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The Great Transition:
Shifting from Fossil Fuels to
Solar and Wind Energy
A book by
Lester R. Brown
with Janet Larsen, J. ...
Contents
1) Changing Direction
2) The Rise and Fall of Oil
3) Closing Coal Plants
4) Nuclear Power in Decline
5) The Solar...
Changing Direction
The worldwide transition from fossil fuels to renewable
sources of energy is under way. As fossil fuel ...
Glimpses of the Energy Transition
• South Australia: Wind farms supply more
electricity than coal plants
• China: Water fo...
Global Annual Energy Growth, 2008-2013
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
Percent
EarthPolicyInstitute-www.earth-policy.org
Source: EP...
Drivers
• Economic: Cost of renewables falling
• Technological: Advances in PV, batteries
• Social: Growing opposition to ...
Climate Disruption
• Fossil fuel burning is
increasing carbon
dioxide (CO2) levels in
the atmosphere,
raising the earth’s
...
2° Safety Limit
• The international community agreed to limit
warming to 2°C (3.6°F) to prevent dangerous
climate change
•...
Stranded Assets
• To keep global warming to
2°C, most fossil fuels need
to stay in the ground
• Fossil energy companies
wi...
THE RISE AND FALL
OF OIL
Photo Credit: U.S. Coast Guard
The Rise and Fall of Oil
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
100
1965 1975 1985 1995 2005 2015
MillionBarrelsDaily
Source: BP
Wor...
0
5
10
15
20
25
1965 1975 1985 1995 2005 2015
MillionBarrelsPerDay
Source: EPI from EIA
EarthPolicyInstitute-www.earth-pol...
Natural Gas: A Bridge to Nowhere
• Horizontal drilling and
hydraulic fracturing
(“fracking”) have created
a U.S. oil and g...
CLOSING COAL PLANTS
Photo Credit: National Renewable
Energy Laboratory
World Electricity Profile, 2012
Coal
41%
Natural Gas
23%
Hydro
16% Nuclear
11%
Oil
5%
Wind
2% Biofuels and
Waste
1.9%
Sola...
Coal: Last Century’s Dirty Fuel
• Air pollution from
coal-burning leads to
heart and lung
diseases, early death
• Leading ...
Coal Plants Closing
• Lower natural gas prices,
air pollution regulations,
and local campaigns are
closing coal plants acr...
Peak Coal in China?
• China’s coal use:
– Exceeds the rest of the
world combined
– But fell in 2014 for the first
time in ...
India Coal Use Growing
• Indian government claims
to be doubling down on
coal, planning hundreds
of new plants
• How many ...
NUCLEAR POWER IN
DECLINE
Photo Credit: Sandia Science & Technology Park
Nuclear Power in Decline
• Global nuclear
generation peaked
in 2006
• Peaked in France
in 2005; United
States in 2010
• Nu...
Costly from Cradle…
• Unlike with wind and solar
power, building new nuclear
facilities has become more
expensive over tim...
…to Grave
• Costs rising for aging plants—
operation, maintenance, fuel
• Squeezed by cheap renewables
and natural gas, 5 ...
Fukushima Meltdown Hastens Decline
• 2011 earthquake/tsunami
crippled Fukushima plant,
leaked radiation
• All Japanese rea...
Low-Carbon, Low-Risk Energy
Building wind and solar power capacity is
quicker and more affordable than building
nuclear—wi...
THE SOLAR REVOLUTION
Photo Credit: Dennis Schroeder / NREL
The Solar Revolution
• Solar PV converts
sun’s energy into
electricity
• Fastest-growing
electricity source
worldwide
• > ...
Solar Beating the Grid
• In growing number of markets,
solar-generated electricity now
cheaper than grid average
• U.S. ut...
The Utility Death Spiral
• Spread of rooftop PV threatening traditional utility business
model
– Customers with PV buy les...
0
5,000
10,000
15,000
20,000
25,000
30,000
35,000
40,000
45,000
2000 2005 2010 2015
Megawatts
Source: EPI from BP, IEA-PVP...
PV Improving Access to Electricity
• For the 1.3 billion people without access to
electricity, PV is cheaper than building...
Concentrating Solar Power
• In CSP systems, mirrors
concentrate sunlight to
drive conventional steam
turbines or engines
•...
Solar Water Heaters
• Rooftop solar thermal collectors
heat water directly
• China dominates: enough
installed rooftop sys...
THE AGE OF WIND
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Drenaline
The Age of Wind
• Wind is abundant and
widespread
• Wind farms are easily
scalable, and
increasingly cheap
• Nearly 370,00...
World Wind Leaderboard
• In Spain, wind output now
exceeds that from coal
plants
• India targeting at least
60,000 MW by 2...
Wind Overtakes Nuclear in China
• Wind is now China’s
#3 electricity source
behind coal and hydro
• Wind’s lead over
nucle...
U.S. Wind Power
• China has greater installed
wind capacity, but U.S.
wind farms generate more
electricity
• Nine states g...
42.8
24.1
20.0
18.9
9.4
9.1
8.8
0 10 20 30 40 50
Denmark
Portugal
Spain
Ireland
United
Kingdom
Germany
Romania
Percent
Sou...
Wind-Powered Denmark
• In 1970s, began using electricity
taxes to pay for renewable
energy R&D
• Home to Vestas, world’s #...
TAPPING THE EARTH’S
HEAT
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons/Gretar
Ívarsson
Tapping the Earth’s Heat
• Geothermal
resources richest
in areas with high
tectonic activity
• Some 40 countries
with 860 ...
Iceland: Geothermal Powerhouse
• Space heating:
– In 1970, over 50% came from
burning oil, 43% from geothermal
– Today geo...
Geothermal Energy – Direct Use
• In China, geothermal
district heating rose 5-fold
in last decade
• Japan has 2,000 spas,
...
Geothermal Power
• Philippines’ goal is 3,300
MW by 2030
• Indonesia’s target is 10,000
MW by 2025
• Japan has enough
geot...
Photo credit: Grand Coulee, Farwestern / Gregg M.
Erickson via Wikimedia Commons
HYDROPOWER:
PAST AND FUTURE
Hydropower Worldwide
• Used in 150 countries
• Supplies 16% of the
world’s electricity
• Global capacity of
1 million MW
•...
• Industrialized country
rivers near dam
saturation
• Lower-income
countries still
expanding hydro
• Race is on to develop...
Large Hydropower: a Mixed Picture
Pros
• Abundant energy resource
• Renewable
• Dams can provide flood
control
• Can provi...
Three Gorges Dam
• Location: Yangtze River, China
• Online in 2003, complete in 2012
• Height: 600 feet
• Capacity: 22,500...
Hydropower in the United States
• Supplies 7% of all electricity
generation, 51% of
renewable generation
• Most in Pacific...
ACCELERATING THE
TRANSITION
Photo Credit: iStockPhoto / Joe Gough
Saving Energy Saves Money
• Investing in efficiency is less costly than
building new generating capacity
• Efficiency meas...
Policy Matters
• Artificially cheap fossil
fuels still heavily
subsidized
• Renewable feed-in
tariffs, tax credits, and
en...
Putting a Price on Carbon
• Can supercharge the transition by systematically pricing
carbon to better reflect fossil fuels...
Carbon Pricing in Action
Image Credit: World Bank
Carbon Tax Successes
• Ireland: set carbon tax on natural gas and oil
consumption in 2010; by 2013, emissions
had fallen s...
Fossil Fuel Divestment
• Campaign is encouraging
divestment from coal, oil, and
natural gas companies
• Rockefeller Brothe...
Green Power Purchasing
• > 600 entities generate or purchase enough
renewable electricity to meet 100% of their needs
in U...
Renewables Make Business Sense
• Apple’s 25-year, $850 million solar power purchase
agreement with First Solar to supply C...
Billionaires Betting Big on Renewables
Photo Credit: Todd Spink
• Warren Buffett
– $15 billion invested in solar
and wind ...
New Energy Economy
• Each country can
take advantage of its
unique mix of
renewable resources
• Developing countries
may b...
The Future of Energy
• Unlike fossil fuels,
energy from the
wind and the sun
– is clean
– is inexhaustible
– the costs are...
Energy Independence
• Rooftop solar panels power homes and
recharge car batteries, delivering a degree
of personal energy ...
Our Clean Energy Future
The energy transition will change not only how we view
the world but also how we view ourselves. C...
To learn more about the energy
transition…
read The Great Transition:
Shifting from Fossil Fuels to
Solar and Wind Energy
...
Summary Presentation for The Great Transition: Shifting from Fossil Fuels to Solar and Wind Energy
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Summary Presentation for The Great Transition: Shifting from Fossil Fuels to Solar and Wind Energy

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The energy transition is here. As fossil fuel resources shrink, as air pollution worsens, and as concerns about climate instability cast a shadow over the future of coal, oil, and natural gas, a new world energy economy is emerging. The old economy, fueled largely by coal and oil, is being replaced with one powered by solar and wind energy.

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Summary Presentation for The Great Transition: Shifting from Fossil Fuels to Solar and Wind Energy

  1. 1. The Great Transition: Shifting from Fossil Fuels to Solar and Wind Energy A book by Lester R. Brown with Janet Larsen, J. Matthew Roney, and Emily E. Adams A presentation for
  2. 2. Contents 1) Changing Direction 2) The Rise and Fall of Oil 3) Closing Coal Plants 4) Nuclear Power in Decline 5) The Solar Revolution 6) The Age of Wind 7) Tapping the Earth’s Heat 8) Hydropower: Past and Future 9) Accelerating the Transition
  3. 3. Changing Direction The worldwide transition from fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy is under way. As fossil fuel resources shrink, as air pollution worsens, and as concerns about climate instability cast a shadow over the future of coal, oil, and natural gas, a new world energy economy is emerging. The old economy, fueled largely by coal and oil, is being replaced with one powered by solar and wind energy. – Chapter 1, The Great Transition
  4. 4. Glimpses of the Energy Transition • South Australia: Wind farms supply more electricity than coal plants • China: Water for 170 million households is heated by rooftop solar water heaters • United Kingdom: For several days in August 2014, wind electricity eclipsed that from coal • Spain: Wind is close to overtaking nuclear power as the leading source of electricity
  5. 5. Global Annual Energy Growth, 2008-2013 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 Percent EarthPolicyInstitute-www.earth-policy.org Source: EPI from BP, EIA, and REN21
  6. 6. Drivers • Economic: Cost of renewables falling • Technological: Advances in PV, batteries • Social: Growing opposition to coal and nuclear power • Geological: Remaining fossil fuels harder to access and more costly • Climatic: Carbon emissions destabilizing the climate, threatening civilization
  7. 7. Climate Disruption • Fossil fuel burning is increasing carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the atmosphere, raising the earth’s temperature • Continued heavy fossil fuel reliance could raise the global temperature up to 6°C (nearly 11°F) by 2100 260 280 300 320 340 360 380 400 13.4 13.6 13.8 14.0 14.2 14.4 14.6 14.8 1880 1900 1920 1940 1960 1980 2000 AtmosphericCO2(ppm) Temperature(degreesCelsius) Source: NASA GISS; NOAA ESRL; Worldwatch Average Global Temperature and Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Concentration, 1880-2014 Temperature CO2 Earth Policy Institute - www.earth-policy.org
  8. 8. 2° Safety Limit • The international community agreed to limit warming to 2°C (3.6°F) to prevent dangerous climate change • Higher temperatures: – Melt ice sheets and glaciers – Raise sea level – Increase drought in some areas – Intensify rainfall in others – Cause more-destructive storms Photo Credit: Nomadic Lass (Flickr: Columbia Glacier)
  9. 9. Stranded Assets • To keep global warming to 2°C, most fossil fuels need to stay in the ground • Fossil energy companies will likely lose value • Related infrastructure may also become stranded – Power plants – Coal mines – Pipelines – Coal handling and storage facilities Photo credit: Emily Adams
  10. 10. THE RISE AND FALL OF OIL Photo Credit: U.S. Coast Guard
  11. 11. The Rise and Fall of Oil 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 1965 1975 1985 1995 2005 2015 MillionBarrelsDaily Source: BP World Oil Consumption, 1965-2013 EarthPolicyInstitute-www.earth-policy.org • Worldwide oil use continues to grow • But “easy oil” is getting tapped out • In some countries, like the United States and Japan, oil use has peaked and is on the decline
  12. 12. 0 5 10 15 20 25 1965 1975 1985 1995 2005 2015 MillionBarrelsPerDay Source: EPI from EIA EarthPolicyInstitute-www.earth-policy.org Consumption Production U.S. Oil Use Down • U.S. #1 consumer • U.S. oil use fell 8.5% from 2005 to 2014 – People driving less – Better vehicle efficiency – Public transit expanding – Culture change: young people no longer prioritizing cars – Car sharing and bike sharing spreading U.S. Oil Consumption and Production, 1965-2014
  13. 13. Natural Gas: A Bridge to Nowhere • Horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) have created a U.S. oil and gas boom • Methane leaks along the supply chain mean gas may be more climate disrupting than coal • Other concerns: wasted investment in short-term infrastructure; water and air pollution; earthquakes Photo Credit: Bilfinger SE/U.S. Department of Energy
  14. 14. CLOSING COAL PLANTS Photo Credit: National Renewable Energy Laboratory
  15. 15. World Electricity Profile, 2012 Coal 41% Natural Gas 23% Hydro 16% Nuclear 11% Oil 5% Wind 2% Biofuels and Waste 1.9% Solar 0.4% Geothermal 0.3% EarthPolicyInstitute-www.earth-policy.org Source: OECD
  16. 16. Coal: Last Century’s Dirty Fuel • Air pollution from coal-burning leads to heart and lung diseases, early death • Leading source of CO2 emissions • Coal-fired power plants require large amounts of water 0 500 1,000 1,500 2,000 2,500 3,000 3,500 4,000 4,500 1965 1975 1985 1995 2005 2015 MillionTonsOilEquivalent Source: BP World Coal Consumption, 1965-2013 EarthPolicyInstitute-www.earth-policy.org
  17. 17. Coal Plants Closing • Lower natural gas prices, air pollution regulations, and local campaigns are closing coal plants across the United States • Of the 523 U.S. coal-fired power plants, 188 have recently closed or plan to close • Australia, Canada, and many E.U. countries have also passed peak coal Coal Consumption in the United States, 1965-2014 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 1965 1975 1985 1995 2005 2015 MillionTonsOilEquivalent Source: EIA EarthPolicyInstitute-www.earth-policy.org
  18. 18. Peak Coal in China? • China’s coal use: – Exceeds the rest of the world combined – But fell in 2014 for the first time in recent history • Peak coal is near: – Air pollution concerns – Environmental regulations – Wind and solar booming – Improving efficiency – Slowing economic growth – U.S.-China climate agreement 0 200 400 600 800 1,000 1,200 1,400 1,600 1,800 2,000 1965 1975 1985 1995 2005 2015 MillionTonsOilEquivalent Source: BP; NBS Coal Consumption in China, 1965-2014 EarthPolicyInstitute-www.earth-policy.org
  19. 19. India Coal Use Growing • Indian government claims to be doubling down on coal, planning hundreds of new plants • How many will be built remains to be seen – Urban air pollution worse than in China – Local opposition to coal – Taxes on coal doubled, partly funding solar development – Solar costs undercut the grid in much of the country 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 1965 1975 1985 1995 2005 2015 MillionTonsOilEquivalent Source: BP Coal Consumption in India, 1965-2013 EarthPolicyInstitute-www.earth-policy.org
  20. 20. NUCLEAR POWER IN DECLINE Photo Credit: Sandia Science & Technology Park
  21. 21. Nuclear Power in Decline • Global nuclear generation peaked in 2006 • Peaked in France in 2005; United States in 2010 • Number of operating reactors dropped from high of 438 in 2002 to 390 as of end-2014 0 500 1,000 1,500 2,000 2,500 3,000 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2020 Terawatt-hours Source: EPI from BP, IAEA/Chabot World Electricity Generation from Nuclear Power Plants, 1970-2014 EarthPolicyInstitute-www.earth-policy.org
  22. 22. Costly from Cradle… • Unlike with wind and solar power, building new nuclear facilities has become more expensive over time • Construction delays and cost overruns are typical features of nuclear projects • Of 66 reactors under construction in mid-2014, 49 were behind schedule, including all 5 in the United States and 20 of 27 in China Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons/ Tennessee Valley Authority
  23. 23. …to Grave • Costs rising for aging plants— operation, maintenance, fuel • Squeezed by cheap renewables and natural gas, 5 U.S. reactors have retired early since 2013 • Closing is costly: ~$4.4 billion for two California reactors; $130 billion for 4-reactor U.K. site with legacy of weapons-grade plutonium • Nuclear waste disposal problem remains unresolved Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons/awnisALAN
  24. 24. Fukushima Meltdown Hastens Decline • 2011 earthquake/tsunami crippled Fukushima plant, leaked radiation • All Japanese reactors eventually off-line; no nuclear generation since mid-2013, as of early 2015 • Germany, Switzerland, Belgium announced nuclear phase-outs • France cutting nuclear reliance from 75% of electricity to 50% by 2025 Data provided by: Mycle Schneider Consulting www.worldnuclearreport.org
  25. 25. Low-Carbon, Low-Risk Energy Building wind and solar power capacity is quicker and more affordable than building nuclear—without the financial, environmental, and health risks associated with atomic power Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons/ILIOTEC Solar GmbH; Iberdrola Renewables Inc.
  26. 26. THE SOLAR REVOLUTION Photo Credit: Dennis Schroeder / NREL
  27. 27. The Solar Revolution • Solar PV converts sun’s energy into electricity • Fastest-growing electricity source worldwide • > 50% annual growth 2008–2013 • Can scale up from small rooftop systems to massive utility-scale arrays 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 2000 2005 2010 2015Terawatt-hours Source: BP EarthPolicyInstitute-www.earth-policy.org World Solar-Generated Electricity, 2000-2013
  28. 28. Solar Beating the Grid • In growing number of markets, solar-generated electricity now cheaper than grid average • U.S. utility-scale PV system costs down ~80% since 2009 • Globally, solar panels cost over $74/watt in 1972 • Mid-2014 price: below 70¢/watt • Innovation and policy drove remarkable price decline Image Credit: Lazard Levelized Cost of Energy for Utility-scale Solar PV Systems in the United States, 2009-2014
  29. 29. The Utility Death Spiral • Spread of rooftop PV threatening traditional utility business model – Customers with PV buy less electricity from utility – More PV electricity on grid drives down power prices – Utility forced to raise rates, more people go solar • RWE and E.ON, Germany’s two largest utilities, caught off- guard – Did not anticipate fast rise of solar and wind – Overinvested in fossil fuel and nuclear generation – Now reinventing themselves to survive in new energy landscape
  30. 30. 0 5,000 10,000 15,000 20,000 25,000 30,000 35,000 40,000 45,000 2000 2005 2010 2015 Megawatts Source: EPI from BP, IEA-PVPS Germany Japan U.S. Italy EarthPolicyInstitute-www.earth-policy.org China Solar Goals Expanding • Chinese goal for 2020 was 20,000 MW of PV; then 50,000; now it’s 70,000 MW by 2017 • India was aiming for 22,000 MW by 2022; government indicates new target will be 100,000 MW Cumulative Installed Solar Photovoltaics Capacity in Leading Countries, 2000-2014
  31. 31. PV Improving Access to Electricity • For the 1.3 billion people without access to electricity, PV is cheaper than building centralized power systems • India: – Replacing polluting kerosene lamps with PV charging for CFL or LED lamps and a cell phone: 1) lowers monthly outlays, and 2) pays for itself in ~3 years • Bangladesh: – As of 2014, with World Bank help, over 70,000 solar home systems were being installed each month
  32. 32. Concentrating Solar Power • In CSP systems, mirrors concentrate sunlight to drive conventional steam turbines or engines • By mid-2014, world had 4,100 MW of CSP, mostly in Spain and the U.S. • Thermal storage in molten salts allows for generation after sundown Photo Credit: Sandia National Laboratories
  33. 33. Solar Water Heaters • Rooftop solar thermal collectors heat water directly • China dominates: enough installed rooftop systems to supply 170 million households • Used in some 85% of Israeli homes • Also popular in Europe (e.g. Germany and Austria) Photo Credit: www.davidlearnschinese.com
  34. 34. THE AGE OF WIND Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Drenaline
  35. 35. The Age of Wind • Wind is abundant and widespread • Wind farms are easily scalable, and increasingly cheap • Nearly 370,000 MW installed in some 90 countries produce enough electricity to power 90 million U.S. homes 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 2015 Terawatt-hours Source: BP World Wind-Generated Electricity, 1985-2013 EarthPolicyInstitute-www.earth-policy.org
  36. 36. World Wind Leaderboard • In Spain, wind output now exceeds that from coal plants • India targeting at least 60,000 MW by 2022 • Offshore installations expanding; half the world’s capacity in the U.K • Development heating up in Latin America Cumulative Installed Wind Power Capacity in Leading Countries, 1995-2014 0 15,000 30,000 45,000 60,000 75,000 90,000 105,000 120,000 135,000 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 2015 2020 Megawatts Source: EPI from GWEC, Worldwatch, CREIA, EWEA, BWEA United States Germany Spain China India EarthPolicyInstitute-www.earth-policy.org United Kingdom
  37. 37. Wind Overtakes Nuclear in China • Wind is now China’s #3 electricity source behind coal and hydro • Wind’s lead over nuclear will grow – Much quicker to build – No water constraints – Wind potential could meet current electricity demand 10 times over – Goal = 200 gigawatts of wind capacity by 2020 Wind- and Nuclear-generated Electricity in China, 1995-2014 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 1995 2000 2005 2010 2015 Terawatt-hours Source: EPI from BP, NEA, CNEA Nuclear Wind EarthPolicyInstitute-www.earth-policy.org
  38. 38. U.S. Wind Power • China has greater installed wind capacity, but U.S. wind farms generate more electricity • Nine states generate >12% of electricity from wind • In Iowa and South Dakota, the share exceeds 25% • If Texas were a country, it would rank sixth in installed wind power capacity 0 10,000 20,000 30,000 40,000 50,000 60,000 70,000 80,000 90,000 100,000 110,000 120,000 130,000 Megawatts Cumulative Installed Wind Power Capacity in Leading Countries and Texas, 2014 EarthPolicyInstitute-www.earth-policy.org Source: EPI from GWEC, AWEA
  39. 39. 42.8 24.1 20.0 18.9 9.4 9.1 8.8 0 10 20 30 40 50 Denmark Portugal Spain Ireland United Kingdom Germany Romania Percent Source: Compiled by EPI from Energinet.dk; REN; REE; EirGrid; DECC; BDEW; Transelectrica EarthPolicyInstitute-www.earth-policy.org More Wind on the Grid • European countries dominate in the share of electricity generated from wind farms • Four German states get more than 50% of their electricity from wind • On some days wind power exceeds half of Ireland’s electricity generation Wind Share of Electricity Generation in Leading Countries, 2014
  40. 40. Wind-Powered Denmark • In 1970s, began using electricity taxes to pay for renewable energy R&D • Home to Vestas, world’s #1 wind turbine installer • Got 62% of its electricity from wind in January 2014 • For 2014 as a whole: 40% • By 2016, new wind farms will supply electricity at half the cost of new coal or gas plants • Goal is 50% wind by 2020 Photo Credit: Dirk Ingo Franke
  41. 41. TAPPING THE EARTH’S HEAT Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons/Gretar Ívarsson
  42. 42. Tapping the Earth’s Heat • Geothermal resources richest in areas with high tectonic activity • Some 40 countries with 860 million people could meet all their electricity needs with geothermal energy Image Credit: NOAA mod. USGS/Topinka
  43. 43. Iceland: Geothermal Powerhouse • Space heating: – In 1970, over 50% came from burning oil, 43% from geothermal – Today geothermal heat covers close to 90% • Other direct uses: – Swimming/bathing, fish farming, greenhouse heating, snow melting • Electricity: – 29% of electricity from geothermal, more than any other country – Cheap electricity from geothermal and hydropower allowed Iceland to become a leading aluminum producer Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Bloody-libu
  44. 44. Geothermal Energy – Direct Use • In China, geothermal district heating rose 5-fold in last decade • Japan has 2,000 spas, 5,000 bathhouses, and 15,000 hotels using nature’s hot water • Ball State University in Indiana expects geothermal heating and cooling to save the school 33,000 tons of coal and $2 million per year 0 2,000 4,000 6,000 8,000 China Turkey Iceland Japan India Italy United States Hungary New Zealand Brazil Megawatts Installed Direct-Use Geothermal Capacity in Leading Countries, 2014 EarthPolicyInstitute-www.earth-policy.org Source: EPI from Lund
  45. 45. Geothermal Power • Philippines’ goal is 3,300 MW by 2030 • Indonesia’s target is 10,000 MW by 2025 • Japan has enough geothermal power potential to meet over half its electricity needs • Enhanced Geothermal Systems technology could lead to some 500,000 MW of geothermal power in the United States 0 1,000 2,000 3,000 4,000 United States Philippines Indonesia Italy New Zealand Mexico Iceland Japan Kenya Turkey Costa Rica El Salvador Nicaragua Megawatts Source: BP EarthPolicyInstitute-www.earth-policy.org Geothermal Electricity-Generating Capacity in Leading Countries, 2013
  46. 46. Photo credit: Grand Coulee, Farwestern / Gregg M. Erickson via Wikimedia Commons HYDROPOWER: PAST AND FUTURE
  47. 47. Hydropower Worldwide • Used in 150 countries • Supplies 16% of the world’s electricity • Global capacity of 1 million MW • Of the world’s 45,000 large dams, 8,600 generate electricity • Pumped storage 0 500 1,000 1,500 2,000 2,500 3,000 3,500 4,000 1965 1975 1985 1995 2005 2015 Terawatt-hours Source: BP, IEA EarthPolicyInstitute-www.earth-policy.org World Hydroelectric Generation, 1965-2013
  48. 48. • Industrialized country rivers near dam saturation • Lower-income countries still expanding hydro • Race is on to develop remaining hydropower frontiers, including the powerful Congo River and rivers originating in the Himalayas 0 200 400 600 800 1,000 China Canada Brazil United States Russia India Norway Venezuela Japan France Terawatt-hours Source: BP EarthPolicyInstitute-www.earth-policy.org Hydropower Development Hydroelectric Generation in Leading Countries, 2013
  49. 49. Large Hydropower: a Mixed Picture Pros • Abundant energy resource • Renewable • Dams can provide flood control • Can provide irrigation water • Can provide continuous baseload power or quickly ramp on or off Cons • Flooding displaces people, plants, and animals • Weakens river resilience • Traps sediment, shrinking downstream lakes and wetlands • Impedes the movement of fish and other creatures • Reservoirs emit climate- disrupting methane gas • Power distribution required • Expensive: typically >2x original cost estimate, per Oxford study • Long build time; opportunity cost
  50. 50. Three Gorges Dam • Location: Yangtze River, China • Online in 2003, complete in 2012 • Height: 600 feet • Capacity: 22,500 MW • Annual output: 83 million megawatt-hours – Equivalent to 45 million tons of coal, 12 nuclear reactors • Flooded 244 square miles and displaced 1.4 million people • Total cost could reach $88 billion Photo Credit: Le Grand Portage derivative work: Rehman via Wikimedia Commons
  51. 51. Hydropower in the United States • Supplies 7% of all electricity generation, 51% of renewable generation • Most in Pacific Northwest • Fewer than 3% of the 80,000 U.S. dams generate electricity • Over the last quarter century, nearly 900 U.S. dams have been removed • Powering unequipped dams could ramp up generation Photo credit: Clubber Lang via Flickr
  52. 52. ACCELERATING THE TRANSITION Photo Credit: iStockPhoto / Joe Gough
  53. 53. Saving Energy Saves Money • Investing in efficiency is less costly than building new generating capacity • Efficiency measures by 11 industrial countries since the 1970s saved $740 billion in avoided energy costs in 2011 alone • A systemic switch from incandescent bulbs to efficient lighting solutions worldwide could allow closure of some 270 coal-fired power plants • Japan’s Top Runner Program is a model for ratcheting up efficiency standards on lighting, electronics, vehicles, and more
  54. 54. Policy Matters • Artificially cheap fossil fuels still heavily subsidized • Renewable feed-in tariffs, tax credits, and energy mandates help level playing field • Unpredictable policy environment has led to boom-bust cycle in U.S. wind industry Net Annual Installed Wind Power Capacity Additions in the United States, 1998-2014 0 2,000 4,000 6,000 8,000 10,000 12,000 14,000 1998 2001 2004 2007 2010 2013 Megawatts Source: EPI from Worldwatch, DOE, AWEA Production Tax Credit Lapses EarthPolicyInstitute-www.earth-policy.org
  55. 55. Putting a Price on Carbon • Can supercharge the transition by systematically pricing carbon to better reflect fossil fuels’ true social and environmental costs • Cap-and-Trade – Regulators set a limit on emissions and polluters can either reduce their emissions or buy permits on the carbon market – EU had first international Emissions Trading System (ETS) • Carbon Tax – Tax levied on each ton of carbon dioxide emitted – Far simpler than cap-and-trade – Potentially revenue-neutral – can be offset by reductions in income taxes
  56. 56. Carbon Pricing in Action Image Credit: World Bank
  57. 57. Carbon Tax Successes • Ireland: set carbon tax on natural gas and oil consumption in 2010; by 2013, emissions had fallen some 6% while economy grew • British Columbia: set economy-wide carbon tax in 2008; per person consumption of gasoline and other petroleum products fell 15%, three times the national average, while economic growth has kept pace
  58. 58. Fossil Fuel Divestment • Campaign is encouraging divestment from coal, oil, and natural gas companies • Rockefeller Brothers Fund’s original resources came from Standard Oil; now ditching all fossil fuel related holdings • Others divesting from all fossils incl.: Guardian Media Group; Syracuse University • Coal focus: World’s largest sovereign wealth fund (Norway); Stanford University Photo Credit: 350.org
  59. 59. Green Power Purchasing • > 600 entities generate or purchase enough renewable electricity to meet 100% of their needs in U.S.—including Intel, Kohl’s, Staples, Unilever • Google aiming for 100% renewable electricity – Buys staggering amount of wind-generated electricity – Turning abandoned California oil and gas field into an 82-MW solar farm Image Credit: SunEdison
  60. 60. Renewables Make Business Sense • Apple’s 25-year, $850 million solar power purchase agreement with First Solar to supply CA operations • Large investment institutions like Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs channeling tens of billions of dollars into renewable energy “It’s a business decision. The renewable energy we buy meets or beats prices from the grid.” – Walmart CEO Bill Simon, 2014 • Walmart has 260 PV systems on its U.S. buildings, aiming for 400 more by 2018 Photo Credit: Walmart/Flickr
  61. 61. Billionaires Betting Big on Renewables Photo Credit: Todd Spink • Warren Buffett – $15 billion invested in solar and wind by early 2014 – “There’s another $15 billion ready to go.” • Ted Turner – With utility Southern Power, acquired 7 solar PV farms totaling ~300 MW • Philip Anschutz – Will soon have a massive 3,000 MW wind farm under construction in Wyoming to supply CA, NV, AZ
  62. 62. New Energy Economy • Each country can take advantage of its unique mix of renewable resources • Developing countries may bypass the electric grid and jump straight to distributed solar Photo Credit: Flickr/SELF
  63. 63. The Future of Energy • Unlike fossil fuels, energy from the wind and the sun – is clean – is inexhaustible – the costs are falling fast – the fuel is free Photo Credit: MrRenewables via. Wikimedia Commons
  64. 64. Energy Independence • Rooftop solar panels power homes and recharge car batteries, delivering a degree of personal energy independence not known for generations • The old energy economy was tightly controlled by those who held fossil fuel deposits; the new energy economy is much more democratic • Results we can live with: Cleaner air, cleaner water, and a more stable climate
  65. 65. Our Clean Energy Future The energy transition will change not only how we view the world but also how we view ourselves. Coal plant smokestacks that dirty the air and alter the climate will be replaced by solar panels on our rooftops and wind turbines turning gracefully in the distance. Welcome to the clean energy era. – Chapter 9, The Great Transition
  66. 66. To learn more about the energy transition… read The Great Transition: Shifting from Fossil Fuels to Solar and Wind Energy by Lester R. Brown with Janet Larsen, J. Matthew Roney, and Emily E. Adams. The book and supporting data are available at www.earth-policy.org

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