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Sun May 26, 2013, 09:05 AM

(British) Coalition to reject EU renewable energy targets

[font face=Serif][font size=5]Coalition to reject EU renewable energy targets[/font]

26 May 13 by Duncan Geere

[font size=3]The British government is preparing to oppose attempts to update the EU's renewable energy target, calling it "inflexible and unnecessary", and opting instead to pledge deep emissions cuts

The climate and energy secretary, Ed Davey, is expected to announce on 27 May: "There are a variety of options to decarbonise any country's economy. In the UK, our approach is technology neutral and our reforms will rely on the market and competition to determine the low carbon electricity mix. We will therefore oppose a renewable energy target at an EU level as inflexible and unnecessary."

The current goal, of generating 20 percent of energy in Europe from renewable sources by 2020 has been seen as incompatible with George Osborne's "dash" to build more than 20 gas-fired power stations over the next decade.

Instead, the UK will call on the EU to commit to 40 percent cuts in CO2 emissions by 2030, compared to 1990 levels - rising to 50 percent if other countries are willing.


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Reply (British) Coalition to reject EU renewable energy targets (Original post)
OKIsItJustMe May 2013 OP
kristopher May 2013 #1
GliderGuider May 2013 #2
kristopher May 2013 #3
GliderGuider May 2013 #4

Response to OKIsItJustMe (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2013, 07:43 PM

1. The nuclear model requires steadily expanding energy consumption

Renewables work to decrease consumption because they foster system-wide efficiency. Together, efficiency measures and renewable energy leave virtually no demand that could be satisfied by nuclear (this was pointed out as a warning by investor analyst's for Citigroup in 2008).

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Response to kristopher (Reply #1)

Sun May 26, 2013, 09:53 PM

2. The industrial model of civilization requires steadily expanding energy consumption


It doesn't really matter where the energy comes from, so long as the thermodynamic imperative of increasing entropy flow into the environment by increasing exergy consumption within the open system is met. Even if we get rid of both fossil fuels and nuclear power this framework will still operate. That's because it's not humanistic - it's the simple, basic thermodynamic physics of open systems.

It's the growth imperative that has been necessitated by the Second Law of Thermodynamics that's the culprit here.

Efficiency cannot, over the long run, decrease energy use. Efficiency improvements simply increase the amount of work that can be performed by the same energy. As that work is translated into money, civilization keeps expanding.

An expanding civilization requires more energy to maintain the cumulative asset base, as well as to build out new assets to drive the expansion. According to Tim Garrett of the University of Utah, just the support of the cumulative asset base requires ~9.7 mw of power per 1990 constant dollar of cumulative GWP (cumulative over at least the last 2000 years). Only once that bar has been met can we devote energy to building out yet more assets. Below that level, presumably, we would fall into something that looks like JM Greer's "catabolic collapse".

The amount of "spare energy" available to grow civilization has been falling since 1970:

If this assessment is correct, we risk falling into catabolic collapse before 2030 unless the amount of energy we can generate increases substantially. Energy efficiency increases of a few percent aren't going to be enough.

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #2)

Sun May 26, 2013, 10:17 PM

3. Not this idiotic crap again.

It has been shown to be false I don't know how many times, so when are you going to actually get a new routine instead of just rewrapping the SOS in different paper?

The economic system built around large scale thermal generation provides a direct incentive to expand energy use. Renewables do not, they provide direct economic incentives for conservation and efficiency improvements.

Taking it to the level of "expanding civilization" to try to draw an equivalency is an absurd exercise that only closeted nuclear supporters would throw out for consideration. My point is proven and controllable. Yours is is speculative (at best - wild eyed raving at worst), clearly disputed by careful analysis, and totally unrelated to the discussion at hand.

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Response to kristopher (Reply #3)

Mon May 27, 2013, 07:46 AM

4. Just can't wrap you head around it?


That's OK, you're in good company. At least read the Utah news release about Garrett's paper...

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