Vitality tendencies within the US – glad with them?


JULY 2, 2021

By Paul Homewood

Joe Biden is committed to fully decarbonizing the U.S. electricity system by 2035 and reducing emissions by 50% from 2005 levels by 2030. But how does that compare to what has actually happened since 2005?

Let’s start with a look at carbon dioxide emissions:

Between 2005 and 2019, emissions fell by 15%. A further 41% cut from 2019 levels would be required to meet Biden’s target. But during Obama’s eight-year tenure, he only managed to cut it by 11%.

Primary energy consumption is now increasing again and has reached the level of 2008 again.

When we look at the energy mix, we find that renewables cover only 6% of US energy consumption, a number that has barely doubled since Obama’s inauguration despite the billion-dollar subsidies.

In fact, the biggest change in the mix was switching from coal to gas. Since 2005, coal consumption has decreased by 11.5 EJ per year, while that of natural gas has increased by 9.1 EJ. It appears that this switch is mainly responsible for the emissions reductions. [If anybody would like to do the calculations, I would be grateful!]

All of this, of course, means that the chances of Biden achieving its 50% emissions reduction by 2030 are nearly nonexistent.

In the electricity sector, fossil fuels still make up 60% of generation, while reliable generation from nuclear and hydropower adds another 20% and 7%, respectively. In contrast, wind and sun are a pitiful 11%. Given its age, it seems unlikely that there will be much nuclear capacity left by 2030.,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

As Biden is proposing to replace the 80% currently generated from fossil fuels and nuclear power with renewable energies within the next 15 years, he refuses to say.

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