[Jan 15-21'24] Energy transition cheaper than thought
YouTube's new climate deniers, renewables grew 20% in ASEAN in 2023 and Davos ignores climate crisis.
Welcome to this week’s edition of The Weekly Climate 🎉
‼️News you can’t miss
Here’s one important scary/bad (🙀), good (😻), interesting (😼) and fossil (💩) news item.
👩⚕️ Status: Climate & Science
Let’s look at how we’re doing this week!
[#greenland] — A new study reveals that Greenland's ice sheet is losing about 20% more ice than previously estimated, potentially impacting ocean currents that regulate global temperatures. The study combines satellite images from 1985 to 2022 and provides a comprehensive view of the contracting edges of the ice sheet. The melting ice adds freshwater to the ocean, which could weaken the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation and affect temperatures in Europe.
📰 The 7 Grand Challenges
Clean electricity is the one do-or-die challenge we must solve.
[#asiarenewable] — According to a report from Global Energy Monitor (GEM), wind and solar capacity in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region increased by 20% in 2023, reaching over 28 gigawatts (GW). This brings the total renewable energy capacity to 9% of electricity generation in ASEAN countries. The report suggests that building an additional 17GW of utility-scale solar and wind projects in the next two years would be sufficient to reach the target of 35% renewable energy capacity by 2025. However, despite the progress, the region still faces regulatory hurdles and a lack of supportive policies for wind and solar expansion.
[#costs] — A new analysis from RMI challenges the commonly held belief that the transition to clean energy will be extremely costly. The report argues that many estimates fail to consider the decrease in fossil fuel spending, resulting in inflated figures. The analysis suggests that global capital spending on energy supply will only increase by 2 percent per year, amounting to about $2.5 trillion in 2030. This counters estimates from organizations like McKinsey & Company and the International Energy Agency, which project much higher costs. The report emphasizes the need for a fairer comparison between a net-zero emissions scenario and a business-as-usual scenario. While the transition to clean energy will vary by country and region, the report highlights that the world has sufficient funds to support a rapid transition.
[#todolist] — The energy transition to-do list for 2024 includes getting a grip on wind power and grids, unleashing clean energy deployment in emerging economies, and locking in demand for clean industrial materials. While progress has been made in renewable capacity, electric vehicle adoption, and cost reduction of clean technologies, more action is needed to accelerate wind power construction, expand power grid investment, promote clean energy deployment in emerging markets, and ensure long-term demand for green industrial materials.
🏘 Reduce impact of urban and rural areas
Lowering the impact of urban and rural areas.
[#deconstruction] — Cities across the U.S. are adopting deconstruction practices to keep building materials out of landfills. Portland, Oregon, was the first city to require deconstruction for certain homes, and other cities like San Antonio and Boulder have followed suit. The goal is to salvage materials from old buildings for reuse in new construction, reducing waste and promoting a circular economy. However, challenges remain, such as ensuring contractors use salvaged materials and differentiating between reuse and recycling.