Green energy accounted more than 30 % of global energy consumption 2023

Lauantai 18.5.2024 klo 16.25 - Mikko Nikinmaa

It is good news that renewable energy contributed more than 30 % of global energy last year. However, even though this milestone was reached, the global use of fossil fuels still increased. This is mainly because of the increased energy consumption in global South, and simultaneous droughts in, e.g., China, which have caused a decrease in hydroelectric power production that was compensated for by coal and oil burning. Without decreased hydroelectric power production, it is likely that energy production with no carbon dioxide emissions would have increased enough to cause a decrease in fossil fuel-based energy production. With marked building of wind and solar energy power stations, it is estimated that 2023 was the last year with an increase in fossil fuel use.

It is commonly stated that one cannot rely in wind and solar power, since the energy production is highly variable, and in many areas very unpredictable. However, in most cases a combination of wind and solar power is quite constant energy source: when it is cloudy and rainy, and little solar energy is gained, normally it is very windy with large energy production from wind mills; in contrast, when sun shines and solar energy production great, it is normally calm, and little wind energy becomes available. Thus, when both types of power stations are plentiful, variation in energy production is reduced. One can further decrease the variability by energy storage: when energy is cheaply produced by windmills, some of it can be used to pump water to storage sites, which can generate hydroelectric power when little wind power is available.

New ways of renewable energy production will become cheaper with their increased use, and it can be said that energy production using fossil fuels soon becomes markedly more expensive than using renewable sources. In this scenery, it is problematic that in many countries the conservative right has not realized that one should reduce fossil fuel use. For example, in Finland the conservative (Kokoomus-Perussuomalaiset) government has increased the fossil fuel use and support during the past year. Similarly, the US republicans seem to support the oil lobby. And it appears that the republican presidential candidate, Trump, is very much against wind energy.

It is kind of funny, everywhere conservatives say that they are the parties that care of economics. However, their present decisions are not in line of any economic thinking, but supporting energy production using means that are outdated, expensive, and cause environmental damage, which will become very expensive to remediate. I guess this shows mainly that they are hoping to get the golden days of childhood (which only exist in memories) back.

Kommentoi kirjoitusta. Avainsanat: renewable energy, wind power, solar power, fossil fuels

Good news for climate from US energy production despite Trump

Torstai 14.5.2020 klo 11.38 - Mikko Nikinmaa

When President Trump came to power, he vowed to make coal-based energy production stronger than previously. In general, he has supported the use of fossil fuels in energy production and withdrew USA from the Paris Climate Accord. Despite this, very good news are coming from the energy production sector in USA for the last months.

As a background for this the following must be stated. The federal government does not give any subsidies for energy production using renewable sources. Thus, energy companies buy needed energy from producers, who can deliver power most economically.

With this in mind, it is significant that in 2020 energy obtained using renewable sources (windmills, solar power, hydroelectric power) has exceeded coal-based energy production for 90 days already, as reported in a New York Times article today. This is all the more remarkable, as in 2019 the renewable energy production exceeded energy production using coal only in 38 days.

From this one can conclude that the coal era is rapidly coming to end, as energy is more expensive to produce using coal than using renewable resources.

Kommentoi kirjoitusta. Avainsanat: climate change, renewable energy, coal, fossil fuels

Incredible - Trump administration pulling out of the Paris Climate Treaty

Keskiviikko 31.5.2017 klo 20.33

Among the incredible things that the Trump administration has done probably the most amazing is that the administration is pullin out of the Paris Climate Treaty. It is amazing, because the future commercial profits will be made in clean tech and other environmentally friendly commercian solutions. While Trump talks about clean coal, even India, which has been very conservative in solutions of energy production, has decided to cancel building fourteen new coal power plants, because energy produced using solar panels is not only cleaner but also cheaper than coal energy. I wonder where Trump government is planning to sell the clean coal and any coal-related energy solutions, since no-one in the world is buying them?

Note that I have been saying Trump government and not USA throughout. It is because it seems that none of the forward-looking people and economic circles support the government in this silly out of 1960's decision. 

Kommentoi kirjoitusta. Avainsanat: climate change, fossil fuels, renewable energy

Climate of Hope

Tiistai 16.5.2017 klo 15.51 - Mikko Nikinmaa

I am just reading the book Climate of Hope by Michael Bloomberg and Carl Pope. In this age that we, on the one hand, have leaders like Trump and Putin, who live in 1960's and say that human actions have no effect on world climate, and actually advocate the increasing use of fossil fuels - like clean coal, and on the other hand, have pessimistic climate prophets stating that world's end is looming, it is refreshing  to read a book that is optimistic and tries to find solutions. It is naturally so that we first need the pessimistic prophets to wake us up, but if nothing further is given, people just get depressed and do nothing, since the world is ending soon anyway. But there is reason for optimism: so far all the environmental problems have been solved. The silent spring has never come, the acid rain and smogs in Europe and North America have stopped, and the ozone hole is filling up. Since there are solutions also for climate change, why not be optimistic. And further, the solutions are such that economic activity increases and jobs are generated. They will not be generated in coal mines, but in producing windmills, solar panels, wave energy power plants, batteries for electric cars etc. Trying to push jobs into coal plants does not function, because they cannot produce energy as economically as the renewable energy power plants. So, instead of thinking that nothing can be done any more, let's allow the sun to shine, and optimistically do our own climate actions where we can. The climate of hope - for a good tomorrow.

Kommentoi kirjoitusta. Avainsanat: climate change, renewable energy, fossil fuels