Before 2005, US carbon emissions were marching upwards year after year, with little sign of slowing down. After this point, they fell quickly, declining 14% from their peak by the end of 2016. Researchers have given a number of different reasons for this marked turnaround. Some have argued that it was mainly due to natural gas and, to a lesser extent, wind both replacing coal for generating electricity. Others have suggested that the declines were driven by the financial crisis and its lasting effects on the economy. Here Carbon Brief presents an analysis of the causes of the decline in US CO2 since 2005. There is no single cause of reductions. Rather, they were driven by a number of factors, including a large-scale transition from coal to gas, a large increase in wind power, a reduction in industrial energy use and changes in transport patterns. Declines in US CO2 have persisted despite an economic recovery from the financial crisis. While the pace of reductions may slow, many of these factors will continue to push down emissions, notwithstanding the inclinations of the current administration.
Carbon Brief 15th Aug 2017 read more »
The US government should hold “a structured conversation” with the country’s nuclear industry on ways to restore and develop the sector, according to an essay from Mark Hibbs, senior fellow of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s nuclear policy program. “The pending bankruptcy of Westinghouse, announced five months ago, could have far-reaching strategic impact on US exports and on the economic viability, safety, and security of nuclear power installations in the United States and beyond,” Hibbs says. However, he notes that the Chinese and Russian nuclear industries “appear immune to and poised to capitalise on the problems that have beset Western firms”. Both countries have ambitious plans to export their nuclear power technology around the world.
World Nuclear News 15th Aug 2017 read more »