Energy & Resources Talking Points 02-03-2016

energy talking points

Study finds China reaches peak carbon emissions

China pledged to reach peak carbon emissions by the year 2030 at last years global climate change conference in Paris, however a new report has stated these claims as on the conservative side following an observable emission drop in 2015. The Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the London School of Economics implied that emissions would most likely continue to fall into the future, marking 2014 as the peak. However, emissions specialists in China have retorted that any dip would only be a temporary reaction to the economic slowdown that China has endured over the past year. US climate change envoy Todd Stern implied that if the emissions continue to fall, international pressure will turn to China and expect a target adjustment. Click here for the full article. 

Stresses on global water resources as a result of clean energy

A new study published in the journal Environmental Research Letters, as part of IIASA-led 2012 Global Energy Assessment, has highlighted implications on global water resources as a result of climate mitigation efforts. The study claimed that increased water usage and thermal water pollution would make up some of the negative repercussions. Systematically focussing on the specific drivers of water demand in the energy system, the study assessed multiple scenarios for an energy system that would be compatible with limiting global warming. The study noted that most of these future systems required increasingly unsustainable long-term water usage, a naturally counterproductive by-product. Aside from assessing the potential damage this could cause, it stressed the need for a comprehensive approach to climate change, one which combines integrated global analysis and energy efficiency targets, one that doesn’t compromise one sector for benefits in another. Click here for the full article.

Court orders Japanese reactor to shut down

Following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster the Japanese authorities are being more precautions on safety measures and have ordered a nuclear reactor near Kyoto to begin the process of shutting down the reactor and another to stay offline. The Kansai Electric Power company have been known to be having technical problems at the Takahama plant and could not satisfy the court that the correct safety measures have been implemented. The main cause for concern is the around the credibility of its safety measures and upgrades which have not been fully explained nor has its design been discussed to show how they have mitigated against issues such as loss of power and natural disasters (i.e. a tsunami). Kansai Electric plan to appeal the court order. Click here for the full article.

Integrating Renewable Energy into China’s Electricity Grid
Provinces like Jilin, Gansu, Xinjiang, are known to have advantageous levels of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar, however the grid lacks the ability to handle the supply (this inability to take up the energy produced and the level of waste is known as ‘curtailment’ rates). Last year 15% China’s wind energy and 9% of its solar energy was curtailed. Within Europe the rates are as low as 1% – 2 % which is a considerable difference. With China’s ambitious plans to move away from carbon to clean energy sources this challenge of ‘wasted’ energy needs to be addressed, this is why China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) have devised a ‘9 Point Work Plant’ to address the issues’. Click here for the full article.