BHP announced a 5-year, $400-million Climate Investment Program to develop technologies to reduce emissions from its operations as well as those generated from the use of its resources. By refusing development consent of a coal mine on the basis of likely contribution to climate change and adverse social impacts, the New South Wales Land and Environment Court has drawn attention to the increasing importance of human rights considerations in assessing the impact of major projects. There is more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than there has been for 800,000 years—since before our species evolved. Royal Dutch Shell is changing its tune on carbon, saying it will tie executive pay to shorter-term reductions in emissions. A dire government report on the far-reaching impact of climate change could increase pressure on the energy industry to curb greenhouse gas emissions and political leaders to act more decisively to reduce the use of fossil fuels, analysts said.
Royal Dutch Shell is changing its tune on carbon, saying it will tie executive pay to shorter-term reductions in emissions. Shareholders will vote on the revisions in 2020. Shell's announcement marks a change in stance by Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden, who for years rejected investor demands that Shell detail its plans to curtail emissions, saying it would make the company more vulnerable to lawsuits. "Meeting the challenge of tackling climate change requires unprecedented collaboration, and this is demonstrated by our engagements with investors," the Shell chief said in a statement. "This joint statement is the first of its kind, sets a benchmark for the rest of the oil and gas sector, and shows the benefit of engagement—aligning institutional investors' long-term interests with Shell's desire to be at the forefront of the energy transition," Matthews said.
In order to provide support to the green design of ships and relate marine structures, a practical and accurate evaluation model of life cycle carbon emissions is established. Based on the study of carbon emission characteristics at all stages of ship life cycle, this model adopts the life cycle assessment theory and introduces the uncertainty correction factors to accurately quantify carbon emissions. And the results can help guide the low-carbon design of ships. Finally, the feasibility and effectiveness of this model are verified by taking a 943 TEU river-sea-going container ship as an example.
Carbon emissions give rise to several global environmental effects, like global warming and related sea level rise, ocean acidification, etc. In 2007, the total CO2 emissions in the shipping industry reached 1.046 billion tons. It represented 3.3% of the global emissions and the international shipping industry accounted for 2.7%. CO2 emissions from the shipping industry will grow by 150-250% in 2050 compared with 2007 if associated mitigation measures not be taken (Hui, 2016). Low-carbon design of ship has become one of the hot spots of green ship research. Sulaiman et al. (2013) demonstrated that the conceptual design stage of the ship has already determined 80% of the full life cycle environmental impact of the ship. Accurate evaluation of carbon emissions is the precondition to implement low-carbon design. Therefore, it is important to evaluate the carbon emissions of the ship life cycle in the preliminary design stage.
Life cycle assessment (LCA) is an important tool used to assess the environmental impact of the products and services in a “cradle to grave” perspective (BSI, 2006). Many researchers used the LCA theory to carry out researches on ship carbon emissions. Li (2010) analyzed the carbon emissions of a 180,000-ton bulk carrier by using the PAS2050 method, and pointed out that reducing the fuel consumption in the operation stage was an important way to reduce the ship carbon emissions. Based on the LCA theory, Chatzinikolaou et al. (2013) established a ship air emission analysis model to calculate the emissions of an oil tanker from four stages of ship life cycle (shipbuilding, operation, maintenance and dismantling). Fang (2015) expanded the study of ship carbon emissions into time and space dimensions, and analyzed the spatiotemporal distribution of ship carbon emissions in a life cycle perspective. Pommier et al. (2016) compared the environmental impacts of four kinds of hull materials (aluminum, composite, exotic wood and maritime pine) by using the LCA theory and ISO 14040 standards, and pointed out that wood had better environmental performance. The above studies generally analyzed the carbon emission characteristics of ship in the main life cycle stages, and demonstrated that the LCA theory can be employed for the ship carbon emission evaluation greatly. However, during the calculation of ship carbon emissions, the stochastic variation of the parameters at each stage of the life cycle will bring uncertainties to the calculation results, which will reduce the credibility of the results. Therefore, this paper takes the uncertainty into consideration and analyzes the influence of uncertain parameters on the ship carbon emissions so as to more accurately identify the carbon emission characteristics of ship in different life cycle stages.
Climate change poses a global threat to the sustainable development of human societies. If not controlled, its impacts can threaten a vast range of human life including economic, social welfare, and public health. Most of the human-made part of this phenomenon is caused by the excessive greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), particularly carbon byproducts. Several solutions have been proposed to reduce the carbon emissions. In this paper, we investigate the effectiveness of an Emission Trading System (ETS), with a case study on the European implementation of this approach.
Our approach is based on the system dynamics methodology. First, we perform a literature study on the main sources of carbon emissions, and investigate the key factors involved in the carbon cycle. Then, we extract the casual relations between the derived factors and parameters. On top of the casual model, we build a stock and flow model in which the stock variables are related to their rate variables through a differential equation whose coefficients are time-varying and determined in the model itself. The whole model is reduced to a system of differential equations with variable coefficients, and is solved numerically using methods such as Runge-Kutta. The mathematical relations between the main variables are derived using regression analysis on the available historic data which are used to train the model. For the set of variables where analytic relations cannot be derived or are not suited, look-up tables are utilized.
The main procedure involved in the ETS is providing an Emission Allowance (EA) trading system, by placing a price on the volumes of the emissions. Thereby, financially incentivizing the main entities that emit large amounts of CO2 (or other GHGs in equivalent volumes of CO2) to reduce their emissions. An economic model between the EA Price, Demand and Supply is derived, where the supply is determined according to the regulations (reduced by 1.74% annually), and the demand is proportional to the actual carbon emissions. All main sources of emissions such as the power sector (whose main player is the electricity demand), manufacturing industries and construction, transport sector, aviation, etc., are included in the demand side. For our case study, the data and reports of Eurostat are used and the model is simulated.
A system dynamic model to determine the relations between the emissions production, demand and allowance prices is provided, which implements the method described in the EU ETS. The European data is used to simulate the model. Our simulations show that the EA pricing system can be increasingly effective to control the emissions though the EA prices, by consistently covering more industries (currently only 45% are covered) and reducing the allowance allocations. The possible implications of such a system for the US are investigated.
Although this talk is about carbon dioxide (CO2), our starting point is energy. From the EIA Annual Energy Outlook (EIA, 2009) we find petroleum liquids, coal, and natural gas dominate the United States (US) energy mix. This energy picture is mirrored around the world. Most projections are that the energy load is going to increase in lock step with the current 1.2% world population growth.
Jeffrey Stewart of Lawrence Livermore National Lab (LLNL) has been publishing diagrams illustrating this energy mix (Figure 1). If you are not used to looking at Stewart diagrams, they appear rather chaotic. But they are full of information about US and world energy use. For the US in 2002, the Stewart diagram shows net energy use of 97 quads (a quad is 1015 BTU). It breaks down such interesting details as domestic and import oil input and oil usage divided between transportation (65%), industrial (10%), and residential (5%) fuels, as well as non-fuel use (13%). For each category of energy use, there is a certain amount of energy loss: usable energy and unused energy lost in the form of heat. We see that none of these energy applications is alarmingly efficient, but oil in transportation use is alarmingly inefficient with 80% of the energy lost.
Methane released to the atmosphere during underground coal mining operations is a greenhouse gas and wastes a valuable energy resource. Coal mining in the United States released an estimated 190 to 300 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of methane into the atmosphere in 1990. Based on the current trend of increasing coal production and the mining of deeper, methane-rich coal deposits, methane emissions from coal mines have been forecast to be 260 to 450 Bcf by 2010. Because of inadequate methane capture technology, less than 5 percent of methane released during coal mining is currently recovered for use. New initiatives for coalbed methane will increase its recovery, thus providing important environmental and safety benefits while enhancing the worldwide natural gas supply. This investigation determined the feasibility for installing a 200 kW phosphoric acid fuel cell at a large underground coal mine located in the Black Warrior Basin of Alabama. Assurance of supply, variation of coalbed methane quality, and economic feasibility were studied. The fuel cell can be operated directly from variable-quality coalbed methane produced from underground mining. Waste heat from the fuel cell can be used ill the mine's coal dryer, allowing a portion of the coal normally consumed in the dryer to be sold. Excess electric power, if available, can be sold to the public utility grid. An energy cost of approximately $0.05/kWh is necessary for the direct generation of electric power from a coalbed methane/fuel cell system to be competitive.
Methane released to the atmosphere during coal milling operations is believed to contribute to global warming and represents a waste of a valuable energy resource. Coal mining in the United States released an estimated 190 to 300 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of methane into the atmosphere in 1990. Based on the current trend of increasing coal production and the mining of deeper, methane-rich coal deposits, methane emissions from coal mines have been forecast to be 260 to 450 Bcf by 2010. Largely because of inadequate methane capture technology, less than 5 percent of methane released during coal mining is currently recovered for use. Improved design and technology to lower the costs of methane recovery could make it economically viable in many more mines, thus providing important environmental and safety benefits while enhancing the nation's natural gas supply.
Atmospheric concentrations of methane have doubled over the past two centuries and continue to increase. The Clinton Administration, recognizing the potential environmental risks of methane emissions, has developed the Climate Change Action Plan to control the growth of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The initial Plan looks for voluntary participation by the mining industry for increased methane capture. Should the voluntary actions be inadequate, future environmental initiatives will probably require the recovery of methane from coal mines, even though the technology to economically recover methane from coal mines has yet to be demonstrated for most mining situations.
This study investigated the feasibility of operating a phosphoric acid fuel cell power plant on variable-quality coalbed methane. This area of fuel cell power plant operation must be investigated because its application is far-reaching.