Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
  • Print publication year: 2011
  • Online publication date: April 2011

11 - Low-carbon energy technologies as mitigation approaches

Summary

‘The only engine big enough to impact Mother Nature is Father Greed: the Market. Only a market, shaped by regulations and incentives to stimulate massive innovation in clean, emission-free power sources can make a dent in global warming.’

Introduction

The joint climate and development imperatives described in the previous chapters demand a strong, immediate and sustained response. As outlined in Chapter 8, the global community has approximately four decades to implement a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the order of 90%.

The transition to a low-carbon/low-emissions economy will likely take many forms and be played out on local, national and regional levels as well as on the global stage (Chapter 13). While little has so far been done to initiate this transition, a diverse suite of existing and near-term technologies exist that can be components of regionally tailored low-carbon energy mixes, and which can underpin an aggressive expansion of energy efficiency worldwide. The challenge is, in effect, one of inventing and implementing a new energy economy in around four decades; i.e. in a fraction of the time it took to build the entire current industrial energy infrastructure.

A new ‘triple bottom line’ is therefore needed: one that is low-carbon, high-growth and job-creating. To further increase this challenge, this must be achieved in not only a few small segments of the global population, but also widely across industrialised and developing nations – from household and village scales, to national and regional economies.

References
Ahn, J. and Apted, M. (eds.) (2010). Geological Repository Systems for Safe Disposal of Spent Nuclear Fuels and Radioactive Waste. Cambridge, UK: Woodhead Publishing.
Arons, S. R., Brandt, A. R., Delucchi, M. A.et al. (2007). A Low-Carbon Fuel Standard for California Part 1: Technical Analysis. Berkeley, CA: UC Berkeley Transportation Research Sustainability Center.
Bailis, R., Ezzati, M. and Kammen, D. M. (2005). Mortality and greenhouse gas impacts of biomass and petroleum energy futures in Africa. Science, 308, 98–103.
Biolite, (2009). Thermoelectrics in biomass stove systems. Presented at the UN-ASEAN Next Generation Cook Stove Workshop. 18 November, Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok.
,Congressional Budget Office (2008). Nuclear Power's Role in Generating Electricity. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Budget Office, p. 28.
Creutzig, F., Papson, A., Schipper, L. and Kammen, D. M. (2009). Economic and environmental evaluation of compressed-air cars. Environmental Research Letters, 4, 1–9.
Creutzig, F. S. and Kammen, D. M. (2010). Getting the carbon out of transportation fuels. In Global Sustainability: A Nobel Cause, eds. Schellnhuber, H.-J., Molina, M., Stern, N., Huber, V. and Kadner, S.. Cambridge, UK and New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, pp. 307–18.
Duke, R. and Kammen, D. M. (1999). The economics of energy market transformation programs. The Energy Journal, 20, 15–64.
Enkvist, P.-A., Nauclér, T. and Rosander, J. (2007). A cost curve for greenhouse gas reduction. The Mckinsey Quarterly, February.
,European Climate Foundation (2010). Roadmap 2050: A Practical Guide to a Prosperous, Low Carbon Europe. Den Haag, The Netherlands: European Climate Foundation, http://www.roadmap2050.eu/downloads.html.
Farrell, A. E., Plevin, R. J., Turner, B. T.et al. (2006). Ethanol can contribute to energy and environmental goals. Science, 311, 506–08.
Fuller, M. C., Portis, S. C. and Kammen, D. M. (2009). Toward a low-carbon economy: Municipal financing for energy efficiency and solar power. Environment, 51, 22–32.
Galperin, A. and Raizes, G. (1997). A pressurized water reactor design for plutonium incineration: Fuel cycle options. Nuclear Technology, 117, 125–132.
Garcia-Frapolli, E., Schilmann, A., Berrueta, V. M.et al. (2010). Beyond fuelwood savings: Valuing the economic benefits of introducing improved biomass cookstoves in the Purhépecha region of Mexico. Ecological Economics, 69(12), 2598–2605.
Granade, H. C., Creyts, J., Derkach, A.et al. (2009). Unlocking Energy Efficiency in the U. S. Economy. New York, NY: McKinsey & Company.
Hertel, T. W., Golub, A. A., Jones, A. D.et al. (2009). Effects of US maize ethanol on global land use and greenhouse gas emissions: Estimating market-mediated responses. BioScience, 60, 223–31.
,International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) (2008). Nuclear Safety Review. Vienna: IAEA.
,International Energy Agency (2007). World Energy Outlook 2007. Paris: International Energy Agency.
Ingersoll, D. T. (2009). Deliberately small reactors and the second nuclear era. Progress in Nuclear Energy, 51, 589–603.
Jacobson, M. Z. and Masters, G. M. (2001). Exploiting wind versus coal. Science, 293, 1438.
Johnson, M., Rufus, E., Ghilardi, A.et al. (2009a). Quantification of carbon savings from improved biomass cookstove projects. Environmental Science & Technology, 43, 2456–62.
Johnson, T. M., Alatorre, C., Romo, Z. and Liu, F. (2009b). Proyecto MEDEC ‘México: Estudio Sobre la Disminución de Emisiones de Carbono’, Colombia: Banco Mundial, Mayol Mediciones.
Kammen, D. M. and Lemoine, D. (2009). Commentary: The transition from ICVs to PHEVs and EVs. In Betting on Science: Disruptive Technologies in Transport Fuels. USA: Accenture, pp. 219–20.
Kammen, D. M. and Nemet, G. (2005). Reversing the incredible shrinking energy R&D budget. Issues in Science & Technology, Fall, 84–88.
Kammen, D. M. and Nemet, G. F. (2007). Energy myth 11 – Energy R&D investment takes decades to reach the market. In Energy and American Society – Thirteen Myths, eds. Sovacool, B. K. and Brown, M. A.. The Netherlands: Springer, pp. 289–310.
Kammen, D. M. and Pacca, S. (2004). Assessing the costs of electricity. Annual Review of Environment and Resources, 29, 301–44.
Kammen, D. M., Kapadia, K. and Fripp, M. (2004). Putting Renewables to Work: How Many Jobs Can the Clean Energy Industry Generate?Berkeley, CA: University of California, Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory.
Kammen, D. M., Farrell, A. E, Plevin, R. J.et al. (2007). Energy and greenhouse impacts of biofuels: A framework for analysis. OECD Research Roundtable: Biofuels: Linking Support to Performance. Berkeley, CA: University of California – Institute of Transportation Studies.
Kammen, D. M., Clabaugh, M., Kerr, A. C. and Portis, S. C. (2008). Securing a Clean Energy Future: Opportunities for States in Clean Energy Research, Development, & Demonstration. Washington, D.C.: National Governors Association.
Center, Keystone (2007). Nuclear Power Joint Fact-finding. Keystone, CO: The Keystone Center.
Marburger, J. H. (2004). Science for the 21st Century. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Office of Science and Technology Policy.
Margolis, R. M. and Kammen, D. M. (1999). Underinvestment: The energy technology and R&D policy challenge. Science, 285, 690–92.
Mendonça, M. (ed.) (2007). Feed-In Tariffs: Accelerating the Deployment of Renewable Energy. London: Earthscan.
,Natural Resources Defense Council (2009). Issues: Global Warming, http://www.nrdc.org/globalwarming/Default.asp.
Nemet, G. F. and Kammen, D. M. (2007). U.S. energy research and development: Declining investment, increasing need, and the feasibility of expansion. Energy Policy, 35, 746–55.
,Nuclear Energy Institute (2008). New Nuclear Plant Status. Washington, D.C.: Nuclear Energy Institute.
O'Hare, M., Plevin, R. J., Martin, J. I.et al. (2009). Proper accounting for time increases crop-based biofuels' greenhouse gas deficit versus petroleum. Environmental Research Letters, 4, 024001.
,PCAST (1997). Report to the President on Federal Energy Research and Development for the Challenges of the Twenty-First Century. Washington, D.C.: President's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology.
Perlack, R. D., Wright, L. L., Turhollow, A. F., Graham, R. L. and Stokes, B. J. (2005). Biomass as Feedstock for a Bioenergy and Bioproducts Industry: The Technical Feasibility of a Billion-ton Annual Supply. US Department of Energy and US Department of Agriculture.
,REN21 (2009). Renewables Global Status Report 2009 Update. Paris: Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century.
Richter, B., Goldston, D. L., Crabtree, G.et al. (2008). How America can look within to achieve energy security and reduce global warming. Reviews of Modern Physics, 80 S1–S109.
Rickerson, W. H., Sawin, J. L. and Grace, R. C. (2007). If the shoe FITs: Using feed-in tariffs to meet U.S. renewable electricity targets. The Electricity Journal, 20, 73–86.
Riddel, M. (2009). Risk perception, ambiguity, and nuclear-waste transport. Southern Economic Journal, 75, 781–97.
Rosenthal, E. (2008). Europe turns back to coal, raising climate fears. New York Times, 23 April.
Sailor, W. C., Bodansky, D., Braun, C., Fetter, S. and Zwaan, R. (2000). A nuclear solution to climate change?Science, 288, 1177–78.
Searchinger, T., Heimlich, R., Houghton, R. A.et al. (2008). Use of U.S. croplands for biofuels increases greenhouse gases through emissions from land-use change. Science, 319, 1238–40.
Smith, K. R. and Haigler, E. (2008). Co-benefits of climate mitigation and health protection in energy systems: Scoping methods. Annual Review of Public Health, 29, 11–25.
Stern, N. H. (2007). The Economics of Climate Change: The Stern Review. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Stokes, D. E. (1997). Pasteur's Quadrant: Basic Science and Technological Innovation. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press.
,United Nations Environment Programme and New Energy Finance Limited (2009). Global Trends in Sustainable Energy Investment 2009. n.p.: United Nations Environment Programme.
,US Government Accountability Office (2004). Renewable Energy: Wind Power's Contribution to Electric Power Generation and Impact on Farms and Rural Communities. Washington, D.C.: US Government Accountability Office.
Wei, M., Patadia, S. and Kammen, D. M. (2010). Putting renewables and energy efficiency to work: How many jobs can the clean energy industry generate in the US?Energy Policy, 38, 919–31.
Wiser, R. and Bolinger, M. (2007). Annual Report on U.S. Wind Power Installation, Cost, and Performance Trends: 2006. Washington, D.C.: US Department of Energy – Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
,World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) (2009). The Energy Access Situation in Developing Countries. A Review Focusing on the Least Developed Countries and Sub-Saharan Africa. New York, NY: United Nations Development Programme, Environment and Energy Group.