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USA Energy Trends

July 2, 2021
tags: ,

By Paul Homewood

 

Joe Biden has pledged to totally decarbonise the US electricity system by 2035, and to cut emissions by 50% from 2005 levels by 2030. But how does this stack up against what has actually been happening since 2005?

 

Let’s start by looking at emissions of carbon dioxide:

 

 image

Between 2005 and 2019, emissions fell by 15%. To hit Biden’s target would need a further cut of 41% from 2019 levels. Yet during Obama’s eight year tenure, he only managed to cut them by 11%.

Meanwhile primary energy consumption is on the rise again, and is back to 2008 levels.

image

 

 

When we look at the energy mix, we find that renewable energy only provide for 6% of US energy consumption, a figure which has barely doubled since Obama took office, despite the billions in subsidies thrown at it.

 

 image 

Indeed, the biggest change in the mix has been the switch from coal to gas. Since 2005, coal consumption has declined by 11.5 EJ a yea, whilst that of natural gas has increased by 9.1 EJ. It would appear that it is this switch that has been mostly responsible for emissions cuts. [If anybody would like to do the calculations, I would be grateful!]

 

What all of this is saying, of course, is that the chances of Biden hitting his 50% emissions cut by 2030 are almost non-existent.

As for the power sector, fossil fuels still account for 60% of generation, with reliable generation from nuclear and hydro adding another 20% and 7% respectively. In contrast, wind and solar stand at a pitiful 11%. It seems unlikely that much nuclear capacity will be left by 2030, given its age.

 

 

chart-3

image

https://www.eia.gov/electricity/data/browser/#/topic/0?agg=2,0,1&fuel=vtvv&geo=g&sec=g&linechart=ELEC.GEN.ALL-US-99.A~ELEC.GEN.COW-US-99.A~ELEC.GEN.NG-US-99.A~ELEC.GEN.NUC-US-99.A~ELEC.GEN.HYC-US-99.A~ELEC.GEN.WND-US-99.A~ELEC.GEN.TSN-US-99.A&columnchart=ELEC.GEN.ALL-US-99.A~ELEC.GEN.COW-US-99.A~ELEC.GEN.NG-US-99.A~ELEC.GEN.NUC-US-99.A~ELEC.GEN.HYC-US-99.A~ELEC.GEN.WND-US-99.A&map=ELEC.GEN.ALL-US-99.A&freq=A&start=2001&end=2020&ctype=linechart&ltype=pin&rtype=s&maptype=0&rse=0&pin=

 

Quite how Biden proposes to replace that 80% currently produced by fossil fuels and nuclear with renewable energy within the next 15 years, he refuses to say.

SOURCE

Energy data from BP Energy Review

31 Comments
  1. johnbillscott permalink
    July 2, 2021 6:59 pm

    Biden is well on his way to a state of non compos mentis so he will not be around in 2035.

    • Adam Gallon permalink
      July 2, 2021 8:52 pm

      Biden is 78, he’ll be 92 in 2035.So unlikely to still be alive.
      He’s perfectly compos mentis.

      • Mack permalink
        July 2, 2021 9:07 pm

        Biden ‘compos mentis’? Jeez do you only watch CNN Adam? Biden won’t be president beyond 2022. He’ll have been retired by then. Whether he likes it or not. He’s away with the fairies already so it’s only a matter of time before his ‘handlers’ replace him with their chosen one, Harris. The ultimate ‘Manchurian Candidate’.

      • Phoenix44 permalink
        July 3, 2021 8:03 am

        Of course he is. That’s why there are no videos whatsoever of him not knowing where’s he’s going or what to do next.

      • Chaswarnertoo permalink
        July 3, 2021 9:38 am

        The fool is senile. Falling up aircraft steps. Speaking word salad.

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      July 2, 2021 9:01 pm

      He shouldn’t have been around in 2021. The man’s a fraud who selected a VP with even less IQ than himself.

      • John Hultquist permalink
        July 3, 2021 4:25 am

        It has been argued (don’t know who was first) that the elite left wanted Harris as “president” but knew she could not get elected. She came hard at Biden in an early debate, and then dropped out. Why?
        Usually the VP choice of a running made is from a state that the party wants to be sure to win. California was already a sure thing, so why choose her?
        She carried a lot of baggage (now more is surfacing) but 2nd place on the ticket doesn’t get the serious attention of the media. That’s not a good thing.
        A further scenario has been that emphasizing good guy Joe, rather than mentioning her, would get the ticket elected.
        After the celebration of the 4th of July when Joe can just go around smiling, and hopefully not saying anything, his arc of splendor can be dimmed.
        Congress will take a summer recess with both chambers returning to “work” on Monday, 20 September.
        Look for this as the time to send Joe to pasture, move Harris into the Oval Office, and then she can select the new VP.

        Those in charge of the Democratic Party could get her to drop out initially by promising her the above “Grand Scenario.”

        11 weeks to go. Watch this space.

      • John Hultquist permalink
        July 3, 2021 4:27 am

        It has been argued (don’t know who was first) that the elite left wanted Harris as “president” but knew she could not get elected. She came hard at Biden in an early debate, and then dropped out. Why?
        Usually the VP choice of a running made is from a state that the party wants to be sure to win. California was already a sure thing, so why choose her.
        She carried a lot of baggage (now more is surfacing) but 2nd place on the ticket doesn’t get the serious attention of the media. That’s not a good thing.
        A further scenario has been that emphasizing good guy Joe, rather than mentioning her, would get the ticket elected.
        After the celebration of the 4th of July when Joe can just go around smiling, and hopefully not saying anything, his arc of splendor can be dimmed.
        Congress will take a summer recess with both chambers returning to “work” on Monday, 20 September.
        Look for this as the time to send Joe to pasture, move Harris into the Oval Office, and then she can select the new VP.

        Those in charge of the Democratic Party could get her to drop out initially by promising her the above “Grand Scenario.”

        11 weeks to go. Watch this space. [Hope I didn’t send twice!]

      • Phoenix44 permalink
        July 3, 2021 8:05 am

        After a long and wholly unnoticed career! An absolute nobody with no ideas or principles who has achieved absolutely nothing before this.

    • July 2, 2021 10:23 pm

      He forgot his term ends in less than 4 years from now.

      • dave permalink
        July 3, 2021 9:46 am

        “…forgot…”

        My reading of Biden is that he (sort of) still knows that he is the President.
        When muttering about Russian policy in the Middle East he stopped himself and said “Should not be negotiating in public” Which shows that in his fuddled mind he feels himself to be “in the loop.”

        Of course, he did not seem to know the difference between Syria and Libya. Which really meant that he had wandered ten years back in time, since Libya was an issue when he was Vice-President.

  2. Broadlands permalink
    July 2, 2021 7:19 pm

    None of any of that reduction in emissions will lower the Earth’s temperature…supposedly the goal. Deep cuts in transportation fuel emissions will create more of the social and economic havoc that the pandemic lockdowns did. Not a great plan by any administration.

    • Mike Jackson permalink
      July 2, 2021 8:24 pm

      “Supposedly” is right. The actual goal is to put an end to fossil fuel use and the chosen way of convincing the population of the need to do this is …. well, I don’t need to go through all the rigmarole again.

      I’m afraid I have long since lost patience with “lukewarmers” who give the climate activists cover by their argument that “of course CO2 is a greenhouse gas and does contribute something, blah, blah …” The only evidence, such as it is, is that a doubling of CO2 might lead to a temperature increase of 1.2°. Beyond that we are in the realms of eco-politics and have abandoned science.

      The only way out of this Lysenkoist shambles is to convince politicians that they have been sold a pup and that they should heed Edenhofer’s own admission pre-Cancun that “ it’s a big mistake to discuss climate policy separately from the major themes of globalization…One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore.”

      • Harry Passfield permalink
        July 2, 2021 9:12 pm

        Spot on, Mike. It seems the only way some lukewarmers will get message is when they are freezing in blacked-out, car-less – and probably job-less – homes. At least they will have the comfort of knowing they have played their part in reducing CO2, and brought their children up to think the same while they live in abject poverty while they learn Mandarin.

      • Phoenix44 permalink
        July 3, 2021 8:09 am

        Politicians will only row back when they are convinced they might lose their seat because of it. There needs to be a protest party that can threaten to unseat MPs in the way UKIP did. You will never win a seat but taking 10-20% can lose a seat. The only thing politicians care about is being elected.

  3. Coeur de Lion permalink
    July 2, 2021 8:58 pm

    I see UAH is back to minus 0.1 on the 30 year mean for June. Notice that the globe is at the same temperature as 1987 or have I got that wrong ?

    • Broadlands permalink
      July 3, 2021 2:01 pm

      In 1987 Mauna Loa CO2 was 350 ppm. That’s the “safe” value that Jim Hansen and Bill McKibben insist we must go back to. The preindustrial (1900) value is ~14.0°C. Jones et al. 1999. NOAA’s 20th century mean is the same? NASA’s 1951-1980 value WAS 15.0°C in 1995. Now it agrees with NOAA? Take your pick? Or have I got it wrong?

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      July 4, 2021 8:18 am

      Not really no. But thecUAH data ckesrly shows step changes ssociated with El Nino spikes rather than a long term upward trend. Recent months appear to be trading downward fairly significantly so perhaps we are seeing a return to temperatures pre the most recent step up. My guess is that these step ups are for some reason quite long lasting in climate terms, perhaps through a mild positive feedback via water vapour. We then see more rain as the atmosphere tries to lose that water vapour, but it takes some years to achieve as it can only lose a little in aggregate each year. If greenhouse gases play a significant role in climate over a longish period, then water vapour is the key.

  4. Ray Sanders permalink
    July 2, 2021 9:29 pm

    The only point I would contend is ” It seems unlikely that much nuclear capacity will be left by 2030, given its age.” Actually Turkey Point 3 and 42 PWR’s have recently been granted 20 year life extensions taking their likely life spans to 80 years (from 1972 commission). It is expected that over 20 reactors will similarly be granted 20 year extensions and there is the real prospect of centenarian PWRs .

    • MikeHig permalink
      July 2, 2021 10:06 pm

      I hope you are proved right Ray.
      However I would not be surprised if more states follow California and New York in closing reactors early – Diablo Canyon in California, iirc but can’t recall the NY plant.

  5. July 2, 2021 10:15 pm

    Biden wants to follow California’s lead. They have showed that the real opportunity for carbon targets is not successful CO2 reduction but failure to achieve them because when the inevitable excessive CO2 emissions takes place, you apply a very high tax as a penalty. These taxes are very regressive, hitting poor and low income people the hardest but in the name of saving the planet, Democrats are quite happy with regressive taxes.

    It’s a lesson they learned from credit card companies. You don’t make money from people who can pay their bill in full on time every month, you make it from people who struggle to pay the even minimum payment on time.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      July 3, 2021 8:02 am

      Not really true. They make their money from the merchant’s fee. Lending isn’t very profitable that’s why they discourage it with high rates. To lend you need the capital and you need to provision, all of which means a large and costly balance sheet. Whereas the merchant’s fee you don’t.

      • dave permalink
        July 3, 2021 8:41 am

        “Not really true.”

        The numbers say it is true:

        https://www.valuepenguin.com/how-do-credit-card-companies-make-money

      • Phoenix44 permalink
        July 4, 2021 8:06 am

        That website mistakes revenue for return. It’s a common mistake amongst the financially illiterate. The “revenue” in many businesses appears huge but that’s not where they make their money.

      • dave permalink
        July 4, 2021 11:05 am

        These are ‘the rate of return figures,’ as given by the Federal Reserve in an official report to Congress

        ‘Credit Card Banks’ 2018

        As a percentage of average quarterly assets:

        Total Interest Income 11.53

        Interest Expenses ( 1.82)

        ______

        Net Interest Income 9.71

        Provision Loan Losses (3.36)

        _____

        Income ‘from lending’ [my phrase] 6.35

        Total Non-Interest Income 3.78

        _____

        10.13

        Total non-finance expenses (6.34)

        _____

        Income before tax 3.79
        _____

        Both the non-interest income and the running expenses would presumably be less if the banks were not extending credit to the buyers. But it is hard to say how much less. Pure debit cards have a very small part of the market, and so clearly most banks regard lending as NECESSARY in their business. About half of credit cards are issued as part of the overall service to depositors.
        To make the 3.79% return solely from the 3.78% non-interest looks attractive as a theory but would not work in practice.

        It is a little like a restaurant. Does it make money on the food or the drink?
        Both and neither. Montreal has a system of ‘Bring Your Own Bottle Restaurants’ which I like very much, as I resent the 400% mark-ups on wine
        in snooty places. But they only exist because of the planning rules in residential areas.

        If you want to say that banks should not encourage people to get into debt, that is a ship that sailed a long time ago. And if you want to say that business entities themselves should not borrow…ditto!

        It is not very meaningful to say “where they make their money” unless there are entirely separate businesses with no common overheads. A business decision is rarely based on cost accounting techniques per se but takes account of commonalities – and risk. The proxy for risk is the path of the putative ‘cost of capital’ for that entity if a certain path is followed.

        There are of course card network companies (Visa, Mastercard,…) which do make money without lending.

        9

  6. July 2, 2021 11:39 pm

    RussiaToday around 10:15pm
    “Putin is to limit industry in order with the Paris Accord”
    hmm what Russia/China SAY

    … is different to what they DO

  7. Phoenix44 permalink
    July 3, 2021 7:59 am

    The first 20% is easy, then it gets incrementally harder and harder. The last 20% will be impossible. But of course politicians have no interest in understanding reality.

  8. Ken Pollock permalink
    July 3, 2021 3:26 pm

    Maybe the President is confused, like Christiana Figueres, the power behind the Paris climate accords. On page 55 of her book “The Future We Choose” she writes “already more than 50% of the energy in the UK comes from clean power”. She meant electricity, of course, and why should one expect someone in such a respected position to know the difference? In reality, that 50% was about 6.8% and then only for a few summer months…
    Do we have any chance of a decent future, if our leaders can’t do maths, and believe hype and not scientific fact? Fortunately WUWT, Paul Homewood and the GWPF will keep on speaking the truth to power, and maybe one day someone will take notice…

  9. July 3, 2021 8:53 pm

    Power cuts in New York City.

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/new-york-alert-heat-wave-ac-b1875876.html

    Even journalists predicted this when the Gubner said he was closing the local nuke plant to placate the greens.

    https://observer.com/2017/03/indian-point-nuclear-energy-cuomo/

  10. July 4, 2021 10:42 pm

    Joe Biden has pledged to totally decarbonise the US electricity system by 2035

    For ‘decarbonise’ read ‘undermine’.

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