Bringing the developing world up to energy parity
- China’s level of CO2 emissions at ~6.4 tonnes/head/year for its 1.4 billion population overtook the world average in 2005 and now has overtaken most of Europe as well.
- neither India nor China made substantive commitments under the Paris climate accord until 2030, and then only to stabilise their CO2 emissions rather than reduce them.
- on the other hand the population of the underprivileged world, some 160 Nations and including India, ~53% of world population, have CO2 emissions of only ~1.7tonnes/head/year.
All the underdeveloped Nations will be pressing to advance their development by providing reliable electricity to their populace. To do so they will use the cheapest source of energy for electricity generation, so they will certainly be using their indigenous Coal reserves, whenever available.
Some trivial calculations derived from the BP sourced data above [i] [ii] show the outcome in terms of CO2 emissions of closing the disparity in energy poverty of the Rest of the World (~160 Nations) and including India, in total ~3.8 billion people.
- current global CO2 emissions amount to about 33.5 billion tonnes/year
- in the underdeveloped world the average CO2 emissions/head/year are ~1.7 tonnes/head/year.
- current global average CO2 emissions are 4.47 tonnes/head/year: this already exceeds the emissions level of France.
- the difference between the current global average and the developing world is ~2.77 tonnes/head/year.
- to reach parity with the current global average for the developing world and India 53% of the global population would add 2.77*3.8=~10.5 billion tonnes/year, or an additional ~31% from current CO2 emissions.
- by introducing Fracking technologies to replace coal-firing to the developing world these CO2 emissions levels could well be reduced significantly from this high figure.
Nothing should impede the improvement of the lot of people in the Developing world. They universally they should have access to a economic and reliable sources of electricity.
As the developing world will inevitably exploit their available Coal reserves for their own benefit, significant increases in CO2 emissions are inevitable.
Really effective CO2 emissions reduction
If CO2 emissions reduction were a necessity, it is worth noting that substantial success has been achieved but not stemming from the use of Weather Dependent Renewables.
When viewed cradle to grave, for infrastructure, manufacture, emplacement, grid connection and demolition, Weather Dependent Renewables do not seem to save much in terms of CO2 emissions overall. It is therefore questionable as to whether the effort to introduce Weather Dependent Renewables in Western economies has in fact reduced CO2 emissions to any worthwhile extent at all.
The actual achievements of Weather Dependent Renewables are:
- a substantial increase in the costs of electricity in much of the Western world and thus loss of industrial competitiveness
- a substantially increased risk of failure of the electrical grids in nations over committed to renewables.
- If the reduction of man-kind’s CO2 emissions was a good and effective objective to control climate, the USA and France have certainly lead the way.
Fracking in the USA
- since 2000 the USA has reduced its CO2 emissions of ~21tonnes/head/year to ~17tonnes/head/year: a reduction of some 25% from the recent high point in 2000.
- the larger part of this reduction has been achieved by burning Fracked Natural Gas for electricity generation rather than the use of coal. This is because Coal produces about twice the CO2 for the equivalent energy output as gas. In addition burning gas produces none of the ancillary real pollutants from coal burning, only “clean” CO2 and water.
- the notable reduction of CO2 emissions in the USA has been achieved in the private sector by the transfer from coal burning for electricity generation to using Fracked natural gas.
- in spite of all the support given by the Obama administration and earlier, Weather Dependent Renewables still have a comparatively low penetration in the USA when viewed amongst its other electricity generation technologies.
- USA Renewables amount to about 6% of installed capacity and thus still only fulfils about 3% of actual energy contributed
- no significant reduction in US CO2 emissions has been achieved by use of Weather Dependent Renewable Energy
- it can be estimated that this transition to gas-firing from coal for electricity generation in the USA has reduced CO2 emissions worldwide by more than any other single CO2 reduction policy
- the USA reduction since 2000 has amounted to ~4 tonnes/head/year equivalent to ~1.3 billion tonnes/year or some ~4% of current Global CO2 emissions.
- the transition from Coal to Fracked gas for electricity generation in the USA is still only half complete
- continued development of Gas-firing for electricity generation could reduce the USA CO2 emissions by a further 1.3 billion tonnes/year reducing USA emissions to ~13tonnes/head/year
CO2 emissions control in France
- the French have long since shown the way with their policy for nuclear energy for electricity generation over the last 40 years to tackle CO2 emissions.
- this policy has reduced France’s CO2 emissions ~2½ times in the last 40 years: from ~10.8 tonnes/head/year in 1974 to the current ~4.4 tonnes/head/year
- as a result France now has the lowest CO2 emissions/head/year in the developed world, the French CO2 emissions level is marginally lower even than current the worldwide average.
- the French CO2 emissions level is just 2 1/2 times that of the average for underdeveloped populations of India and the remainder of the underdeveloped world, ~53% of world population, averaging at about 1.7 tonnes/head/year.
- the current French regime under Macron intends to reduce its commitment to nuclear energy [iii] and to replace it with weather dependent Renewables. Not only is this absolute madness from the point of view of CO2 reduction but it also undermines one of France’s major industrial assets, its nuclear industry
- such a nuclear reduction policy would have the effects of reducing France’s generation reliability and increasing France’s CO2 output.
- it would reduce the security of reliable electricity supply throughout Europe by having no saleable surplus. Forward UK plans for energy transition rely heavily (up to 22% in their “Gone Green scenario) on the availability of power imports from France.
- the effectiveness of using Nuclear power for electricty generation at reducing French CO2 emissions also shows how inept the emotional “Green” decision was for Germany to reduce its nuclear fleet after the Fukushima tsunami and its replacement with a crash program of bulding coal/lignite power stations to compensate for their loss of base load generating capacity
As for fracking:
- a single Fracked well pad can produce as much energy as the output of some 50 130m tall wind turbines spread over an area of about 10 sqkms. Gas is continually available to be tapped whenever required. The 40 meter high temporary drilling and Fracking rig is in place for a few of months. The well head installation left on site is as intrusive as a large garden shed on a site of about 2 ha, that is about 1/500 of the area employed by equivalent wind power installations.
- this gas-fired energy supply can be produced profitably, (generating taxation) in the private sector without any government subsidy or government supportive regulation.
- as in the USA, UK and European Fracking would make a remarkable improvement to both national prosperity and the balance of payments in Europe as a whole.
- Putin has been giving substantial support to anti-Fracking Green activists in Europe because Fracking has the ability to eliminate his Russian gas exports.
- the gas is produced by Fracking, so much maligned by Green thinking, probably because it is not environmentally intrusive and because it actually works to reduce CO2 emissions.
For similar reasons Green thinking oppose Nuclear power as well.
The trivial facts outlined here question the validity of all Green dogma and thinking.
The Greens are patently on a wrong track in their view of saving the world.