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California has hit its 2020 greenhouse gas emissions goal years ahead of schedule

By Polycount ยท 14 replies
Jul 12, 2018
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  1. The state planned to reduce gas emissions to under 431 metric tons by the end of 2020. The good news is, it finally reached that goal - four years ago.

    If you're confused, we'll clarify: California's Air Resources board has only just released its emissions report for the years 2000 to 2016. Based on the report's data, 2016's emission numbers were already under 429.4 metric tons, putting the state well ahead of schedule.

    Of course, two years is a long time, and it is possible that emissions reversed direction and began to climb since 2016 (the report doesn't show 2017 or 2018 emission figures).

    ...California's emission numbers have been steadily decreasing for the better part of a decade.

    However, that isn't likely. California's emission numbers have been steadily decreasing for the better part of a decade, and there's little reason for that to change now.

    Image credit: The Chronicle

    At any rate, while it's certainly exciting to see California hit its 2020 goal so quickly, the state still has a ways to go to reach its next, more ambitious target. California now has to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by a whopping 40 percent by 2030.

    Whether or not the state can pull that off remains to be seen.

    Permalink to story.

  2. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,941   +1,208

    LMAO and it's probably due to the people FLEEING the state to escape the high housing costs & rising taxes. That and the decrease in illegal aliens pouring over the border.
    qking and Dimitrios like this.
  3. Dimitrios

    Dimitrios TS Guru Posts: 439   +316

    I was thinking the same exact thing. Also what hurts our country and human kind is the liberal thinking that California has. That will never be fixed unless an earth quake kills them all.
    p51d007 likes this.
  4. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,941   +1,208

    And think of all of that "beach front" property in Arizona, Nevada ;)
    Dimitrios likes this.
  5. Dimitrios

    Dimitrios TS Guru Posts: 439   +316

    You gotta throw in the Nvidia 1030 with DDR4 ha ha. That will sweeten deal.
    Reehahs, qking and Polycount like this.
  6. Polycount

    Polycount TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 1,709   +382

    Classy reference. ;)
    Reehahs and Dimitrios like this.
  7. OneSpeed

    OneSpeed TS Evangelist Posts: 311   +124

    1. Conservatives want to get rid of policies that reduce greenhouse emissions, out of the Paris Accord they go, ala Trump.
    2. Population of California increased .61% in 2018, not down.

    Get your facts straight. I'm not liberal, but tired of conservatives that are ignorant of the truth.
  8. SAKJr

    SAKJr TS Rookie

    When is California going to quit lying. My skys are white. This white is at such a low level that it was hard to see the higher white clouds this morning. And don't tell me haze. Haze everyday, all day. No. Cars are the number one polluter in California and they just keep adding more. I will end this by saying the particle emissions are down, that's good, but the rest is baloney, and not the good kind.
  9. energyguy

    energyguy TS Rookie

    Well CA is also the home of the LLNL which hosts the Energy Flow Graphs which tells us the energy use of most every country in the world (even NK) plus all US states & US total all with the same flow graph style going back decades.

    Latest graph for CA is 2014, total energy use was 7059 T BTUs or 7.1 Quads. The USA is around 97.7 Quads (2017) but was 98.3 Quads in 2014. A Quad is about 1.05 XJ for the science folks. So CA was 7.2% of US energy use, but also 12% of the US population, so per cap, CA is on the lower side of the US energy use, good for them.

    Looking at the left side the solar(180) + nuclear(178) + hydro(157) + wind(124) + geothermal(117) totals 756 T BTUs out of 7059 or 10.7% clean energy, with 89% for fossil fuel & biomass. If bio is on the clean side, then it's about 15% clean.

    By comparison, the US as a whole in 2011 was 13.5% clean, by 2017 it had slightly improved to 14% or so. Hydro took a beating but was replaced by more wind & solar and even some nuclear growth. So it is questionable whether CA is any cleaner than the US overall esp if biomass is excluded.

    I call utter BS on CA green washing itself.

    Oh and every solar panel that makes 250Wpeak with a capacity factor of 14% where I am in MA, makes about 1.1GJ/yr of unbuffered electricity. Run that through a battery for 24hr power, and we now have about 1GJ/yr. In CA/NV it could be 50% better.

    From Wikipedia, total energy use per capita is about 290GJ/yr for the USA, but it varies by state quite a bit, as do the graphs.

    I suspect the blue coastal states lean below the US avg with their lighter economies while the red states go above the avg with the heavier manufacturing that is more energy intensive. You can't have one without the other.

    Still if the US is using 290GJ/yr per person, that means at least 290 panels per person to make the same amount of energy as all that fossil power. To buffer with electric to chemical to electric conversion to time shift summer excess energy to winter use is very lossy maybe 16% round trip conversion efficiency. I estimate about 500 panels per person plus much battery shifting plus that buffering industry to make year round base load energy and uber expensive.

    Or we could just put up another 900 1GWe nuclear reactors to offset all fossil power. Most of these reactors would be high temp molten salt reactors and thermal only making carbon neutral fuels, no reason to electrify the whole economy. Is that going to happen, not likely, as long as greens believe in worshiping the sun without even knowing basic facts on energy density.

    See "Without the Hot Air" by Prof David MacKay for a thorough read on energy.
    Reehahs likes this.
  10. Nero7

    Nero7 TS Evangelist Posts: 375   +153

    Meanwhile the Germans achieved the opposite.
  11. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,867   +2,202

    Though being thermally more efficient, molten salt reactors, like other nuclear reactor designs, are not without their problems. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molten_salt_reactor Even at storing the waste for 300-years, that is a long time though nowhere near the scale of time of required for the waste of light water reactors.

    IMO, to substantially commit to a technology like this would amount to shortsightedness, not to mention, perhaps decades to complete building all the required reactors with no absolute guarantee that problems will not develop.

    In addition, though there is no promise of a solution, research continues day-by-day into areas that are promising. I am not going to rattle off the various areas that are being researched because I am sure that you are aware of them. I'll pose the question, what happens if one or more of these research areas provides a breakthrough that is superior? What do you do with the reactors that would then be essentially obsolete?

    Personally, though it might delay weaning humanity off of fossil fuels, I would rather see a slow and steady approach that does not jump into a technology that is still inherently exceptionally dirty. If one looks back at history, it is ripe with numerous examples of inventions, inclusive of chemicals/drugs, etc., that, at their inception, were the best thing since sliced bread until humanity figured out the inherent, and sometimes deadly, dangers.

    Right now, IMO, one drastic improvement could be made in the automotive industry if carbon fiber/sandwich construction were to replace as many metal components as possible. I once read an estimate that even the biggest SUVs would get something like 60 MPG if this replacement were to take place. Whether the pollutants from the production of carbon fiber would exceed the pollutants from running on fossil fuels, I do not know. However, no automaker is willing to take this step because it is too expensive to produce - even though fossil fuel consumption would be drastically reduced.

    Unfortunately, I do not think there are easy answers.
  12. energyguy

    energyguy TS Rookie

    That was a very thoughtful response, but I think much of it can be easily refuted. I don't want to come off as a recently converted MSR fanboy because a lot of anti nuke folks are taking the approach of using the fanboy fud meme as the go to put down, ie cargo cult insults. And yes there is plenty of Thorium fanboism around that doesn't help. I have been following and studying reactors for a long time over 40 years including many of the fusion designs going back to early Soviet Tokamaks. I also understand how most of the basic fission & fusion designs work but I work in the semiconductor field rather than nuclear field so I really know why solar and battery tech is a no go at huge scale, just wishful thinking. Folks that dream of a solar future are seeing improvements in phones/computers as an indicator that the same will happen in other fields too, it won't. Moore's law has no application what so ever outside lithography of microchips. If I hadn't been a semi guy, I would be in the nuclear field instead, but the field has been decimated by the opposition of greens.

    There have only been tiny incremental improvements to PWR since their origins, the history is well known and was set in motion by Admiral Rickover. He wanted a reactor for subs and ships, the peace time use in power generation was forced by him and others, he wasn't a nuclear expert. The folks at Oakridge developed the MSR based on a chemistry of liquids work much better than solids when nuclear process are destroying the very fuel. Salts are immune to the radiation damage and are an elegant solution to reactor core design, and physics makes it intrinsically load following and safe, no computers needed for fine control, they had none anyway in the 60s. The only concerns I have are with the corrosion aspects, but this was known then and was largely solved with Hastelloy materials. You can look up yourself the work that is going on in MSRs today, but they seem to be woefully underfunded due to the irrational anti science atmosphere prevalent today. MSRs are not some recently cooked up energy scheme, it stands on very solid (um liquid) ground. On the other hand most of the science technology reporting on energy breakthroughs is really just so much wishful thinking, or worse downright wrong or even a scam.

    Well familiar with the thaldominide history, that was really a matter of bad greedy business rather than bad science, science is often corrupted by greed. If I had been a little younger, might well have been a victim of that one.

    The idea of weight reducing cars seems on the face it to be very good reasoning, Tesla does this with Aluminum. I used to drive a semi plastic Saturn SL1, 3/4 weight car, it did save fuel. Here is a big gotcha. VW tells us on Wikipedia article on embedded energy that a compact steel ICE car has 18,000 kWh(e) in its build cost, that is worth 50,000 miles of driving energy. For a life of 150,000 miles, every car has another 50,000 miles of embedded energy within. it has be, not great, but not terrible. I had great hope for the VW 1L project 2 seater, but lost all respect for VW after diesel gate.

    So Tesla has to shave a ton of weight from every one of their cars, they use Aluminum, which has exactly 6* the embedded energy of plain old steel, physics 101. No doubt every high tech part of an electric car is vastly more energy intensive than milling, forming boring steel parts in ICE cars. So does that mean a Tesla car has 300,000 miles of embedded energy on top of 150,000 miles of lifetime driven energy in it, only Tesla would know. 450,000 vs 200,000 total lifetime miles of energy, ouch. That is the very reason why Tesla cars cost so much, the entire supply chain uses far more embedded energy in every part.

    You mention composite materials too, these surely can only be even worse than Aluminum, it only makes sense to lighten the car weight if it doesn't make the total lifetime energy use worse, from mining to showroom to recycling. This makes sense in a commercial plane, weight must absolutely be reduced to the bare minimum, but it doesn't follow so in cars. I think the auto guys do actually understand this, wonder materials may be much worse in the long term. Perhaps you are thinking of RMI.

    If we really want to reduce fossil fuel use in cars we have to do the unimaginable, build a modern compact East German style Trabby out of biomass materials with a modern small engine (maybe electric low range). Those cars polluted like hell, but they were light, they just needed better engines. They were also death traps, but all was equal, light car on light car accident vs today SUV on light car, the SUV tank always wins. The arrival of self driving cars solves the tiny car death trap problem, but I suspect we will keep going with bigger and heavier SUVs till Florida goes below see level. Funny that Musk wants to put folks into a hyper loop, physics kills it, so says Thunderf00t.

    An education in physics is a wonderful thing to stand on but folks just tell me, that's just your opinion, my opinion is just as right with out a scrap of science to back it up.

    Actually there are easy answers, we just don't want to follow them, we are living in an age of anti science & Apple/Tesla worshiping. Build a house on the side of hill surrounded by brush fuel, or at sea level, or on sandy ground prone to subsidence, or on dried out wetland, what could possibly go wrong.

    I hope you read the David MacKay book on sustainable energy.
    CloudCatcher likes this.
  13. energyguy

    energyguy TS Rookie

    Indeed, German CO2 emissions have only gone up since the energ....... program started, any CO2 saving from solar or wind was lost by shutting down half their nuclear plants. When they shut down the rest of the nukes, CO2 will sky rocket beyond hope, they are mostly a coal/gas/oil powered economy, separate coal grid for industry, and erratic solar grid for consumers. oh but wait

    It's always worth checking the Energy Flow graph, latest 2011 data for Germany, so totting up

    geo 24 PJ, hydro 62PJ, solar 93PJ, wind 180PJ and still very big fine huge humungas enormous hasn't gone away nuclear 1200 PJ out of total 13300PJ we get 12% clean energy. Despite all the solar hoopla, nuclear is still standing and 75% of all clean electric energy, but that was 2011. Didn't include biomass, since only some of that went to electrical generation and biomass includes burning food.

    So even the USA in 2011 was greener than Germany with 13.5% , thanks mostly to nuclear, both countries are about 8.5 and 9% nuclear of total primary energy.

    The only time Germany saw a large CO2 cut was way back when the DDR was absorbed and their crappy CO2 polluting industries were shut down.
  14. Dimitrios

    Dimitrios TS Guru Posts: 439   +316

    That Saturn car you stated, didn't GM start using plastic and micromatic plastic or whatever it was on GM F-bodys cars 1993-2002. My 97 White Z28 had a plastic hood, front side fenders, doors (yes they are plastic shelled) front and back bumpers and the non T-top roof was Micromatic plastic. My 99 Black SS is the same but with glass T-tops and both cars weighed around 3200lbs and got around 22-28MPG both LT1 and LS1 the highway. Maybe that term is wrong but believe it was micro something or maybe the plastic you're talking about.
  15. energyguy

    energyguy TS Rookie

    I don't really know that much about "plastic cars", the Saturn dealer showed off the various panels, cross sectioned doors and frame of the car, it was still a steel car with a plastic composite of some type over a thinner steel skin so the paint job didn't fade. Net result maybe 30% weight reduction, wikipedia would have more detail. It was something of a community car too, Saturn drivers would wave at each other too.

    Regret not getting the AC and automatic option so my wife could drive it so it essentially rotted in the drive way after taking it off insurance. It was also a summer sweat box without the AC, really bad call. The weight turned out to be a problem too, in faster traffic on the freeway, the wind would blow it around and it had a hard time holding the pavement. Always had to be wary of passing trucks too, I could get vacuum sucked towards them. When I bought it, it also turned out to be a monday morning lemon car, the front axle was badly misaligned, it could not turn right except at very low speed, they fixed it though. One winter, exiting a freeway into a snow bank, got stuck and then rear ended by a new Nissan car. His car was totaled poor kid, my plastic rear end bumper got a barely noticeable scratch, completely asymmetric damage. Weird experience of a car.

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