EESS Spring Seminar Series, Steve Davis, Assistant Professor, Earth System Science, University of California, Irvine
EESS Spring Seminar Series, Steve Davis. Assistant Professor, Earth System Science, University of California, Irvine. "Transforming the global power sector: Commitments, opportunities, and pitfalls", Abstract: The world not only continues to build new coal-fired power plants, but built more new coal plants in the past decade than in any previous decade. Assuming these plants operate for 40 years, the fossil-fuel burning plants built in 2012 will emit approximately 19 billion tons of CO2 (Gt CO2) over their lifetimes, versus 14 Gt CO2 actually emitted by all operating fossil fuel power plants in 2012. I'll discuss the geography and implications of these commitments to emit CO2. For example, in the US, the aging energy infrastructure represents a critical opportunity to decarbonize. Yet a lack of climate-energy legislation in the US has left us to hope that the natural gas boom will spontaneously reduce emissions and be a "bridge" to renewable energy technologies. I'll present some recent work that suggests such hopes may be misplaced.