What This Lukewarmer Thinks We Should Be Doing

Again, grabbed from a comment I made at Bart Verheggen’s:

I’ve said it often enough, but I’ll repeat what I think we should do while waiting for clarity regarding sensitivity and other unresolved issues with the science:

1. Tax CO2 at a starting rate of $12/ton and revisit the rate every 10 years, adjusting the rate to reflect changes in CO2 concentrations and a pre-agreed metric for climate change that has occurred in the interim.
2. Spend a global total of $100 billion for the transfer of technology to the developing world for the purpose of reducing the impact of development technologies, in hopes that they can leapfrog one or two generations of energy development.
3. Commit to spending over the course of this century on moving roads inland, removing permission for construction on threatened coasts and flood plains. The EPA found that this would cost about $400 billion for the United States about 20 years ago–adjust for inflation. But that’s a one-time cost.
4. Continue Steven Chu’s investment strategy for reducing costs in renewable energy, storage and transmission. Continue with ARPA-E at full funding. We may have another Solyndra–probably will, in fact. But we may also have another Tesla, which didn’t technically come from that program, but serves as an inspiration.
5. Encourage the U.S. EPA to regulate CO2 emissions from large emitters.
6. Accelerate permitting for new nuclear power plants to maintain nuclear power’s percentage of electricity at 20% in the U.S.
7. Uprate existing hydroelectric plants to take advantage of advances in turbine technology.
8. Mandate uptake of GPS within the air traffic control infrastructure and controlled and one-step descent on landing.
9. Homogenize permitting and regulation for installation of solar and wind power. Maintain current levels of subsidies and RPS.
10. Increase utilization of Combined Heat and Power facilities from its current 7% of primary energy production to the world average of 9% and then by steps in northern regions to benchmark levels found in Denmark, Holland and other northern European countries.
11. Support introduction of charging stations for electric vehicles.
12. Force existing coal power plants to meet best available technology standards or close.

About these ads

6 responses to “What This Lukewarmer Thinks We Should Be Doing

  1. 1. Taxing CO2 at a starting rate of $12/ton won’t change the economics of burning coal within a 1,500 mile radius of Gillette,Wyoming. The economics of coal outside of a 1,500 miles of Gillette,Wyoming is already poor. I.E. Nuclear competes well against coal in the US Southeast without a CO2 tax. It still won’t be competitive in Texas. All a CO2 tax will do is be a CO2 tax.

    2. Spend a global total of $100 billion for the transfer of technology to the developing world – China has already effectively ‘leased’ Westinghouse Nuclear with their own cash. The Gen IV nuclear forum already provides a mechanism for technology sharing. The US policy for ‘clean development’ prohibits large scale hydro. The Chinese are making a bundle of money building ‘large scale hydro’ in Africa.

    6. Accelerate permitting for new nuclear power plants to maintain nuclear power’s percentage of electricity at 20% in the U.S – there isn’t a problem with the nuclear permitting process(At least since the energy act of 2005. The problem is demand risk.

    7. Uprate existing hydroelectric plants to take advantage of advances in turbine technology – Why? We already throw away Hydro because it’s not deemed ‘renewable’.

    9. Maintain current levels of subsidies and RPS – RPS encourages partial solutions…I.E. The cheapest way to achieve RPS standards are windmills, without a magical breakthrough in storage windmills are never going to be more then 20%. Unfortunately that 20% is going to make the demand risk for nuclear power unacceptable. See UK struggles on financing new nuclear vs the complete lack of a problem financing new nuclear in South Carolina(they didn’t even bother applying for loan guarantees).

    10. Increase utilization of Combined Heat and Power facilities – We can’t even get natural gas service in the street or bury electrical lines in much of US ‘northern regions’ I.E. The northeast.

    11. Support introduction of charging stations for electric vehicles- there is a charging station less then 3 miles from my house. I’ve never seen it used.

    12. Force existing coal power plants to meet best available technology standards or close. – forcing coal fired plants to either close or adopt MACT on a short time frame just extends the life of the coal plant. Been there/done that in Washington State…$500 million in improvements that would have been better spent replacing it altogether. Replacing it means years of planning.

  2. I read this interesting comment in Der Spiegel, concerning climate negotiations.

    Whole thing here:

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/interview-with-kai-konrad-on-the-mistakes-of-european-climate-policy-a-870693.html

    Konrad: Germany and the European Union have taken a pioneering role on climate protection, under the mistaken assumption that other countries would follow our example. That’s the wrong strategy. Making this kind of advanced effort weakens our bargaining position. Instead of building wind turbines, we should build higher dikes.

    SPIEGEL: Do you believe the battle against climate change is already lost?

    Konrad: No. I still hope for an international agreement, because we will only be able to stop climate change if as many countries as possible take part. But that won’t happen if we don’t change our strategy. Germany and Europe are inviting freeloaders. It’s a mistake to believe our noble behavior will so greatly impress others in these talks that it will move them to make concessions in return.

    • “Germany and Europe are inviting freeloaders. It’s a mistake to believe our noble behavior will so greatly impress others in these talks that it will move them to make concessions in return.”

      Europe is heavily dependent on fossil fuel imports. Good old fashioned nationalism and protectionism are adequate reasons to punitively tax imported energy supplies. Of course if one were to punitively tax imported energy for protectionist reasons then it would possibly trigger a trade war no one wants.

      http://japandailypress.com/wto-sides-with-japan-in-complaint-against-canadas-unfair-energy-program-2020201

      “On Wednesday the World Trade Organization said that it was siding with Japan and the European Union on complaints against the province of Ontario, Canada for its green energy program that was discriminatory to foreign companies. The WTO’s ruling said the program violates international trade rules by forcing companies who sell premium-priced clean energy to source a portion of their equipment and services from local Ontario providers.”

  3. Tom and Harry, You both wrote enough for 12 posts. I’ll just make one reply for now.
    I have always been suspicious of the anti-hydro crowd. They don’t seem to be that common among the rank and file environmentalists, just the leadership of the well funded “Big Greens.” Even the Green Party this time around had “small hydro” in their platform.

  4. There are not many gains in hydro technology, fraction of a %. I would be interested if you can point me to where the gains are?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s