Guest essay by Larry Hamlin
Climate alarmist propaganda activists and their supporting media here in the U.S. and EU have perpetrated a badly flawed fiction that somehow the U.S. and EU have the ability to control how the rest of the world deals with future energy use and emissions growth.
The hard and unequivocal reality is that neither the U.S. nor the EU will play a defining role in determining how much future global energy use or emissions growth will increase.
The energy use and emissions growth of both the U.S. and EU have become insignificant relative to future global growth.
This reality is illustrated by the emissions graph below which clearly displays that declining emissions by both the U.S. and EU coupled with continuing huge growths in emissions by the developing nations renders both the U.S. and EU inconsequential regarding future global emissions growth.
This same situation as exists for future emissions growth for both the U.S. and EU also exists with respect to energy use growth which is addressed in the information provided below.
The U.S. and EU represent combined only about 29% of global energy use and 26% of global emissions.
More significantly the U.S. and EU had negative energy use and emissions growth rates during the last decade with annual yearly rates of declining growth in energy use being -0.3% and –1.0% respectively as illustrated in the graphs below and –1.2% and –2.0% respectively in declining emissions growth.
These U.S. and EU declining rates of energy use growth when compared with the developing nations show that the these nations now control 58.5% of global energy use and 62.8% of global emissions with developing nation 10 year increasing growth rates for energy use at +3.3% and emissions at +2.9%.
Examples of the continuing increased large energy use growth of the developing nations are shown below for China, India, Middle East and Africa (with a difference energy scale than the others).
Both the U.S. and EU contributed to decreased energy use and emissions growth during the last 10 years while global energy use grew by 17% and emissions grew by 11% during this period lead by the world’s developing nations.
Fossil fuels continue to provide by far and away the largest incremental increased growth of global energy use as demonstrated in the graph below which depicts the growth of global energy use with fuel mix components identified.
Despite the “war on coal” by climate alarmists in the U.S. and EU the rest of the world’s developing nations have clearly decided that fossil fuels will be the preferred fuel choice for their future energy use growth including future growth for coal as noted in the GWPF article shown below.
The developing nations are signaling that the economic benefits of fossil fuels trump (no pun intended) government driven mandates requiring high cost, unreliable renewables as illustrated by the resurgence of Indonesian use of coal along with increased coal use by its close energy partner China.
Another GWPF article notes the huge magnitude of coal energy growth planned and underway for both Indonesia and China as follows:
“Arcandra Tahar, Indonesia’s deputy minister for energy and mines, said the government planned to increase its investment in the coal and minerals sector this year to $6.2 billion. He also told the Coaltrans Asia conference that Indonesia had no plans to reduce coal exports, Reuters reported.
Indonesia’s coal exports are expected to hit 371 million metric tons this year, up 7 per cent from last year.
Domestic demand is also driving the boon for Indonesia’s coal producers, thanks to an ambitious government plan to add 56 gigawatts (GW) of electricity capacity across the archipelago by 2027, mostly through the construction of new coal-fired power plants.”
“Behind China’s renewed appetite for coal is the robust economic growth in the world’s biggest energy consumer. With the construction of natural gas infrastructure proceeding slower than expected, much of the growing demand for electricity has had to be met by burning more coal. As a result, China’s consumption of coal rose by 0.4 per cent last year, the first increase since 2013.”
Indonesia which is the world’s 4th most populous nation behind China, India and the U.S. with 269 million people has grown its primary energy consumption at an annual rate of 2.9% per year over the last decade with fossil fuels making up 96% of that energy.
Fossil fuels dominate Indonesia’s energy use with oil accounting for 44%, coal 33% and natural gas 19% of the nations energy use.
Hydro makes up about 2.3% with other renewables in the form of biofuels accounting for only about 1.7% of Indonesia’s primary energy.
Indonesia CO2 emissions have climbed at an annual rate of 3.1% per year over the last decade and increased by 185 million metric tons per year during that period.
For comparison purposes for those of us living in California this increase in Indonesia CO2 emissions is about 3.5 times greater than California’s government mandated CO2 reductions with billions of dollars in carbon tax fees and higher electricity costs paid by Californians to achieve that reduction.
Additionally embarrassing for California is the impact of the state governments failures in forest management and community development policies that have lead to increased wildfires which have resulted in our states forests becoming net emitters of CO2 emissions which was not assumed to be the case by regulators who established California’s CO2 reduction estimates – thus the state governments CO2 reduction estimates are wrong and overstate California’s emissions reduction results.
Californians paid billions of dollars for nothing but a bunch of climate alarmist political propaganda.
China and Indonesia have established an energy initiative, the Belt and Road Initiative, which establishes the future coal relationship framework between these countries with the goal of building 35,000 MegaWatts of new coal plants in Indonesia by the end of 2019 powered mostly with Indonesia coal. Additionally this initiative provides for Indonesia to utilize China’s coal power plant technology and most importantly the availability of financing by China to promote the building of these plants.
A recent example of the success of Indonesia and China’s cooperation in building coal plants is illustrated by the Celukan Bawang coal power plant located on Bali’s northern coast port city Celukan Bawang. This coal plant started operation in 2015.
The Celukan Bawang coal plant comprises three 142 MW coal power plants. The plant was built with $880 million in financing by China Development Bank and built by a consortium of China and Indonesian companies. The plant is shown below.
This power plant is presently being expanded with the addition of two new 330 MW coal plants.
Climate scientist Nic Lawis noted in a recent article at WUWT that:
“To tackle global climate change it is far more important that fast-growing developing countries do more than any well-intentioned steps in the Netherlands. “In fact, European emissions don’t matter.”
This astute insight is not only true for the EU but for the U.S. as well.
Unfortunately the climate alarmist propaganda alarmists and their supporters in the media both here and in the EU continue to conceal these global energy use and emissions growth realities from the public while clamoring for enormously expensive and bureaucratic obtrusive government schemes that will accomplish no significant reduction of future growth of either global energy use or emissions.
Under President Trump’s highly successful energy policies the U.S. has now become a global energy giant bringing both improved emissions performance, as U.S. CO2 reductions during the last decade clearly establish, and more competitive energy costs for the benefits of all Americans.
A WUWT article on energy realism noted:
“From fossil fuels to renewables…supply rose…costs fell…efficiencies increased…and diversity blossomed. And something else happened as well. Our environment did not become worse. By nearly any measure, it became better, even as our economy expanded and energy development reached new heights.”
“America is now on the cusp of energy independence, but the President would like to go farther. He would like to share our energy bounty with the world and let the spirit of competition benefit consumers by providing more choices in the marketplace. Already, we are sharing our natural gas.”
“Last year, we became a net natural gas exporter. Today, we export LNG to 27 nations on five continents.”
“We are increasing our coal exports substantially. These exports rose by an estimated 61 percent last year over 2016, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Last August, the first shipment of Pennsylvania thermal coal bound for Ukraine left the Port of Baltimore. In the coming years, we will be exporting multiple fuels.”
“And not only that. We will export the same technologies that made us a clean, abundant, and diverse energy producer in the first place. By exporting our energy, we can free our friends and allies from fuel dependence on unfriendly nations.
“And by exporting our energy technology and know-how, we can help developing countries in Latin America, Africa, and Asia create their own energy renaissance and harness more energy to improve the lives of their citizens.”
“And that includes access to electricity. Over a billion people live without it. We want to reduce that number substantially in the coming years.”
The U.S. has shown that fossil fuels are the way of the future providing both environmental and energy cost benefits and it is clear that the rest of the world is embracing that conclusion.