Increased use of renewables results in growing GHG emission savings in the EU

Increased use of renewables results in growing GHG emission savings in the EU
Sectoral breakdown of GHG emission savings in the EU due to renewable energy 2012. Credit: © EU, 2015

Greenhouse gasses (GHG) emission savings due to final renewable energy consumption in electricity, cooling/heating and transport sectors rose at a compound annual growth rate of 8.8% from 2009 to 2012, confirming the renewables' great potential in climate change mitigation, according to a new JRC report. Nearly two thirds of the total savings came thanks to renewable energy development in Germany, Sweden, France, Italy and Spain.

The report assesses data on the use of , submitted by EU Member States every two years, as required by EU legislation on renewable energy. Thanks to its provisions, have already provided a strong overall contribution to the reduction of GHG emissions: the report estimates that in 2012, when total GHG emissions reached the equivalent of 4546 Mt CO?, the deployment of all renewables in the EU avoided the equivalent of 716 Mt CO? emissions. According to the report, the highest contribution by renewables in climate change mitigation in the EU in 2012 came from renewable , which covered 64% of the savings, due to high penetration of wind and solar power, followed by renewable heating and cooling (31%) and renewable transport (5%).

Background

The report Renewable energy in Europe for mitigation- Greenhouse gas emission savings due to renewable energy (2009-12) provides an overview of gas emission savings in the EU due to the use of renewable energy in three sectors: electricity, heating/cooling and transport. The assessment is based on data reported by EU Member States in their 2011 and 2013 progress reports, as required under Article 22(1)(k) of Directive 2009/28/EC on renewable energy. The Directive requires the EU to fulfil at least 20% of its total energy needs with renewables by 2020 - to be achieved through the attainment of individual national targets.

The JRC has released a set of reports analysing renewable energy progress based on member states' national renewable energy action plans (NREAPs) and progress reports submitted every two years to the European Commission. JRC scientists examined the status of burden sharing for the 2020 climate and energy targets, foreseeing a 20% reduction in emissions from 1990 levels, a shared increase of EU energy consumption produced from renewable resources to 20%, and 20% improvement in the EU's energy efficiency. In October 2014, EU leaders agreed on more ambitious goals for 2030 with a domestic emission reduction target of at least 40% below 1990 levels and increase of renewable energy share of at least 27% and an energy efficiency goal of at least 27%.


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Aug 07, 2015
Why do we have deniers? I am serious. Why do they want to deny this is happening?

Would they lie if they were scientists?

Is that it? Projection?

Aug 07, 2015
If you are serious, the answer is simple. They don't want to change their way of life. It's fundamentally hard for humans to give up comforts now so that other people in the future, or people they'll never see will lead better lives. Especially when it's so hard to definitively show that their current sacrifice will actually lead to those benefits.

So it's easier to keep hitting the snooze button and not get out of one's comfy bed, rather than face the reality that you're late for work. ie, it's easier to keep trying to poke holes in the argument of why we should be doing something than it is to actually just do that thing.

Aug 07, 2015
In this case, true deniers do it because they are cheapskates, and because the issue has been politicized. It is prejudice, not science which opposes AGW.

Aug 07, 2015
An interesting fact is that carbon dioxide represents only 0.04% of Earth's atmosphere.
https://en.wikipe...mosphere
https://en.wikipe...of_Earth

Aug 07, 2015
gkam - I believe the answer to your question is emotion coupled with delusion. When a person has an emotional investment in a subject, their brain handles that subject in a logic free zone. In a larger sense, as you may have seen recent scientific studies on, there may be a survival benefit for humans in the capacity for self delusion. Emotions and self delusion both require logic free brain space. The need for religious belief systems (emotional) and the belief systems themselves (delusional) take place in these zones. The need to deny established fact such as climate change (emotional) and the denial itself (delusional) is another example. There are other examples I'm sure. The self deluded will never recognize their true circumstance, since some level of psychosis is required for the ability to do this.

Aug 07, 2015
They deny this happening because their overall sanity depends on it. When your sanity depends on a delusion, your position is precarious. Like a religious belief system, the denial delusion is fragile, and so must be vigorously defended.

And so it follows that they would still delude themselves if they were scientists.

Aug 07, 2015
In this case, true deniers do it because they are cheapskates, and because the issue has been politicized. It is prejudice, not science which opposes AGW.
"Pope confirms AGW is faith system"
http://www.kevgil.../?p=8900

"Pope embraces AGW doctrine"
http://www.design...?p=24618

Now 'climate change' is more to creeds than to science.

Aug 07, 2015
No Willie, it is the world leader in another profession joining the ranks of the other scientists.

EWH
Aug 09, 2015
I wonder if they factored in the increase in coal use when the the Germans shut down their reactors? Certainly they aren't going to project the inevitable increase in emissions from having millions of African migrants to Europe consuming vastly more energy in their new countries. Encouraging such migration is inconsistent with environmentalism.

Renewables are not base-load, it requires lots of excess capacity in renewable generation and transmission compared with nukes. A few copies of new types of reactors can consume nearly all the waste of the others.

Nukes are the only viable way to reduce CO2 while maintaining energy output sufficient to grow the worldwide economy sufficiently to eradicate poverty. Anti-nuclear means either pro-CO2 or pro third-world poverty.

Aug 09, 2015
PV power is now selling below $0.04./kWh. The latest analysis of the Vogtle reactors is over $0.11/kWh, wholesale, because of construction and financing costs, which the taxpayers guaranteed for that company.

Aug 09, 2015
PV power is now selling below $0.04./kWh.
Backed by fossil fuels as baseload.
Levelized costs point out that wind and solar will continue more expensive than nuclear.
http://www.eia.go...tion.cfm
First, it should be for free without any environmental impact, now the reality is showing us the contrary; nuclear is more ecologically friendly.

Aug 09, 2015
"nuclear is more ecologically friendly."
-----------------------------

Really ? Got a way to store the high-level waste? Care to share it with the rest of Humanity?

How much will it cost to store and guard for the required 200,000 or so years? You can use minimum wage, if you want, and if you trust that nasty stuff to minimum competency.

Meanwhile, there aren't many folk living in the "ecologically friendly" Pripyat and Fukushima.

Aug 09, 2015
"ecologically friendly"
No slaughtering wind blades.
"Birds living in Chernobyl's shadow are adapting to the radiation, say scientists"
"A study published in the journal Functional Ecological has found evidence that wild animals in the zone are adapting to the ionising radiation, with some even showing increased levels of antioxidants and reduced DNA damage"
http://www.indepe...662.html

"Chernobyl's birds are adapting to ionising radiation"
"Previous studies of wildlife at Chernobyl showed that chronic radiation exposure depleted antioxidants and increased oxidative damage. We found the opposite – that antioxidant levels increased and oxidative stress decreased with increasing background radiation"
http://phys.org/n...ing.html

"Wildlife defies Chernobyl radiation"
http://pripyat.co...tion.htm

Aug 10, 2015
Really ? Got a way to store the high-level waste? Care to share it with the rest of Humanity? How much will it cost to store and guard for the required 200,000 or so years?

Oh look, it's this whack-a-mole business again. You really shouldn't be talking about denial and deniers.
http://phys.org/n...sts.html
DBD costs a few tens of millions of dollars per borehole.
A borehole could be drilled, filled and sealed in less than five years
DBD has limited environmental impact and does not require a huge site: the holes are a maximum 0.6m in diameter and can be positioned just a few tens of metres apart. Once a borehole is complete, all physical infrastructure on the surface can be removed.
There are -many- ways of disposing nuclear waste that would be good enough. You are just placing unreasonable demands
there aren't many folk living in the "ecologically friendly" Pripyat and Fukushima.

Out of fear rather than reason

Aug 10, 2015
While seismic activity might damage the containers within the borehole, fracture the surrounding rock and disrupt some of the nearest barriers in the borehole, it would still not destroy the isolation of the waste or make it possible for radioactivity to reach the surface or any ground water.


That's because the hole and the waste capsules are 5 km deep in the ground. It would take literally millions of years for stuff to leak up and reach the groundwater, and even then it's not any different from the stuff that seeps out of the surrounding rocks anyways.

Radioactive waste decays. The 200,000 year figure is an arbitrary number thrown up by gkam that doesn't mean anything. In reality, the most dangerous elements have decayed in about 1,000 years.


Aug 10, 2015
As for the GHG savings in the EU, here's one reason:

http://www.conbio...umpt.jpg

The major savings in heating CO2 output are mainly due to bioenergy, not "renewable energy" as a block category including solar and wind etc. The increasing electricity costs have made the demand for wood and pellets soar. The market for gas in general has also increased, reducing CO2 in a coal-dominated grid.

This also poses a problem: there's not a whole lot of room to expand because biomass production is a limited resource. Europe is running into the 1800's problem of burning more wood than they have forests.

Secondly, the CO2 savings in transportation come from ethanol being mixed into the fuel, and the ethanol is bought from places like Brazil - so the environmental damage is "outsourced" as well. It's simply moving pollution to a different smokestack for accounting purposes.

Aug 10, 2015
"Radioactive waste decays. The 200,000 year figure is an arbitrary number thrown up by gkam that doesn't mean anything. In reality, the most dangerous elements have decayed in about 1,000 years."
-------------------------------

Eikka is once again the phony expert. The number is not arbitrary. Ten half-lives are required for high-level radiation. The half-life of Pu239 is 24,000 years.


Aug 10, 2015
Eikka: "That's because the hole and the waste capsules are 5 km deep in the ground. It would take literally millions of years for stuff to leak up and reach the groundwater, and even then it's not any different from the stuff that seeps out of the surrounding rocks anyways."
-------------------------------
Nope. We already tried that, and it failed. We put nuclear waste in glass, remember that? When we buried it, we realized the impurities we just put in it form points of nucleation for the glasses. Crystallization begins at those points and continues until the glass is fractured. The dissolved and vaporized radioactive components are then carried by the convection plumes to the surface, where they are put into the air for us to breathe. It really happened.


Aug 10, 2015
"Harvard Business School Professor Joe Lassiter believes nuclear power is an essential ingredient.."
"..the next generation of nuclear power to combat the dual challenges of climate change and energy poverty (the lack of access to sufficient energy sources in developing countries)."
http://www.greent...wer-Plan

Aug 10, 2015
"Harvard Business School Professor"
------------------------------

Yup, a real technical expert. Has he heard of the costs of Chernobyl and Fukushima?

EWH
Aug 14, 2015
Fast neutron reactors or accelerator-driven fission reactors could consume the transuranic waste of regular reactors while producing energy from the waste. Molten thorium salt reactors achieve near 100% burnup, so very little waste. Coal power actually releases more radiation to the environment than do nukes, and also stuff like mercury which never decays.

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