DisasterousGiraffe OP t1_jeexlmi wrote

"In Europe, heat pumps enjoyed a record year, with sales growing by nearly 40%. In particular, sales of air-to-water models, which are compatible with typical radiators and underfloor heating systems, jumped by almost 50% in Europe. In the United States, heat pump purchases exceeded those of gas furnaces."


DisasterousGiraffe OP t1_jd9bkko wrote

Perhaps, but even with a pure free market, and not imposing the external costs of coal (like health and climate change) on the industry, I can't see how the US electricity generation industry will continue using coal plants beyond the working life of the existing plants. Solar is just so cheap, and under free market theories it will get cheaper as volume manufacture of the panels increases. It seems to me therefore that the MIT graph of coal use out to 2100 cannot possibly be correct whether or not we like free markets.

We might reasonably argue that US electricity generation using coal plants is not representative of the global coal industry, but 92% of India's new electricity generation capacity was solar in 2022 and although they are building lots of coal plants China seems to be building solar at approximately the same rate as coal. The IEA says global coal increased 1.6% in 2022, mostly in Asia, but they also say renewables met 90% of last year’s global growth in electricity generation. So I guess we are at approximately global peak coal. After peak coal the MIT graph should go downwards. Exactly when and how fast it goes down is open to debate, for example the UK shut down 90% of its coal in 10 years, but MIT have drawn the graph going upwards to 2100. That's why I think the MIT graph is plain wrong.


DisasterousGiraffe OP t1_jd8deu4 wrote

The MIT graphs look plain wrong. For example, the left-hand graph for heavily subsidize renewables shows coal, oil and gas as primary energy sources effectively flat or slightly increasing out to 2100. The current growth of solar and wind is already reducing fossil fuels in major areas, for example in the US for electricity generation, this will accelerate as solar becomes cheaper.


DisasterousGiraffe OP t1_jd7z3sc wrote

"Solar, according to the IPCC report, can deliver more emission cuts than any other technology by 2030, when the world needs to have cut its emissions by at least half if it is to have any chance of capping average global warming at 1.5°C. Solar and wind together offer nearly ten times the emission cut potential than nuclear, and 20 times that of carbon capture."


DisasterousGiraffe t1_jc850jk wrote

"Worldwide, climate change sceptics fall into three main categories.

First of all, you have the climate denialists, who are economically motivated. For example, fake activists are paid by the fossil fuel industries with the aim of delaying action against global warming. This has already been extensively documented.

Then there are the political climate sceptics, who reject the reality of global warming and denigrate the measures proposed to address it, mainly to undermine the political opponents who support these initiatives. They are not necessarily interested in global warming as such. The US elections saw a resurgence of climate scepticism because it provided an opportunity to attack the Democrats' environmental agenda.

And finally, a third category consists in geopolitical climate scepticism, originating in countries with totalitarian regimes. For these governments, such as the Kremlin, the climate crisis is a chance to divide populations and weaken democracies, as I explained in my book Toxic Data. For instance, we know that one of the strategies Putin uses to gain geopolitical influence is to carry out subversive operations on the social networks in a bid to weaken the democracies. His goal is to exacerbate internal divisions in order to alter social cohesion and ensure that the attention of governments is taken up by internal conflicts, or even, where possible, that these governments are themselves delegitimised.

The upsurge in climate change denialism that we've seen since the summer of 2022 appears to originate, in large part, in this third current.

We've come across accounts that initially spread dissension about Covid-19 vaccines, before relaying the Kremlin's propaganda about the war in Ukraine, and eventually defending climate-sceptic theories. 60% of the climate-denialist community active in 2022 took part in pro-Putin digital campaigns."

Investigating climate sceptics’ disinformation strategy on Twitter 03.13.2023, by Sebastián Escalón


DisasterousGiraffe OP t1_jaryg79 wrote

> country that has completely switched over to renewables

In predicting the future of renewable electricity generation it is very important to base our predictions on future renewable prices, not on historic prices, because renewables are getting much cheaper relative to other sources, such as coal, gas and nuclear. Existing installed generating capacity was all purchased at historic prices when renewables were more expensive.

Looking into the future we can see the US is switching to a fully renewable electricity grid. This transition is happening even with current renewable prices. The 2023 planned additions and retirements according to the EIA are

Planned 2023 Capacity New Retirement Change
Solar 29.1 GW 0 +29.1 GW
Batteries 9.4 GW 0 +9.4 GW
Wind 6.0 GW 0 +6.0 GW
Nuclear 2.2 GW 0 +2.2 GW
Natural Gas 7.5 GW 6.2 GW +1.3 GW
Coal 0 8.9 GW -8.9 GW

A massive increase in solar pv, wind and batteries, and a massive decrease in coal. Not much change in natural gas, but we know from Swanson's law the volume manufacture of solar pv will continue to bring down the price and lead to a spiral of increasing manufacturing capacity and reducing price. Similarly, wind turbines are getting cheaper but at a slower rate. These bite into the profitablility of natural gas electricity generation by making the gas plants into peaker plants, which are approximately twice as expensive per kWh as continuously operating plants. The gas peaker plants are then more expensive than, and have difficulty competing with, grid-connected batteries. Batteries are also increasing in volume and falling in price partly because the auto industry is going all-in with BEVs which already have 14% of the global market in 2022. BEV sales are increasing at a conservative estimate of 30% per year which means they also represent a second significant threat to the oil and gas industry by reducing gasoline consumption - gasoline being the major component of crude oil.

The wikipedia list of countries by renewable electricity generation needs updating from mostly historic 2016 numbers, but may give sources for its country-related renewable electricity data. The changes since 2016 might be similar to Australia which has significantly increased solar and wind generation in the last 10 years. (The chart of total energy consumption by Australian state shows a less optimistic picture of the transition from fossil fuels - the need to electrify more of the world's energy usage.)


DisasterousGiraffe OP t1_jamu86e wrote

This economic case for solar PV and wind turbines now makes the transition from fossil fuels inevitable, and as manufacturing capacity for solar pv and renewables is built the transition will become increasingly rapid.

"If you look at the total world economy, it’s just under $US100 trillion. So if this was spread out, say over 10 years, it would be 1 per cent of the global economy."


DisasterousGiraffe t1_j8no1ei wrote

Inspired by your answer, I imagine we might also consider the fact that m1 and m2 are not perfect rigid point masses. Each is a spring-connected set of points of mass - molecules and atoms with intermolecular forces - spread in a volume. The individual points of mass will exert different gravitation forces on each other and have time-delayed spring forces transmitted through the network of points. I guess we can ignore the speed of gravity when doing a rough approximation.


DisasterousGiraffe OP t1_j5a72ir wrote