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Wed Aug 12, 2015, 11:53 AM

EIA Analysis: Wind Energy Is The Lowest-Cost Option For Reducing Carbon Emissions

EIA Analysis: Wind Energy Is The Lowest-Cost Option For Reducing Carbon Emissions
in News Departments > Policy Watch
by Michael Goggin on Thursday 28 May 2015
(Editor's note: The following article was reprinted with permission by the American Wind Energy Association.)


Low-cost, zero-emission wind energy will become even more valuable as states and utilities develop plans to cost-effectively reduce carbon pollution to comply with Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Clean Power Plan, according to new economic analysis from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), a nonpartisan branch of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

EIA's analysis modeled a range of options for complying with EPA's proposed rule across a variety of scenarios, and wind energy consistently emerged as the lowest-cost option for reducing emissions.

World Resources Institute (WRI) also released analysis that looked at all economy-wide options for reducing carbon pollution and found that, thanks to recent cost declines, renewable energy is poised to make the largest contributions to emissions reductions. In WRI's optimal energy mix scenarios, renewable energy grew to provide 27% - 28% of electricity in 2030 and 36% - 38% in 2040.

...


EIA's analysis shows that states and utilities can cost-effectively achieve the Clean Power Plan, particularly if wind energy provides a large share of the pollution reductions. As a result, states and grid operators should begin planning today for the policies and transmission upgrades that will enable them to make full use of their best wind energy resources.

Thanks to its combination of low cost and zero emissions, wind energy played a dominant role in complying with the Clean Power Plan in EIA's analysis...
http://www.nawindpower.com/e107_plugins/content/content.php?content.14275

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Reply EIA Analysis: Wind Energy Is The Lowest-Cost Option For Reducing Carbon Emissions (Original post)
kristopher Aug 2015 OP
GliderGuider Aug 2015 #1
kristopher Aug 2015 #2
GliderGuider Aug 2015 #3
kristopher Aug 2015 #4
GliderGuider Aug 2015 #5
GliderGuider Aug 2015 #6
kristopher Aug 2015 #7
GliderGuider Aug 2015 #8
kristopher Aug 2015 #9
NNadir Aug 2015 #10

Response to kristopher (Original post)

Wed Aug 12, 2015, 12:37 PM

1. Is adding wind power the most effective way to reduce carbon emissions?

 

From http://www.democraticunderground.com/112789605



In short, reduced demand growth for electricity accounted for 53% of the reduction in U.S. emissions from the power sector. That decrease came entirely from declines in industrial use of electricity.

According to the EIA adding low-carbon sources was only a third as effective as reducing demand. If we're serious about reducing carbon emissions, we ought to use the most effective tools available, which in this case is demand reduction, not substitution.

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #1)

Wed Aug 12, 2015, 01:05 PM

2. Your use of that study has no applicability to the problem of carbon.

But what can we learn? First you are misusing the results - the goal is as close to 100% elimination of carbon emissions as we can get. We have the technical capability to decarbonize our energy sources to service the demand that accompanies modern civil society. And as you know full well, while demand reduction does reduce the use of energy, as long as there are people we will use energy. Therefore it isn't a valid path to carbon reduction and you carping on the point is really little more than "hey look at me" type of trolling post. I would say it is disappointing, but sadly since your novel length screeds have become ever more irrelevant you've made this type of contribution an expectation.

The second aspect of your error lies in missing the underlying idea that the factoid you promote is demonstrating (as has long been known) that energy efficiency IS the most effective way (in time and money) to reduce energy demand and achieve the related carbon reductions.

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Response to kristopher (Reply #2)

Wed Aug 12, 2015, 02:54 PM

3. Does energy efficiency reduce the overall demand for energy?

 

I claim it does not, especially within a global economy where capital is free to flow to wherever it can be used. since the use of capital always involves the use of energy, increased energy efficiency in one sector or region frees up money that will be used to expand other economic activities in other places. That expansion is likely to boost the overall use of energy. It's the complex-system version of Jevons...

Demand reduction is best done by actually reducing activity, not by increasing efficiency. Activity reduction is a linear process that can go to zero, while efficiency reductions are asymptotic and can never result in zero energy use.

If carbon reduction was the only goal, it would theoretically be wisest to follow all avenues simultaneously - shift the energy mix, increase energy efficiency and reduce activity-driven demand. The problem is that the first two approaches are explicitly supportive of Business As Usual.

However, carbon dioxide isn't the only global problem that has been caused by BAU. Reducing the level of human activity is the only way we are going to address the ongoing non-climate damage to the biosphere. IMO emphasizing the development of ever more kinder, gentler sources of energy is utterly wrong-headed if the final goal is to reduce the human impact on the planet.

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #3)

Wed Aug 12, 2015, 03:28 PM

4. You "claim" a lot of crap that isn't true. What else is new?

Your horsehocky on energy efficiency is just one more in a long, long list of really terrible and misguided visions. How's that peak oil thing going?

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Response to kristopher (Reply #4)

Wed Aug 12, 2015, 03:44 PM

5. Can you show me it's not true?

 

That increased efficiency does in fact reduce the whole-system demand for energy?

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Response to kristopher (Reply #4)

Wed Aug 12, 2015, 04:05 PM

6. Let's just look at cars

 

Between 1986 and 2010 the CAFE standard for vehicles went from 26.0 to 27.5 MPG, and for light trucks from 20.0 to 23.5. This amounts to an efficiency improvement of 6% for cars and 15% for light trucks. Yet according to the data at IndexMundi, world gasoline consumption climbed from 16 mbpd to about 22 mbpd, or 37.5% during the same period. The increase in fuel consumption more than offset the increase in fuel economy due to the increased number of vehicles on the road.

This increase isn't a simple single-commodity "Jevons" effect. It's a byproduct of the growth of the world economy. That growth is fueled in part by the sparing of funds due to aggregated efficiency improvements across all energy-using sectors.

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #6)

Wed Aug 12, 2015, 04:13 PM

7. You "claim" a lot of crap that isn't true. What else is new?

Your horsehocky on energy efficiency is just one more in a long, long list of really terrible and misguided visions. How's that peak oil thing going?

This is a perfect example of how really, really poor you are at 'analysis'.

How is that peak oil thing going? Really, I want to know. How about a few more charts to show us "OMG LOOK AT THE CLIFF!!!!!"

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Response to kristopher (Reply #7)

Wed Aug 12, 2015, 04:45 PM

8. So you can't actually show that efficiency will help?

 

Too bad. I was hoping I missed something obvious.

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #8)

Wed Aug 12, 2015, 06:09 PM

9. There isn't lack of data. It's you.

I don't engage with climate deniers either - and for exactly the same reasons.

Now, tell me more about how we now occupy a world in shambles because we fell off the petroleum cliff. It was all going to come crashing down about 2012 or so, wasn't it?

SSDD

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Response to kristopher (Original post)

Thu Aug 13, 2015, 01:01 AM

10. Really? It must be very expensive then because it's done zero to fight climate change.

It soaked up over 2 trillion bucks over the last 20 years, and doesn't even produce 2 exajoules of the 560 exajoules humanity consumes each year.'

"Wind is cheap" garbage rhetoric which has done nothing to fight climate change since it has served as a fig leaf for the gas industry - the world's fastest growing form of energy - which (and I need to say this since the number of renewables will save us hawkers who know any science at all is very close to zero) releases carbon dioxide when it burns.

All year we've been over 400 ppm at Mauna Loa.

How long have people been here on coal and gas computers telling us how wonderful the wind industry is?

The wind industry can't even power the computers dedicated to saying how wonderful it is. The only industry that is a worse scam is the solar industry.

Up 2.3 ppm in July of 2015 over July of 2014

In 50 years of wild cheering for it, the wind industry's entire production didn't even match the growth in energy consuption in a single year.

Future generations, should they survive the insipid nonsense put out by so many in this generation, will have no cause to forgive us, none at all.

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