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Climate Change – the brutal logic. Why we have to very rapidly reduce our fossil fuel usage Rondebosch United Church Creation Care Group - September 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "Climate Change – the brutal logic. Why we have to very rapidly reduce our fossil fuel usage Rondebosch United Church Creation Care Group - September 2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 Climate Change – the brutal logic. Why we have to very rapidly reduce our fossil fuel usage Rondebosch United Church Creation Care Group - September 2014  Climate Science & anthropogenic GHG emissionsslides 2-3  Fossil Fuels: consumption vs brutal logic slides 4-5  Vested interests vs disruptive shifts slides 6-7  Out of touch leadership vs requirements slides 8-9 Extra reading  Prayer, required milestones and personal actions slides  Technical background to technologies to replace FFs slide 12

2 GHGs and climate science summarised over 200 years Currently the AVERAGE temperature rise above pre-industrial values is about 0,7 ° C but local variations are large with the highest increases in the Artic Regions The max 2 ° C limit is considered a viable environmental change limit- many unpredictable consequences above this limit. Best prediction is that global rise will be 2,5 ° C with increases of up to 10 ° C in the Artic regions if the carbon dioxide equivalent level ultimately doubles from 280 to 560 ppm. We currently stand at 400 ppm with an accelerating output of GHG. < 20% push caused by high solar activity in the 20 th C Water vapour & clouds 60% Carbon dioxide 20% 80 yrs. Methane 7% 10 yrs. Ozone 5% Infra-red radiation excites GHGs

3 GHGs are not just a consequence of fossil fuels usage Land use change, de-forestation and agriculture contribute 26 % Biosphere now functions with significantly reduced capacity to recycle CO 2

4 Sources of Fossil Fuel Carbon Dioxide Fourfold increase in Fossil Fuels consumed over just sixty years! Non-FF only 14%. Business as usual Now 6 % increase per annum…

5 The brutal logic of green house gas reduction CO 2 e emissions have to decrease by over 80% before the end of this century such that the area under the curve does not exceed 1700 Gt (=560 ppm). The decline required closely approximates a 2% decrease per annum for 80 years 1690 Gt CO 2 e by Gt CO 2 e by 2050

6 Vested interests until a maverick shifts…  Major energy companies insist that it is politically and economically impossible to expect the global economy to decrease its use of fossil fuels at a reduction of 2% per annum when the current energy growth in demand is 6% per annum. They do not expect that 80% of their coal, oil and gas assets will be stranded, as required to keep CO 2 e concentration below 560 ppm.  Carbon capture technology is looking very expensive and may even be impractical - gas only 50% better than coal and does not solve the problem.  Nuclear unaffordable in many economies. COP Process is severely flawed. Fossil fuel exploitation has been a terrible mistake, biosphere cannot cope. How to achieve a FF consumption slow-down in a profit-focused world? I believe our hope lies in several DISRUPTIVE TECHNOLOGIES that aim to make solar- sourced energy cheaper that traditional fossil fuels: 1. “Plant-based” graphene products with very high strength & elec. conductivity 2. Super-capacitors which will improve mass & range of electrical vehicles 3. Thermo-chemical storage of solar heat – cheap, compact and 98% efficient 

7 The USA DOE SunShot Programme Calcium carbonate thermo-chemical storage has virtually achieved its goal with others to follow. Cheaper than coal by base-load game changer for SA! Comparable LCOE costs per KWhr (In US cents) New Coal +10c Gas 6c variable PV 9c Wind inland 8c Nuclear 13c ? Big diesel 50c Small diesel 100c =CO 2 e neutral

8 World leadership “out of touch” Typical statement on our future energy requirements  "A full energy mix that is going to encompass coal, but go beyond coal to shale gas, solar, wind, all those, there will be opportunities that will be unlocked and the financing thereof clearly is something that I would like to believe financial institutions, when they see a clear business case, will be prepared to come to the fold and provide funding." He denied conflict in Cabinet on energy policy, saying the President "leads a united Cabinet". Cyril Ramaphosa 27/8/2014 Do our leaders understand that we are heading for the rocks, just 20 years away? We have the scientific foresight to know this is for real.energycoal gasenergy If the Titanic’s Captain Smith had a last thought before falling into the sea, it was probably “If only I had not listened to Company orders to break the Trans-Atlantic Record…if only I had slowed down!” Do we really want to put profit before our Planet? Where is our earth-honouring faith for the future generations?

9  We have to make an emergency change now to avoid anything worse than 2,5 ° C. It must be seen as an 80 year International State of Emergency to reduce carbon emissions. EVERY Energy Policy needs to be viewed from this perspective.  South Africa can do it in just 50 years due to our exceptional solar radiation throughout the year and available land in the centre of the country close to our transmission grids  Whilst SA contributes just 1.37 % of the global GHG problem, all Nations have to act now with common purpose, with trading constraints if they do not comply ONLY SOLAR, WIND, HYDRO, GEO-THERMAL OR NUCLEAR GENERATION HENCEFORTH! NO MORE BURNING OF COAL & GAS FOR NEW ELECTRICITY GENERATION Rapidly transform transport to electric GOD BURIED BILLIONS OF YEARS OF HYDRO- CARBONS FOR A GOOD REASON!

10 My personal hope and prayer - make your own! South Africa, one of the worst GHG emitters per GDP, will become within 50 years, one of the first 10 nations to achieve a low carbon economy (< 15% Fossil Fuels) Milestones required  2014 COP21 in Lima, Peru agrees to establish an independent Fossil Fuel Regulator  2015 COP22 in Paris establishes a programme to freeze FF consumption growth by 2020 and begin a 2% decline per annum thereafter. Applicable to all nations with maximum exemption period of three years.  2017 Likely that 90% of COP government representatives sign and agree to impose sanctions within 3 years on non-signatories. USA, China and EU sign.  SUNSHOT Programme achieves its CSP research goal of 6 USc per KWhr  2022 – Shale Gas exploration licensees retire from the Karoo Basin. Not justifiable in comparison to CSP’s reduced costs. SA cancels nuclear 6 fleet plan, CSP 40% less.  SA starts to replace its last 12 aging coal-fuelled PS with new CSP arrays with hours of thermo-chemical storage. 25 year replacement programme 50% IPP.  SA regulates transport industry to heavily tax/licence vehicles 100 km from solar charging stations.  2042 Last phase of Grand Inga Dam completed- 40 GW of hydro-electricity finally distributed on graphene-based overhead conductors to whole of Sub-Saharan Africa.  2056 ESKOM closes KUSILE its last coal power station. Generation now 100% RE.

11 Actions to consider to progressively reduce your FF consumption. Aim is to still have fun but reduce wasteful energy usage.  We consume fossil fuels directly (eg. petroleum products, airline tickets and fertilizers) and indirectly through consumable choices and in particular electricity generation. All can be modified.  Consider your motor vehicle. If it is older than 8 years, the latest models with smaller engines are up to 25% more fuel efficient. Forms of energy regeneration are taking a long time to come to SA and all-electric cars are not yet practical economically. This will change in under 10 years time.  Consider making an errand list. By making one round trip only twice a week, a lot of fuel can be saved. Also car pools and public transport. The emissions from your exhaust last 80+ years!  Consider taking long distance holidays less frequently and enjoy local trips (in that new more fuel-efficient car!). Turn off engine at long phase traffic lights and try to conserve momentum.  As a business, reduce your regular flights to a minimum by using conferencing facilities, SKYPE and stay- overs to see multiple Clients visited in one trip. Reduce electricity consumed by questioning need and investigate more efficient alternatives.  At home, look at your electricity consumption and set yourself consumption reduction targets. New appliances like induction kettles and stoves can be considered as well as conversion to solar heating, heat pumps or to LED lighting. Budget 1 conversion every 3 years as affordable.  When purchasing food and items, look at country of origin and then carefully consider its worth and the environmental cost of transport to SA. Local is frequently just as good and saves on foreign exchange too. Local job creation in towns of origin reduces migrant transportation.  Purchase organically if practical. By not using artificial fertilizers, largely derived from fossil fuels, these farmers are producing nutritious foods that conserve their local ecology, soils and reduce FF emissions.

12 Further detail re high potential disruptive technologies  Graphene is a new wonder material discovered in Single layer of pure carbon atoms in a hexagonal pattern. Exceptionally strong, light, transparent, it can carry huge currents with very low resistance. Until recently it has been expensive to make but a new process has been announced this year that derives pure graphene from almost any plant material. Cellular pattern of plant is retained so it can be selected pre-patterned for a particular electrical use. Process 1000 times cheaper than previous methods so a major cost breakthrough. Likely to be woven into a new class of conductors that will be able to utilise existing transmission servitudes but with times higher currents at lower voltages. Commercial 5-20 years hence.  Battery technology is likely to advance rapidly with graphene including very efficient super- capacitors that can be recharged in a few minutes. Batteries are being developed as functional structural panels in cars which will not carry a weight or space penalty. PV + graphene battery panels could be game changer for off-grid local supply 10 years hence.  Calcium carbonate is limestone, the basic cement mineral. Using solar energy to heat a special limestone matrix to 850 °C, releases carbon-dioxide leaving CaO. By pumping the CO 2 into a tank, both can be stored for days in well insulated tanks. When returned using a special reactor bed, the identical exothermic heat is recreated to generate steam, etc. Whole process extremely efficient at 98% (small pumping loss) and four times cheaper that molten salts, delivering a much higher temperature for better total thermo-dynamic efficiency. Indefinitely repeatable with design life > 30 years. Sun’s energy can be reliably stored at a thermal density of 1 MWhr /m 3 for at least a week. Commercial 5 years hence.


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