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Winds of Change and Other Hot Pubs

July 22, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

USCAN MEMBER HOT PUBLICATIONS

Carbon Capture and Storage: This brief study, “An assessment of cumulative CO2 reductions from carbon capture and storage at coal fuelled plants in a carbon constrained world,” (June 2010) by Friends of the Earth (Denmark) estimates contributions from Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) to cuts in global CO2 emissions. The study makes certain explicit assumptions as to deployment of the technology, capture efficiency, energy penalty, and overall emissions from fossil fuels in the medium and long term perspective. The cumulative emissions captured and the cumulative emissions to the atmosphere in a CCS scenario are assessed in order to identify the cumulative emissions avoided due to CCS.

Benchmarking Emissions: Benchmarking Emissions (June 2010) examines and compares the air pollutant emissions of the 100 largest power producers in the United States based on 2008 plant ownership and emissions data. The Natural Resources Defense council study encompasses the 100 largest power producers ranked by the total electricity generation from fossil fuel, nuclear, and renewable energy facilities. These producers include public and private entities that own roughly 2,200 power plants and account for 85 percent of reported electric generation and 89 percent of the industries reported emissions.

Counting Gigatonnes: China and the United States are the world’s largest emitters of greenhouse gases. They contribute more than 32% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and approximately 40% of global CO2 emissions from energy use and industrial processes in 2005. The official GHG inventories published by the United States and China are extremely important for tracking the progress of each country in delivering on the pledges made in Copenhagen and beyond. The World Wildlife Fund report, “Counting the Gigatonnes” (June 2010) casts light on the emissions inventory processes used in the U.S. and China, as well as the strengths and challenges of the approaches that each country has followed.

Winds of Change: A new report from the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), Blue Green Alliance and the United Steelworkers shows that the U.S. wind industry (June 28, 2010) can create tens of thousands of additional jobs manufacturing wind turbines and components if the U.S. passes long-term policies that create a stable market for the domestic wind energy supply chain.

OTHER REPORTS
Cap and Trade Analysis: An MIT report, “Distributional Implications of Alternative U.S. Greenhouse Gas Control Measures,” (June 2010) analyzes the distributional and efficiency impacts of different allowance allocation schemes for a national cap and trade system. Different uses of revenue or different allowance allocations would not in the first instance affect the direct cost of achieving emissions reductions but they can have important implications for how costs are borne by different regions and among households of different income levels. Different uses of revenue may have indirect effects on the overall welfare cost of a policy to the extent revenue is used to offset other distortionary taxes. In addition the allowance allocation has efficiency impacts to the extent that it creates further distortions or prevents pass through of the full CO2 price in some products, or is used in some way that does not create value for U.S. citizens.

Game Changing China: Big hydro, big solar photovoltaic (PV) and big wind – these are the usual focus of accounts of low carbon technologies in China. But a very different type of innovation – ranging from a farm cooperative in Yunnan, to woodchip and corn pellets in rural Beijing and air-conditioning using just salt and water in Hangzhou and Shenzhen – could be even more significant as examples of how to achieve a low carbon economy and society for China and the world. Game Changing China (June 2010) follows a 2007 NESTA report that profiled eight disruptive low carbon innovators from the UK, and explores the particular importance of this type of innovation to China with seven case studies. These are the Chinese ‘Game-Changers’, each of which has developed a low carbon innovation that has the potential to make a significant contribution to emissions reductions and the move to a low carbon society.

Lugar Legislation: A report by Climate Works called “Preliminary Analysis of the Practical Energy and Climate Act of 2010” (June 9, 2010) illustrates national impacts of the Practical Energy and Climate Plan of 2010 as introduced by U.S. Senator Lugar. The aim of this analysis is to provide a detailed, consistent fact base by quantifying the economic impact of policy options and providing a common analytic approach for assessing those options.
American Power Act: A Report by Climate Works illustrates national impacts of the American Power Act (June 15, 2010) of 2010 as introduced in draft form on May 12, 2010 by U.S. Senators Kerry and Lieberman. The aim of this analysis is to provide a detailed, consistent fact base by quantifying the economic impact of policy options and providing a common analytic approach for assessing those options.

Modeling Movement: The NOAA releases a report detailing the potential long term movement of the BP Oil spill should it continue to remain uncapped. The report called “Deepwater Horizon BP Oil Spill: Modeling the Potential Long Term Movement of Oil” (July 2, 2010) uses computer models to conduct estimates of where the oil slicks are most likely to effect.

Energy Outlook: This report details a short term outlook forecasting future oil consumption. The EIA states in this July report that carbon dioxide produced from burning coal, oil and natural gas should rise 1.6 percent in 2011 from 2010 levels.

Economic Impacts: A report called “Energy Market and Economic Impacts of the American Power Act of 2010” (July 2010) responds to a request to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) from Senators Kerry, Graham, and Lieberman for an analysis of the American Power Act of 2010 (APA).1 The APA, as released by Senators Kerry and Lieberman on May 12, 2010, regulates emissions of greenhouse gases through market-based mechanisms, efficiency programs, and other economic incentives.

Muir Report: The British scientists at the center of the “climate gate scandal” were cleared by a six-month British government inquiry into the affair (July 2010). The inquiry led by Muir Russell followed two government inquiries and an exhaustive newspaper series by the Guardian that also cleared the scientists.

Electric Utility: Most experts who follow the U.S. electric power sector agree that the industry stands at a crossroads. This Ceres report “the 21st Century electric Utility” reaffirms that perspective; as report author Navigant Consulting concludes, “Changes underway in the 21st century electric power sector create a level and complexity of risks that is perhaps unprecedented in the industry’s history.” Once extremely stable and predictable, today’s electric power sector faces an array of challenges and opportunities amid a fast-shifting landscape.

POLLS

CNN One-Day Poll on Obama’s Handling Of Gulf Spill
A one day poll on June 16 surveyed 534 adults with a subsample of 222 adults who watched or listened to Obama’s Oval office speech. The report measures public opinion of Obama’s handling of the Gulf Oil Spill

Institute for Energy Research Poll
Some top-line findings in the IER report show that 70 percent of Americans oppose a new tax to address global warming. While consistent with historical trends, this number is somewhat surprising based given the president’s recent investment of time and political capital in support of “pricing carbon” in the wake of the BP oil spill. The same percentage of respondents (70%) said that such a tax would also have no discernable effect on global warming.

Benenson Strategy Group Poll
As the Senate prepares to act on an energy bill, our latest poll confirms that voters strongly support comprehensive action on energy and carbon pollution. We asked voters about: “an energy and climate bill that would limit pollution, invest in domestic energy sources and encourage companies to use and develop clean energy.

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