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As the General Election approaches it has become quite vogue for Conservatives to claim big successes in curbing greenhouse gas emissions. But their claims that the UK is in the lead in action on climate change need to be taken with a bucket load of salt. Britain’s apparent big reductions in greenhouse gas emissions reductions since 1990 are heavily based on British de-industrialisation and domestic impoverishment and less on deliberate policies to reduce emissions than may be claimed.

Nuclear China 2024 Barnard

Once again, China’s nuclear program barely added any capacity, only 1.2 GW, while wind and solar between them added about 278 GW. Even with the capacity factor difference, the nuclear additions only mean about 7 TWh of new low carbon generation per year, while wind and solar between them will contributed about 427 TWh annually, over 60 times as much low carbon electricity.

Hydrogen Story Barnard

One thing that the chorus is bad at is even acknowledging, never mind keeping track of, acts 4, 5 and 6, where the governmental taps are shut, leading to the fleet operators scrapping the hydrogen vehicles and getting battery electric vehicles instead, something that they should have started with.

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To triple or more the annual levels of renewable energy deployment, all countries need to play a part. A mix of technologies will be required beyond solar, including both onshore and offshore wind, geothermal, wave and tidal power, as well as biogas, depending on the local context, and local resource availability. To absorb the growing volumes of low-cost renewables, the “electrification of everything” needs to broaden, and deepen, powering a growing share of heating and cooling demand (= ca. 50% of global energy demand) as well as a growing share of transportation-related energy demand (= ca. 30% of global energy demand).

Hydrogen Hype Barnard

Not to be left behind as the world is spun in circles by hydrogen hype, Ontario published a hydrogen strategy in 2022. Recently it announced the first approved significant project, one that involves truckloads of hydrogen leaving Niagara Falls to be burned in a gas generator over 100 kilometers away. Multiple layers of energetic and economic nonsense are involved in this.

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Tripling the world’s renewables by 2030 is an “ambitious yet achievable goal”, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). Based on the rate of growth for wind and solar power in recent years, the world is on track to meet this target.

But the global energy watchdog has warned that “stronger policy actions by governments” will be required to surmount the obstacles that threaten to slow the progress of wind and solar power developers. Overcoming challenges, such as rising costs, uncertain supply chains and grid bottlenecks, is considered essential for leaders struggling to hit their goal of limiting global heating to within 1.5C of pre-industrialised levels.

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The past 30 years have increasingly seen the environment hard-wired into policymaking. Net zero targets, the commitments to phase out of fossil fuels, investment in renewables, electric cars, official measures of economic wellbeing that look beyond growth: all of these are signs of progress. The only intellectual developments of any real note in economics since the end of the cold war have been green ones: de-growth and the circular economy, for example.

Trinity College Solar Pv

The aggressiveness of Alberta’s moratorium and advertising campaign suggests that the government is following a plan that involves softening up Albertans to the idea that renewable energy is bad. Policies to further obstruct investment opportunities in renewable energy will likely follow.

Through misinformation, damaging policy measures and exerting influence on AESO, the Alberta government will attempt to steer the once-booming renewable energy industry towards the same fate orchestrated by Ford’s Conservative government.

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“The warmth comes from showers, the toilet, wastewater from washing, from the dishwasher, from the washing machine,” says Postuma. “Together it all gives, throughout the year, a temperature between 15 and 18 degrees. And we are going to make a bypass around the main sewer, put a heat exchanger around it and bring it to the houses in insulated pipes. We place it in an electric heat pump, and the water is heated up to 60 or 70C – medium temperature.”

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Tristan Edis, an analyst with the consultants Green Energy Markets, said the lesson for those watching on was pretty simple: the generous early subsidies worked. “It really was this fortuitous accident that happened,” he said. “The message from it is pretty clear: go hard and go big, or don’t bother.”