EU aims for net-zero emissions by 2050

This looks similar to New Zealand’s net-zero emissions by 2050 goal.

If they are going to reduce energy imports by 70% they will need to make significant progress towards alternative energy, if they don’t ramp up nuclear power.

Net-zero emissions a big goal but a long way out – 2050 is over thirty years away.

I wonder if they would be better having shorter term goals – five year and ten year targets – with realistic plans (that can be explained and sold to the public) to attain them.

 

12 Comments

  1. The Consultant

     /  December 11, 2018

    The EU does the talk…

    Emissions in the European Union grew by 1.5%, adding almost 50 Mt of CO2 [in 2017]

    The US does the walk:

    The biggest decline came from the United States, where emissions dropped by 0.5%, or 25 Mt, to 4 810 Mt of CO2

    And that’s on top of about 15 years of decline in CO2 emissions, which has brought them almost within reach of the 1990 emissions levels of Kyoto:

    Not bad for a nation that’s been a constant hate target for dumping that treaty (never having signed up in the first place due to 100% bi-partisan Senate opposition), and The Paris Accord and all the rest.

    • The Consultant

       /  December 11, 2018

      Meh – 15 10 years of decline in US CO2 emissions.

    • Ray

       /  December 11, 2018

      I see the latest climate jamboree involved 28000 people jetting in.
      Wonder just how much that raised the climate temp especially as they seem to have these every year now

  2. Pink David

     /  December 11, 2018

    “If they are going to reduce energy imports by 70% they will need to make significant progress towards alternative energy, if they don’t ramp up nuclear power.”

    They are progressively shutting down nuclear power.

    • Gezza

       /  December 11, 2018

      Yes, although this vid from TC the other day makes a good case against doing so

      • The Consultant

         /  December 11, 2018

        Yes – well I don’t see any need for nuclear in NZ – at least not for fifty years or so, and even that assumes we don’t go for a Zero Economic Growth path!!!

        But certainly the gap that exists when the wind is not blowing and the sun is not shining means that you have to have “spinning reserve” somewhere in the system, and if that’s not going to be nuclear then it’ll be coal or gas-fired power plants.

        Pumped hydro? For us and a few others….maybe…. It often surprises people to find out that the NZ hydro system is literally a bit shallow, as we found out in the early 1990’s with the South Island droughts, but which had long been known by NZ power engineers. That, at least as much as forecast economic growth, was why Huntly was built. So it’s not as great a backup for solar+wind as one might think.

        Batteries! Big batteries. HUGE batteries…. are what’s needed. But the prospects of having industrial scale batteries that can fill the backup role anytime in the next few decades is slim. Some interesting lab work with graphene, but scaling up to industrial size and industrial scale production has seen many a cool tech idea crash. And you can forget the South Australian Elon Musk battery – it’s job is basically temporary backup frequency control on the network when a power plant drops out. As one CEO said, it would run just one of his aluminium potlines in one plant for 3-4 hours.

        A smart power grid that treats every house battery (and Electric Vehicle battery) in the whole nation as a giant networked battery? Cool – but we’re decades away from having such a smart power grid and nobody can be sure (like 100% sure) that it would work as perfectly as it would need to anyway.

        Nope. Basically it’s nuclear+wind+solar if you want Zero CO2 emissions. And frankly, when you run the numbers and costs of any of these alternative or mixed scenarios for the developed world, the ambitious plans of the EU look nuts, although I see their little “out” in talking about nett CO2 emissions.

        And then there’s the Developing World. The IPCC’s last report (the energy future section that most journalists ignore) showed that Africa alone would add one USA-worth of electrical production/consumption every three years or so for the next thirty years. What are the odds that’s going to happen along the lines of the nuclear, solar+wInd, Smart Power Grid scenarios?

  3. Gezza

     /  December 11, 2018

    Speaking of net zero emissions we nearly accomplished that yesterday. He only posted late in the evening and apart from me nobody took any interest.

  4. Than

     /  December 11, 2018

    There is no particular reason to expect major advances in alternative energy. Incremental improvements sure, but the bottom line is that wind/solar/tidal power are all fundamentally limited. None of them provide power when we demand it, only randomly when nature chooses to provide it. So far nobody has suggested a plausible way to overcome this problem (and, no, batteries are not plausible).

    Unexpected breakthroughs are always possible, but we cannot plan around such an inherent limitation just being miraculously solved. We need to assume that alternative energy can only make up a small part of the power grid and take action accordingly.

  5. David

     /  December 11, 2018

    The EU dont walk the walk but escape scrutiny whereas the US does walk the walk but gets smacked for it.
    Good luck with France introducing any carbon taxes

  6. Alan Wilkinson

     /  December 11, 2018

    My God, Shaw emits fatuous drivel.

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