Germany: Wind farms produce almost as much as nuclear power plants

November 7th 2007: It was a windy day and a black out day for nuclear power plants in Germany. Five of the 17 nuclear power plants in Germany had problems and had to be shut down. That day wind farms almost generated as much energy as the 12 remaining nuclear power plants did. According to ISET wind farms produced 275 million kwh and the nuclear power plants generated 340 million kwh and 840 kg of fuel assembly waste. I hope we will have more windy days — but not as windy as currently. Offenbar ein neuer Allzeitrekord! Da von den 17 deutschen Atomkraftwerken vier wegen ungeplanter Störungen (Biblis A, Biblis B, Brunsbüttel, Krümmel) und eines wegen geplanter Inspektion (Gundremmingen C) insgesamt fünf still stehen, haben die restlichen 12 AKW etwa 340 Millionen Kilowattstunden Atomstrom produziert und dabei rund 840 Kilo Brennelementmüll erzeugt, der erst in einer Million Jahren wieder auf eine nicht mehr tödliche Radioaktivitätsstärke abgeklungen sein wird.

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IEA: Global-warming gases set to rise by 57 percent by 2030

The International Energy Agency as published a study which explains that emissions of greenhouse gases will rise by 57 percent by 2030 compared to current levels (oh, and by the way, we are finally settled in Australia!)

AFP via yahoo!: The IPCC said that in order to limit the average increase in global temperatures to 2.4 C (4.3 F) — the most optimistic of any scenario — the concentration of greenhouse gases would have to stabilise at 450 parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere.

To achieve this goal, CO2 emissions would have to peak by 2015 at the latest, then fall by between 50 and 85 percent by 2050, the panel.

But the IEA’s World Energy Outlook report saw no peak in emissions before 2020.

To achieve the 450ppm target would mean that CO2 from energy sources would have to peak by 2012, which in turn would require a massive drive in energy efficiency and a switch to non-fossil fuels, the report said.

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Australia – here we come

I am currently in transition to Australia. So there is lots to do and I won’t have much time to blog. However I will keep on posting – only at a lower frequency.
Thank you,

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China: already CO2 champion? (21.06.2007)

China tops the US in greenhouse gas emissions, reports the New York Times.

New York Times: China has overtaken the United States as the top emitter of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, because of surging energy use in its economic boom, a Dutch environmental agency said. Other experts have estimated that China will not surpass the United States until as late as next year. “But whether it is 2006 or 2007 is not the key issue,” said Fatih Birol, chief economist of the International Energy Agency. “What is key is that China is becoming the world’s top carbon dioxide emitter.”

And here is another news on China: As glaciers melt and rivers dry up, coal-fired power stations multiply, the Guardian reports.

Guardian Unlimited: In the last six years, the Chinese coal industry, with reserves put at more than 1 trillion tonnes, has doubled production to more than 1.2bn tonnes a year. The country is now building 550 coal-fired power stations – opening at the equivalent of two a week – and in the five years to 2005, electricity generation rose 150%.

But while the Chinese economy has tripled in size in a decade, it has been at the expense of carbon dioxide emissions, which were yesterday put at more than 6.2bn tonnes in 2006, compared to nearly 5.8bn tonnes for the US.

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And the World Energy Award goes to… (20.06.2007)

For the first time the Swiss transatlantic21 association awarded innovative energy concepts and products in several categories. Read on in the Environmental Leader who has snapped up the awards.

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The race to develop cheap, efficient solar panels (15.06.2007)

Dow Jones reports on the race to develop cheap, efficient solar panels (thanks, Nicole!).

Dow Jones: Hampered by its high cost, solar power accounts for less than 1% of world-wide electricity generation. It costs 35 to 45 cents to produce a kilowatt hour of electricity from solar panels, compared with about three to five cents burning coal, according to the International Energy Agency. A different approach, known as concentrating solar power, uses huge arrays of mirrors or solar dishes to track the sun and collect its heat to make electricity. Yet even that costs nine to 12 cents to generate one kilowatt hour.

The European Photovoltaic Technology Platform even predicts in a new study, that solar power will be competitive with fossil power generation in Southern Europe by 2015 and in Europe by 2020.

>> Strategic Research Agenda (PDF)

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The weight of evidence (12.06.2007)

Good q&a piece by the New York Times. The question: “How do they weigh greenhouse gas emissions?”. The answer: follow the link.

New York Times: While it is possible to weigh a quantity of gas, by comparing the weight of an evacuated container to one filled at a known pressure, climate scientists do not rely on direct measurements. Instead, they use estimates based on the molecular weight of carbon dioxide; the weights of other greenhouse gases are converted to their greenhouse impact as compared with that of a ton of carbon dioxide.

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