Tuesday, December 09, 2014

ANU Energy Update 2014

Greetings from the ANU Energy Update 2014 at the Australian National University in Canberra. The event was opened by Oliver Yates, CEO of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), who pointed out Australia was over-reliant on coal for power generation, particularly brown coal and that renewable energy was a viable alternative.He said that as a banker he had never seen "An executive team driving by looking through the rear vision mirror", which was clearly a criticism of the Australian Government's energy policy.

Ian Cronshaw from the International Energy Agency presented highlights from the World Energy Outlook 2014. It is expected that by 2040, oil, coal, gas and renewables will have equal shares of energy production, without policy changes to address carbon emissions. China's energy use is expected to flatten out by 2030. US and Canadian production of oil, including "unconventional" sources will decline with, the middle east dominating by 2040. Coal for electricity generation in the USA is declining, being displaced by gas. China's use of coal is not expected to "peak" before 2040, but the growth will reduce.Use of coal will continue to increase in India, but be a relatively smaller proportion of energy use. European coal use will continue to fall, with renewables increasing. Without policy changes, the Carbon Dioxide budget for the planet to 2100 will be used up by 2040. This requires action at the Paris climate change summit.

Hans-Josef Fell, architect of the German renewable energy legislation, pointed out that the International Energy Agency's predictions in the past have underestimated the cost of fossil fuel and the success of renewable energy. His book "Global Cooling: Strategies for Climate Protection", 2012 is available.

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