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The Energy Transition

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Climate Change: Is Failure Now Inevitable?

September 22, 2014 by Robert Wilson
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Climate Change and Inevitability

If Copenhagen was the last chance to save the climate, as we were then told, then the climate has clearly not been saved. The burning of fossil fuels goes on, largely unabated. Yet, efforts to save the climate also continue unabated. Have we not failed already? Failure, of course, is one of degree.[read more]

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Reality Check: Germany Does Not Get Half of its Energy from Solar Panels

August 18, 2014 by Robert Wilson
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Germany and its Energy Sources

The rise of the Internet means that simple factual issues can be checked quicker than would have been believed possible a generation ago. The rise of social media means that facts are not checked, they are retweeted. Such is the case with renewable energy in Germany, where anything is to be believed.[read more]

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Which Countries Produce The Most Fossil Fuels?

July 30, 2014 by Robert Wilson

Countries and Fossil Fuels

Which country takes the most fossil fuels out of the ground? The answer to this question is relatively predictable: China. Today China is the world's biggest consumer of energy and the vast majority of that comes from burning coal mined in China itself.[read more]

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Why China's Energy Consumption Will Keep Rising

July 9, 2014 by Robert Wilson
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China Energy Consumption

 

In 1997, the Kyoto Protocol was signed. This was to usher in an era where the planet was to tackle climate change, and we were to see an energy transition from dirty, polluting fossil fuels to their low-carbon alternatives. Instead, here is what happened.[read more]

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America Versus China: The New Reality Of Global Energy

May 12, 2014 by Robert Wilson
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China and America and Global Energy

In 1999 the IEA predicted China's annual carbon dioxide emissions in the year 2020 would be 7,081 million tonnes. In the real world, i.e. not the one that exists in the spreadsheets of the IEA, China's carbon dioxide emissions had already reached 8,271 million tonnes by the year 2010.[read more]

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Biomass: The World's Biggest Provider Of Renewable Energy

April 23, 2014 by Robert Wilson
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Biomass and Renewables

If I asked you to think of renewable energy what comes to mind? I imagine it is skyscraper-sized wind turbines, solar panels on suburban roofs or massive hydro-electric dams. You probably do not think of burning wood or converting crops to liquid fuel to be used in cars.[read more]

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How Big Is The World's Biggest Solar Farm?

April 8, 2014 by Robert Wilson
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Solar Energy Farms and Space Needs

In the last few months we have seen both the world's largest solar bridge and the world's largest solar farm open. The bridge was opened in London, a city so famous for its fog that they named a fashion label after it. The farm was built in the middle of the Californian desert.[read more]

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Flying Without Fossil Fuels: The Need For High Energy Density

March 11, 2014 by Robert Wilson
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Energy Density and Fossil Fuels

There are few more remarkable machines than a Boeing 747. Four hundred people can be hurled half way across the planet with levels of comfort, efficiency and reliability that would have been deemed miraculous by those living a few centuries ago.[read more]

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Building China: The Role Of Cement In China's Rapid Development

March 5, 2014 by Robert Wilson
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China and Cement

China produced more cement in the last three years than was produced in the last one hundred years by the United States of America.[read more]

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Can You Make a Wind Turbine Without Fossil Fuels?

February 25, 2014 by Robert Wilson
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Wind Turbine Energy Cost

Various scenarios have been put forward showing that 100% renewable energy is achievable. Some of them even claim that it is achievable within two decades. The validity of these claim are easily tested by asking a simple question. Can you build a wind turbine without fossil fuels?[read more]

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Do Renewables Lower Energy Consumption?

February 18, 2014 by Robert Wilson
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Renewables and Energy Consumption

If a coal power plant is closed and replaced by a wind farm and that wind farm produces the same amount of electricity, what happens to energy consumption? Depending on the coal power plant, and how you define energy consumption it could do anything from stay the same to falling by a factor of three.[read more]

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Renewables Growth: Ignoring The Whole Equation

February 11, 2014 by Robert Wilson
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Renewables Growth

When discussing the growth of renewable energy there are two rather common mistakes. First, thinking that the capacity of a renewable power plant is directly comparable with that of a fossil fuel or nuclear power plant. Second, thinking that energy consumption and electricity consumption are the same thing.[read more]

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Germany's Energiewende Troubles Prove That Renewable Energy Has Failed. And Other Strange Ideas

February 4, 2014 by Robert Wilson
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Germany and the Energiewende

What has been obvious to me for a long time now appears to have become obvious to many others: Germany's energy policy is a confused mess. Germany's energy revolution is, in the words of New Scientist, "on the verge of collapse." And it was all rather predictable.[read more]

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The Four Men Who Caused The Majority Of Global Warming

January 28, 2014 by Robert Wilson
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Global Warming and Responsibility

The climate crisis of the 21st century has been caused largely by just four men, who between them invented machines responsible for the majority of the greenhouse gas emissions generated since the dawning of the industrial age.[read more]

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China's Per Capita CO2 Emissions Are Now Greater Than Europe's

January 22, 2014 by Robert Wilson
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China Per Capita Emissions

Last year China's per capita carbon dioxide emissions almost certainly overtook the European Union's, most likely for the first time in history, and, if current trends continue, by the end of the decade they will actually far exceed them.[read more]