UV-giant stars, supernovas and more are causing global warming.
But a new study shows that a lot of the electricity powering the globe is being wasted.
A report released Wednesday from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) estimates that U.S. electricity generated between 2006 and 2030 could account for between 4.5 billion and 7.2 billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions.
In the United States, that’s equivalent to roughly 9.5 million cars.
A study released last year from the American Geophysical Union (AGU) found that about 50 percent of electricity generation worldwide is wasted.
The waste comes from a lack of solar panels, heat pumps and other energy-intensive systems, including a lack or insufficiently reliable transmission lines, according to the report.
While the waste could be reduced by switching to renewable energy sources like wind and solar, it would take a lot more than just getting solar panels installed.
It could also take the energy-related infrastructure out of service, the report said.
“If the grid is not stable, the grid can’t be reliable,” said Steve J. Smith, an atmospheric scientist at MIT who co-authored the report along with Jia-Lin Tang, an MIT professor of atmospheric sciences.
“You’re essentially turning the whole electrical system off.
It’s not just a matter of having a few hundred solar panels.
It can be a lot worse.”
The report looked at a wide range of electricity-related technologies, including wind turbines, distributed generation (such as solar panels), solar thermal and biomass energy storage.
It also looked at the impacts of climate change on the energy supply system, from weather patterns to global demand.
“The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicts that by 2100 the global average temperature will rise by more than 3 degrees Celsius,” according to IRENA.
“By 2100, the average temperature of the entire world will rise between 2 and 5 degrees Celsius.
That’s roughly 3 to 5 times higher than today.”
The IRENA report says there’s a lot to be done to reduce global warming, but there’s also a lot that’s not being done right.
It found that while energy storage is an effective way to help combat global warming and other issues, the amount of electricity generated by energy-hungry facilities like wind turbines and solar thermal is being “subsidized by governments and consumers.”
IRENA researchers also noted that electricity from these facilities often uses up valuable energy from renewable resources, including from solar thermal, which has a relatively low greenhouse gas footprint.
“Solar thermal is a great source of energy,” Tang said.
But solar thermal “needs a lot” of energy to run, and it doesn’t produce the greenhouse gas that coal does, according the report, which was prepared by the Global Warming Solutions Initiative, an international collaboration of scientists and engineers working to mitigate climate change.
The report says the U.K. is a notable exception to this, as it has the world’s largest solar thermal capacity.
It produces almost twice as much electricity as the United Kingdom, the U., Norway and Germany combined, the study said.
The U. S. leads the world in solar thermal generation.
“It’s hard to quantify the benefits of solar thermal,” said James B. Ewbank, the president of the American Wind Energy Association, a trade group.
“But it certainly can be very important for wind generation.
It has a lot going for it.”
It’s also worth noting that solar thermal plants are “not really a new idea,” according the IRENA study.
In 2014, researchers from Oxford University reported that they had found that solar energy could be “substantially cheaper” than fossil fuels.
“In many ways, it’s the cheapest fossil fuel you can build,” Ewbanks said.
So while it’s true that solar panels are expensive, that doesn’t mean the U of A is wasting electricity on them.
The study’s authors note that “many studies have found that electricity generation from wind power is generally more expensive than other sources of electricity, including nuclear, solar, geothermal, hydro, and hydropower.”
The study found that wind power “is generally cheaper than other renewables, including solar, hydroporn, and geothermal.”
However, it also noted the U and its partners “have a large potential for increasing solar PV capacity.”
In the case of the U, it says “wind energy, which is currently underutilized and underpriced, is one of the few renewables that could meet a large proportion of the global electricity demand.”
According to the IRANA report, the world is “currently the only country on Earth without a comprehensive energy transition plan.”
And the report noted that “the U. K. currently does not have a credible, well-designed plan to transition to a low-carbon energy economy.” For