[GWSG] 8.6 gigs gone; US & China; Roberts's farewell; Deep Green; oceans reports; wave power desalination; RCPs

Tilley, Al atilley at unf.edu
Sat Aug 31 09:40:01 EDT 2013

1.  Two German utilities have shut down 8.6 gigawatts of fossil fuel power plants, no longer competitive with renewables.  http://ecowatch.com/2013/renewables-push-fossil-fuel-plants-to-close/

2.  Renewable energy provided 14% of US power in the first half of 2013, with hydro contributing just over half.  http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2013/08/renewable-energy-tops-14-of-us-electrical-generation-during-first-half-of-2013?cmpid=WNL-Wednesday-August28-2013
In 2012 27% of China’s energy was renewable.  http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2013/08/renewables-to-challenge-coal-in-china-as-power-sector-doubles-in-size?cmpid=WNL-Friday-August30-2013    Both countries are making gestures in the right direction, but neither is doing enough.  We must decarbonize.  The project of excusing ourselves by denigrating the efforts of the other country is mere self-defeat.

3.  Grist’s David Roberts has left a parting essay on the tussle between hope and despair regarding climate.  http://grist.org/climate-energy/hope-and-fellowship/  The article has a lagniappe—Roberts explaining global warming in a 17 minute TEDx talk.  He is embarking on a year’s sabbatical to write.

4.  Deep Green is a subsurface tidal power generator which operates in relatively low velocity currents.  Developers anticipate costs competitive with offshore wind.  The design will not be commercial for a few years.  http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2013/08/seeing-deep-green-with-low-velocity-tidal-power?cmpid=WNL-Wednesday-August28-2013

5.  A Nature Climate Change article reports that the oceans are changing ten times faster than at any earlier time in earth’s history.  Acidification will render heating more dangerous to some species.  http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/aug/25/rising-acid-levels-seas-endanger-marine-poertner  Acidification will also lead some organisms to emit less sulfur, which will reduce cloud cover, which will increase warming.  http://www.nature.com/news/rising-ocean-acidity-will-exacerbate-global-warming-1.13602

6.  Scripps researchers conclude in a Nature article that the oceans have been taking more than their normal share of heat in recent years due to a change in Pacific circulation which could persist for several years.  http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/aug/28/cooling-pacific-dampened-global-warming

7.  Carnegie Wave Energy of Perth intends to build a reverse osmosis desalination plant powered by waves.  The same design can be used to drive turbines for electrical power.  http://reneweconomy.com.au/2013/carnegie-to-develop-first-wave-powered-desalination-plant-81863

8.  The Guardian explains Representative Concentration Pathways, the emissions scenarios of the forthcoming IPCC report, which is now so leaky that we might as well learn how to read it.  http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2013/aug/30/climate-change-rcp-handy-summary
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