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  •  Hmm, DoE sez German emissions declining (1+ / 0-)
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    Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center:  Fossil-Fuel CO2 Emissions from Germany

    Trends

    Fossil-fuel emissions of CO2 from unified Germany have declined 22.4% since 1990 to 215 million metric tons of carbon in 2008. The 2008 per capita emission estimate of 2.61 metric tons of carbon is comparable to early 1950s levels. Although the largest fraction of emissions (39.8%) is from burning of solid fuels, the use of coal has been in general decline since 1950, at which time 97.3% of the total emissions were from coal burning. Natural gas burning first contributed over 1% in 1968 and is now 22.3% of the total. The year 1991 marked the first year the United Nations published energy statistics for unified Germany. Through 1990 statistics were still published for the former German Democratic Republic (GDR) and Federal Republic of Germany (FRG). We have combined the statistics here to generate a continuous time series for unified Germany.

    Boden, T.A., G. Marland, and R.J. Andres. 2011. Global, Regional, and National Fossil-Fuel CO2 Emissions. Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy, Oak Ridge, Tenn., U.S.A. doi 10.3334/CDIAC/00001_V2011

    Got better data?

    "Who the hell is Grover Norquist, anyway?" - George H.W. Bush

    by rsmpdx on Wed May 01, 2013 at 10:33:49 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  That's a crazy comparison (1+ / 0-)
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      since the baseline includes all the tremendously inefficient east German industries that shut down upon unification.  Thus allowing Germany to look really, really good wrt meeting Kyoto standards, and that type of thing.

      But more relevant than what happened 20 years ago due to a historical anomaly is what happened LAST YEAR.

      Greenhouse gases rise as Germany burns coal

      Published: 26 Feb 13 07:05 CET | Print version

      Online: http://www.thelocal.de/...

      Germany saw increased emissions in greenhouse gases last year due to more coal and gas usage while the country seeks to develop its renewable energy sources, according to the Federal Environment Agency.

      For whatever it's worth, in the here and now the USA is doing a way better job than Germany of reducing greenhouse gas emissions
      •  Interesting and problematic, but (0+ / 0-)

        it's hard to read much into a one-year "trend".

        Also, this is happening in the context of Germany's commitment to phase out nuclear power.

        Germany, which has committed to phase out nuclear power, emitted the equivalent of around 931 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2012, or 14 million tonnes more than a year earlier, the agency said on Monday.

        "Who the hell is Grover Norquist, anyway?" - George H.W. Bush

        by rsmpdx on Thu May 02, 2013 at 08:43:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But it is really crazy in the context (0+ / 0-)

          that if Germany wasn't idiotically closing their nuclear power plants, they'd unambiguously still be reducing emissions.

          Then we wouldn't have to quibble about 1 or 2% upticks or declines from year to year had any significance.

          In any event, most projections show growth in the use of coal over the next several years.

          And even the Germans admit that getting solar and wind above 30 or 35% of electricity supply is an uncertain proposition.  So maybe the coal will be here to stay considerably longer than its alleged "bridge" role would indicate.

      •  that is also a false statement (0+ / 0-)

        the u.s. reductions are based on the economic advantage of fracking for natural gas.  Now that natural gas prices are back up we will see continued CO2 emission increases.

        Only a command economy approach will save us from our climate catastrophe.  And that is an iffy proposition, but the only one that I see.

        •  If anything, the uptick in NG prices will (0+ / 0-)

          spur on even more fracking.

          It was on the verge of not being economical in some places at the price trough of the last 2 or 3 years, but that "problem" is fading.

          So it is unlikely coal will rebound significantly.

          •  fracking doesn't drive down (0+ / 0-)

            CO2 emissions, natural gas prices do.

            utilities switched to natural gas from coal last year when natural gas was so far below parity price.  now the price has gone up a lot.

            •  Fracking has significantly driven (0+ / 0-)

              down US carbon dioxide emissions by making NG dirt cheap, causing a significant shift from coal to NG for electricity generation (per unit of electricity generated, NG only produces 1/2 as much emissions as coal).

              Unfortunately, the NG itself (well at least methane, usually it's major component) is a much more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, so if about 3 to 7% of the NG "leaks" during production the global climate change impact of the reduced coal use is totally offset.  There isn't any widely agreed upon data on leakage.

              That aside, how many coal plants have been re-commissioned/re-started now that NG has gone up a bit in price?  I personally have found no evidence of this, but you seem to know better.  (I'm talking about the USA, I realize that globally coal is in the midst of a huge boom).

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