Energy & Environment

Published by Multi-Science Publishing
Publications
The role of the North Atlantic Oscillation, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, volcanic and other aerosols, as well as the extraordinary solar activity of the late 20th century are discussed in the context of the warming since the mid-1970s. Much of that warming is found to be due to natural causes.
 
Monthly instrumental temperature records from 5 stations in the northern hemisphere are analyzed, each of which is local and over 200 years in length, as well as two reconstructed long-range yearly records - from a stalagmite and from tree rings that are about 2000 years long. In the instrumental records, the steepest 100-year temperature fall happened in the 19th century and the steepest rise in the 20th century, both events being of about the same magnitude. Evaluation by the detrended fluctuation analysis (DFA) yields Hurst exponents that are in good agreement with the literature. DFA, Monte Carlo simulations, and synthetic records reveal that both 100-year events were caused by external trends. In contrast to this, the reconstructed records show stronger 100-year rises and falls as quite common during the last 2000 years. These results contradict the hypothesis of an unusual (anthropogenic) global warming during the 20th century. As a hypothesis, the sun's magnetic field, which is correlated with sunspot numbers, is put forward as an explanation. The long-term low-frequency fluctuations in sunspot numbers are not detectable by the DFA in the monthly instrumental records, resulting in the common low Hurst exponents. The same does not hold true for the 2000-year-long reconstructed records, which explains both their higher Hurst exponents and the higher probabilities of strong 100-year temperature fluctuations. A long-term synthetic record that embodies the reconstructed sunspot number fluctuations includes the different Hurst exponents of both the instrumental and the reconstructed records and, therefore, corroborates the conjecture.
 
We review the explosion of commentary that has followed the release of the Stern Review: The Economics of Climate Change, and agree with most of what has been written. The Review is right when it argues on economic grounds for immediate intervention to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, but we feel that it is right for the wrong reasons. A persuasive case can be made that climate risks are real and increasingly threatening. If follows that some sort of policy will be required, and the least cost approach necessarily involves starting now. Since policy implemented in 2007 will not “solve” the climate problem, near term interventions can be designed to begin the process by working to avoid locking in high carbon investments and providing adequate incentives for carbon sequestration. We argue that both objectives can be achieved without undue economic harm in the near term by pricing carbon at something on the order of $15 per ton as long as it is understood that the price will increase persistently and predictably at something like the rate of interest; and we express support for a tax alternative to the usual cap-and-trade approach.
 
In November 2000, just after the presidential elections in the United States, negotiators will meet in The Hague at the sixth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP6) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). By then, it will have been almost three years since the negotiation of the Kyoto Protocol on global climate change at COP3, which was held in Kyoto in December 1997. Intense negotiations over the intervening period have focused on how to implement the Kyoto Protocol. The Kyoto Protocol has been signed by 84 countries but not ratified by any of the key countries, and ratification does not appear to be imminent, especially in the United States, where the Senate has registered its strong opposition.
 
Revenues from environmentally related taxes in per cent of total tax revenues, 1994-97. 
Green taxation as a common-pool resource. 
Two main results in traditional tax theory states the following. First, general taxes minimize the welfare loss from changed relative prices. Second, because the total public budget tends to exceed the optimal size, a leader (here named ‘troop leader’) is needed in the budget process to prevent over-taxation. Nevertheless, differentiated taxes initiated by individual ministries generate a still larger proportion of total tax revenue, in particular under cover of taxing externalities such as environmental pollution. We suggest that this situation leads to over-taxation for two reasons. First, the absence of a strong and fully informed troop leader prevents rational coordination of collective action. Second, budget maximization leads to overwhelming fiscal pressure because bureaucracies are competing about resources just like fishermen or hunters (here named ‘bureaucratic tax-seeking’). Taxing citizens or firms is like harvesting rents from a natural resource and therefore we apply a common-pool resource model. Because bureaucracies compete about maximizing their share of tax payers‘ money, this leads to over-taxation and an irrational outcome for both bureaucrats and society. These suggestions are strongly confirmed by the case of the Danish waste tax. Thus, we recommend that bureaucratic institutions should coordinate their tax-seeking efforts to maximize budgets in the long run and that the ministries that collect green tax revenues should not be allowed to control these revenues. Such a budget maximization opportunity would kick off a new self-destructive fiscal race among competing tax-seeking bureaucracies.
 
Global surface temperature records (e.g. HadCRUT4) since 1850 are characterized by climatic oscillations synchronous with specific solar, planetary and lunar harmonics superimposed on a background warming modulation. The latter is related to a long millennial solar oscillation and to changes in the chemical composition of the atmosphere (e.g. aerosol and greenhouse gases). However, current general circulation climate models, e.g. the CMIP5 GCMs, to be used in the AR5 IPCC Report in 2013, fail to reconstruct the observed climatic oscillations. As an alternate, an empirical model is proposed that uses: (1) a specific set of decadal, multidecadal, secular and millennial astronomic harmonics to simulate the observed climatic oscillations; (2) a 0.45 attenuation of the GCM ensemble mean simulations to model the anthropogenic and volcano forcing effects. The proposed empirical model outperforms the GCMs by better hind-casting the observed 1850-2012 climatic patterns. It is found that: (1) about 50-60% of the warming observed since 1850 and since 1970 was induced by natural oscillations likely resulting from harmonic astronomical forcings that are not yet included in the GCMs; (2) a 2000-2040 approximately steady projected temperature; (3) a 2000-2100 projected warming ranging between 0.3 $^{o}C$ and 1.6 $^{o}C$, which is significantly lower than the IPCC GCM ensemble mean projected warming of 1.1 $^{o}C$ to 4.1 $^{o}C$; ; (4) an equilibrium climate sensitivity to $CO_{2}$ doubling centered in 1.35 $^{o}C$ and varying between 0.9 $^{o}C$ and 2.0 $^{o}C$.
 
Increasing concern in scientific and policy making circles about the possibility of global warming induced by the accumulation of CO2 and other GHGs in the atmosphere has advanced for consideration of policies to limit emissions of these GHGs. This paper gives an overview of policy instruments that might be used to control CO2 emissions, including command-and-control approach, energy taxes, carbon taxes, and tradeable carbon permits, with special attention paid to the economic instruments. It highlights the differences between energy taxes and carbon taxes in terms of target achievement. It presents some main findings arising from those studies on carbon taxes, with the emphasis placed on some aspects of domestic carbon tax design and incidence. The allocations of emission permits (or reimbursement of carbon tax revenues) are also discussed. Moreover, a comparison of carbon taxes with tradeable carbon permits is briefly made. This paper ends with some conclusions.
 
The global atmospheric temperature anomalies of Earth reached a maximum in 1998 which has not been exceeded during the subsequent 10 years. The global anomalies are calculated from the average of climate effects occurring in the tropical and the extratropical latitude bands. El Nino/La Nina effects in the tropical band are shown to explain the 1998 maximum while variations in the background of the global anomalies largely come from climate effects in the northern extratropics. These effects do not have the signature associated with CO2 climate forcing. However, the data show a small underlying positive trend that is consistent with CO2 climate forcing with no-feedback.
 
This paper analyses the effect of electricity sector liberalisation on the development of distributed generation. It examines the conditions in which these new electricity generating technologies can be diffused in a liberalised framework. This analysis reveals that the institutional framework in which distributed generation must operate and the price signals given to electricity sector actors play as big a part as traditional incentives, certificates, bidding systems or guaranteed feed-in tariffs in driving the deployment process.
 
The Sun encompasses planet Earth, supplies the heat that warms it, and even shakes it. The United Nation Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assumed that solar influence on our climate is limited to changes in solar irradiance and adopted the consensus opinion of a Hydrogen-filled Sun, the Standard Solar Model (SSM). They did not consider the alternative solar model and instead adopted another consensus opinion: Anthropogenic greenhouse gases play a dominant role in climate change. The SSM fails to explain the solar wind, solar cycles, and the empirical link of solar surface activity with Earth changing climate. The alternative solar model, that was molded from an embarrassingly large number of unexpected observations revealed by space-age measurements since 1959, explains not only these puzzles but also how closely linked interactions between the Sun and its planets and other celestial bodies induce turbulent cycles of secondary solar characteristics that significantly affect Earth climate. Comment: The way that the Sun controls Earth's climate is explained in 15 pages, 7 figures, and 56 references
 
In this paper, an in-depth analysis of power supply and demand on Vancouver Island is used to provide information about the optimal allocation of power across ‘generating’ sources and to investigate the economics of wind generation and penetrability into the Island grid. The methodology developed can be extended to a region much larger than Vancouver Island. Results from the model indicate that Vancouver Island could experience blackouts in the near future unless greater name-plate capacity is developed. While wind-generated energy has the ability to contribute to the Island’s power needs, the problem with wind power is its intermittency. The results indicate that wind power may not be able to prevent shortfalls, regardless of the overall name-plate capacity of the wind turbines. Further, costs of reducing CO2 emissions using wind power are unacceptably large, perhaps more than $100 per t CO2, although this might be attributable to the mix of power sources making up the Island’s grid.
 
The rent for the incumbent firm
The EU Commission has recently proposed a new directive establishing a framework for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions trading within the European Union. The idea is to devalue the emission quotas in circulation by the year 2012 at latest, so that the EU will meet its Kyoto target level of an 8% GHG reduction. Our main question is whether the final choice of allocation rule can be explained by potential industrial net winners involved in the policy making process. We answer this question by using rent-seeking theory and by analysing the Green Paper hearing replies from the main industrial groups. In other words, we want to explain and observe how rent-seeking (or lobbyism) affects the de-sign of environmental regulation and energy policy in favour of well-organized industrial interest groups. We argue that some firms are likely to reap a net gain from being regulated by a grandfathered emission trading system. This is so be-cause total costs of emission reduction and lobbyism are likely to be smaller than the total rents from having this type of regulation.
 
In 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Working Group One, a panel of experts established by the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme, issued its Fourth Assessment Report. The Report included predictions of dramatic increases in average world temperatures over the next 92 years and serious harm resulting from the predicted temperature increases. Using forecasting principles as our guide we asked: Are these forecasts a good basis for developing public policy? Our answer is “no”. To provide forecasts of climate change that are useful for policy-making, one would need to forecast (1) global temperature, (2) the effects of any temperature changes, and (3) the effects of feasible alternative policies. Proper forecasts of all three are necessary for rational policy making. The IPCC WG1 Report was regarded as providing the most credible long-term forecasts of global average temperatures by 31 of the 51 scientists and others involved in forecasting climate change who responded to our survey. We found no references in the 1056-page Report to the primary sources of information on forecasting methods despite the fact these are conveniently available in books, articles, and websites. We audited the forecasting processes described in Chapter 8 of the IPCC's WG1 Report to assess the extent to which they complied with forecasting principles. We found enough information to make judgments on 89 out of a total of 140 forecasting principles. The forecasting procedures that were described violated 72 principles. Many of the violations were, by themselves, critical. The forecasts in the Report were not the outcome of scientific procedures. In effect, they were the opinions of scientists transformed by mathematics and obscured by complex writing. Research on forecasting has shown that experts' predictions are not useful in situations involving uncertainly and complexity. We have been unable to identify any scientific forecasts of global warming. Claims that the Earth will get warmer have no more credence than saying that it will get colder.
 
The UK was the first country to implement emissions trading as a policy instrument to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the whole of the economy. The paper therefore commences with a description of the UK Emissions Trading Scheme and then continues with a discussion of incentives for UK companies to engage in emissions trading. It then outlines a case for research of companies' experiences of "direct participation" in the Scheme, and presents results obtained from case studies of a set of companies which are "direct participants". These illustrate the impact of emissions trading on income generation as well as cost savings. The paper then concludes with the observation that emissions trading will take on increased importance with the introduction of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme and the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol in 2005, and that further research is therefore required into energy and carbon costs and their possible influences on facilities location. Yes Yes
 
China and the US are two key players in the recent round of 'scrambling' for Africa. They compete for control over oil and other strategic resources, for markets, and for political influence. To understand the concerns of many who have been alarmed by the competition, this article identifies what the US and China are actually doing in Africa and explains how they perceive each other's activities. It argues that alarmists often consider the ambitions of both China and the US in isolation; when laid out side by side, the extent to which their activities in Africa overlap or clash can be seen more clearly. That is, China and the US are seeking different things at different places in the continent and are careful not to step on the each other's toe. Their activities do not support the dire prediction. The 'scramble for Africa' may irritate; it is unlikely to cause direct confrontations because competition remains by and large economic and economic competition in an integrated global market creates networks of constraints that ameliorate potential confrontation.
 
This paper is concerned with the conclusion of the Stern Review that the cost of climate change could be as much as 20% of the global GDP. In this paper, I identify two major sources of the variation in the estimates of the aggregate cost of climate change. One is the different climate change predictions of the AOGCM (Atmospheric Oceanic General Circulation Model) models, and the other is varying economic damage estimates. The main conclusion of this paper is that only under the alarmist approach- which assumes both the most severe climate change and the most extreme estimate of climate change damage to the economy- we can be convinced that the cost of climate change is close to 20% of the global GDP in 2100. In most other cases, the cost will be under 1% of the global GDP.
 
(Continued) Institutional functioning/
In this article, we will explore how local politics of policy, in the interaction with governance mechanisms, have produced specific polity outcomes in the irrigation sector of Andhra Pradesh. The water sector of Andhra Pradesh, which has been struggling within inefficiency, poor performance, deterioration, and lack of participation as elsewhere in India, has undergone substantial reforms aiming at Participatory Irrigation Management (PIM). Previous research has indicated how reform policy choices were contested and mediated by relevant actors and how this affected the outcome in key areas of irrigation management. This is referred to as the politics of policy. We will look at multi-level governance in a situation where different tiers represent different institutional basis, and argue that the politics of policy at multiple levels of governance can be perceived as a form of support and/or resilience by actors to new governance mechanisms/arrangements.
 
Quantitative analysis of NAPs  
In this paper the main design issues of 16 National Allocation Plans (NAPs) are presented in a systematic way for the first period (2005-2007) of the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS). These NAPs have either been submitted to the European Commission (EC) by the EU Member States (MS), or were available as draft versions in early May 2004. Further quantitative and qualitative analyses of these NAPs lead to the conclusions that S unless the review process by the EC leads to significant modifications - (i) the EU ETS is unlikely to result in any major emission reductions in this first period; (ii) many MS allow for a generous allocation to the emissions trading sector at the cost of other sectors and the general taxpayer; (iii) competitive distortions are likely to arise from the different national interpretations of the installations to be covered by the EU ETS and from the partial-system character of the EU ETS; (iv) barriers to economic efficiency will arise from a probable EU-wide ban on banking and ex-post adjustments of allocated quantities for newcomer installations. Finally, for the vast majority of participants transaction costs are expected to be high compared to costs for compliance.
 
Aggressive efficiency improvements and a shift away from fossil fuels cannot offset climate change threats. This realization creates an imperative for ‘carbon-negative’ mitigation measures; that is, measures that can reduce atmospheric carbon faster than emissions will load the atmosphere. Among such measures, air extraction technology, coupled with secure sequestration, offers advantages of centralization and control without direct intervention in the biosphere or major collateral environmental impact. Significant new scientific developments in air extraction show promise of greatly reduced costs, such that decreasing the concentration of carbon in the atmosphere to substantially lower risk levels may be economically practicable. These developments create a strong case for expanded R&D efforts aimed at advancing air extraction technology.
 
Australia is rich in renewable energy resources and is a world leader in the development of some renewable energy technologies. However, with the exception of hydro-electricity, Australia's renewable energy resources lay largely untapped. This paper presents a review of the status and prospects of Australia's renewable energy industries and resource base. Over the last few years, much has happened to further the development of renewable energy in Australia. Green Power schemes, a mandatory 2% Renewables Measure and a number of other measures have provided the impetus for strong growth in solar, wind and biomass industries. Government grants are supporting the development of new projects in geothermal, tidal, wave, wind, solar thermal, photovoltaics, biomass, waste-to-energy and supporting industries. These initiatives are discussed and problem areas are explored. Key areas of contention include which energy technologies benefit from the different support measures, how the different support measures interrelate with one another and the impact of different State policies on an industry that competes across State boundaries.
 
This paper briefly describes the DOE2.1 E models used for the study in each country, highlighting similarities and differences. The consistency of results predicted by the model is discussed for typical climatic locations in both countries. The methods for predicting heating and cooling system loads are shown to produce good results over a wide range of climates and for different system configurations. The paper also discusses the development of climate correlations to extend the range of the models to include locations not in the original databases. Ce document fournit une description sommaire des modèles DOE2.1 E qui sont utilisés aux fins de cette étude dans chaque pays, et met en lumière les similarités et les différences qui existent entre ceux-ci. On y examine la concordance des résultats prédits par le modèle pour les emplacements climatiques types dans les deux pays visés. On démontre que les méthodes de prédiction des charges des systèmes de chauffage et de climatisation produisent des résultats satisfaisants dans une vaste diversité de climats et avec différentes configurations de systèmes. Le document traite également du développement de corrélations climatiques permettant d'élargir la portée des modèles à des emplacements qui ne font pas partie des bases de données initiales. RES
 
This article starts from the premise that the man-made global warming hypothesis, which constitutes the scientific underpinning of the Kyoto Protocol, that expires in 2012, is fundamentally flawed. It nevertheless presents two scenarios of a possible ‘Son of Kyoto’: ‘Europe’s Alleingang’ and ‘World-Wide Kyoto Participation’. Both scenarios promise great sacrifice, whereas neither of them will have a detectable impact on worldwide temperatures. All pain and no gain. The article further analyses the positions of the major players in the run-up to the international climate conference in Copenhagen in December 2009. It concludes that these are so far apart that this event will most likely end in a deadlock. In that light, the author recommends the EU to reconsider its position, since it has isolated itself from the rest of the world with its costly and ineffective climate policy.
 
In Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, Jared Diamond suggests that the US state of Montana is a modern paradigm for his theory of ecocide, where a society's failure to recognise environmental degradation ultimately leads to its demise. However, Diamond's analysis of Montana is factually flawed and lacks a historical understanding of institutions and incentives which have both caused problems and resolved conflicting ideas about how natural resources such as water, forests and minerals, should be managed. Montana is actually a modern paradigm for why the changing preferences and values of any society are best accommodated by institutions that enable values to be expressed through voluntary decision-making rather than through the political process.
 
The advent of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) introduced CO2 emission allowances as a new tradable asset. Market participants now face the question how to manage the risks associated with these emission certificates. In this paper we discuss the market environment in the EU ETS and present the results and implications of an expert survey, which gives a perspective on the development of derivative markets in the EU ETS. Although the EU ETS exhibits some differences, in that it is not only driven by fundamentals but also strongly by regulatory and political factors, we find that the EU ETS develops in a similar fashion to other financial and commodity markets. Moreover, the expert survey gives a clear indication that there are realistic chances for the long-term success of derivatives, not only for futures and forwards but also - to a lesser extent - for more asymmetric, option-like instruments.
 
The environmental impact of photovoltaics (PV) is discussed to ascertain how well it can aid solving the dual problem of meeting the demand for electricity in rural areas and of mitigating the energy-related environmental problems. It is noted that all emissions from PV are indirect and result mainly from the energy used in producing PV equipment. They are compared with the emissions that can be offset by the use of PV. It is concluded that PV is environmentally benign, and in some cases the cheapest way of providing electricity in rural areas. Nevertheless, its currently high costs and small electric capacity mean that there are cheaper and more effective methods for solving environmental problems in the short run. It is observed, however, that the costs of emission abatement are much higher if only the emissions from existing energy uses that are replaced by PV are considered than if the emissions and costs of alternative power production methods that are offset are also included. In the longer run, PV is seen to have very high potential for growth, lower costs, and environmental benefits. Issues affecting the success of PV dissemination in rural areas of developing countries are discussed, and policy suggestions are given.
 
The debate between exponents of 'supply side' and 'demand side' approaches to dealing with environmental problems like climate change can sometimes become polarised. At one extreme it is sometimes claimed that the potential for energy efficiency and demands reductions is so large that we hardly need to worry about the supply side. At the other extreme it is sometimes claimed that the potential for renewables is so large that we can forget about energy conservation. This paper looks at how these views stand up in the context of both short and long term sustainable energy policy and seeks a pragmatic strategic compromise.
 
The activities of humans on Earth have increased the global concern for climate change, ecological distortions, and environmental deterioration. These concerns have warranted regulations that relate to environmental preservation and sustainability. However, the efficiency of such regulations in emerging economies is yet to be ascertained as conclusions from various findings still remain murky. We explore how environmental regulations affects ecological footprint (EFP) using the cross-sectionally augmented autoregressive distributed lag (CS-ARDL) model, augmented mean group (AMG), and the common correlated effects mean group estimators (CCEMG) in the eleven fastest emerging economies (N11). The findings reveal that environmental regulations are not efficient in abating environmental deterioration. Economic growth, trade, and energy consumption invigorate the EFP. The country-specific findings confirm that energy consumption and economic growth promote environmental degradation in all the N11 countries, and the outcome was consistent across all estimators. Finally, policy directions are discussed along with the limitations of the study.
 
The value of the specific mass flow rate in relation to the number of cooling towers in operation.
Values of temperature of cooled water depending on the temperature of the atmospheric air and the number of cells.
Condensing pressure.
The designed value of the degree
Change of condenser pressure.
The electric power system of the Republic of Serbia relies mostly on lignite-fired thermal power plants, with 70% of the total electricity generation. Most of these plants are over 30 years old, and investment in their modernization is necessary. The energy efficiency of the 110 MW coal-fired power plant in which the condenser is cooled by the mechanical draught wet cooling towers system is analyzed in this paper. Attention is primarily devoted to operating conditions of the cold end of the plant, i.e. to the interrelationship of the condenser and cooling towers. Most important parameters that affect the operation of the cooling towers system are ambient air temperature and relative humidity, specific mass flow rate, and temperature of cooled water. With the existing cooling system, the overall energy efficiency of the plant is low, especially in the summer months, even less than 30%, due to adverse weather conditions. By upgrading existing cooling tower system by adaptation of two additional cooling tower cells, overall energy efficiency can be increased by 1.5%. The cooling tower system rehabilitation investments payback period is estimated to be less than one year. Static method for economic and financial assessment is used.
 
An analysis of the impact of carbon dioxide on global warming was performed using global average temperature data covering the last 158 years, along with corresponding atmospheric CO(2) concentration data. A statistically significant correlation between the two was developed and used directly to calculate values of the key CO(2) climate sensitivity factors (CSFs). When CO(2) was treated as a proxy for all possible radiative and feedback forcing agents, an upper bound for the temperature rise due to a doubling of CO(2) concentration was found to be 1.92 K. When the impact of CO(2) alone was separated out from that of other radiative forcing agents, its CSF was found to be 0.250 KW(-1)m(2), and the 2xCO(2) temperature rise is 0.96 K. These values are less, by more than a factor of 3, than those typically reported from use of general circulation models.
 
Top-cited authors
Paul Slovic
  • University of Oregon
Willie Soon
  • Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
Stephen Mcintyre
  • University of Toronto
Seokwon Jung
  • LG Electronics
Arthur Ragauskas
  • University of Tennessee