Published on December 17th, 2013 | by David L Roberts0
Top 10 Most Interesting Energy & Environment Articles From November
Here’s my latest monthly report of the “Top 10” most compelling clean energy, climate, and environment-related news stories encountered last month. These articles may have an impact on your business, your life, and the world we live in. Or, at the very least, might surprise you about what’s going on. Over a thousand articles were reviewed across various energy platforms and 30+ were found to be of particular interest, which were sent to my private reader list. This newsletter is available upon request. The most interesting article to me is saved for the very end as #1.
10. Rekindling a century’s old connection to Teddy Roosevelt, the Republican Atlanta Tea Party and liberal Sierra Club have aligned in Georgia over the mutual goal of pressuring Georgia Power to generate more solar power. You read it here!
9. Energy researchers in Spain are 18 months into a 42-month EU project to develop a highly efficient and lower cost alternative to silicon-based PV solar panel technology, called SCALENANO. [Note: CleanTechnica initially covered SCALENANO in June 2012.]
8. A UK start-up seeking Kickstarter funding, has invented both a wind and solar system in space, each measuring 20×20 meters and flying at 15,000 meters altitude, to generate enough electricity beamed back to earth for 200,000 homes, without interference with bird life or air travel. [Note: this is different from the LUNA RING solar project CleanTechnica wrote about on December 2.]
7. New study out naming 90 companies responsible for nearly 2/3 of GHG emissions since the start of the industrial revolution. Exxon, Chevron and BP alone account for nearly 10%, 83 of the 90 are fossil energy (oil and coal) companies or state-owned entities (Saudi, etc.), while the remaining 7 are cement companies.
6. There’s an “app” for that! Apple Computer and the DOE are offering an iPhone app to locate electricity re-charging and alternative fuels refueling stations. Go to the Apple “app” store and get it!
5. New studies point to up to 50% more methane emissions (from gas and oil production plus livestock) than previously reported. Methane dissipates faster than CO2. However, scientists estimate the “warming” effect on climate is over 20+ times greater.
4. The theory about oceans as a global heat sink helps explain why the Sept IPCC report revealed that CO2 concentrations have risen past the critical 400 PPM level, but the air temps have not coincided.
….. Another explanation of why air temps have tapered theorizes the decline to a 90% reduction in chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s)that began with the 1988 Montreal Protocol, where 40 countries agreed to discontinue use of CFC aerosol dispensers.
3. If you are at all considering reducing your consumption of meat, you need to study this article. For starters, an omnivore (meat eater) requires 7 times more farmland and 13 times more water than an herbivore for their diet. There are 30 reasons for your consideration.
2. The recent climate conference in Warsaw ended with no commitments to formally reduce GHG emissions. However, members from 190 nations discussed a) reducing funding for coal generation plants, b) increasing the same for wind and solar, c) creating measurement mechanisms for countries hardest hit by climate change and d) setting milestones for formal agreements in France, December 2015.
….. Top polluting countries/regions are China, the US, the EU, and India, while the best performers in reducing GHG emissions have been the UK, Germany, Sweden, and France.
….. Relatedly, by 2020, it is estimated that most of the world’s GHG emissions (51%) will come from developing nations. Ironic, because most of the debate at Kyoto and Copenhagen was over GHG control by the US, Russia, the EU, and China, with China considering itself as “developing.”
MY PICK FOR THE TOP NEWS STORY IN NOVEMBER
1. The IEA reports that China will build more renewable energy power plants between now and 2035 than all other regions combined. The elephant in the room is coal, which it will continue to use as its dominant fuel source. IEA also projects that the planet may increase average temperature by 3.6 degrees Celsius, far beyond the 2 degree safety level previously advised.
….. The world will need around 48% renewable electricity by 2035 to address the climate crisis, about double what current policies are set to achieve.
….. Relatedly, China is preparing for its nation-wide carbon trading scheme in 2015, starting now with five cities, including Beijing. The goal is to reduce GHG emissions 40-45% below 2005 levels by 2020.