Think About It
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has issued several papers in the last few weeks. One is from working group II and the other from working group III. Of all the sobering news within them, one bright light is this:
IPCC climate change report: averting catastrophe is eminently affordable
The Guardian by David Carrington
Landmark UN analysis concludes global roll-out of clean energy would shave only a tiny fraction off economic growth
Catastrophic climate change can be averted without sacrificing living standards according to a UN report, which concludes that the transformation required to a world of clean energy is eminently affordable.
“It doesn’t cost the world to save the planet,” said economist Professor Ottmar Edenhofer, who led the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) team.
The cheapest and least risky route to dealing with global warming is to abandon all dirty fossil fuels in coming decades, the report found. Gas – including that from the global fracking boom – could be important during the transition, Edenhofer said, but only if it replaced coal burning.
The authoritative report, produced by 1,250 international experts and approved by 194 governments, dismisses fears that slashing carbon emissions would wreck the world economy. It is the final part of a trilogy that has already shown that climate change is “unequivocally” caused by humans and that, unchecked, it poses a grave threat to people and could lead to wars and mass migration.
Diverting hundred of billions of dollars from fossil fuels into renewable energy and cutting energy waste would shave just 0.06% off expected annual economic growth rates of 1.3%-3%, the IPCC report concluded.
“The report is clear: the more you wait, the more it will cost [and] the more difficult it will become,” said EU commissioner Connie Hedegaard. The US secretary of state, John Kerry, said: “This report is a wake-up call about global economic opportunity we can seize today as we lead on climate change.”
The UK’s energy and climate secretary, Ed Davey, said: “The [report shows] the tools we need to tackle climate change are available, but international efforts need to significantly increase.” clip
“It is actually affordable to do it and people are not going to have to sacrifice their aspirations about improved standards of living,” said Professor Jim Skea, an energy expert at Imperial College London and co-chair of the IPCC report team. “It is not a hair shirt change of lifestyle at all that is being envisaged and there is space for poorer countries to develop too,” Skea told the Guardian.
Nonetheless, to avoid the worst impacts of climate change at the lowest cost, the report envisages an energy revolution ending centuries of dominance by fossil fuels – which will require significant political and commercial change. On Thursday, Archbishop Desmond Tutu called for an anti-apartheid style campaign against fossil fuel companies, which he blames for the “injustice” of climate change." more
In Austin, Texas, Austin Energy is poised such that by the end of next year, 1 in 3 Kwhs used by the customers of the 8th largest public utility in the country will be renewable. And when you include 15 years of efficiency programs, almost 50 % of the energy is either renewable or efficiency.
And in presenting the most recent purchases of windpower and solar, the utility states that the purchases will actually reduce costs.
As reported by Renewable Energy World:
"The Austin, Texas, City Council approved a wind power contract Feb. 27 that enables Austin Energy to achieve its goal of delivering 35 percent of all of its electricity from renewable sources four years ahead of its goal, the utility said in a news release.
The price is also lower than the $32/MWh average cost for all power in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas in 2013 and will not increase customer bills, the utility said.
And within a few weeks of that purchase, Austin Energy announced a 150 MW SOLAR Deal:
"Texas utility Austin Energy is going to be paying 5 cents per kilowatt-hour for solar power, and it could mean lower customer rates.
City-owned Austin Energy is about to sign a 25-year PPA with Sun Edison for 150 megawatts of solar power at "just below" 5 cents per kilowatt-hour. The power will come from two West Texas solar facilities, according to reports in the Austin American-Statesman. According to reports, around 30 proposals were at prices near SunEdison’s.
Austin Energy has suggested that the PV deal will slightly lower rates for customers." Greentech
So based on these most recent purchases, the UN Report is now dated.
Moving to protect the planet now through large scale deployment of well orchestrated renewable energy plants will actually save money.
So, as the fossil fuel commercials say,
Think about it.
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