Archives de catégorie : energy and fields

Six States Provide 55% of US Primary Energy… (And Federal Oil & Gas Leasing to Resume!)

by D. Middleton, Aug 31, 2021 in WUWT


AUGUST 31, 2021
Six U.S. states accounted for over half of the primary energy produced in 2019

In 2019, the top six primary energy-producing states—Texas, Pennsylvania, Wyoming, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and North Dakota—accounted for 55 quadrillion British thermal units (quads), or 55% of all of the primary energy produced in the United States. In 2000, these six states had accounted for 39% of the nation’s primary energy production, indicating that primary energy production has become more concentrated to the top producing states.

Primary energy production in the United States grew 40% from 2009 to 2019, driven largely by increased crude oil and natural gas production in Texas, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, and North Dakota. During that period, advances in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling made drilling for previously inaccessible crude oil and natural gas more economical in the United States. Between 2009 and 2019, production of primary energy more than doubled in Texas and Oklahoma, more than tripled in Pennsylvania, and more than quadrupled in North Dakota.

[…]

Leaked diplomatic cables show ‘limited progress’ in Energy Charter Treaty reform talks

by K. Taylor, July 6, 2021 in Euractiv


Little progress has been made to modernise a controversial agreement on energy investments that activists warn could derail decarbonisation efforts in Europe and across the globe, according to leaked documents.

The fifth round of negotiations on reforming the Energy Charter Treaty – an international agreement that allows energy companies to sue governments for decisions impacting their investments – took place in early June.

But attempts by the European Commission to bring the treaty in line with international climate goals have so far fallen flat, according to two leaked diplomatic cables.

“The atmosphere was constructive, but progress was limited, especially on energy issues,” reads one of the leaked diplomatic cables, which was written after a meeting the EU Council’s Working Party on Energy, where the European Commission recently gave EU countries an overview of progress made in the negotiations.

“No substantial progress was made on the definition of economic activity in the energy sector,” the cable says, referring to a section listing which types of energy infrastructure are protected under the treaty.

At the moment, that definition includes almost all energy sources, from coal to renewables. The European Commission, which negotiates on behalf of the 27 EU member states, has proposed gradually reducing protection for fossil fuel investments but has seen little support from other treaty signatories.

Unanimity is required to modify the treaty, whose 54 members include countries like Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, which are heavily reliant on fossil fuel export revenues and have little incentive to reform.

A sixth round of negotiations to reform the Energy Charter Treaty is opening on Tuesday (6 July) by which point the European Commission hopes to have rallied more support from non-EU states, like the UK and Balkan countries.

However, support for the EU’s reform plan was close to non-existent in the last negotiation round, where only six signatories even expressed views on the Commission’s proposal.

Kazakhstan was the only country to express an official position on the EU proposal and it “openly rejected” it, the documents show.

“After two hours of negotiations, it was clear that the EU proposal did not have enough support. None of the larger contracting parties was prepared to support the EU proposal in its current form. It would be necessary to examine where the EU’s flexibility could lie,” one of the leaked cables says.

Five Asian countries account for 80% of new coal power investment

by J. Ambrose, One 30, 2021 in TheGuradian


Five Asian countries are jeopardising global climate ambitions by investing in 80% of the world’s planned new coal plants, according to a report.

Carbon Tracker, a financial thinktank, has found that China, India, Indonesia, Japan and Vietnam plan to build more than 600 coal power units, even though renewable energy is cheaper than most new coal plants.

The investments in one of the most environmentally damaging sources of energy could generate a total of 300 gigawatts of energy – enough to power the UK more than three times over – despite calls from climate experts at the UN for all new coal plants to be cancelled.

Catharina Hillenbrand von der Neyen, the author of the report, said: “These last bastions of coal power are swimming against the tide, when renewables offer a cheaper solution that supports global climate targets. Investors should steer clear of new coal projects, many of which are likely to generate negative returns from the outset.”

India, Australia, China, Russia pushing ‘massive’ coal expansion

by Ians, June 5, 2021 in Energyworld


Coal producers are actively pursuing 2.2 billion tonnes per annum of new mine projects around the world, a growth of 30 per cent from current production levels, a new report from Global Energy Monitor said on Thursday.

The first-of-its-kind analysis surveyed 432 proposed coal projects globally and found a handful of provinces and states in China, Russia, India, and Australia are responsible for 77 per cent (1.7 billion tonnes per annum) of new mine activity. If developed, these proposed projects boost supply to over four times the 1.5 degrees Celsius-compliant pathway necessary to meet the goal of the Paris climate agreement.

While three-fourths (1.6 billion tonnes per annum) of proposed coal mine capacity is in the early stages of planning and thus vulnerable to cancellation, the report finds one quarter (0.6 billion tonnes per annum) of proposed mine capacity is already under construction. The prospect of a low-carbon transition and tighter emission policies put these projects at risk of becoming up to $91 billion in stranded assets.

Danes see Greenland security risk amid Arctic tensions

by L. Peter, Nov 2019 in BBCNews


Denmark has for the first time put mineral-rich Greenland top of its national security agenda, ahead of terrorism and cybercrime.

The Defence Intelligence Service (FE) linked its change in priorities to US interest in Greenland, expressed in President Donald Trump’s desire to buy the vast Arctic territory.

Greenland is part of Denmark, but has significant autonomy, including freedom to sign major business deals.

China has mining deals with Greenland.

The FE’s head Lars Findsen said Greenland was now a top security issue for Denmark because a “power game is unfolding” between the US and other global powers in the Arctic.

In August the Danish government dismissed as “absurd” President Trump’s suggestion of a US-Denmark land deal over Greenland.

Mr Trump then cancelled a state visit to Denmark and called Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen “nasty”.

The US interest in Greenland goes back decades. The US has a key Cold War-era air base at Thule, used for surveillance of space using a massive radar. It is the US military’s northernmost base, there to provide early warning of a missile attack on North America.

Why the new focus on Greenland?

Greenland’s strategic importance has grown amid increased Arctic shipping and international competition for rare minerals. Arctic waters are becoming more navigable because of melting ice, linked to global warming.

CLIMATE CHANGE, COVID-19, AND THE GREAT RESET

by A. MacRae, March 2021 in Elecroverse


The below treatise was sent to Canadian and American politicians and the media – but most of them won’t understand it, because they have no scientific competence and have been utterly deceived – programmed for decades by false climate scares and green energy frauds.

SUMMARY

We published in 2002 that there was NO catastrophic human-made global warming /climate change crisis, and green energy schemes were NOT green and produced little useful (dispatchable) energy. Dangerous global warming and climate change have NOT HAPPENED and green energy schemes have proved to be COSTLY, UNRELIABLE AND INEFFECTIVE. Global warming is NOT a threat, but global cooling IS dangerous. In 2002 we predicted that global cooling would start circa 2020, based on low solar activity, and that prediction is increasingly supported by the evidence.

Politicians foolishly accepted very-scary global warming falsehoods and brewed the perfect storm, crippling our energy systems with costly and unreliable green energy schemes that utterly fail due to intermittency, at a time when we will need more reliable, dispatchable energy due to increased energy demand and imminent global cooling. The good people of Australia, Britain, Germany, California and Texas have all suffered and died due to green energy failures that were PREDICTABLE AND PREDICTED.

THE GREENS’ PREDICTIVE CLIMATE AND ENERGY RECORD IS THE WORST

California’s Energy Scorecard Fails On The World Stage – OpEd

by R. Stein, Sept 21, 2021 in EurasiaReview


California, with 0.5 percent of the world’s population (40 million vs 8 billion) professes to be the leader of everything and through its dysfunctional energy policies imports more electricity than any other state – currently at 32 percent from the Northwest and Southwest – and has forced California to be the only state in contiguous America thatimports most of its crude oil energy demands from foreign country suppliers to meet the energy demands of the state.

State energy policies have made California electricity and fuel prices among the highest in the nation which have been contributory to the rapid growth of “energy poverty” for the 18 million (45 percent of the 40 million Californians) that represent the Hispanic and African American populations of the state.

Access to electricity is now an afterthought in most parts of the world, so it may come as a surprise to learn that 16 percent of the world’s population — an estimated 1.2 billion people — are still living without this basic necessity. Lack of access to electricity, or “energy poverty”, is the ultimate economic hindrance as it prevents people from participating in the modern economy.

Almost half the world — over three billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day. At least 80 percent of humanity, or almost 6 billion, lives on less than $10 a day. Other nations and continents living in abject poverty without electricity realize California, and large parts of the U.S. buying into green new deals, renewable futures, and zero-carbon societies are left with the dystopic reality of mass homelessness, filth and rampant inequality that increasingly characterize the GND core values.

Mexico was once a climate leader – now it’s betting big on coal

by D. Agren, Feb 15 2021 in TheGuardian


As the climate crisis worsens, Andrés Manuel López Obrador plans to buy nearly 2m tons of thermal coal from small producers

The men on the midnight shift smoked cigarettes and cracked jokes in the glow of their helmet lights as they prepared to go underground. They were loading safety equipment and coils of pipe on to wheelbarrows, in readiness for a second shift due to start working later that week.

“We’re reactivating the industry,” said Arturo Rivera Wong, who had just taken on 40 more workers at the mine he owns in the scrublands of the border state of Coahuila.

 

“Four furnaces at the big thermoelectric plant are going to be reactivated,” he explained. “This is going to kickstart coal sales.”

As the climate crisis worsens and clean energy prices plunge, governments around the world have been weaning their economies of coal and other fossil fuels.

Mexico is moving in the opposite direction.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, popularly known as Amlo, has unveiled plans to buy nearly 2m tons of thermal coal from small producers like Rivera. He also plans to reactivate a pair of coal-fired plants on the Texas border, which were being wound down as natural gas and renewables took a more prominent role in Mexico’s energy mix.

Not only is López Obradorbetting big on fossil fuels, he is also curtailing clean energy.

Total CEO sees ‘little sense’ in shareholder divestment from oil majors over climate concerns

by A. Fawthrop,  Feb 23, 2021 in NSEnergy


Divesting from major oil and gas producers on grounds of climate change makes “little sense”, says Total chief executive Patrick Pouyanné, because other companies will simply pick up the excess production.

The boss of the French energy firm urged investors and shareholders to support “big players with large balance sheets and financial capacity” because without them the low-carbon energy transition will not “become a reality”.

Stakeholder pressure on the world’s top oil companies is increasing amid heightened concerns over their contribution to climate change and demands for decisive action to reduce emissions across the energy industry.

Many oil and gas firms, including Total, have outlined recent ambitions to gradually pivot away from fossil energy in favour of electrification and alternative fuels.

But public scrutiny remains strong, with warnings of divesting if shareholders do not feel these plans are going far or fast enough, or the business risks associated with climate change are not being adequately addressed.

 

Oil and gas demand won’t disappear soon, and divesting would leave production for others to take up

Speaking at the IP Week conference today (23 February), Pouyanné called for patience from investors while making a pitch for the role companies like Total have to play in the low-carbon energy transition.


Belgium To Shut All Nuclear Plants

by P. Homewood, Feb 23, 2021 in NotaLotofPeopleKnowThat


BELGIUM’s decision to shut down several of its nuclear power plants has been branded “delusional” and pinned on the EU’s plot to annihilate member states’ independence.

Belgium will shut seven nuclear power plants between 2022 and 2025. The decision was confirmed at the end of 2020 by Alexander De Croo’s coalition government. But the plan would see the country reliant on its neighbours for the supply of electricity – something that was blamed on the increasing integration of the European Union.

http://energodock.com/belgium/electricity-shares

https://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/1401127/Eu-news-Belgium-nuclear-power-plants-closure-France-energy-frexit-florian-Philippot

India to overtake EU as world’s third largest energy consumer by 2030: IEA

by P. Homewood, Feb 20, 2021 in NotaLofPeopleKnowThat


India will overtake the European Union as the world’s third-largest energy consumer by 2030, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Tuesday as it forecast India accounting for the biggest share of energy demand growth over the next two decades.

In its India Energy Outlook 2021, IEA saw primary energy consumption almost doubling to 1,123 million tonnes of oil equivalent as the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) expands to USD 8.6 trillion by 2040.

India at present is the fourth-largest global energy consumer behind China, the United States and the European Union.

Underpinned by “a rate of GDP growth that adds the equivalent of another Japan to the world economy by 2040”, India will overtake the European Union by 2030 to move up to the third position, it said in the report.

India accounts for nearly one-quarter of global energy demand growth from 2019-40 — the largest for any country. Its share in the growth in renewable energy is the second-largest in the world, after China, IEA said.

“By 2040, India’s power system is bigger than that of the European Union, and is the world’s third-largest in terms of electricity generation; it also has 30 per cent more installed renewables capacity than the United States,” it said.

A five-fold increase in per capita car ownership will result in India leading the oil demand growth in the world. Also, it will become the fastest-growing market for natural gas, with demand more than tripling by 2040.

The spiralling environmental cost of our lithium battery addiction

by A. Katwala, Aug 5, 2018 in Wired


Here’s a thoroughly modern riddle: what links the battery in your smartphone with a dead yak floating down a Tibetan river? The answer is lithium – the reactive alkali metal that powers our phones, tablets, laptops and electric cars.

In May 2016, hundreds of protestors threw dead fish onto the streets of Tagong, a town on the eastern edge of the Tibetan plateau. They had plucked them from the waters of the Liqi river, where a toxic chemical leak from the Ganzizhou Rongda Lithium mine had wreaked havoc with the local ecosystem.

There are pictures of masses of dead fish on the surface of the stream. Some eyewitnesses reported seeing cow and yak carcasses floating downstream, dead from drinking contaminated water. It was the third such incident in the space of seven years in an area which has seen a sharp rise in mining activity, including operations run by BYD, the world’ biggest supplier of lithium-ion batteries for smartphones and electric cars. After the second incident, in 2013, officials closed the mine, but when it reopened in April 2016, the fish started dying again.

 

The Middle East Doubles Down on Oil and Gas As the UN Warns of “Climate Emergency”

by T. Doshi, Dec 31, 2020 in WUWT


At the virtual “Climate Ambition Summit” co-hosted by the UN and UK and attended by over 70 world leaders on December 12th, Secretary-General António Guterres issued a stark warning: the world is facing a catastrophe ahead as it is on track to warm by more than 30 C by the end of the century “unless all countries declare climate emergency”. He expressed disappointment at the summit that the G-20 countries are “spending 50% more in their stimulus and rescue packages on sectors linked to fossil fuel production and consumption than on low carbon energy…This is unacceptable”.

The Secretary-General asked earnestly “Can anybody still deny we are facing a dramatic emergency”? The question poses the vast gulf between the policy positions of key Western governments and the oil and gas producers in the Middle East. For the Middle East hydrocarbon producers hit by the ‘double whammy’ of sharply reduced oil and gas price – the mainstay of government revenues — and the impact of Covid-19 lockdowns on domestic economic activity, the strategy for national survival is clear and could not be more opposed to the UN Secretary-General’s: sharply increasing the pace of monetizing the oil and gas reserves that their countries are blessed with.

Middle East To Supply More Oil And Gas

Within two weeks of the UN summit, Saudi Arabia’s energy minister announced on December 27th  the discovery of four new oil and gas fields, including unconventional resources. The discoveries will boost the country’s plans to increase its maximum sustained crude production capacity from the current 12 million b/d to 13 million b/d as well as developing its gas resources to free up more oil for export instead of burning it for power generation.

China And Iran Start Drilling In This Super Giant Gas Field

by P. Homewood, Dec 27, 2020 in NotalotofPeopleKnowThat


Drilling operations of the first well of the game-changing but highly-controversial Phase 11 of Iran’s supergiant South Pars non-associated natural gas field officially began last week. Significant gas recovery from the enormous resource will commence in the second half of the next Iranian calendar year that begins on 21 March 2021. The long-stalled Phase 11 development supposedly saw the withdrawal of all Chinese involvement in October 2019. In reality, though, China is still intimately involved in its development and is looking to further scale up its activities following the inauguration of Joe Biden as U.S. President on 20 January.

https://oilprice.com/Energy/Natural-Gas/China-And-Iran-Start-Drilling-In-This-Super-Giant-Gas-Field.html

The new field is expected to eventually produce 57 million cubic metres per day (mcm/d), about a tenth of Iran’s current output.

The article goes on to describe how China got around US sanctions on Iran, after taking over Total’s 50.1% stake in the project in 2018:

Energy Masterminds Announce Latest Folly: Shutdown Of Modern Coal Power Plant Commissioned Just 5 Yrs Ago!

by P. Gosselin, Dec 11, 2020 in NoTricksZone


Pressured by climate activism, power genherator Vattenfall announced it will shut down its recently commissioned 1.65 GW modern Moorburg coal power plant in Hamburg, Germany. It will take the equivalent of over 1600 wind turbines to take up the slack. 

Just days ago, I reported here how Big Wind and crony politicians are pushing to clear 2000 hectares of 1000-year old forests to make way for 60 giant 5-MW wind turbines. Now imagine this being done 25 times because one ultra-modern coal plant will be decommissioned after being in service just 5 years.

One folly leads to another. The race in Germany to build up wind parks everywhere possible (environment be damned) stems from the political folly of shutting down baseload-providing modern coal power plants. Swedish power giant Vattenfall just announced )hat it will be decommissioning its new 1.65 GW combined heat and power (CHP) coal Hamburg-Moorburg power plant.

Belgique : la sortie du nucléaire en questions

by Connaissance des Energies, Dec 1, 2020


En Belgique, l’exploitant du parc nucléaire Electrabel a annoncé en interne son intention de cesser les investissements nécessaires à la prolongation (hypothétique) de réacteurs. Il est prévu que les derniers réacteurs nucléaires du pays soient arrêtés d’ici à fin 2025 sauf si…

Combien y a-t-il de réacteurs nucléaires en service en Belgique ?

Le parc nucléaire belge est composé de 7 réacteurs à eau pressurisée tous exploités par Electrabel, filiale du groupe français Engie(1). Connectés au réseau électrique entre 1974 et 1985, ces réacteurs sont répartis entre 2 centrales :

  • la centrale de Doel en Flandre (à 15 km du port d’Anvers et près de la frontière néerlandaise), composée de 4 réacteurs d’une puissance cumulée de 2 934 MW ;
  • la centrale de Tihange en Wallonie (à 30 km de Liège), composée de 3 réacteurs d’une puissance cumulée de 3 008 MW.

En 2019, le parc nucléaire belge a généré près de 41,4 TWh, soit environ 46,5% de la production électrique totale du pays(2). « Sur base d’une analyse temporelle plus étendue, on observe que la contribution du nucléaire à la consommation finale d’électricité varie selon les année entre grosso modo 35%(3) et 50% selon la disponibilité des unités », précise Michel Huart, maître de conférences à l’ULB, spécialiste en « énergie et durabilité ».

Vue de la centrale nucléaire de Doel. (©Electrabel)

 …

Are governments able to deliver the energy transition?

by S. Furfari, Nov 16, 2020 in EuropeanScientist


On 4 December 2019, in her first Brussels press conference the newly appointed president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said she will lead a ‘geopolitical Commission’. One year later, we are still waiting for some ‘geopolitical’ results. Indeed, it is rather a ‘green Commission’, as even the Covid crisis – though its cause is totally unrelated to energy – is used to reinforce the ‘energy transition’, wanted by the German Chancellor. In September 1999, arriving as president of the European Commission Mr Romano Prodi has been convinced that energy was not so important and that it did not deserve to be managed by an energy general directorate. It merged it with the transport energy directorate. What a difference twenty later: energy is now the centre of all interest, not for its own merits, but because it is at the centre of the climate change debate. But are politicians able to drive the vast, complex and multi-dependent energy system? Is their willingness’s able to master it effective?

Not surprisingly, this concept of ‘energy transition’ was invented in Germany in the early 1980s. In a book entitled ‘Energie-Wende, Wachstum und Wohlstand ohne Erdöl und Uran’ published in 1980, researchers from a German environmentalist organisation, the Öko-Institut, proposed to stop using oil and uranium. The simplified term ‘EnergieWende’ was quickly coined to refer to the fight against climate change and the abandonment of nuclear energy. Germany has firmly followed this track since the beginning of the 21st century, aiming at a radical change in its energy policy. The German population has also adhered to this concept because, after 40 years of green nuclear bashing, it has become widely opposed tonuclear energy.

Figure 1Correlation of electricity price for dwellings with intermittent renewable electricity production
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Énergies renouvelables dans l’UE : de la perception aux réalités

by S. Furfari & E. Mund, 27 Nov 2020 in ConnaissanceEnergies


Nous assistons aujourd’hui à des conversations interminables sur l’« énergie » sans que ce dont on parle soit dûment précisé. Parle-t-on de l’énergie pour chauffer notre maison ou bien de celle nécessaire pour charger un véhicule électrique ? Ce n’est pas indifférent. Beaucoup ignorent les principes fondamentaux, alors que d’autres les connaissent mais évitent soigneusement d’en tenir compte.

L’un de ces principaux fondamentaux est la distinction entre « énergie primaire » et « énergie finale ». Précisons qu’il ne s’agit pas d’une vaine querelle de mots : une bonne compréhension a un impact fondamental en matière de choix de politique énergétique et d’adoption lucide de cette politique par les citoyens concernés.

Lorsque l’on ramène le poids des filières renouvelables intermittentes dans le bilan en énergie primaire de l’UE – l’indicateur fondamental lorsqu’on se préoccupe d’énergie, que ce soit pour les aspects géopolitiques, de balance des paiements et de décarbonation – leur part se limite ainsi à quelques pourcents. En 2018, ces énergies si populaires dans les médias n’ont ainsi compté que pour 2,5% de la consommation d’énergie primaire dans l’UE à 27 (1,4% en France, 1,8% en Belgique et 4,3% en Allemagne)…

The West Intends Energy Suicide: Will It Succeed?

by T. Doshi, Oct 10, 2020 in Forbes


Suicide is viewed as a crime in many countries. In a court of law, it is a serious charge and the evidence needs to be conclusive for such an accusation to stand (e.g., did you actually see him attempt to jump off the bridge?). But when societies (or at least their leaders) attempt it, one can say that it safely falls under the rubric of the sovereign right to misrule. In the hallowed tradition of Western liberal democracy, so long as its political leaders are elected in free and fair elections, misrule leading to societal death by suicide is merely an unfortunate outcome of either gross negligence or culpable intention led by, say, an ideology of de-industrialization. Nevertheless, let us proceed with the case for the prosecution.

The Circumstantial Evidence Of Societal Suicide

The first piece of evidence is an astonishing article published last week in the Boston Review by a professor of anthropology in Rutgers University . The good professor opined that Zimbabwe and Puerto Rico “provide models for what we might call ‘pause-full’ electricity”. The West, he continues, has created a vast infrastructure for generating and consuming electricity 24/7, 365 days a year. Since this is based on “planet-destroying fossil fuels and nuclear power”, we need to emulate the aforementioned poor countries and save the climate by giving up the demand for the constant supply of electricity.

To be fair, the professor also noted that the Zimbabweans and Puerto Ricans did not choose to accept electricity rationing but were imposed upon by the gross negligence and corruption of their governments. The professor cannot be lightly dismissed, and the Boston Review shares its domicile with MIT and Harvard University, the temples of wisdom in modern Western civilization. And the Review has its share of kudos, at least for those of a particular persuasion: “When it comes to publishing fresh and generative ideas, Boston Review has no peer” says Robin D. G. Kelley, Professor of American History at the University of California, Los Angeles and Naomi Klein, activist and New York Times NYT-0.5% best-selling author, opines that “Boston Review is so good right now.”

Let us move on to our second piece of evidence, this time from the other side of the “climate emergency” aisle.  Professor Fritz Vahrenholt is a giant among environmental circles in Germany. (The country is well known as the world’s leading champion for all things environmental and for pushing Europe to “net zero emissions by 2050”.) Prof. Vahrenholt holds a doctorate in chemistry and started his professional career at the Federal Environmental Agency in Berlin (responsible for the chemical industry) before joining the Hessian Ministry of the Environment. From 1984 until 1990 he served as state secretary for environment, from 1991 till 1997 as minister for energy and environment in the state of Hamburg.

One day before the publication of the Boston Review article on October 5th, Prof Vahrenholt stated baldly in a German TV interview that climate science was “politicized”, “exaggerated”, and filled with “fantasy” and “fairy tales”. He pronounced that “The [Paris] Accord is already dead. Putin says it’s nonsense. […] The Americans are out. The Chinese don’t have to do anything. It’s all concentrated on a handful of European countries. The European Commission in massively on it. And I predict that they will reach the targets only if they destroy the European industries.” He lambasted Germany as a country “in denial when it comes to the broader global debate taking place on climate science”. He went on to characterize Europe’s recent push for even stricter emissions reduction targets to madness akin to Soviet central planning that is doomed to fail spectacularly.

Can China, the world’s biggest coal consumer, become carbon neutral by 2060?

by D. Normile, Sep 29, 2020 in Science AAAS


China’s surprise pledge last week to cut its net carbon emissions to zero within 40 years has reignited hopes of limiting global climate change to tolerable levels. The country is the world’s largest producer of carbon dioxide (CO2), accounting for 28% of global emissions, and its move may inspire other countries to follow suit. But observers warn that China faces daunting challenges in reaching its goals. Kicking its coal habit will be particularly hard.

“We aim to have CO2 emissions peak before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060,” Chinese President Xi Jinping told the United Nations General Assembly via a video link on 22 September. That’s “a very significant and encouraging announcement,” says Josep Canadell, an earth system scientist at Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation. He says the new targets “won’t likely let us to stop at 1.5° Celsius [of global warming],” the preferred target set in the 2015 Paris agreement. “But below 2° might still be consistent with [Xi’s] announcement.” China’s commitment also “ratchets up pressure on other major emitters” to set more ambitious targets “while further isolating the Trump administration in its climate myopia,” Vance Wagner of Energy Foundation China wrote in a piece published online by the nonprofit China Dialogue.

China had previously said its CO2 emissions would peak “around” 2030, a target most analysts considered within reach. But achieving carbon neutrality before 2060 will require drastically reducing the use of fossil fuels in transportation and electricity generation and offsetting any remaining emissions through carbon capture and storage or planting forests.

Dubai builds first coal power plant despite pledging lowest carbon footprint in the world by 2050

by Independent, Oct 22, 2020


A new wonder is rising in the southern desert of Dubai against the backdrop of Persian Gulf beaches, but it’s not another skyscraper to grace the futuristic sheikhdom. Instead, it’s one of mankind’s oldest power sources gaining its own space on the oil-rich Arabian Peninsula — a coal-fired power plant

The construction of the $3.4 billion Hassyan plant in Dubai appears puzzling, as the United Arab Emirates hosts the headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency. It’s also building the peninsula’s first nuclear power plant and endlessly promotes its vast solar-power plant named after Dubai’s ruler. Dubai has also set the lofty goal of having the world’s lowest carbon footprint in the world by 2050 — something that would be impacted by burning coal.

The coal plant’s arrival comes as Gulf Arab nations remain among the world’s hungriest for energy and amid political concerns over the use of natural gas imported from abroad, concerns underscored by a yearslong dispute with gas-producer Qatar, which is boycotted by four Arab nations, including the UAE.

“Dubai was really saying we’re far too exposed on gas imports, those could be interrupted by all kinds of things, the cost is very high and so we have to do something else to diversify our fuel supply and bring down the total cost,” said Robin Mills, the CEO of Qamar Energy, a Dubai-based consulting company. “They got a very competitive offer on the coal plant … and so the decision was made.”

Pic de la demande de pétrole : mythe ou réalité ?

by M. Cordiez, 9 Oct 2020 in ConnaissancedesEnergies


 

Et si on considérait le problème dans l’autre sens ?

Historiquement, le succès des compagnies pétrolières était jugé à leur capacité à renouveler, voire accroître, leurs réserves par des découvertes. Avec le temps et l’épuisement des ressources aisément accessibles, cet exercice est devenu de plus en plus complexe pour les majors privées (BP, Total, ENI…). L’essentiel des réserves conventionnelles sont aujourd’hui détenues par des compagnies nationales (Saudi Aramco, National Iranian Oil Company, Iraq National Oil Company…). Quant aux pétroles non conventionnels, il s’agit de ressources chères à exploiter, non rentables au cours actuel du baril, et sur lesquelles un positionnement reste de l’ordre du pari. Des sommes colossales ont été perdues par les fonds et entreprises qui ont investi dans le pétrole de roche mère aux États-Unis(6).

Les discours sur l’arrivée opportune d’un pic de la demande ne seraient-ils donc pas également un moyen pour les compagnies pétrolières d’offrir une narration positive face à leur incapacité à renouveler leurs réserves ? La conséquence de cette contrainte est alors présentée comme le fruit d’une stratégie : il n’est plus besoin de renouveler les réserves, vu que la demande va diminuer. Cette approche est en outre favorable en termes de communication car elle renvoie l’image de compagnies responsables vis-à-vis du climat, tout en portant un message optimiste : les émissions de gaz à effet de serre baisseront naturellement sans effort particulier, du fait d’une demande pétrolière qui diminuera d’elle-même.

Hors pandémie de Covid, nous devons garder à l’esprit que la consommation pétrolière – donc la demande – était croissante jusqu’en 2019 inclus. Elle a augmenté de 924 000 barils/jour entre 2018 et 2019, soit une augmentation de 0,9%(7). L’idée d’un pic de la demande est séduisante et rassurante, mais elle reste aujourd’hui une hypothèse prospective. D’ailleurs, plusieurs entreprises pétrolières telles que l’Américaine ConocoPhilips et la Russe Gazprom Neft prévoient une reprise de la croissance de la demande une fois la pandémie maîtrisée(8). Nous ne pouvons pas miser notre avenir sur le pari d’un déclin naturel de la demande de pétrole, qui serait poussé à temps vers la sortie par des solutions plus compétitives et déployables à large échelle.

Face aux incertitudes qui planent sur la pérennité de l’offre(9)(10) et à la nécessité impérieuse de réduire nos émissions de gaz à effet de serre pour atteindre la neutralité carbone, nous devons agir et tout mettre en œuvre pour assurer le déclin de la demande pétrolière. Répondre à cet enjeu nécessite d’aller au-delà de nos seules espérances quant au potentiel des technologies futures. Cela implique de faire évoluer notre rapport à l’énergie et à ses usages.

A global-scale data set of mining areas

by Maus, V. Sep 8, 2020 in ScientificData OPEN ACCESS


Abstract

The area used for mineral extraction is a key indicator for understanding and mitigating the environmental impacts caused by the extractive sector. To date, worldwide data products on mineral extraction do not report the area used by mining activities. In this paper, we contribute to filling this gap by presenting a new data set of mining extents derived by visual interpretation of satellite images. We delineated mining areas within a 10 km buffer from the approximate geographical coordinates of more than six thousand active mining sites across the globe. The result is a global-scale data set consisting of 21,060 polygons that add up to 57,277 km2. The polygons cover all mining above-ground features that could be identified from the satellite images, including open cuts, tailings dams, waste rock dumps, water ponds, and processing infrastructure. The data set is available for download from https://doi.org/10.1594/PANGAEA.910894 and visualization at www.fineprint.global/viewer.

Censored: Australian scientists say suppression of environment research is getting worse

by D. Lewis, Sep 21, 2020 in Nature


Environmental scientists in Australia say that they are under increasing pressure from their employers to downplay research findings or avoid communicating them at all. More than half of the respondents to an online survey thought that constraints on speaking publicly on issues such as threatened species, urban development, mining, logging and climate change had become worse in recent years.1

The findings, published this month in Conservation Letters, reflect how politicized debates about environmental policy in Australia have become, says Saul Cunningham, an environmental scientist at the Australian National University in Canberra. “We need our publicly funded institutions to be more vocal in defending the importance of an independent voice based on research,” he says.

Australian scientists aren’t the only ones who have reported interference in science or pressure — particularly from government employers — to downplay research findings. Scientists in the United States, Canada and Brazil have also reported such intrusions in the past decade.

Scale of the problem

Two-hundred and twenty scientists in Australia responded to the survey, which was organized by the Ecological Society of Australia and ran from October 2018 until February 2019. Some of the respondents worked in government, others in universities or in industry, for example in environmental consultancies or non-governmental organizations.

The results show that government and industry scientists experienced greater constraints from their employers than did university staff. Among government employees, about half were prohibited from speaking publicly about their research, compared with 38% employed in industry and 9% of university staff. Three-quarters of those surveyed also reported self-censoring their work.

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