In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):
- Indian Ministry of Railways partners with the UK’s DFID to electrify and thus reduce emissions.
- Mark Carney appointed UN envoy for climate action.
- The Atlantic lists 5 reasons why global carbon emissions have increased for the third year running.
- Six Flags Discovery Kingdom amusement park goes solar.
The Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB): A daily technical, financial, and political review/analysis of important green energy news.
India’s railways to go electric
The Indian Ministry of Railways has partnered with the Department for International Development (DFID) in the UK. They “will work together to achieve energy efficiency and self-sufficiency for Indian Railways,” according to Railway Technology.
India’s Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) recently approved the complete electrification of the rail network in order to reduce India’s carbon emissions.
The partnership will work to deploy electric vehicle charging infrastructure and battery-powered shunting locomotives.
The Indian Ministry of Railways said:
The collaboration of Indian Railways with DFID, United Kingdom will go a long way in ensuring self-sufficiency and efficiency in terms of energy and greener Indian Railways.
New UN special envoy for climate action and finance
The Bank of England’s governor Mark Carney has been appointed as the United Nations Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance. His current position with the Bank of England ends on January 31, 2020.
He will then take up his new role, which was previously held by former New York mayor and businessman Michael Bloomberg from 2014 to 2019. The position is pro bono.
The governor said he was “honored” to be asked to take on the role.
Mr Carney said the UN climate change conference “provides a platform to bring the risks from climate change and the opportunities from the transition to a net-zero economy into the heart of financial decision making.
“To do so, the disclosures of climate risk must become comprehensive, climate risk management must be transformed, and investing for a net-zero world must go mainstream,” he added.
5 reasons for rising emissions
The Atlantic‘s Robinson Meyer spoke with Stanford University earth science professor Rob Jackson about his new research with Global Carbon Project that found that the world’s carbon pollution from fossil fuels rose in 2019, reaching a record high. It was the third consecutive year that they rose. Here are the 5 takeaways that Meyer identified from the report and speaking with Jackson:
- Global GDP rose faster than carbon pollution: This is actually good. The global economy is predicted to grow by about 3% in 2019, but its overall carbon emissions will only increase by about 0.6%. But as Jackson rightly says, “We need to be reducing emissions, though, not slowing growth.”
- Coal’s death is accelerating in North America and Europe. In China, not so much: The slower pollution growth was mostly due to the coal collapse in the West. In the US, the amount of power generated by coal has been cut in half since 2005. But coal still generates two-thirds of China’s fossil-related carbon pollution, and it rose by 1% this year.
- Renewables are growing, but not fast enough: “Even as American coal use plunged last year, new wind and solar farms replaced only one-sixth of the lost power. What filled in the rest of the breach were improvements to energy efficiency (which allow less electricity to be used overall) and — most important — natural gas.”
- Cheap natural gas is reducing emissions in the United States and Europe — but not around the world: In the US and Europe, natural gas is seen as a bridge fuel away from coal. But Jackson says, “In the rest of the world, though, most natural gas is providing new energy. It’s not displacing coal. Global energy consumption is rising, and most of the additional natural gas is meeting additional energy demand.”
- The end of a brighter era: The planet’s pollution as a result of fossil fuels has now increased for three years straight after a period from 2014 to 2016 where it did not “meaningfully increase.” We’ve got to get back on track — and also revive hope.
Fun, powered by the sun
Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, California, has become the first theme park on the US West Coast to be primarily powered by solar. The park features a 1,350-acre animal theme park and rides, including roller-coasters.
80% of the park will be powered by one of the largest solar carport installations in the country, which is built over the main guest parking lot.
PV Magazine reports that the 7.5-megawatt solar carport will produce 11.9 million kilowatt-hours of energy annually. It will also offset 8,400 tons of carbon dioxide equivalents each year, which is the same as taking 1,800 cars off the road. (Although that is slightly ironic since it’s a carport.)
Photo: 9000 HP electric locomotive made in India/Railway Northern
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