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On 11 Wonktastic Charts that Will Help You Understand Climate Change

 

Growing Boreal forests (a lot of fungi rather than wood) don't really help us much as their declining albedo (shinyness) causes more warming than the carbon soaks up.  The key forests in terms of carbon are the equatorial ones (Brazil, Indonesia, Congo), when they burn (as Indonesia did late 90s) there is a huge CO2 release.  Protecting equatorial forests from deforestation and fire is a key climate battle

October 2, 2014    View Comment    

On 11 Wonktastic Charts that Will Help You Understand Climate Change

As an Australian, who might see the Barrier Reef bleached from heat or acid in my lifetime, it's fair to say you have a point.  But in terms of the land temperature its a small blessing, one of the negative feedbacks people often miss.  For many years saturation of both land and ocean sinks has been predicted but at this point the fertilsation of greater CO2 concentrations seems to trump that.

October 1, 2014    View Comment    

On Why China's Energy Consumption Will Keep Rising

Based on the population densities of major Chinese cities I'd have to say I'd be very suprised if China went the US route.  China's big cities are generally in the 5-15k people per square kilometre range.  This is actually a lot denser than big European cities which are more in the 3-5k range.  Whereas LA, NY and San Fran are closer to 2k.

Now obviously density isn't everything.  But given the rate of urbanisation in China I'd say this is a good marker to expect it to be more on the Europe/Japan path than on the US/Canada/Australia.

Loving the charts.  Very easy on the eye with the clean formatting

July 9, 2014    View Comment    

On It’s Not About Where Your Solar Panels Came From, It’s Where They Are Going That Counts

Kind of splitting hairs isn't it.  In high insolation you'll get 40g for Chinese panels, in low insolation maybe 80g.  That doesn't change this displacement so much, more the efficacy of the investment.  Also it invariably integrates better in sunny places due to better load matching with AC

June 16, 2014    View Comment    

On It’s Not About Where Your Solar Panels Came From, It’s Where They Are Going That Counts

Comparing baseload and intermittent is a problem. Perhaps less so at current penetrations but yes each is limited by its inherent intermittency.  The website Shrink That Footprint is my site.  I provide people interested in their own emissions with an unending pile of data, they can make up their own mind.  Personally I see the lack urgency surrounding climate action in the world as nothing short of remarkable.  The typos are my own sadly.  It was a speedy coversion of a different chart, hence the scaling error.  Anyone vaguely literate in the data knows is kg/kWh.  I've corrected the original.  All this aside I don't think it detracts from the value of the post

June 15, 2014    View Comment    

On It’s Not About Where Your Solar Panels Came From, It’s Where They Are Going That Counts

The grid stuff is based on national data, efficiencies vary a lot by age for all fossil fuel stuff as you can imagine.  For my generalisations in the text I'm talking about the average for coal and gas from a metastudy of lifecycle analyses.  You can always complicate matters.  These posts are generally written within a day so I can't get into doing too much original data, I find the best I can

June 15, 2014    View Comment    

On It’s Not About Where Your Solar Panels Came From, It’s Where They Are Going That Counts

The numbers I used are from the IPCC metastudy, so its the average of existing tech.  Also you are only looking at the combustion number.  Mine is for consumed electricity.  So it includes all the upstream fuel emissions plus the losses, typcially 6-8% on a decent grid.

June 14, 2014    View Comment    

On It’s Not About Where Your Solar Panels Came From, It’s Where They Are Going That Counts

 

I find it baffling that in California (which is probably the biggest US market?) they were still paying $5.48/watt as of Q4 2013.  Considering the installations average out above 5 kW someone must be making a killing on all the soft costs.  They really should be doing better.  The Germans are less than half than in the residential sector

http://www.californiasolarstatistics.ca.gov/reports/quarterly_cost_per_watt/

June 10, 2014    View Comment    

On What's the Greenest Car? An Extremely Short Guide to Vehicle Emissions

btw   If you want a rough idea I did a sensitivity in the old report on page 19 using three energy use scenarios from 170-270 Wh/km.

http://shrinkthatfootprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Shades-of-Green-Full-Report.pdf

Central thesis remains that its the juice that matters.  US gasonline is a touch more carbon intensive than the typical mineral figure I use as its something like a third unconventional

 

April 28, 2014    View Comment    

On What's the Greenest Car? An Extremely Short Guide to Vehicle Emissions

Nope.  Just vehicle emissions.  The US has been very standard at 1.5 people for a long time.  Obviously that varies a lot through vehicle classes

April 28, 2014    View Comment    

On What's the Greenest Car? An Extremely Short Guide to Vehicle Emissions

 

Yes, the static vs dynamic relationship really is a pickle.  It really does depend a lot on the grid profile and geography.  I've had a lot of old colleagues telling me this static look is actually very unkind to solar in terms of its dynamic effect on the grids.  The again, as you manage not to mention ;-), its more cut and dry on a hydro or nuclear dominant grid

April 28, 2014    View Comment    

On What's the Greenest Car? An Extremely Short Guide to Vehicle Emissions

 

Hey Jesse,  

These electric figures are indeed more representative of the compact range, I've used the LEAF as it has been LCAed a lot more.  But I've played with the RAV figure for example and it doesn't matter that much.  For the larger gasoline vehicles the manufacturing emissions tend not to blow out (at g CO2e/km) because they tend to have higher lifetime mileage.  The figures I've looked at were so flat in fact I tend to just stick with the 40 g CO2e for petrol manufacturing.  Lightweighting with aluminum ups the emodied to but improves the efficiency effect more.  

For EVs the size of the battery is probably more improtant than the energy use.  Because they are all quite heavy they seem to be much less diverse in energy use that petrol.  Which is an excellent reason why someone should try and make a competitor to the F-series if battery prices keep tumblinb.

But yes . . .  Its probably a nicer idea to cut this into four or five classes of vehicle.  Now that you have so many makes that do both EV and petrol you could easily do something a little more precise.  Someone with more time is more than welcome ;-)

 

 

April 28, 2014    View Comment