Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Climate Change: Carbon Dioxide Emissions Decline As Renewable Energy Increases

Is Renewable Energy Starting to Bend the Carbon Curve? (Huffington Post)

In recent years, there has been a spate of stories about lowered carbon emissions in the US, the EU, and China. But the drop in carbon emissions is typically attributed to reduced economic activity as a result of the global financial meltdown after 2008 - not the ramp-up in renewable energy that occurred at around the same time. The general media has been slow to make the connection to the increase in renewable energy that accounts for at least some of it. 

Over the last eight years, there has been a rise in renewable energy, and it is starting to show up in a slowed growth in carbon emissions. Since 2005, US emissions dropped 10%. In just 2014, the EU registered a 4.5% drop. 

Only very recently have the - normally very fossil-friendly - EIA in the US, and the IEA internationally begun put the two trends together; that emissions are dropping in many regions around the world - precisely because of the rise in renewable generation.

At the end of 2014, EIA finally admitted that US carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) have declined in five of the past eight years, and actually linked it to the increase in clean energy.