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Adoption of Clean Energy Too Slow to Limit Global Warming

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Clean EnergyOn Wednesday, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said that low-carbon energy development is progressing far too slowly to have any limiting effect on global warming.

Governments are not taking quick enough action, and power generation is still dominated by the fossil fuel industry. Experts have warned that the goal of limiting the global temperature rise to less than 2 degrees during this century is quickly disappearing.

Maria van der Hoeven, the IEA’s executive director, said that a lack of action by world leaders has led to the stall of widespread adaptation of clean energy. In fact, Bloomberg New Energy Finance reported that global clean energy investment was at its lowest level in four years in the first quarter of 2013.

Coal-fired energy grew by 45% between 2000 and 2010, a rate that far outpaced the 25% growth in non-fossil fuel energy during the same period. Shale gas technology has had some effect on people switching from fossil fuels to natural gas in the US, but energy in Europe is still primarily fossil fuel driven.

The IEA report stated that the deployment of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology is important to the future of energy and to stave off global warming, but there are currently no commercial plants in operation.

CCS buries and traps CO2 underground, and the IEA hopes that this could play an enormous role in reducing global CO2 emissions. In fact, the IEA envisions a world where 63% of coal plants would be equipped with CCS technology by 2050.

Nuclear plant construction is also considerably behind target and global biofuel production has also stalled.

There is some positive news. Between 2011 and 2012, solar photovoltaic energy grew by 42% and wind power grew by 19%.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. This does not surprise me at all. The fossil fuel industry will dominate the energy sector for many years to come. The goal of limiting the global temp rise to a couple of degrees is pie in the sky. It will not matter how much non fossil fuel energy that is produced it will not change the direction of the climate. In reality the fossil fuel industry controls the renewable energy development and utilization. Here’s why, when traditional energy source prices go up…people turn to renewable energy, when the prices go down (even just a little) people turn away from renewable energy. It’s about that simple. Global warming or climate change is a fine motivator but it’s just a scare tactic and people do not believe in things that will happen 100 years from now. If we want change now then we will have to find a motivator that will promise a benefit now as well. Since we are dealing with a system that operates on geologic time in which we have been around for a micro second the urgency seems to fall away. The real truth is it’s all about money power and influence or control. All the people who say they are working toward saving the planet or stopping climate change are blowing smoke. They work for their cause or advocate their groups efforts, but it’s not about saving the planet. Here’s why… if they believed what they say they would put down that smart phone, park that SUV, move out of the city and live in a teepee. You cant fight against yourself because you are just going to go in circles chasing your tail. Real solutions are available in energy production, clean energy solutions but we are not willing to tap the resources that we have because we are fickle and liars. For example there is enough flowing water in the continental US to power this country many times over. Do we unitize it? No. We set up elaborate systems of control to insure we can’t because we are trying to preserve the environment. Here’s a question….who are you saving it for? I’m not saying we should rape the environment but if we are not in it for our own survival whats the point. Trying to maintain the status quo in a system we are really a part of from the inside is a piss ant riding an elephant thinking he’s steering the elephant. The point is we are not serious about energy production from a clean resource.

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