CCS (carbon capture and sequestration) and CCUS (Carbon capture, utilization, and storage) technologies are essentially “after thought” to fix the CO2 emission by 2050. It also indirectly encourages continuity of fossil fuel usage for a foreseeable future to help those industries who have invested billions of dollars in creating their infrastructures such as “fracking”. Fracking generates hundreds of cubic meters of toxic effluent whose salinity is more than ten times that of the salinity of seawater. It is an environmental nightmare. Are these technologies practicable? Will they pay $100 or more for a ton of CO2 to capture and then transport hundreds of kms distance to find a suitable site; and even if they pay what will be the cost implications? Certainly, their cost of production will sharply increase, which will be necessarily passed on to the consumers whether it is a power industry or oil and gas industry. Why some of the CCS projects are dormant in many parts of the world? They claim injecting CO2 into existing oil field will increase oil production. Is there an evidence to substantiate such claims? But how many such oil fields exist in Australia, for example? The same question should be raised for all the countries around the world especially those oil importing countries like India, for example. IEA should publish necessary data to back up they claim that CCS and CCUS will lead to zero emission by 2050. In the absence of such data and hard evidence and the cost and economic analysis these projects will lead us nowhere? Without imposing Carbon tax as a financial incentive (not as a penalty) will these industries embark upon such a venture? The Carbon tax cannot be less than $250/Mt (because Carbon capture from air, for example, cost more than $150 to 200/Mt depending upon the maturity of technology). Now they want to utilize capture Carbon to produce synthetic fuel with green Hydrogen. Green hydrogen is awfully expensive, renewable energy is costly and storing them is prohibitively costly and converting them to Hydrogen by electrolysis is even more expensive. Despite all these expensive measures can zero emission be achieved by 2050. The cost of green fuel will be 10 times more than fossil fuels currently used. Will consumers afford to pay for such high fuel cos? Many questions remain unanswered. The word “Carbon capture” implies continuity of fossil fuel. It is like tobacco industry. At least in cigarette packs there is a warning ” smoking is injuries to health” but there is no such warnings in CCS or CCUS because the “captured CO2 will be released into atmosphere slowly at the point of usage in the near future , for example, Urea made out of captured CO2 will slowly release CO2 back into atmosphere by soli enzymes. Conversion to “concrete” or “nano Carbon” are claimed to be potential products but only future can tell. We are talking about “billions of tons of CO2”. Only carbon recycling and circular economy will be the answer and not CCS or CCUS.
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Wednesday, November 18, 2020
Wednesday, November 6, 2019
Global warming and climate change are the topics of the day and doomsday predictions are abounding. In a divided world of differing ideologies and dogmas, emotions play a major role and all conclusions are drawn out of such emotions. Emotional intelligence is the key and in-depth analysis will clear the clouds of doubts and disbeliefs and not just raw emotions.
When quantum science emerged as a mainstream science substituting classical science the world changed dramatically often leading to spirituality or eastern philosophy of ancient India. When Albert Einstein said, “I hope the moon is still there when I am not looking at it”, it had huge implications and a few decades later quantum science confirmed that Einstein was wrong. In other words, it is the conscience that creates the reality. With this is the reality of science one may wonder whether “reality” has anything to do with “science” at all. Albert Einstein in his own words said, “As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; as far as they are certain they do not refer to reality”.
Let us examine about the science of global warming due to man-made GHG emissions resulting in climate change. Electricity was a new form of energy discovered in eighteenth century and it became part of human civilization ever since. But it was already existed in nature in the form of lightning, but we were unable to recognize it or reproduce it in the scale that can be useful to us. Then the question is whether electricity was discovered by human beings at all and if so, can we reproduce “lightning?” and use this electricity without emitting any carbon emission at all. The answer is no, at least for now due lack of technology to predict lightning, tapping it economically and storing it for distribution. Theoretically lightning alone can supply all the electricity world needs but practically it is almost impossible to utilize it for the above reasons. When electromagnetism and electricity were discovered they did not relate it to “lightning” but claimed as a separate discovery between the relationship between magnetic and electric charges which resulted in generating electricity. Then later we were able to explain “lightning” due to positive and negative charges between the cold clouds and rising hot air with water.
Science is nothing but explaining nature with theoretical concepts and physical demonstrations. That is why yoga sutra describes the world as a phenomenal world and it is an irreducible experimental substance. That is the peculiarity of science because it is the human conscience that creates this scientific reality. I too conclude that “as far as law of science of climate change refers to reality, they are not certain; as far as they are certain they do not refer to reality.” Similarly, science has nothing to do with economics and but we human beings made economics as a measure of one’s life and his or her success. This is the fundamental flaw in human thinking. One can conclude that all man-made theories and practices are fundamentally flawed which is evident from the world of turmoil we are witnessing and living in. We failed to ask emotionally intelligent questions by endless pursuit of happiness through money and materials in the name of science.
As I mentioned in my previous article we developed generating electricity from thermal source and we ended up digging fossil fuels at enormous cost and added further value by combustion with air generating huge amount of CO2.But we never estimated the cost of CO2 at that time and we never realized the future impact of such a CO2 emissions from fossil fuels till now. Even now we do not want to put a price for CO2 emissions and continue to emit by simply denying the fact that such unabated emissions will have consequences. We conveniently use science and economics when it suits us, otherwise we reject them outright when it does not suit us. All climate change denials come from the fear of economic collapse unconsciously.
Therefore, the first step in achieving zero carbon emission is to eliminate fossil fuels completely or impose penalty to discourage emissions if we accept global warming and climate change as the reality. Without taking this first step we cannot move forward.
Now there is a new awakening that Hydrogen will substitute fossil fuels with zero emissions. This is again a mistake. Imaging all cars and power plants using hydrogen and fuel cell and emit (only) water vapour into the atmosphere. I am sure that will drastically change our climate in a very short span of time. The atmospheric moisture will dramatically increase trapping enormous amount of heat and precipitation. The consequences will be dire. Every kg of Hydrogen will require 9 kgs of water. Renewable Hydrogen is a precious commodity and it can be used only to decarbonize the fossil economy and cannot be used a fuel directly. Such an attempt will be a failure.
Alternatively, we can continue to use fossil fuel as usual but eliminate CO2 emission by simply recycling in the form of RNG (renewable natural gas) using renewable hydrogen. This may look as an expensive proposal at the first instance, but it will become a norm in the long run and we human beings have a capacity to adopt to this new reality. It is now possible to capture CO2 economically and substantially while generating power using direct Carbon fuel cell with highest electrical efficiency. It can be easily recycled in the form of RNG. Why Governments don’t act?
In the absence of above alternative, we may have to face the consequences of climate change due to man-made emissions and simply be content with an American slogan, “In God we trust”.
2. DCFC by Fuelcell energy and Exxon.
Friday, May 10, 2019
Saturday, May 4, 2019
Thursday, July 11, 2013
Tuesday, July 2, 2013
Taxing Carbon pollution is already paying the dividends according to the National Energy Market of Australia. Such a tax will encourage fossil fuel fired power plants to rethink the way they generate power and emit the Carbon into the atmosphere. For example, black and brown coal power plants can switch over to gasification technology from their existing combustion technology which can reduce their Carbon emissions. Coal fired power plants can switch over to gas fired power plants and reduce their emissions by almost 50%. By employing CHP (combined heat and power) the gas fired power plants can reduce their Carbon emission as much as 75%. Taxing Carbon will encourage efficiency and reduce pollution. Australian Carbon tax is a good example which has clearly shown the way to reduce Carbon pollution and to encourage renewable energy. The following is an excerpt from Climate Institute of Australia: “Emissions from electricity are falling: Annual carbon emissions from the National Electricity Market fell by over 12 million tonnes (CO2-e) between June 2012 and May 2013. They fell by only around 1.5 million tonnes over the previous twelve-month period. Carbon pollution per megawatt-hour has also fallen: from 0.86 to 0.81 tonnes per unit of output, or a little over 5 per cent. According to the National Energy Market (NEM) data released in June this year, Australia’s electricity supply is becoming cleaner: electricity from renewable sources has risen by nearly 23 per cent and natural gas power by more than 5 per cent since the previous twelve months to May 2012. At the same time, the use of brown coal has fallen by about 12 per cent and black coal by more than 4 per cent. Generation by Australia’s seven biggest coal-fired power stations has fallen by over 13 per cent. Structural changes driven by the high Australian dollar, rising electricity prices, introduction of energy efficiency measures, increased home installations of solar photovoltaic (PV), and the Renewable Energy Target are key drivers of this change. However, early indications are that the carbon price is playing a supporting role by make renewable energy even more competitive compared to fossil-fuel generation. As the price becomes more embedded in longer-term investment decisions the role of the carbon price will increase. Electricity price-rises—perception and reality: For businesses and consumers alike, electricity prices have been rising sharply for several years—more than 40 per cent in the last few years. On average, more than half of this rise is the result of network upgrades, including the replacement of aging infrastructure. Despite the recent increases, however, when adjusted for inflation, electricity prices are about the same as they were a generation ago. Yet, according to the Australian Industry Group, there is still a false perception amongst many in business that the carbon price is the biggest contributor to rising prices. The biggest of [the] …pressures [on prices] is the rising cost of electricity networks, the poles and wires that deliver power. The high profile of the carbon tax appears to have led to some over-estimation by businesses of the specific impact of the carbon tax on energy prices… For residential retail customers, the carbon price accounted for around 9 per cent of power bills in 2012–13, or between about $2 and $4 extra per week, depending upon the state or territory. It should be noted that the carbon price is unlikely to materially increase bills any further in the next few years, although prices will continue to rise for reasons that have nothing to do with the price on pollution. An upshot of recent price rises—and scare-campaigning by some in politics and industry—may be the spread of a more energy-efficient ethos: in 2012, approximately 90 per cent of Australians did something to minimize their power bills, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Such changes in consumer and business behavior are likely to help cushion the impact of any future price-rises. The cost of living has not skyrocketed: Before 1 July, 2013, the Australian Treasury predicted that the carbon laws would add 0.7 per cent to the Consumer Price Index, while CSIRO and global consulting firm AECOM conservatively predicted inflation at 0.6 per cent, given 100 per cent cost pass-through. This was part of a study for The Climate Institute, Choice, and the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS). The impact of the carbon price on particular prices is barely discernible. Indeed, the ABS has said it is unable to discern any impact against normal variability in consumer prices. One estimate, by Westpac Economics, suggests the reality is that the carbon price has added just 0.4 per cent to the Consumer Price Index. For the vast majority of Australian households, the increase their cost of living has been very small and this will be covered by the assistance Package associated with the scheme. According to independent analysis, for a low-income family of four, for instance, assistance is, on average, around $31 per week; for a single pensioner, it’s a little over $19 and for a middle-income family of four, it’s about $13. Federal assistance was projected to leave the large majority of households better off. Looking forward The hyperbole that characterized the twelve months to 1 July 2013 has largely given way to reality. The carbon laws have not undermined Australia’s economic performance nor have they raised the cost of living substantially. What is more, the package of carbon laws is contributing to emissions from electricity falling, the energy mix shifting in favor of renewable and cleaner fuels, and energy use is becoming more efficient. Low-carbon investment is flowing—the carbon price at work using money raised by the price on pollution, over six years, $946 million is committed to maintain stocks of carbon in bush land, and to enhance the resilience of natural systems to climate change. In the first round of the Biodiversity Fund, around $270 million has been allocated to more than 300 landscape rehabilitation and restoration projects around the country. Hundreds of firms are investing in energy efficiency, cleaner manufacturing, and innovative renewable energy projects, such as geothermal and solar-thermal. Many have received grants drawn from monies raised by the carbon price. Federal clean technology funding programs total $1,200 million over the next few years. Already, companies with household names like Arnott’s, Bundaberg Sugar, Bega Cheese, CSR, and Coca-Cola, together with many others, have received public grants leveraging considerably more private investment. Meanwhile, the Carbon Farming Initiative is seeing the big end of town investing new money in regional and rural communities. Between them, BP Australia, CS Energy, CSR, and Energy Australia have purchased more than 322,000 Australian carbon Credit Units, representing more than $7 million in low-carbon projects, such as sustainable forestry, cleaner livestock production, better landfill operations, and savannah management. Overall, Australian Carbon Units and ACCUs purchased by fossil-fuel power stations were worth $39 million in June 2013.” President Obama has recently outlined his policy on climate change and Carbon pollution reduction measures.US and the rest of the world can learn lessons from Australian experience on how low Carbon economy can be achieved without compromising an economic and industrial growth. In fact low Carbon economy can create millions of jobs and a sustainable future. The same polluting Carbon can become a source of cheap Hydrogen by innovative gasification technology. Innovation is the key to achieve a sustainable energy mix between renewable and fossil fuels.
Sunday, May 12, 2013
The climate is changing with increasing global warming caused by man-made Carbon emission. The economic impact of global warming can no longer be ignored by Governments around the world because it is impacting their budget bottom lines. Weather is becoming unpredictable. Even if Meteorological department predicts a disaster 24 hrs in advance, there is nothing Governments can do to prevent human and economic losses within a short span of time but evacuate people to safety leaving behind all their properties. Governments are forced to allocate funds for disaster management every year caused by severe draughts, unprecedented snow falls, and coastal erosion by rising sea levels, flash flooding, inundation and power black outs. We often hear people saying,” we were completely taken by surprise by this event and we have never seen anything like this in the last 50 years” after every naturals disasters explaining the nature and scale of disasters. Nature is forcing Governments to allocate more funds for disaster managements and such allocations have reached unprecedented levels. The cost of natural disasters around the world in 2011 was estimated at $ 400 billion and in 2012 it was estimated at $160 billion. The only way to fund these disasters is to tax Carbon pollution which causes global warming. Countries should take long term decisions that will save their current and future generations to come. They should understand how Carbon is emitted and what the best way to curb such emissions is. It is a global issue and its requires a collective solution. There is no use of pricing Carbon when economic recession can jeopardize the pricing mechanism? Global warming is a moral and social issue and not just an economic issue. Developed countries have been emitting bulk of the Carbon since industrial revolution while developing countries such as India and China were emitting less carbon in spite of their vast population due to their lowest per capita consumption. But that trend has now changed with rapid industrialization and economic growth of India and China and other developing economies. Australia is still a leading emitter of Carbon in the world in spite of their low population because of their high energy consumption, availability of cheap and high quality Coal and increasing mining, industrial and agricultural activities. That is why Australia is one of the first few countries who introduced Carbon tax while rest of the countries is still debating about it. Now it is clear that Carbon emission is directly proportional to industrial, economic and population growth of a country and it can be easily quantified based on the growth rate of each country. It is time countries agree to cut their Carbon emissions to sustainable levels with a realistic Carbon pricing mechanism and sign a world-wide treaty through UN. “THE EUROPEAN UNION carbon emissions trading scheme—the biggest in the world and the heart of Europe’s climate- change program—is in dire straits. The scheme’s carbon price has collapsed. The primary reason: The economic recession has suppressed manufacturing, thereby reducing emissions and creating a huge over- supply of carbon emissions allowances. Carbon trading is a market approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in which each facility involved is given an emissions cap for the year, and each year that cap is reduced. A firm must record and report its facilities’ emissions and must obtain allowances for its total emissions. An allowance permits a facility to emit 1 metric ton of carbon dioxide or its carbon equivalent; some allowances are given for free by the government, others can be bought at auction or from other firms. If a facility exceeds its cap, the company operating it has options: It can reduce emissions, buy allowances from other companies, or obtain allowance offsets by reducing emissions at another pollution source. The cost of an allowance is referred to as the carbon price and is driven by market conditions such as supply and demand. If the low carbon price continues, the region’s ability to meet long-term reduction targets for greenhouse gas emissions will be severely hampered because the trading scheme will fail to provide money for clean-tech programs and incentive for manufactures to adopt cleaner technologies. The trading scheme is a key component of the EU’s climate-change strategy because about 40% of all greenhouse gases emitted in the region fall under EU’s control. The mandatory scheme applies to 11,000 industrial installations, including power plants and major chemical facilities, across all 27 member states, as well as in Croatia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway. The aviation sector has been included in the scheme, but its active participation has been deferred to allow for an international agreement on aviation emissions, which is expected to be concluded in the fall. The goal of the European Commission, the EU’s administrative body and the architect of the emissions trading scheme, is to reduce all greenhouse gas emissions by 20% from 1990 levels by 2020. To contribute toward this goal, the trading scheme has targeted a 21% cut in the emissions of participating sectors by 2020 from a 2005 baseline. In recent weeks, however, the EU carbon price dropped to a new low of $5.20 for each metric ton allowance of CO2, down from a high of $23 in 2011. This is despite an annual reduction of the EU emissions cap of 1.74% through 2020 and the introduction on Jan. 1 of a new phase of the scheme requiring companies to purchase allowances. AT ITS CURRENT carbon price, the EU emission scheme’s role in encouraging chemical firms to ditch fossil fuels and adopt greener technologies “is meaningless,” says André Veneman, director of sustainability at AkzoNobel. Many of the industry’s investments in low-carbon technologies that are marginally financially viable also will likely be delayed, he says. Without a strong carbon price, the underlying push to clean-tech in the EU will come only from the price of oil, Veneman adds. Veneman and other experts say that a carbon price of between $68 and $135 is required if industry as a whole is to be forced to shift onto a new low-carbon footing. Yvo de Boer, special global adviser for climate change and sustainability for KPMG—an audit, tax, and advisory firm—and form EUROPEAN SCHEME IS IN FREE FALL Record-low CARBON PRICE threatens to derail transition away from fossil fuels and ability to meet climate-change targets.” Source: EUROPEAN SCHEME IS IN FREE FALL Record-low CARBON PRICE threatens to derail transition away from fossil fuels and ability to meet climate-change targets ALEX SCOTT, C&EN LONDO The burden of Carbon tax should be borne by both power generators as well as consumers. Even if the Carbon tax is imposed on emitters it will eventually be passed on to consumers. Either way the cost of energy will increase steeply and there is no way to avoid such escalation if we want to maintain our power consumption levels or our current life style. In other words people will have to pay penalty for polluting the air either by generating or consuming power that causes Carbon pollution. All developed countries that have been polluting the atmosphere with Carbon emission should be taxed retrospectively from the time of industrial revolution so that emerging countries need not bear the full cost of global warming. Such a fund should be used for developing renewable and clean energy technologies or to purchase Carbon allowances. Current mechanism of Carbon pricing does not penalize countries who caused the global warming in the first place for hundreds of years but penalizes only countries who currently accelerate the rate of Carbon emission. Such an approach is a gross injustice on the emerging economies and not at all pragmatic. Most of the developed countries are currently facing economic recession resulting in plummeted Carbon price. This will only encourage existing Carbon emitters to emit Carbon cheaply and penalize Renewable energy and clean energy technologies with higher tariffs and drive them to extinction. In spite of Carbon level in the atmosphere exceeding 400 ppm according to the latest report, the world is helpless to reduce the Carbon emission anytime sooner making our planet vulnerable to catastrophic natural disasters. Countries that are reluctant to pay Carbon tax will pay for Natural disasters which may be many times costlier than Carbon tax. Countries like US, European Union, Japan, Australia the largest power consumers and countries like Saudi Arabia, Russia, Venezuela, Iran, Iraq, Libya the largest oil producers should bear the cost of Carbon pollution that caused the globe to warm since industrial revolution. Such a fund should be utilized in developing innovative Renewable energy and clean energy technologies of the future. More than anything else the rich and powerful countries should declare global warming as a moral issue of the twenty-first century and take some bold and hard economic decisions to save the planet earth.