NewEnergyNews: QUICK NEWS, December 11: U.S. Emissions Trending Down This Decade; 100% New Energy Movement Rolls On

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    Tuesday, December 11, 2018

    QUICK NEWS, December 11: U.S. Emissions Trending Down This Decade; 100% New Energy Movement Rolls On

    U.S. Emissions Trending Down This Decade U.S. Power Plant Emissions Down 45% Since 2010

    Lucas Davis, December 10, 2018 (U.C. Berkeley Hass Energy Institute)

    “…[T]he U.S. electric sector in 2010 was very different. Nearly twice as much power came from coal as from natural gas…U.S. power plants emitted 15 billion pounds of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and small particulates…Nitrogen oxides (NOx), small particulates (PM2.5), and carbon dioxide (CO2) are all way down [according to a new report]. But the decrease for sulfur dioxide (SO2) is stunning – down 75% since 2010. These pollutant reductions mean reduced asthma, heart disease, lung cancer, and a whole host of other significant benefits…[Economic] damages from the U.S. power sector have decreased since 2010 from $245 billion to $133 billion (in real 2014 dollars)…[That is a 46% decline, with 88% from reducing sulfur]…

    …[T]he aggregate gains are almost entirely due to lower damages from coal. Burning coal is about 18 times worse than burning natural gas in terms of local pollutants…[The damage reductions fall] into three categories…About 40% from the shift to cleaner plants, e.g., coal to natural gas…About 40% from emissions reductions at existing plants, e.g. scrubbers..About 20% from less fossil fuel generation overall, e.g. more renewables…[The report does not] causally disentangle how much of this transformation was due to cheap natural gas, versus policies like the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards or Renewable Portfolio Standards…[And damages] from the U.S. power sector are still enormous and, in virtually all cases we have still failed to put a “price” on emissions. Moreover, carbon dioxide emissions have not declined nearly as much…” click here for more

    100% New Energy Movement Rolls On The 100% renewable energy movement is unstoppable…This sets the stage for the debate to shift to what resources we will use to decarbonize, and how quickly we will move.

    Christian Roselund, December 6, 2018 (PV Magazine)

    “…[Cincinnati just became] the 100th municipality to either achieve 100% renewables in its electricity supply or to set a goal for 100%...[T]his is in addition to a 100% renewable energy mandate in Hawaii and California’s mandate for full decarbonization of electricity, with both setting a target date of 2045…Sierra Club estimates that 48.7 million people, or 15% of the U.S. population, live in cities or states that have set a 100% mandate. This is in addition to more than 34 million who live in Washington D.C. and four states that have pledged to reach at least 50% renewable energy by 2040 or sooner…[And] the 2018 mid-term elections brought to Congress a new group of Democratic politicians who have led a movement calling for the entire nation to move to 100% renewable energy by 2030…[Reaching just] 80% by 2030 could require an average of around 100 GW of combined wind and solar deployments each year for the next 10 years, or 5x the current level…

    [Now] the debate is likely to shift away from whether or not electricity will be decarbonized…[to] about when and how fast this will happen, as well as what resources will be included…[Xcel Energy Colorado plans] to move to 100% zero-carbon electricity by 2050…[but] Colorado Governor-elect Jared Polis is calling [100% renewables by 2040]…The nuclear industry and its advocates will fight tooth and nail to ensure that new mandates are not limited to renewables…[But nuclear technologies] currently commercially available cannot compete with large-scale solar and wind on cost…[There is also likely to] be an increased focus on changes in the transportation electrification]…” click here for more

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