1. Energy supply

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Policy measures must achieve the following:

1) Reduce demand for coal down to zero by 2025.

The government has already committed to close all coal power stations by 2025. This commitment needs to be seen through. Countdown to 2025: Tracking the UK Coal phase out [Simon Evans, Carbon Brief, 10 Feb 2016]

2) Reduce the supply of coal to zero at the same time.

 

3) Remove any diesel generators from the grid.

 

4) No new gas-fired power plants. 

Policy makers must think very carefully about how best to replace the lost capacity from closing coal-fired power stations. A further ‘dash for gas’ may provide some short term gains in reducing CO2 emissions, but it would not be the most cost-effective way of doing so and methane leaks could represent a far worse problem. See my blog: Are new gas-fired power plants the bridge fuel to a low-carbon future?  [Jon Crooks, The Green Economy, 15 August 2016]

5) Ban Fracking.

 

6) No new nuclear.

7) Commit to 100% renewable energy and put together a plan to get us there.

Energy consulting firm Ecofys produced a report detailing how we can meet nearly 100% of global energy needs with renewable sources by 2050.  Approximately half of the goal is met through increased energy efficiency to first reduce energy demands, and the other half is achieved by switching to renewable energy sources for electricity production.

ecofys fig 1

Figure 1: Ecofys projected global energy consumption between 2000 and 2050

Stanford’s Mark Jacobson and UC Davis’ Mark Delucchi (J&D) published a study in 2010 in the journal Energy Policy examining the possibility of meeting all global energy needs with wind, water, and solar (WWS) power.  They found that it would be plausible to produce all new energy from WWS in 2030, and replace all pre-existing energy with WWS by 2050.

They use the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates of global power consumption.  The EIA projects that by 2030, global power demand will increase to 17 trillion watts from the current consumption of 12.5 trillion watts, or an increase of about 36%.  This is the global energy demand that the J&D plan must meet by 2030.

In terms of electricity generation, J&D find that the available supply could more than meet the global demand.

“Wind in developable locations can power the world about 3–5 times over and solar, about 15–20 times over.”