Low-Carbon Energy Roadmaps

 presentation  Comments Off on Low-Carbon Energy Roadmaps
Dec 022010

Presentation at Side Event of the European Climate Foundation at COP 16
EU Pavilion, Cancun, 2 December 2010


Global Primary Energy Supply by Source, 2007
Average Global Growth Rates by Energy Source, 2004-2009
World Wind Capacity, 1996-2008
World Solar PV Capacity, 1990-2009
Concentrating Solar Power (CSP), 2009
World Solar Water Heating Capacity, 1995-2007
Renewables as a Share of Electricity Generation, 1990-2008
Global Electricity from Renewables, 2002-2008
Cost of New U.S. Power Generation, 2008
CO2 Emissions per capita, select countries
Renewable Electricity in Germany, 1990 – 2007
CO2 Emissions Avoided with Renewable Energy in Germany
Wind Capacity, Top 10 Countries, 2009
Landmass vs. Wind Capacity (MW), Germany and Continental U.S. (2007)
Solar PV Production by Country/Region, 2000-2008
Solar PV Capacity, Top Six Countries, 2009
Photovoltaic Solar Resource: United States and Germany
Global Potential of Renewable Resources
Solar Potential
U.S. Electricity Generation by Source: Worldwatch Scenario 2030
Energy Transitions: 2000 – 2100
Worldwatch 5-Phase Design of Low-Carbon Growth Strategies
Worldwatch’s Energy Roadmaps
Worldwatch’s Energy Roadmaps, Example: Dominican Republic

[You can find the  full presentation here]

Implications of a Low-Carbon Energy Transition for U.S. National Security

 academic article/report  Comments Off on Implications of a Low-Carbon Energy Transition for U.S. National Security
Aug 302010
Yttrium, a rare earth element
Yttrium, a rare earth element
Climate change and the secure supply of energy are among the biggest challenges of the twenty-first century. The problem is immense: While global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are still on the rise, they will have to be halved by the middle of this century in order to prevent the most dangerous effects of global warming. And while energy-related emissions are already responsible for the largest share of GHG emissions, global energy demand is estimated to rise by 50 percent or more between now and 2030.

Climate change and energy security can be seen as Siamese twins insofar as they can only be sustained with concern for one another: 80 percent of global energy supply is produced from fossil fuels which, in the United States, Europe, Japan and other important U.S. ally countries, are increasingly imported and therefore are at the core of their increasing energy dependence. The burning of fossil fuels also emits CO2, and energy-related CO2 emissions are responsible for about 60 percent of man-made climate change.

The security impacts of climate change and our dependence of fossil fuels have been much debated. It is in the national interest of the United States to address both issues vigorously. There has been little academic and political discussion, however, about the security impacts of a transition of our economy to one that is built on a low-carbon energy foundation. What are the foreseeable material input demands and what human capacities are needed for such a transition? This paper addresses these questions under a particular scenario in which the United States commits to GHG reductions as party to an international climate change agreement.

 [Please find the full version of this draft policy paper here. Comments are highly appreciated]

By how much should we expect renewable energy to replace fossil fuels over the next 20 years?

 blog  Comments Off on By how much should we expect renewable energy to replace fossil fuels over the next 20 years?
Jul 132010

Contribution to Euronews CommentVisions

In 2007, renewable energy already provided 18% of the world’s total final energy supply, greatly exceeding earlier predictions. While global GDP increased by 156% between 1990 and 2007, energy demand “only” rose by 39%. A recent Worldwatch study has outlined a new, technologically and economically viable 2030 global low-carbon scenario. It demonstrates that energy demand can be reduced by another one third compared to the business-as-usual scenario produced by the International Energy Agency which is used by many as the “reference scenario”. In our scenario 50% – half! – of the remaining energy demand in 2030 can be provided by renewables decreasing energy-related CO2 emissions by 52%.

Natural gas will play a major role in covering the other 48%. Natural gas is widely available and produces less greenhouse gas emissions and less local air and water pollution than coal and gas. It also does not create the security, economic, and health burdens of nuclear energy. What is more, natural gas can serve as an important ally of renewables. Since gas power plants can be switched on and off relatively easily, we can make sure that the maximum amount of renewables are used despite their fluctuations on a given day. Environmentally such a major transition of the global energy system is a necessity if want to avoid catastrophic climate disruptions. Technologically and economically, our scenario is feasible. What is still lacking, is the political will to make it reality.