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BlasterBates
29th June 2015, 08:03
...so says Bill Gates

Gates: Renewable energy can't do the job. Gov should switch green subsidies into R&D (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/06/26/gates_renewable_energy_cant_do_the_job_gov_should_ switch_green_subsidies_into_rd/)

....apart from biomass, so it looks like deforestation is the key to the great green future.

pjclarke
29th June 2015, 08:32
Wow. Even by the low standards of El Reg, that's a masterpiece of twisted paraphrasing. What Gates actually said is that current green technologies are inadequate and therefore alternatives need to be developed urgently and money diverted from subsidies to R&D. Here's the opening paras of the original FT piece that The Register is basing its parody on ...



Bill Gates is planning to double his personal investment in innovative green technologies to $2bn over the next five years in an attempt to “bend the curve” in combating climate change.
The billionaire philanthropist said he had already invested about $1bn in dozens of early stage companies — including battery storage, next-generation nuclear and free air carbon capture — hoping they would develop “breakthrough” technologies. [..]

The co-founder of Microsoft said it was “fantastic” that the UN, national governments, and environmental campaigners had raised*awareness of climate change*and were taking steps to counter it. However, he argued that*current technologies could only reduce global CO2 emissions*at a “beyond astronomical” economic cost. “The only way you can get to the very positive scenario is by great innovation,” he said. “Innovation really does bend the curve.”


Mr Gates urged governments to switch more resources from subsidising renewable energy into basic research. At present, government subsidies amounted to more than $100bn with only $6bn a year being invested in renewable energy R&D, he said. “Most of the people you talk to would say that we should double or triple the amount of renewables R&D.”

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/4f66ff5c-1a47-11e5-a130-2e7db721f996.html#axzz3eRAUPLxL

darmstadt
29th June 2015, 08:39
Eh? Bill Gates to invest $2bn in breakthrough renewable energy projects | Environment | The Guardian (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jun/26/gates-to-invest-2bn-in-breakthrough-renewable-energy-projects)

BlasterBates
29th June 2015, 08:42
from the Guardian

Bill Gates to invest $2bn in breakthrough renewable energy projects | Environment | The Guardian (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jun/26/gates-to-invest-2bn-in-breakthrough-renewable-energy-projects)


Gates told the Financial Times that the only way current technology could reduce global emissions is at “a beyond astronomical cost” and that innovation is the only way to reach a positive scenario.

BrilloPad
29th June 2015, 08:53
He is right. Which is why we need to build lots of coal fire power stations now. To keep us going while we build more nuclear power stations. Without French or Asian help.....

VectraMan
29th June 2015, 08:54
Wow. Even by the low standards of El Reg, that's a masterpiece of twisted paraphrasing. What Gates actually said is that current green technologies are inadequate and therefore alternatives need to be developed urgently and money diverted from subsidies to R&D. Here's the opening paras of the original FT piece that The Register is basing its parody on ...

Eh? That's exactly what The Register article says.

pjclarke
29th June 2015, 09:37
Blaster Bates: Renewables Don't Work.
Register Headline : Renewables can't do the job.
Actual FT Headline : Gates to double investment in renewable energy projects


Spot the difference?

VectraMan
29th June 2015, 09:48
Blaster Bates: Renewables Don't Work.
Register Headline : Renewables can't do the job.
Actual FT Headline : Gates to double investment in renewable energy projects

Spot the difference?

If you're only going to read the headlines then yes.

pjclarke
29th June 2015, 09:51
from the Guardian

Bill Gates to invest $2bn in breakthrough renewable energy projects | Environment | The Guardian (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jun/26/gates-to-invest-2bn-in-breakthrough-renewable-energy-projects)

Nobody told Denmark.

Wind provides more than half of Denmark's power for first time | Windpower Monthly (http://www.windpowermonthly.com/article/1227379/wind-provides-half-denmarks-power-first-time)

pjclarke
29th June 2015, 10:08
If you're only going to read the headlines then yes.

More than half never read beyond the headline. They're a valuable propaganda tool.

Gates is right, but he is talking more in the sense that the sheer scale of the problem demands better solutions - including renewables - than the ones we have invested in now, which is different from the 'renewables won't cut it' spin of the Reg coverage. If you've seen his TED presentation he talks about the need to reduce carbon emissions to zero, the Kaya Identity (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaya_identity) and the need to decarbonise:


Gates argued that we will never be able to achieve perfect energy efficiency, so improvement in this area will never eliminate the problem of global warming.* Instead, the solution must come from developing new carbon-neutral energy sources.* “We need solutions, either one or several, that have unbelievable scale and unbelievable reliability. I really only see five [technologies] that can achieve the big numbers”: carbon capture and storage (CCS),*nuclear, wind, solar photovoltaic, and solar thermal.*

“They all have significant challenges. We are going to have to work on each of these five, and we can’t give up any of them because they look daunting.” He said that we need hundreds of companies working on research and development to solve the problems associated with each, and that current investment in such research is lagging.**

A solution that works needs a response far greater than the market has so far delivered, delayed in part by the efforts of people who argue we don't even have a problem ...


Bill Gates: Innovating to zero! | TED Talk | TED.com (http://www.ted.com/talks/bill_gates.html)

EternalOptimist
29th June 2015, 10:25
https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTpppa3y4QPH0_AxMmG1hiuFY4GZS4Xj cJL6L121lCEXTvXW1I4

BlasterBates
29th June 2015, 10:41
More than half never read beyond the headline. They're a valuable propaganda tool.

Gates is right, but he is talking more in the sense that the sheer scale of the problem demands better solutions - including renewables - than the ones we have invested in now, which is different from the 'renewables won't cut it' spin of the Reg coverage. If you've seen his TED presentation he talks about the need to reduce carbon emissions to zero, the Kaya Identity (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaya_identity) and the need to decarbonise:

**

A solution that works needs a response far greater than the market has so far delivered, delayed in part by the efforts of people who argue we don't even have a problem ...


Bill Gates: Innovating to zero! | TED Talk | TED.com (http://www.ted.com/talks/bill_gates.html)



Your quite right when Bill Gates says

Gates told the Financial Times that the only way current technology could reduce global emissions is at “a beyond astronomical cost” and that innovation is the only way to reach a positive scenario.

So what he means is that the current technology is perfectly acceptable.

Obviously I misunderstood, I thought that what he was saying was the only way current technology could reduce global emissions is at “a beyond astronomical cost” and that innovation is the only way to reach a positive scenario.

sorry about that.

EternalOptimist
29th June 2015, 10:51
Your quite right when Bill Gates says


So what he means is that the current technology is perfectly acceptable.

Obviously I misunderstood, I thought that what he was saying was the only way current technology could reduce global emissions is at “a beyond astronomical cost” and that innovation is the only way to reach a positive scenario.

sorry about that.

Only a few short years ago we were told that these renewables were economical and could compete with coal oil and gas on the open market. He was crowing about some third world hell hole that managed to produce half its lecky through wind on one night for half an hour.
Now they need billions spent on R&D in order to get to where he claimed they were years ago.

Put the goalposts down pj.

pjclarke
29th June 2015, 10:58
That's a bit harsh on Denmark (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/11/science/earth/denmark-aims-for-100-percent-renewable-energy.html) .

pjclarke
29th June 2015, 11:00
So what he means is that the current technology is perfectly acceptable.

We could parse this all day, what he did not say is renewables don't work, which were the words you put in his mouth.

BlasterBates
29th June 2015, 11:09
We could parse this all day, what he did not say is renewables don't work, which were the words you put in his mouth.

Can we agree on ....

the only way current technology could reduce global emissions is at “a beyond astronomical cost”

:D

pjclarke
29th June 2015, 11:18
Only a few short years ago we were told that these renewables were economical and could compete with coal oil and gas on the open market.*

Gates' remarks are informed by the need to get to zero carbon emissions, which is a rather more ambitious, but still necessary goal than mere grid parity (http://energy.pace.edu/blog/grid-parity-renewables-may-soon-have-their-day-sun). As to the 'billions', we should divert some of the 0.7% of global GDP that currently goes on fossil subsidies. But we won't.

HTH.

pjclarke
29th June 2015, 11:24
Can we agree on ....

the only way current renewables technology alone could reduce global emissions to the degree necessary to prevent dangerous climate change is at “a beyond astronomical cost”



We've known that for some time, hence most environmentalists favour a mix of renewables, carbon capture and carbon-neutral technologies, plus massive investment in helper technologies such as HVDC to distribute power long distances to solve the intermittance problem and better storage.

I think that captures Gates' meaning a little more accurately.

d000hg
29th June 2015, 11:24
That's a bit harsh on Denmark (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/11/science/earth/denmark-aims-for-100-percent-renewable-energy.html) .

Does Denmark accurately represent the terrain, weather and population density of the world's developed nations?
You might as well hold Scotland up as an example why Netherlands should base all their energy needs on non-tidal hydro.

EternalOptimist
29th June 2015, 11:42
http://www.occidentaldissent.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/haiti-dominican-republic-border.jpg

This is the border between the Dominican republic and Haiti.
The country on the left is a 'green paradise' fully embracing renewables. The country on the right has stuck with fossil fuels.

The poor sods on the left in Haiti ,have had to burn nearly every bit of wood they can lay their hands on for fuel for cooking , warmth and light.

pjclarke
29th June 2015, 11:44
Does Denmark accurately represent the terrain, weather and population density of the world's developed nations?
You might as well hold Scotland up as an example why Netherlands should base all their energy needs on non-tidal hydro.

No, course not, they're lucky in having enough shallow, windy seas to make offshore wind viable. But they are a good example of a country having the foresight to grasp that opportunity and make the necessary investment.

The world's deserts receive more solar energy in six hours than the world uses in a year, 90% of the world’s population lives within 3,000 km of one of those deserts. An HVDC smart grid linking solar in N. Africa, geothermal in Iceland, hydro in Scandanavia, wind N. Europe would be expensive, but technically feasible, what is lacking is political will.


At the end of 2014, the 200 MW Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) bid in Dubai set a new world benchmark for utility scale solar PV costs, showing that photovoltaic technologies are competitive today with oil at US$10/ barrel and gas at US$5/MMBtu.


http://www.nbad.com/content/dam/NBAD/documents/Business/FOE_Full_Report.pdf

EternalOptimist
29th June 2015, 11:46
http://shrinkthatfootprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/electricprices.gif

BlasterBates
29th June 2015, 11:52
Producing 100% of your energy needs using current technology is beyond astronomically expensive, producing 50% of your energies is 50% of beyond astronomically expensive.

You can draw your own conclusions on how viable current renewable technologies are.

minestrone
29th June 2015, 11:53
No, course not, they're lucky in having enough shallow, windy seas to make offshore wind viable. But they are a good example of a country having the foresight to grasp that opportunity and make the necessary investment.

The world's deserts receive more solar energy in six hours than the world uses in a year, 90% of the world’s population lives within 3,000 km of one of those deserts. An HVDC smart grid linking solar in N. Africa, geothermal in Iceland, hydro in Scandanavia, wind N. Europe would be expensive, but technically feasible, what is lacking is political will.



http://www.nbad.com/content/dam/NBAD/documents/Business/FOE_Full_Report.pdf

Aye, let's turn Algeria into a big solar panel :laugh

shaunbhoy
29th June 2015, 11:55
Maybe we should just harness more of the hot air produced by the AGW lobby? There seems to be an endless supply of it and it can't be very expensive to produce, provided the cost of lentils doesn't go through the roof!!

HTH

BlasterBates
29th June 2015, 12:03
Aye, let's turn Algeria into a big solar panel :laugh

It's a great idea in principle:

Is Anything Stopping a Truly Massive Build-Out of Desert Solar Power? - Scientific American (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/challenges-for-desert-solar-power/)

It would however be beyond astronomically expensive.

pjclarke
29th June 2015, 12:03
http://shrinkthatfootprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/electricprices.gif

That's domestic prices, including tax, not adjusted for purchasing power. Industrial leccy in Denmark is below the EU average. Go figure.

pjclarke
29th June 2015, 12:06
Icelandic electricity: Power under the sea | The Economist (http://www.economist.com/blogs/schumpeter/2014/01/icelandic-electricity)

pjclarke
29th June 2015, 12:15
It's a great idea in principle:

Is Anything Stopping a Truly Massive Build-Out of Desert Solar Power? - Scientific American (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/challenges-for-desert-solar-power/)

It would however be beyond astronomically expensive.

A prediction: This phrase is going to be the new 'snowfalls are a thing of the past'.

BlasterBates
29th June 2015, 12:17
That's domestic prices, including tax, not adjusted for purchasing power. Industrial leccy in Denmark is below the EU average. Go figure.

OK then Bill Gates is completely wrong?

minestrone
29th June 2015, 12:21
It's a great idea in principle:

Is Anything Stopping a Truly Massive Build-Out of Desert Solar Power? - Scientific American (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/challenges-for-desert-solar-power/)

It would however be beyond astronomically expensive.

You would have to shoot all the locals first, that is the biggest problem.

DodgyAgent
29th June 2015, 12:23
Massive African solar project could provide cheap power to 2.5 million UK homes - Mirror Online (http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/technology-science/technology/massive-african-solar-project-could-4468322)

Using the Sahara for baseload solar power: the Nur Energie plan for Tunisian CSP | Carbon Commentary (http://www.carboncommentary.com/blog/2015/2/19/using-the-sahara-for-baseload-solar-power-the-nur-energie-plan-for-tunisian-csp)

Solar Roadways - Introduction (http://www.solarroadways.com/intro.shtml)

The development of solar technology moves rapidly. In a few years it will take over as the main source of power. This of course fails to address the problem of the left wing climate change taleban .. which is that driving expensive cars and consumption of high end "rich persons" toys will become environmentally acceptable. The left will have to find another totem on which to pursue their anti capitalist anti rich agenda. :laugh

SimonMac
29th June 2015, 12:35
It's a great idea in principle:

Is Anything Stopping a Truly Massive Build-Out of Desert Solar Power? - Scientific American (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/challenges-for-desert-solar-power/)

It would however be beyond astronomically expensive.

I think the problem is that to have a great big solar array in the desert, you would need the supporting infrastruture to get the energy to the rest of the world

DodgyAgent
29th June 2015, 12:37
I think the problem is that to have a great big solar array in the desert, you would need the supporting infrastruture to get the energy to the rest of the world

HVDC seems to be the most effective way of transferring power https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-voltage_direct_current

VectraMan
29th June 2015, 12:45
I think the problem is that to have a great big solar array in the desert, you would need the supporting infrastruture to get the energy to the rest of the world

And it still doesn't work at night.

Is huge centralised generation really the best way? There's a lot of rooves in the UK that are essentially doing nothing. If near enough every house and office had solar panels the power would be used locally and you wouldn't need the massive investment in power lines.

pjclarke
29th June 2015, 12:47
No he's right, he's just not saying what you think. To avoid dangerous climate change, the whole world needs to be not just where Denmark is now (carbon-free by 2050) but ahead of them. Current technologies cannot deliver this, hence we need massive investment in innovation.

EternalOptimist
29th June 2015, 12:48
And it still doesn't work at night.

Is huge centralised generation really the best way? There's a lot of rooves in the UK that are essentially doing nothing. If near enough every house and office had solar panels the power would be used locally and you wouldn't need the massive investment in power lines.

Going to PV is a big mistake imho. Much better to use solar water heating (pre heating).
There is much less to go wrong, no subsidies required and it's a proven technology.

pjclarke
29th June 2015, 12:50
Massive African solar project could provide cheap power to 2.5 million UK homes - Mirror Online (http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/technology-science/technology/massive-african-solar-project-could-4468322)

Using the Sahara for baseload solar power: the Nur Energie plan for Tunisian CSP | Carbon Commentary (http://www.carboncommentary.com/blog/2015/2/19/using-the-sahara-for-baseload-solar-power-the-nur-energie-plan-for-tunisian-csp)

Solar Roadways - Introduction (http://www.solarroadways.com/intro.shtml)

The development of solar technology moves rapidly. In a few years it will take over as the main source of power. This of course fails to address the problem of the left wing climate change taleban .. which is that driving expensive cars and consumption of high end "rich persons" toys will become environmentally acceptable. The left will have to find another totem on which to pursue their anti capitalist anti rich agenda. :laugh

I can't speak for the entire Green movement, but personally I am in favour of expensive cars and toys; if they can be made available without trashing the environment.

pjclarke
29th June 2015, 13:00
And it still doesn't work at night.

Is huge centralised generation really the best way? There's a lot of rooves in the UK that are essentially doing nothing. If near enough every house and office had solar panels the power would be used locally and you wouldn't need the massive investment in power lines.

Small-scale has its place, but can only provide a fraction of the total requirement. We need utility-scale generation and international distribution, what we get is energy companies backing away from renewables and in this country, a Government ending pump-priming subsidies early.

Small is Useless | George Monbiot (http://www.monbiot.com/2006/10/06/small-is-useless/)

pjclarke
29th June 2015, 13:01
Going to PV is a big mistake imho. Much better to use solar water heating (pre heating).
There is much less to go wrong, no subsidies required and it's a proven technology.

For most houses, that's spot on.

VectraMan
29th June 2015, 13:02
Going to PV is a big mistake imho. Much better to use solar water heating (pre heating).
There is much less to go wrong, no subsidies required and it's a proven technology.

2015 and we're still talking about the steam engine as being the future. You may be right of course.

If it's centralised you need the distribution network, and if people are to stop burning gas to heat their homes and putting fossil fuels in their cars, then The National Grid as it stands will be woefully inadequate and will require massive investment. And if we're seriously talking about power being generated in Africa for all of Europe, then the scale and investment required is easily going to be "beyond astronomical" , and that's before we consider how the power is going to be generated.

Local power for local people surely is the way, even if it isn't as efficient.

minestrone
29th June 2015, 13:23
My neighbour works in a refinery in Algeria, there are more people outside the camp with guns guarding them than there are workers inside.

Not a chance that area will ever be able to be used for anything like solar power and will never be.

TykeMerc
29th June 2015, 13:55
I agree that without monumental investment in R&D the future of renewables is no better than the current state and outside of the hydro generation in a few bits of the world that state is utterly pathetic, inadequate and effectively just decorative.

I would love there to be effective renewables, but the technology simply doesn't exist yet or it will never be even carbon neutral, nor is there the political will to take on the engineering projects that would be needed to implement the technology.

Talking of setting up massive solar generation in a part of the planet where there's large scale warfare, civil unrest and terrorism is complete cloud cuckoo land stuff, not forgetting the "interesting" challenge of getting the power where it's needed.

d000hg
29th June 2015, 14:00
No, course not, they're lucky in having enough shallow, windy seas to make offshore wind viable. But they are a good example of a country having the foresight to grasp that opportunity and make the necessary investment. They're a special case, like Scotland (hyrdo, no people) or Iceland (geothermal), it's not something that makes sense generally.


The world's deserts receive more solar energy in six hours than the world uses in a year, 90% of the world’s population lives within 3,000 km of one of those deserts. An HVDC smart grid linking solar in N. Africa, geothermal in Iceland, hydro in Scandanavia, wind N. Europe would be expensive, but technically feasible, what is lacking is political will.So instead of us being held to ransom by Russian oil pipelines, you want African nations controlling the developed world's energy supplies?

However, if countries which do have all the sun went to solar, it would make a big difference even if colder countries continued using oil.

minestrone
29th June 2015, 14:14
I just can't see any decent amount of hydro ever coming from Scotland, they have been saying 'in the next 5 years' for the last 25 years. Clearly nobody can solve the problem other than small scale.

You also have to add into the mix the SNP who exaggerate beyond belief every report into the capabilities of green energy in Scotland. Thankfully I will have left by the time they have to turn the nuclear plants off.

EternalOptimist
29th June 2015, 14:15
For most houses, that's spot on.

That might sound like some sort of common ground. but it isn't.
let me explain why.....

EO's policy.
Come and buy a lovely cheap water heating kit. going cheap. buy 2 get a third one free.
it will pay for itself in x years.


pj's policy.
We will be sending engineers round to fit your compulsory water heating unit. These units are mandatory in order to save the planet from evil fossil fuels. Despite what the filthy deniers say, the sea will rise and drown us all if we dont fit these and take other appropriate measure of which we will inform you soon.
Electricity prices will neccessarly skyrocket to pay for this, and the massive new beaurocracy we have set up to manage and monitor the implementation. Failure to comply will be met with derision followed by fines then a jail term. The death penalty will only be used sparingly and then only on people we hate more than ourselves (and there are not many of THOSE around). In the meantime, enjoy yourself by helping your child to do his homework, particularly 'how the greens supported DDT against the evil petro chemimical military complex'. 'How nasa put a man on the moon by using models and linear thinking'
'How to google graphs and links to avoid thinking for yourself'. 'How to avoid a bad back when shifting heavy weights like goalposts'

pjclarke
29th June 2015, 14:20
That creative writing course is really paying dividends. Keep it up.

shaunbhoy
29th June 2015, 14:26
Let's stop pussyfooting around and get some Nuclear powered plants built PDQ.

Clean and safe, you know it makes sense.

:eyes

VectraMan
29th June 2015, 15:08
In 50 years time we'll have fusion, and then we'll have so much cheap power we'll be able to convert the CO2 back into hydrocarbons and bury it under the sea.

OwlHoot
29th June 2015, 16:33
And it still doesn't work at night.

Is huge centralised generation really the best way? There's a lot of rooves in the UK that are essentially doing nothing. If near enough every house and office had solar panels the power would be used locally and you wouldn't need the massive investment in power lines.

WHS up to a point (apart from spelling of roofs)

I used to think a few nuclear plants would be the best solution. (Nuclear waste will doubtless be among the least of our descendents' problems.)

But the World ain't getting any safer, quite the reverse, and big power stations (nuclear or not) are pitifully vulnerable to even non-nuclear attacks.

Knock out the main power stations and sea ports in this country, and half or more of the population would probably be dead in six months!

VectraMan
29th June 2015, 20:42
WHS up to a point (apart from spelling of roofs)

Put "rooves" into Google and the first thing that comes up is roof - plural noun: rooves. Though it seems it's contentious and some say rooves is archaic. That's what I was taught at school though.


But the World ain't getting any safer, quite the reverse, and big power stations (nuclear or not) are pitifully vulnerable to even non-nuclear attacks.

Knock out the main power stations and sea ports in this country, and half or more of the population would probably be dead in six months!

Indeed. I hope IS aren't listening.

One great thing about nuclear is the very small amount of fuel required. If it were possible to build a tiny maintenance free nuclear power generator, you could bury one underneath every new house or building with enough fuel to last 100+ years. Then everybody would have free energy; it would come with the property and you could scrap the National Grid and the whole power/gas/oil industry.

pjclarke
30th June 2015, 15:17
Those dope-smoking lefty treehuggers at Bloomberg Business enumerate (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-06-23/the-way-humans-get-electricity-is-about-to-change-forever) 'Six massive shifts coming to the power markets near you' … here are a few



The price of solar power*will continue to fall, until it becomes*the cheapest form of power in a rapidly expanding number*of national markets. By 2026, utility-scale solar will be competitive for the majority of the world,*according to BNEF.*The lifetime cost of a photovoltaic solar-power plant will drop by almost half over the next*25 years, even as the prices of fossil fuels*creep higher. Solar power will eventually get so cheap that it will outcompete new fossil-fuel plants*and even start*to supplant some existing*coal and gas plants, potentially stranding billions in fossil-fuel infrastructure. The industrial age was built on coal. The next 25 years will be the end of its dominance. *

With solar power so cheap, investments will surge. Expect $3.7 trillion in solar investments between now and*2040,*according to BNEF. Solar alone*will account for more than a third of*new power capacity worldwide

The biggest solar revolution will*take place on rooftops. High electricity prices and cheap residential battery storage will make small-scale rooftop solar ever more attractive, driving a 17-fold increase in installations. By 2040, rooftop solar will be cheaper than*electricity from the grid in every major economy, and almost 13 percent of electricity worldwide will be generated from small-scale solar systems.*

Natural gas won't become the oft-idealized "bridge fuel" that transitions the world from coal to renewable energy,*according to BNEF. The U.S. fracking boom will help bring global prices down some, but few countries outside the U.S. will replace coal plants with natural gas. Instead, developing countries will often opt for some combination of coal, gas, and renewables.*

The shift to renewables is happening shockingly fast, but not fast enough to prevent perilous levels of global warming. About $8 trillion, or two thirds of the world's spending on new power capacity over the next 25 years, will go toward renewables. Still, without additional policy action by governments, global carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector will continue to rise until 2029 and will remain 13 percent higher than today's pollution levels in 2040. That's not enough to prevent the surface of the Earth from heating more than 2 degrees Celsius,*according to BNEF. That's considered the point-of-no-return for some of the worst consequences of climate change.



All of which underscores Gates' point:, even 'astronomical' $trillions spent on current renewables technology is not enough to prevent dangerous climatic change: we need to innovate, and fast.

pjclarke
30th June 2015, 15:25
And the future described by Bloomberg is here, in 2014, there was more renewables capacity added than coal and gas combined:


Renewables represented approximately 59% of net additions to global power capacity in 2014, with significant growth in all regions. Wind, solar PV, and hydro power dominated the market. By year’s end, renewables comprised an estimated 27.7% of the world’s power generating capacity, enough to supply an estimated 22.8% of global electricity.

Global Status Report - REN21 (http://www.ren21.net/status-of-renewables/global-status-report/)

BlasterBates
30th June 2015, 15:31
That's excellent news, the solar panels will be necessary for additional air conditioning in the summer.

Global carbon emissions to rise 2.5% in 2015 - PwC (http://www.rtcc.org/2015/01/02/global-carbon-emissions-to-rise-2-5-in-2015-pwc/)

pjclarke
30th June 2015, 15:43
That's excellent news, the solar panels will be necessary for additional air conditioning in the summer.

Global carbon emissions to rise 2.5% in 2015 - PwC (http://www.rtcc.org/2015/01/02/global-carbon-emissions-to-rise-2-5-in-2015-pwc/)

We'll see. According to the REN21 document


Carbon emissions in 2014 remained at the previous year’s levels of 32.3 billion metric tons — a milestone that points to the impact worldwide renewable energy investment is having in the face of a 1.5 percent annual increase in global energy consumption, according to a new report from REN21. The tenth annual Renewables 2015 Global Status Report cites “increased penetration of renewable energy” and improvements in energy efficiency as the chief reasons for the noted emissions stabilization.

But PWC are correct:
He added that governments need to be more honest about the difficulty of achieving the 2C target, which may no longer even be viable.

Still some way to go on the hearts and minds front


When asked in 2001 if President Bush would be urging Americans to curb their energy use, his spokesman Ari Fleischer replied: ‘That’s a big “no”’. He went on to declare that wasting energy is akin to godliness:

The President believes that it’s an American way of life, and that it should be the goal of policy-makers to protect [it]. The American way of life is a blessed one . . . The President also believes that the American people’s use of energy is a reflection of the strength of our economy, of the way of life that the American people have come to enjoy.

In recent years wealthy Texans have discovered the joys of sitting in front of a log fire. As it is usually hot in Texas they must turn their air conditioners up so they can enjoy the cosy warmth from their hearths. Using energy simultaneously to heat a house and cool it only seems perverse if you reject George Bush’s conception of the American way of life.

Clive Hamilton: Building on Kyoto. New Left Review 45, May-June 2007. (http://newleftreview.org/II/45/clive-hamilton-building-on-kyoto)