Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Rounding To Nearest Whole Number, Solar Energy Still Provides Less Than 1% Of US Energy Production -- Obama Administration Data (EIA) For 2015; 44% Of Readers Not Paying Attention -- NY Times

0.0096702 = 0.967% = 1% when rounded to first whole number.

I can no longer state that solar energy rounds to 0% when rounded to first whole number.

Forecast for 2016, new energy:
  • solar: 9.5 gigawatts
  • natural gas: 8
  • wind: 6.8
  • nuclear: 1.1
That will put solar at 1.2% at the end of this year (2016) if the forecasts hold.  

Wind will be at 4.5% at the end of this year (2016) if the forecasts hold.

Let's See How This Move To Counter CO2 Emissions Is Working Out
Case Study: British Columbia, Canada

Like the good folks in Minnesota, the Canadians are not averse to increased taxes.

Read the New York Times article on the British Columbia experience.
In 2008, the British Columbia Liberal Party, which confoundingly leans right, introduced a tax on the carbon emissions of businesses and families, cars and trucks, factories and homes across the province. The party stuck to the tax even as the left-leaning New Democratic Party challenged it in provincial elections the next year under the slogan Axe the Tax. The conservatives won soundly at the polls.
Their experience shows that cutting carbon emissions enough to make a difference in preventing global warming remains a difficult challenge. But the most important takeaway for American skeptics is that the policy basically worked as advertised.
British Columbia’s economy did not collapse. In fact, the provincial economy grew faster than its neighbors’ even as its greenhouse gas emissions declined.
So, there you have it. It worked as advertised. (Not quite; the government reneged on part of the deal; see below.)

Most folks won't read farther than that. There are things to do. Soccer games to get to. Primary results to check. Dry cleaning to pick up. Check Facebook. But this is an article one "can't not" complete without getting the full story.

First, the carbon tax: it passed only after promising huge cuts in corporate and personal income taxes. Of course, that didn't last long. The provincial government went back and raised the corporate income tax after they got the carbon tax passed. Bait and switch.

With few exceptions, British Columbia’s tax is the steepest and broadest in existence. While that sets British Columbia apart as a leader on the cutting edge, it is also part of its problem. For the policy to work best, it needs the rest of the world to catch up.
"It is also part of its problem"?
Local leaders now recognize that they probably have to do more. Carbon emissions started rising again after the province froze the tax at 30 Canadian dollars in 2012. An advisory panel to the Ministry of the Environment recently laid out the problem: British Columbia is missing its goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by a third from 2007 to 2020. On its current path, the province will also miss its target of an 80 percent reduction by 2050.
"They probably have more to do." Oh-oh: taxes are going to be raised again. We're going to need to put in a connecting highway from Victoria to I-98

Buried deep in the article, this:
This is not entirely British Columbia’s fault.
True, the tax might have been too low. Spending some of the money on green initiatives might have curbed emissions faster. But its experiment has battled a harsh headwind: a collapse in the prices of oil and gasoline.
Look at it this way. A study by Michael Greenstone and Thomas Covert of the University of Chicago and Professor Knittel concluded that at current battery prices, for an electric vehicle to be cheaper to run than a gas-power car, oil would have to cost $350 a barrel.
Last year, it averaged $50. To make up the difference would require a carbon tax of $700 a ton of carbon dioxide.
"The tax might have been too low." LOL.

"Last year, [oil] averaged $50." Let's be honest. The price of oil is even lower this year and unlikely to increase much, if any, by the end of the year. It could actually drop.

Okay, this would require a tax of $700 / ton of carbon dioxide. What was the tax on CO2 that the BC's agreed to?  $30/ton.
The tax, which rose from 10 Canadian dollars per ton of carbon dioxide in 2008 to 30 dollars by 2012, the equivalent of about $22.20 in current United States dollars, reduced emissions by 5 to 15 percent. 
So, the voters in BC are going to be told: "Thank you. The $10 tax worked and the $30 dollar tax worked even better. But now we need to get to $750. Yes, the decimal is in the right spot. But you will feel good. We will drop corporate income tax to 0%."

Remember: this article is written by pro-green energy and posted in the second most liberal large national newspaper. 

But this still amazes me:

The carbon tax would  have to go from $30 to $700 on a ton of CO2.

But look at the EV data. Oil would have to get to $350/bbl for an EV to pay for itself. 

So, let's see how the poll worked out in which we asked would you buy an EV to save money for for other reasons?
  • to save money: 44%
  • for the "feel" of an EV: 56%
Forty-four percent of readers are not paying attention.

British Columbia Does Its Part To Save The Earth;
South Africa ... Not So Much

For South Africa:
  • 72% of their energy consumption came from coal
  • 22% of their energy consumption came from oil
  • nothing else mattered 
Whatever British Columbia is doing, it is but a drop in the bucket compared to what is going on in South Africa, India, and China, just to name a few.

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