Commentary on prices in current systems from Berkeley's Haas Energy Institute. For reference burning a gallon of gas releases about 20 pounds of carbon dioxide. So divide these numbers by 50 to get a rough idea of how much this would tack onto a gallon of gas.
What happens if the world went all out burning through the known reserves of fossil fuels - about five trillion metric tonnes? The likely results are frightening ... average global temperatures rise from 6.4° to 9.5°C and temperatures in the Arctic soar by as much as 19.5°C. This is much greater than earlier estimates and would result in widespread ecosystem collapses
The paper appears in Nature Climate Change (behind their paywall)
The climate response to five trillion tonnes of carbon
Katarzyna B. Tokarska1, Nathan P. Gillett2, Andrew J. Weaver1, Vivek K. Arora2 & Michael Eby1,3
1School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, University of Victoria 2Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis, Environment and Climate Change Canada, University of Victoria 3Department of Geography, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia V5A 1S6, Canada
Concrete actions to curtail greenhouse gas emissions have so far been limited on a global scale1, and therefore the ultimate magnitude of climate change in the absence of further mitigation is an important consideration for climate policy2. Estimates of fossil fuel reserves and resources are highly uncertain, and the amount used under a business-as-usual scenario would depend on prevailing economic and technological conditions. In the absence of global mitigation actions, five trillion tonnes of carbon (5 EgC), corresponding to the lower end of the range of estimates of the total fossil fuel resource3, is often cited as an estimate of total cumulative emissions4, 5, 6. An approximately linear relationship between global warming and cumulative CO2 emissions is known to hold up to 2 EgC emissions on decadal to centennial timescales7, 8, 9, 10, 11; however, in some simple climate models the predicted warming at higher cumulative emissions is less than that predicted by such a linear relationship8. Here, using simulations12 from four comprehensive Earth system models13, we demonstrate that CO2-attributable warming continues to increase approximately linearly up to 5 EgC emissions. These models simulate, in response to 5 EgC of CO2 emissions, global mean warming of 6.4–9.5 °C, mean Arctic warming of 14.7–19.5 °C, and mean regional precipitation increases by more than a factor of four. These results indicate that the unregulated exploitation of the fossil fuel resource could ultimately result in considerably more profound climate changes than previously suggested.
Pumped hydro, assuming you have a proper location, is the cheap way to store energy on a large scale. You pump water uphill to a reservoir and then let it run downhill through turbines to generate electricity as needed. Cheap and efficient as batteries go and they can ramp from standby to full power in ten seconds - much faster than fossil fuel plants.
In the last few months, a host of startups have emerged that connect commuters to shuttle buses in the same way that “taxi aggregators” like Uber hook people up with independent drivers — and they are starting to show results. Using a business model developed in India, companies like Shuttl, Ola, Cityflo , Zipgo, and others are rapidly building networks of commuters in Bangalore, Delhi, and Mumbai, where they offer private shuttle bus operators the promise of less downtime and riders a comfortable trip to work for a nominal price.
“People do not take public transport right now because the service is really bad,” says Harish Tiwari, co-founder of one of the startups, Tranzo, which operates in Bangalore. “If an app-based aggregator can provide better service than what is there now, people are ready to use it.”
After initially showing little interest in the new app-driven bus service, the New Delhi government announced last week that it was backing the concept and called on companies with fleets of 50 buses or more to apply for an operating license. While the new shuttle bus services often just take passengers on two- to three-mile rides to subway stops, the government wants the services to start operating longer routes and carrying more passengers.
Microgrids are hardly a new idea. When Thomas Edison first set the country on a course to light every house with tungsten filaments, he conceptualized a patchwork of small, independent utility providers tapping generation sources close to home. When alternating current won out as the standard in electrical power transmission, however, it immediately became feasible to transport it over long distances. And so began the centralization of U.S. electricity distribution.
More than a century later a series of environmental, technological and economic pressures are finally nudging us toward decentralized distribution. The price of renewables has dropped dramatically, meaning that it makes economic sense for someone like Cameron to install a photovoltaic array on her roof. In 2015 solar developers added some 7.3 gigawatts of generating capacity to the U.S.—up from less than a single gigawatt in 2010—with about a quarter now coming from rooftop installations, according to Greentech Media Research, a Boston-based renewable energy research firm. Meanwhile the nation’s utility grid continues to age and expose its vulnerabilities, compelling some states to give communities with high rates of locally generated electricity more control over its distribution.
Other common examples include university campuses - often with CHP (combined heat and power - essentially use the waste heat to make hot water) to boost efficiency and make the expensive worthwhile.
A CMU group compares the emissions of a few electric and gasoline vehicles factoring in regional variations in electricity production, climate and vehicle use. These are very tricky calculations with limitations discussed in the paper depending a lot of how the electricity is made, something that is hopefully getting greener with time, but the bottom line is there are some regions and use cases where EVs are worse than comparable gasoline vehicles. An interesting paper in Environmental Research Letters.
Effect of regional grid mix, driving patterns and climate on the comparative carbon footprint of gasoline and plug-in electric vehicles in the United States
Tugce Yuksel1, Mili-Ann M Tamayao2,4, Chris Hendrickson2,3, Inês M L Azevedo2 and Jeremy J Michalek1,2
1 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, 324 Scaife Hall, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA 2 Department of Engineering and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University, 129 Baker Hall, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA 3 Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, 119 Porter Hall, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA 4 Present affiliation: Department of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research, University of the Philippines-Diliman, Quezon City1101, Philippines.
We compare life cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from several light-duty passenger gasoline and plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) across US counties by accounting for regional differences due to marginal grid mix, ambient temperature, patterns of vehicle miles traveled (VMT), and driving conditions (city versus highway). We find that PEVs can have larger or smaller carbon footprints than gasoline vehicles, depending on these regional factors and the specific vehicle models being compared. The Nissan Leaf battery electric vehicle has a smaller carbon footprint than the most efficient gasoline vehicle (the Toyota Prius) in the urban counties of California, Texas and Florida, whereas the Prius has a smaller carbon footprint in the Midwest and the South. The Leaf is lower emitting than the Mazda 3 conventional gasoline vehicle in most urban counties, but the Mazda 3 is lower emitting in rural Midwest counties. The Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid electric vehicle has a larger carbon footprint than the Prius throughout the continental US, though the Volt has a smaller carbon footprint than the Mazda 3 in many urban counties. Regional grid mix, temperature, driving conditions, and vehicle model all have substantial implications for identifying which technology has the lowest carbon footprint, whereas regional patterns of VMT have a much smaller effect. Given the variation in relative GHG implications, it is unlikely that blunt policy instruments that favor specific technology categories can ensure emission reductions universally.