tirsdag 30. mai 2017

China's electricity transition

This blog post shows that the transition to wind and solar energy in China's electricity production has started.

China is the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases, and its inhabitants are suffering from air pollution caused by the burning of fossil fuels. China is determined to improve on these topics, and it is interesting to see how this has affected the country's electricity production. China publishes both its capacity and its production of electricity on the China Energy Portal. The portal is updated with data up to and including 2016. All plots in this blog post are based on data from that portal.

tirsdag 9. mai 2017

The Great Transition

This blog post comments on Lester Brown's book The Great Transition, Shifting from Fossil Fuels to Solar and Wind Energy.

I start with a micro-summary of Lester Brown's view on the alternatives to fossil fuels.

Lester Brown is skeptical about nuclear power, mainly due to cost, long planning and construction time to build new nuclear power plants, problems with nuclear waste, and the probability for accidents like those in Chernobyl in 1986 and Fukoshima in 2011. The share of nuclear power in the global electricity production has fallen from 18 percent in 1996 to 11 percent in 2013.

Lester Brown is also skeptical to increase the use of biomass for energy, mainly because cropland should be used for food production and because intact woods are important for biodiversity.

Lester Brown argues that wind and solar energy is the best alternative to fossil fuel energy. He presents many cases where solar or wind accounts for a significant share of the electricity production. Examples of such cases are wind in Denmark and wind and solar in Germany.

Based on what I have read in other sources I fully agree with Lester Brown's viewpoints on the alternatives to fossil fuels.