BP says CO2 emissions unsustainable, warns on global warming.

BP has warned that carbon dioxide emission levels from burning fossil fuels are unsustainable unless the international community unilaterally introduces tougher binding regulations on atmospheric pollution. 

The stark warning from the UK’s second-largest oil company came with the publication on Tuesday of its closely-watched long-term outlook for global energy markets, which predicts that CO2 emissions will increase by 1pc per year, or 25pc in total, through to 2035. 

This rise in pollution would be worse than the current rate, which scientists have said would have a negative effect on climate change. The United Nations is seeking to limit the increase of the average global surface temperature to no more than 2C, compared with pre-industrial levels, to avoid “dangerous” climate change, and will hold a major conference in Paris in December to agree on a firm system for restricting emissions.

Press link for more Andrew Critchlow | telegraph.co.uk

Why Tesla’s battery for your home should terrify utilities.

Earlier this week, during a disappointing Tesla earnings call, Elon Musk mentioned in passing that he’d be producing a stationary battery for powering the home in the next few months. It sounded like a throwaway side project from someone who’s never seen a side project he doesn’t like. But it’s a very smart move, and one that’s more central to Musk’s ambitions than it might seem.

To understand why, it helps to look not at Tesla, but at SolarCity, a company chaired by Musk and run by his cousin Lyndon Rive. SolarCity installs panels on people’s roofs, leases them for less than they’d be paying in energy bills, and sells surplus energy back to the local utility. It’s proven a tremendously successful model. Founded in 2006, the company now has 168,000 customers and controls 39 percent of the rapidly expanding residential solar market.


Fueled by financing systems like SolarCity’s, government subsidies, and a rapid drop in the price of photovoltaics, solar has been growing fast. But with that growth, some of solar’s downsides are coming to the fore. Obviously, the sun isn’t always shining when you need power, and sometimes the sun is shining when you don’t need power. The former is a problem for the user, who needs to draw on the grid when it’s cloudy or dark; the latter is a problem for the grid, which needs to find a place for that excess energy to go. When there’s a lot of solar in the system, it can get hard to keep the grid balanced.

That’s part of the reason that California, with one of the most aggressive renewable energy mandates in the country, recently declared the most aggressive energy storage mandate as well, with a goal of 1.3 gigawatts of storage by 2020. As other states adopt intermittent renewables like solar and wind, they’ll need to install energy storage too, providing a ready and waiting market for Tesla’s batteries.

Press link for more: Josh Dzieza | theverge.com

Tesla Motors, throwing down a major challenge to the global motor industry.

Tesla, which already has a market worth more than half of General Motors, despite having just a fraction of the sales, says its next big market is the battery storage sector, and will release a lithium-ion battery storage produce in the next few months.

Chief technical officer JB Straubel says designs are nearly complete, and production will begin within the next six months.

“We’re going to unveil some of the Tesla home battery consumer battery that will be for you using and people’s houses or businesses, fairly soon,” he told an analysts in a conference to discuss Tesla’s latest results. “It’s really great. I’m really excited about it.”

Tesla, with its Model S vehicle, has broken down the barriers on electric vehicles with its high performance, luxury and extended range (400kms to 500kms), and its success has accelerated the EV efforts of other car makers such as BMW, GM and Ford.

Press link for more: Giles Parkinson | reneweconomy.com.au

‘It is profitable to let the world go to hell’

How depressed would you be if you had spent more than 40 years warning of an impending global catastrophe, only to be continually ignored even as you watch the disaster unfolding?

So spare a thought for Jørgen Randers, who back in 1972 co-authored the seminal work Limits to Growth (pdf), which highlighted the devastating impacts of exponential economic and population growth on a planet with finite resources.

As politicians and business leaders gather in Davos to look at ways to breathe new life into the global battle to address climate change, they would do well to listen to Randers’ sobering perspective.

The professor of climate strategy at the Norwegian Business School has been pretty close to giving up his struggle to wake us up to our unsustainable ways, and in 2004 published a pessimistic update of his 1972 report showing the predictions made at the time are turning out to be largely accurate.

What he cannot bear is how politicians of all persuasions have failed to act even as the scientific evidence of climate change mounts up, and as a result he has largely lost faith in the democratic process to handle complex issues.

Our economic system enriches the most powerful at the expense of the 99%.
In a newly published paper in the Swedish magazine Extrakt he writes:

It is cost-effective to postpone global climate action. It is profitable to let the world go to hell.

I believe that the tyranny of the short term will prevail over the decades to come. As a result, a number of long-term problems will not be solved, even if they could have been, and even as they cause gradually increasing difficulties for all voters.

Press link for more: Jo Confino | theguardian.com

Battery energy storage to free ourselves from the grid.

Those who are following the development and rise of solar energy and battery energy storage will have many reasons to rejoice. The cost of traditional lithium-ion batteries, such as those used by laptops and mobile gadgets are getting cheaper as the technology begins to flood the Australian and international markets.

Battery energy storage previously explored by Tesla
For instance, Tesla’s electric car company, and Panasonic, the electronic giant, have been working closely on reducing the costs of their Li-Ion batteries. The ‘gigafactory’ of Tesla has led many companies to expect Li-Ion batteries that will be available at a third of the price of the current ones.

As a result of this recent development, most people in the solar market are entertaining the big idea of putting solar panels on every roof with an affordable battery energy storage in the basement or the backyard and be free of the grid completely.

Press Link for more: Eddy Buckley | australiansolarquotes.com.au

Can the world live better and curb climate change?

The world can improve living standards for all while cutting climate-changing emissions to keep to an internationally agreed limit for global warming, a team led by the British government said on Wednesday.

It launched an online calculator allowing businesses, governments, researchers and the public to explore how different ways of pursuing economic development to 2050 will shape carbon emissions and rising temperatures.

Even though the world’s population is set to rise to 10 billion by 2050 from 7 billion today, the tool shows it is possible for everyone to eat well, travel further and live in more comfortable homes, without pushing global temperature rise above 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change said.

But to achieve that, we must use energy more efficiently, shift away from fossil fuels, protect forests and make smarter use of land, it added.

Press link for more: World Economic Forum

Energy Revolution is upon us.

Malcolm Turnbull gets it. Last Saturday, after having a test drive of a Tesla Model S electric vehicle in California – an experience he described as ‘exhilarating’ – he declared that an “energy revolution” was upon us.

He noted how battery storage could turn the energy market upside down, reducing peaking power requirements, optimising the use of renewables and in some cases enabling consumers to go off the grid altogether.

“The excitement of technology in the Bay Area is exhilarating…..but not quite as palpable as the jolt you feel when you hit the accelerator!” he wrote. We don’t have a video of Turnbull’s test drive, but if he was in the passenger seat, it might have looked something like this.

For more press link: Giles Parkinson | reneweconomy.com.au