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J Lecture 10 - Fossil Fuels

J Lecture 10 - Fossil Fuels - The Fossil Fuel Dilemma 1...

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Unformatted text preview: The Fossil Fuel Dilemma 1. What's the dilemma? 2. What is the Kyoto Protocol? 3. What are possible solutions to the dilemma? CO2 is the major greenhouse gas. Fossil fuels contribute ~ 40% of all greenhouse gasses Global temperature is rising. Source: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2001 [a joint panel established by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)] The Fossil Fuel Dilemma Scientist agree that increased concentrations of greenhouse gases are part of the cause of global warming. CO2 and other greenhouse gases are a by-product of burning fossil fuels. Energy from fossil fuels is the base on which the world economy is built. The Fossil Fuel Dilemma Scientist agree that increased concentrations of greenhouse gases are part of the cause of global warming. CO2 and other greenhouse gases are a by-product of burning fossil fuels. Energy from fossil fuels is the base on which the world economy is built. 1992 - The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (Rio Earth Summit) goal: stabilize greenhouse gases and global warming gave the responsibility for the problem and clean-up bill to the countries that produce the most greenhouse gases called for industrialized countries to reduce emissions to 1990 levels by 2000 recognized that poor countries have a right to economic development, but promotes sustainable development CO2 Emissions in 1996 Problem: Greenhouse gas emission continued to rise despite the Convention on Climate Change. Most industrialized and developing countries increased their rates of greenhouse gas production. CO2 per person Most industrialized and developing countries increased their rates of greenhouse gas production. CO2 per person (Note: The US is the number one producer of greenhouse gases!) The Kyoto Protocol a 1997 United Nations treaty that entered into force February 16th, 2005 The objective of the Kyoto Protocol is to achieve "stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system." Annex 1 Countries=Developed Non-Annex 1 Countries=Undeveloped Annex 1 countries: Australia Belgium Canada France Italy Norway Russian Federation United Kingdom United States (32 others) New Zealand By 2008-2012, Annex I countries have to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by a collective average of 5% below their 1990 levels (for many countries, such as the EU member states, this corresponds to some 15% below their expected greenhouse gas emissions in 2008) Any Annex I country that fails to meet its Kyoto obligation will be penalized by having to submit 1.3 (30% less) emission allowances in a second commitment period for every ton of greenhouse gas emissions they exceed their cap in the first commitment period (i.e., 2008-2012 Any Annex 1 country that fails to meet its Kyoto target will be penalized by having its reduction targets decreased by 30% in the next period. As of June 2007, 175 parties have ratified the Protocol Ratification includes the process of adopting an international treaty by the legislature, a constitution, or another nationally binding document (such as an amendment to a constitution) by the agreement of multiple sub-national entities. The process of ratifying a constitution is most commonly observed in federations such as the United States or confederations such as the European Union. Have ratified Kyoto Have not ratified Kyoto Have ratified Kyoto Have not ratified Kyoto Annex 1 countries that have not ratified and the percentage of global CO2 they produce: United States (36%) Australia (2%) Liechtenstein (0%) Monaco (0%) Why won't the US sign the Kyoto Protocol? Average energy use per person "Reducing emissions will be expensive and will require people to change their lifestyles dramatically." Big changes are required to lower US greenhouse emissions. We would have to reduce greenhouse emissions by 24% to meet targets outlined in the Kyoto Protocol. With or without Kyoto, world energy demand is increasing with population growth. Potential Progress? Carbon Credits Carbon credits are measured in units of certified emission reductions (CERs). Each CER is equivalent to one ton of carbon dioxide reduction. India has emerged as a world leader in reduction of greenhouse gases by adopting Clean Development Mechanisms (CDMs). Developed countries that have exceeded Kyoto levels can either cut down emissions, or borrow or buy carbon credits from developing countries. In the US, businesses that cannot reduce their own emissions can purchase credits from those who sequester carbon through verified Offset Projects. A few farm organizations and not for profit groups have initiated collective efforts to aggregate sequestration called "carbon credits." Globally, a increasing number of carbon credit exchange groups are developing. Carbon Credit: the new commodity A new bill in the Senate Problems... The bill creates a system where polluters spend 'credits' for every ton of greenhouse gas they produce. If you want to pollute more, you need more credits. If companies buy their credits from the government, we'll have billions of dollars to invest in solar and wind energy. And by limiting the number of credits available, we can reduce greenhouse gases. But this bill gives most of the credits away for free to the biggest polluters1--who can sell them off for massive credits. This plan will be a huge windfall for corporations, and it won't solve global warming. But there is another reason why we might want to reduce our dependency on oil... Peak Oil Ultimate world crude-oil production curve based on initial reserves of 250 billion barrels, Hubbert 1956 After Peak Oil, according to the Hubbert Peak Theory, the rate of oil production on Earth will enter a terminal decline. Based on his theory, in a paper he presented to the American Petroleum Institute in 1956, Hubbert correctly predicted that production of oil from conventional sources would peak in the continental United States around 19651970 (actual peak was 1971). Hubbert further predicted a worldwide peak at "about half a century" from publication. Peak Oil "in a global crisis scale of 1 to 10 global climate change would be a 3 and peak oil would be a 12" - Matthew Simmons, a past energy consultant for President George W. Bush In 2004, 30 billion barrels of oil were consumed worldwide, while only eight billion barrels of new oil reserves were discovered. New discoveries of huge, easily exploitable oil fields are most likely a thing of the past. Ultimately, there are two basic ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reduce oil use: 1. Conservation use less fossil fuel 2. Innovation perfect renewable energy sources Transportation: Conservation Transportation is the source of 45 - 50% of CO2 emissions. Fuel efficiency has dropped in the last 10 years because of popularity of light trucks and SUVs. An average SUV generates 30% more CO2 and 75% more NO2 than an average car. People can choose to drive fuel efficient cars. Transportation: Conservation ($1.93) Most countries limit gasoline use with gasoline taxes. If people won't conserve, should we raise gasoline taxes? Transportation: Innovation Electric 0% gasoline CNG - Compressed Natural Gas LPG - Liquid Natural Gas E85 - Ethanol (from corn) Electric - existing power grid, fuel cells, solar Hybrids - Electric + gas A car that runs on just hydrogen and solar power has completed a journey through Australia - the first crossing of a continent for a car of this type. Priced under $10,000, the XEBRA is one of the only electric cars in production today. To find a dealer, visit www.zapworld.com. Electrical Energy: Conservation Electrical Energy: Innovation - Nuclear Nuclear countries with no plan to discontinue nuclear program Non-nuclear countries that have come out against nuclear power Nuclear countries that have decided to discontinue nuclear power Pros: efficient, lots of fuel, no greenhouse gases, relatively safe Cons: waste disposal, possibility of reactor meltdown, thermal pollution Electrical Energy: Innovation - Solar Solar panels can be added to conventional buildings, or buildings can be built with solar power as the main fuel source. Clean energy source, except for the storage batteries Electrical Energy: Innovation - Geothermal Geothermal sources can be used to heat buildings or to run turbines that generate electricity. Electrical Energy: Innovation - Biomass sawdust, rice husks, wheat straw, corn stalks, manure, etc. biomass burned as either solid or a gas cons: plant needs to be near supply source, gives off CO2 Electrical Energy: Innovation Inexpensive (.05 cents/KWh) No pollution (except batteries) With current technology, the US could supply 20% of total electricity needs with wind. ...
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