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« Climate Audit is down | Main | Deben's reply to Yeo »
Saturday
Feb022013

All that is Goldenberg does not glitter

Suzanne Goldenberg enjoys (if that's the right word) a certain reputation among BH readers and her latest offering will do nothing but enhance (if that's the right word) her position in our estimation.

America's carbon dioxide emissions last year fell to their lowest levels since 1994, according to a new report.

Carbon dioxide emissions fell by 13% in the past five years, because of new energy-saving technologies and a doubling in the take-up of renewable energy, the report compiled by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) for the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) said.

The reduction in climate pollution – even as Congress failed to act on climate change – brings America more than halfway towards Barack Obama's target of cutting emissions by 17% from 2005 levels over the next decade, the Bloomberg analysts said.

The Bloomberg report is here.  It actually says little about emissions, but as far as I can see it says nothing like what Ms Goldenberg suggests it does on the subject of renewables. try this for example:

The reductions in coal generation, ascendancy of gas, influx of renewables, expansion of CHP and other distributed power forms, adoption of demand-side efficiency technologies, rise of dispatchable demand response, and deployment of advanced vehicles are all contributing to the decline in carbon emissions from the energy sector (including transport), which peaked in 2007 at 6.02Gt and have dropped by an estimated 13% since.

And as the report also makes clear, the big change in the energy mix has been the rise of gas:

Total US installed capacity of natural gas (442GW) plus renewables (187GW) is now at 629GW (58% of the total power generating mix) – up from 605GW (56%) in 2011 and 548GW (54%) in 2007. Between 2008 and 2012, the US nearly doubled its renewables capacity from 44GW to 86GW (excluding hydropower, which itself is the single largest source of renewable power, at 101GW as of 2012).

 

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Reader Comments (20)

Off topic - anyone else having trouble getting to climateaudit.org? I get a 'renew domain' message

Feb 2, 2013 at 4:37 PM | Unregistered Commenterdbd

An excellent choice to highlight this latest hideous stretching of reality from Suzanne Goldenberg.

Everyone knows the main cause of American reduction of CO2 is its huge transition away from coal to low-emitting shale gas, yet that gets little more than a passing reference, with Miss G attempting to overplay the role played by renewables and 'efficiency'.

Readers may also note the Guardian has disabled comments. I suspect they have a reason for that...

Feb 2, 2013 at 4:48 PM | Unregistered Commentercheshirered

Carbon dioxide emissions fell by 13% in the past five years, because of new energy-saving technologies and a doubling in the take-up of renewable energy [ ... ]

And then there's that pesky recession.

Feb 2, 2013 at 6:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterSpeed

I've never come across a Goldenberg article article in the Guardian in which comments are allowed. She clearly doesn't like to have her flights of fantasy questioned in any way.

Feb 2, 2013 at 6:17 PM | Registered CommenterSayNoToFearmongers

Ah, no. She's busy enhancing the reputation of the estimable Grauniad.
(/sarc)

Feb 2, 2013 at 6:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterHeretic

And of course we all know that the installed capacity of renewables is an irrelevant factor.

Feb 2, 2013 at 7:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

And of course we all know that the installed capacity of renewables is an irrelevant factor.

Feb 2, 2013 at 7:11 PM | Phillip Bratby


When I see someone write "we all know" I am immediately distrustful. Who are "we" and on what evidence is "our" knowledge based?

Feb 2, 2013 at 7:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

Here is a related article that tries very very hard not to mention coal to gas (I.e. Woohoo fracking!) as the big reason for co2 reduction.

Feb 2, 2013 at 7:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames

And here is the link...

http://grist.org/news/co2-emissions-from-energy-production-drop-to-1994-levels-in-the-u-s/

Feb 2, 2013 at 7:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames

Notice the story next to it.The Wind Turbine that blow over the day .They claim sabotage.In which case take your evidence to the police and ask them to investigate.Simple as.

Feb 2, 2013 at 7:47 PM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/9841848/Sabotage-suspected-at-toppled-wind-turbine-as-second-is-brought-down.html

Sabotage with a spanner.First Wind Turbine Prisoners of Conscience.Government will stick a D notice on it.

No one obviously condones criminal damage do they.

Owners think next time the saboteurs will disk cut or blow torch the threaded Studs out the bases so they cant put back the old turbine and they will have to dig in a new concrete base.

On YouTube there must be someone firing rockets or remote controlled aircraft into them.

Feb 2, 2013 at 8:13 PM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

jamspid. The local information is that the studs sheared and four of them were found to have existing cracks in them. Whether it was poor design, poor material, poor construction or poor quality control, no doubt the HSE will tell us following their investigation. It's pretty certain that talk of sabotage is nonsense.

Feb 2, 2013 at 8:42 PM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Climate is made up of weather patterns over an extented period - how the h... do you pollute the climate? Why are so many people talking like Lewis Carroll characters?

Feb 2, 2013 at 8:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Thompson

"biomass accounted for over half (53 percent) of total renewable energy consumption in 2010"

http://www.eia.gov/renewable/annual/trends/

And biomass is filthy and produces more CO2 than coal.

http://sunshinehours.wordpress.com/2012/12/26/co2-from-woodbiomass-is-worse-than-coal/

Feb 2, 2013 at 9:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterBruce

Here is the visual aid for USA 2010 renewables:

http://www.eia.gov/renewable/annual/trends/images/figure2_lg.jpg

http://www.eia.gov/renewable/annual/trends/


Biomass 53% (a lot is ethanol)
Hydro is 31%
Wind is 11%
Geothermal is 3%
Solar is 2%

Feb 2, 2013 at 9:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterBruce

This is ironic and very funny.
The President is going to tackle climate change by cutting CO2 emissions....but a reduction in emissions has already taken place and the USA has had a very warm summer....cold winter and storms...Climate Change.
Or put another way emissions reduced and weather get worse......hahaha

Feb 2, 2013 at 11:19 PM | Unregistered Commenterjames griffin

Bloomberg, unfortunately, has recently decided that its mission includes saving the world from the incarnate evil of CO2. The departure from its previous role as a business reporter is exceedingly annoying to those who found its prior character as a reliable, unbiased source of information useful.

Feb 3, 2013 at 1:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterDiogenes

And of course we all know that the installed capacity of renewables is an irrelevant factor.

Feb 2, 2013 at 7:11 PM | Phillip Bratby


When I see someone write "we all know" I am immediately distrustful. Who are "we" and on what evidence is "our" knowledge based?


Installed capacity is not totally irrelevant. As an example, multiply installed wind capacity in the UK by approx 27% and you get the average output. Being much lower than 50% you can see immediately that wind power output is for most of the time generally closer to 0% than 100%. Good old wind power!

Feb 3, 2013 at 10:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Jones

Entropic man.Feb 2, 2013 at 7:30 PM

"When I see someone write "we all know" I am immediately distrustful. Who are "we" and on what evidence is "our" knowledge based?"

Don't worry, I don't think Philip had you in mind.

Feb 3, 2013 at 7:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid Porter

Goldenberg is lying by omission. The single largest factor in reducing US GHG emissions is its nuclear reactor fleet. In total the US has 104 operating nuclear reactors. The avoided emissions from these is approximately 500 MT annually.

All US reactors were originally built with operating licences for just 20-30 years. This would have meant reactor closures starting in the late 1990s. Instead, all US utilities owning reactors have been seeking and getting 20-year extensions on their operating licences. Approximately 1/3 of all US reactors have received these licence extensions from the NRC, and it is now expected that essentially all of them will do so.

As such, the avoided emissions from nuclear are approximately equal to those from US hydraulic generation and exceed by at least two orders of magnitude those from all US renewable sources. The kWh counts don't lie, unlike Ms. Goldenberg.

Moreover, these licence extensions are usually accompanied by a mid-life refit. This usually means things like replacement of steam generators and refurbishing of plant systems and equipment. Utility operators are now starting technical discussions about 80-year life spans for US nuclear plants, and the results of these discussions will emerge out of technical conferences over the next 10 years or so.

Ms. Goldenberg also lies by omission over hydraulic power in the US. The US has dismantled a number of hydro dams over the past 20 years in the US, usually the result of political pressure from her green friends.

Gol

Feb 4, 2013 at 5:19 AM | Unregistered Commentercgh

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