Category Archives: Electricity from Coal

Paris Agreement—Are the Germans Leading the Developed Nations?

It looks like Chancellor Merkel believes that now that Ex-President Obama has been replaced by President Trump, she is the developed nation’s leader regarding the Paris Agreement.

So, is Germany leading the way? The Chancellor’s plan “Energiewende” (transition to renewable energy) has set out goals with a timetable to reduce CO2 emissions and switch the national’s energy supply to renewables that can replace fossil fuels. The table below summarizes these goals:

The Greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals are spelled out in the table. The goals, for the years 2014 through 2050, are shown as an amount of reduction based away from the1990 emissions of CO2.  That was the year of the reunification of East and West Germany.  The goal in 2050 is a minimum reduction of greenhouse gases of 80 to 95%.

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Can Tesla Survive The Loss Of Subsidies?

Three years ago, The Los Angeles Times posted “Elon Musk’s growing empire is fueled by $4.9 billion in government subsidies”. I have not seen a summary of the current total of Musk’s subsidies but it is certainly more than $4.9 billion now. When The LA Times speaks about an “empire” it included Tesla, Space X and Solar City—all Musk controlled businesses.

This discussion will focus on the Tesla electric vehicle (EV) business.

Subsidies start with the Federal Tax Credit of $7,500 given to each buyer of a Tesla EV.  (Every EV maker gets the same treatment.).  California also provides a $2500 subsidy per car.

The following is from the LA Times posting:

“Tesla has also collected more than $517 million from competing automakers by selling environmental credits.  The regulation was developed in California and has been adopted by nine other states.”

These regulations require that companies selling automobiles must also sell a certain percentage of EVs.  Sales of an EV gives the seller environmental credits.   Manufacturers are penalized for not selling enough EVs and must buy credits to offset their failure. Because Tesla sells only EVs it gets a lot of credits which they sell to the other car makers.

The following 2016 video discusses what the Wall Street Journal thinks subsidies mean to the Tesla’s bottom line: (Please excuse the 15 second commercial.  When video ends click back to this page.)

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Paris Agreement Doomed By Projected Coal Based Power Plants

The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF) posted “Forget Paris—1600 New Coal Power Plants Built Around The World.”  The GWPF provides the chart below that focuses on Europe, Asia and Africa using data from Coal





As you can see, China already has 2,363 coal based plants and expects to have 1,171more.  It comes as no surprise that China and India are major users of coal based power currently and they will be the major builders in the future.  No other country is even close.  It is illustrative to see that European nations are forecast to be increasing coal based capacity, not reducing it as their none too subtle “holier than thou” attitude would suggest.

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Why Did ExxonMobil Lobby To Stay In The Paris Agreement?

ExxonMobil lobbied President Trump to stay in the Paris Agreement. Can you figure out why that company would wish to do so?

Here are some pickings from the most recent ExxonMobil global energy forecast:

·         Total energy demand by 2040 will be 25% higher than in 2015.

·         Global energy supply in 2040 will be 55% from oil and natural gas. Wind, solar and biofuels will supply only 4% in 2040.

·         Coal use will decline but will still be the third largest supplier of global energy.

·         Global electrical energy demand for transportation will only be 2% of the total global energy demand in 2040.

·         Wind and solar electricity supplies will approach 15% of total electrical energy supply by 2040

·         Although utilization improves over time, intermittency limits worldwide wind and solar capacity utilization to 30% and 20% respectively.

·         By 2040 US and Europe combined CO2 emissions will be about 8 billion tonnes.  The total global emissions in 2040 will be about 36 billion tonnes,

·         Electric cars are a very high-cost option, at about $700/tonne of CO2 avoided.

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Media Not Providing The Real Facts About Wind And Solar Energy

It is likely that a great many people in the US have been led to believe that solar and wind play significant roles in supplying domestic energy.  Further and even more incredibly they are led to believe that solar  and wind will replace fossil fuels in the not too distant future.  The Paris agreement demands that no fossil fuels  be used after 2050

I am too old to make it to 2050,  so I will not be around to see if no fossil fuels are being used at that time.  If you make it to 2050, I will bet that fossil fuel will still be used.

The Energy Information Administration’s(EIA)**, chart on the primary energy sources for the year 2015 is shown below.

Petroleum, natural gas, coal, renewable energy, and nuclear electric power are primary sources of energy. Electricity is a secondary energy source that is generated from primary sources of energy.


Note that renewable energy is only 10% of total energy produced in the US.  And of that 10%, solar is 6% and wind is 19%.   Putting the solar and wind as a percent of the total energy consumed in the US has solar at 0.6% and wind at 1.9%.  So, in  2015 only 2.5% of the US energy came from those two sources. Is this compatible with what you are learning from the media?   And those two are the ones that the greenies are banking on to replace coal, natural gas and petroleum.  And though it is counterintuitive, the warmers want to shut down the nuclear plants as well.

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Friends Of Science Engineering Critique Of WWS’s Plan For Global Decarbonization

The previous posting, examined the study “A roadmap for rapid decarbonization” published in the Science magazine,  and discussed the major obstacles the warmers face in their attempt to persuade the politicians and the voters to undertake decarbonization.  And do it rapidly.   You may not think thirty years is rapid, but convincing 8 billion people to wipe out the present infrastructure and substitute a new one using as yet unproven methods in 30 years, is moving at a breathtaking speed.

The above noted study, is not the only one that has looked at a way to satisfy the Paris Agreement of holding the global temperature to max.2 ºC rise, with a goal of 1.5ºC rise.  A study by 100% Clean and Renewable Wind, Water and Sunlight (WWS) led by Jacobson, Delucci , et at. is, on the surface (number of pages of detailed discussion), more elaborate than the previous posting.  This  WWS roadmap calls for an 80% reduction of fossil fuels by 2030!  Only 13 years away.

The WWS study is an all-sector roadmap that is said to show how 139 nations could jointly hold the temperature rise to no more than 2ºC.

Friends of Science critique the WWS study with a response titled “WHY RENEWABLE ENERGY CANNOT REPLACE FOSSIL FUELS BY 2050” .  Michael Kelly, Professor of Electrical Engineering at Cambridge says: “Humanity is owed a serious investigation of how we have gone so far with the decarbonization project without a serious challenge in terms of engineering reality”.

That’s what guides this critique.  The critique illustrates the enormous number of new renewable facilities needed, the time necessary to put  these facilities in to operation and the amount of space they require.  It is awesome.

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Dr. Judith Curry Believes the RoadMap to Zero CO2 Emissions Is Infeasible.



I have promised some critical views from skeptics regarding the Paris Agreement Roadmap to zero CO2 emissions by 2050.  If you need to get up to speed regarding  the Paris Agreement Roadmap,  please review my last two postings. 

Let’s begin with Judith Curry’s thoughts on this topic from her posting of 25 March titled A roadmap for meeting Paris emissions reductions goals”.

JC reflections

Apart from the issues raised in this paper, there are several other elephants in this room:  there is growing evidence of much smaller climate sensitivity to CO2; and even if these drastic emissions reductions occurred, we would see little impact on the climate in the 21st century (even if you believe the climate models).

I think that what this paper has done is important:  laying out what it would actually take to make such drastic emissions reductions.  Even if we solve the electric power problem, there is still the problem of transportation, not to mention land use.  Even if all this was technically possible, the cost would almost certainly be infeasible.

As Oliver Geden states, its time to ask policy makers whether they are going to attempt do this or not.  It seems rather futile to make token emissions reductions at substantial cost.

Deciding that all this is impractical or infeasible seems like a rational response to me.  The feasible responses are going with nuclear power or undertaking a massive R&D effort to develop new emission free energy technologies.  Independent of all this, we can reduce vulnerability from extreme weather events (whether or not they are exacerbated by AGW) and the slow creep of sea level rise.


Dr. Curry’s remarks are very succinct.  To be a success, the roadmap requires many inventions that to date have been sought after but not delivered.  And she points out, as noted in this blog on a number of occasions, the climate sensitivity used by the warmers gives temperature increases that are unsupportable.  This roadmap is necessary in large part because it is predicated on those exaggerated temperatures the climate models produce.  That is Dr. Curry’s “elephants in the room.”

And she thinks it is way too costly.  I believe she is spot on.

Dr. Currys posting can be accessed this link

Some additional comments to follow in the next posting.