelder, for one, has spent a lot of time scrutinizing the claims of the oil triumphalists. Our newfound oil resources, he argues, arent nearly as promising as they first appear.

Why We Have an Oversupply of Almost Everything (Oil, labor, capital, etc.)
Gail Tverberg
The Wall Street Journal recently ran an article called, Glut of Capital and Labor Challenge Policy Makers: Global oversupply extends beyond commodities, elevating deflation risk. To me, this is a very serious issue, quite likely signaling that we are reaching what has been called Limits to Growth, a situation modeled in 1972 in a book by that name.

Where will nuclear power plants of the future be built?
Paul Dorfman, The Conversation
In terms of new build, 67 reactors are under construction worldwide with a total capacity of 64 GW. For the nuclear industry this at first sounds promising, but then “under construction” doesn’t necessarily mean it will be finished any time soon – work first began on one reactor opened in Argentina last year back in 1981. Of the 67 currently being built, eight reactors have been under construction for more than 20 years, another for 12 years; and at least 49 have significant delays.

Prayas looking for Energy Policy Researchers at Pune

Prayas (Energy Group)

Prayas (Energy Group) or PEG is a leading energy policy research and advocacy organization based in Pune, known for its analysis based policy advocacy. Based on a rigorous analytical approach backed by policy and institutional innovation, PEG actively intervenes in regulatory and policy spheres in the energy sector with the objective of promoting public interest goals such as making energy available and accessible to all, making governance institutions accountable to their mandates, making the energy system socially and environmentally sustainable and ensuring viability of the energy sector.

PEG’s publications are widely respected in policy, industry, academic as well as civil society circles. PEG is often invited by ministries, international agencies and civil society groups to participate in committees and other PEG works on various program themes across the energy sector such as electricity generation and supply, renewable energy, energy efficiency, and energy resources and development. The work in all themes involves analysis, innovation, outreach, intervention and advocacy at state and national levels. You can find more about PEG and its work at www.prayaspune.org/peg.

PEG is looking for bright, young and motivated researchers to work in areas such as:

 Policy and regulatory issues in the power sector, particularly renewable energy
 Analysis and innovation related to policies and institutions to promote affordable and reliable access to modern energy
 Assessing and enhancing energy security
 Exploring the relationship between energy and related sectors such as water and agriculture

To join the PEG team, you should:
 Be a Post Graduate or PhD with good academic record and expertise in Energy Systems, Engineering, Economics, Law, Political Science or Sociology from a reputed institution. Graduates with exceptional records may also be considered.
 Have strong analytical skills and some work experience
 Be preferably less than 30 years of age
 Be keen to work on challenging social and developmental issues with a flair for using multidisciplinary (technical, economic, social and political economy) approaches

Compensation at PEG is modest and comparable to academic institutions. PEG is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes applications from candidates irrespective of sex, religion, caste etc. PEG also encourages an informal and democratic work culture.

If you are interested in becoming a part of such a team of competent and socially committed professionals, please write to er-rrtmtrasnr with your bio-data and a write-up of less than 800 words on why you wish to join PEG.

Brief History of PRAYAS Health Group

Prayas (Energy Group), Pune
www.prayaspune.org/peg
Phone: +91-20-2542-0720,
+91-20-6520-5726

The IMF’s “shocking” estimate of fossil fuel costs: There’s more to the story

Sajai Jose

Credit: CGP Grey/Flickr, CC-BY 2.0
Credit: CGP Grey/FlickrCC-BY 2.0

Recently, when an International Monetary Fund research paper revealed that the actual cost of fossil fuel usage for 2015 was a staggering US$ 5.3 trillion (approx. 340 lakh crore rupees), it made headlines worldwide, though it went largely unreported in India.

What accounts for the bulk of this figure are the hidden costs of fossil fuel use – referred to as ‘externalities’ in economics calculated in monetary value. Most of it consists of damages inflicted by fossil fuel use on public health (for eg. deaths from air pollution) and the environment (global warming). Read more…

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