The Energy Information Administration of the Dept of Energy has forecast the Energy Market and Economic Impacts of S.280, the Climate Stewardship and Innovation Act of 2007. This looks like very good legislation which would greatly reduce coal usage and reduce greenhouse gases and pollution. Coal usage could fall to as low as 11% of total power from 50% now. Nuclear power could increase to 42% of US electrical power. The reduced economic activity is projected to be 0.2% of total GDP from 2009 to 2030 (Less than half what has been spent on the Iraq war). I do not think they calculate the offsetting reduction in health costs and tens of thousands of lives saved, which could change the reduced economic activity into a positive.
The gases regulated under S. 280 are carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and three classes of fluorinated gases—hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride. Covered entities include those in the commercial, industrial, and electric power sectors with annual emissions at any single facility in excess of 10,000 metric tons carbon dioxide equivalent; refiners and importers of petroleum products sold for transportation; and producers and importers of fluorinated gases.
The specific S. 280 allowance caps for each time period are:
2012 to 2019. . . . . . . 2004 emissions level
2020 to 2029. . . . . . . 1990 emissions level
2030 to 2049. . . . . . . 22 percent below 1990 emissions level
2050 and beyond . . . .60 percent below 1990 emissions level
Greenhouse gas emissions are reduced
Allowances prices (in 2005 dollars per metric ton carbon dioxide equivalent) range from $14 to $31 in 2020 and from $31 to $58 in 2030 in the main S280 cases.
Coal prices are most significantly impacted, in both absolute and percentage terms, because coal has the highest carbon content among the fossil fuels and is lowest priced of the fossil fuels. The price of coal to the electric power sector in the S280 Core case is 129 percent above the reference case level in 2020 and 245 percent above it in 2030.
Coal use in the S. 280 cases is much lower than in the reference case in all years and lower than current consumption in 2030. To reduce its CO2 emissions, the power industry is expected to shift away from its historical reliance on coal generation. In the reference case, coal accounts for 58 percent of total generation in 2030, but its share falls to between 11 percent and 35 percent in the main S. 280 cases.
An estimated 145 gigawatts of new nuclear capacity is added in the S280 Core case, increasing nuclear generation to 1,909 billion kilowatthours in 2030, 120 percent above the reference case level in 2030. Across the three main S. 280 cases, nuclear generation in 2030 provides from 22 percent to 42 percent of total electricity generation, compared to 15 percent in the reference case.
The renewable share of power sector generation in 2030 is 9 percent in the reference case, and grows to between 22 percent and 28 percent across the main S. 280 cases. In the reference case, biomass generation grows from 38 billion kilowatthours in 2005 to 111 billion kilowatthours in 2020 and 131 billion kilowatthours in 2030. In the S280 Core case, biomass generation in 2020 is over three times that of the reference case, and by 2030 is almost 8 times greater than the reference level. Wind generation grows from 15 billion kilowatthours in 2005 to 51 billion kilowatthours in 2020 and remains at that level through 2030 in the reference case. In the S280 Core case, wind generation in 2020 is nearly double that of the reference case, and by 2030 is 2.5 times greater than the reference level.
Total discounted GDP over the 2009 to 2030 time period is $533 billion (-0.22 percent) lower in the S280 Core case and ranges from $471 billion (-0.19 percent) lower in the Fixed 30 Percent Offsets case to $572 billion (-0.23 percent) lower in the No International case.
Other Climate bills
Greenhouse gas reduction from different bills
More news about the alliance of business and environmentalists that appear to making progress to some kind of legislation this year Any deal would have to curb coal usage which will benefit nuclear energy to some extent as nuclear is the lowest cost non-climate changing energy technology.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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