The Weekend Wonk: Emerging Renewable Grid in Great Britain is a Model

June 6, 2020

Another fascinating Fully Charged conversation.

7 Responses to “The Weekend Wonk: Emerging Renewable Grid in Great Britain is a Model”

  1. indy222 Says:

    UK has dropped their CO2 emissions by 38% 1990 to 2017 according to Carbon Brief. Not bad! But not mentioned is a radically important point which I keep making and which keeps getting ignored by the happy talkers – China and Asia following, has gone through a massive change during this period to become the manufacturer for the world, and THEY get the CO2 emissions. UK, US, and all the rest of the Western countries which love to boast about their rising renewables fraction, are all part of this.

    Climate doesn’t care who emits it. Climate is global and CO2 is well mixed, and only the total emissions matters. And atmospheric CO2 concentrations continue on the perfect exponential it has held for decades and now up to 3ppm per year vs the 2ppm rise per year a couple decades ago. Just check the Keeling Curve on your own.

    Yes, it’s good that progress on renewables is happening, but this failure to look at WHY CO2 emissions drop WITHIN INDIVIDUAL COUNTRIES is extremely frustrating to have to continue to point out. Yeah, it’s not such a happy-talk story, but it’s … . well, you know…. the TRUTH!

    • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

      That’s why any individual country has to include carbon tariffs when talking about domestic carbon taxes.

  2. redskylite Says:

    U.K have worked hard to reduce fossil burning, they have 7 of the largest wind farms in Europe. They are also investing in solar and nuclear. The manufacturing industry was severely reduced way back in the eighties, under the Thatcherite era, it is ancient history, a done deal ages ago. No happy talk but India and China have both pledged to honour the Paris agreement.

    https://www.power-technology.com/features/the-biggest-wind-farms-in-europe/#:~:text=Located%20on%20Eaglesham%20Moor%20in,first%20power%20in%20January%202008.

  3. Roger Walker Says:

    So refreshing to hear these guys’ enthusiasm! And who would have thought the UK could be a model for anything at all these days? Better not tell Johnson about it – he’d find the way to chuck a spanner in the works.

    I like the line “We are the first generation to understand climate change, and the last to be able to do anything about it.” But which generation do they mean exactly? Certainly not the current ‘generation’ of political leaders (quotes because that covers a pretty wide span of years); nor the current heads of big oil, big pharma, or big media for that matter. That whole bunch still have their grubby hands on the levers of power.

    I’m reminded of another snappy one-liner. Where did I read recently: “The world in 2030 will be shaped by innovations and discoveries yet to be made”? Suppose for a moment that the optimism of Llewelyn and his ilk is well founded and that we do reduce emissions radically and rapidly. That still leaves us with 420ppm of atmospheric CO2 and tipping points tumbling all over the biosphere.

    What is the best-case scenario? +2°C? +2.5°? Can we live with that? I’m haunted by Hansen’s superstorms. As Michael Mann has said, “We ignore Hansen at our peril.”


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