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2023 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #14

Posted on 8 April 2023 by John Hartz

A chronological listing of news and opinion articles posted on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Apr 2, 2023 thru Sat, Apr 8, 2023.

Story of the Week

Earth Could Warm 3 Degrees if Nations Keep Building Coal Plants, New Research Warns

Several nations plan to build new coal power plants, with China alone approving nearly 100 gigawatts. Each gigawatt is the equivalent of installing more than 3 million solar panels.

Earth is on track to significantly overshoot a critical global climate target, largely because not enough coal-fired power plants are being retired, researchers warned in two new reports. Some nations are even planning new coal projects despite promising two years ago to begin reducing their use of the world’s dirtiest fossil fuel.

In 2021, nearly 200 nations agreed for the first time to phase down “unabated” coal-fired power plants as part of the Paris Agreement, which aims to limit average global warming to no more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, with a more ambitious goal of staying below 1.5 degrees.

But a new peer-reviewed study, published by two Swedish universities in the journal Environmental Research Letters, found that current commitments by nations to wind down the use of coal-fired power aren’t enough to meet either of the Paris Agreement’s key targets. It says that the planet will likely warm upwards of 3 degrees Celsius by the end of the century unless far more plants shut down over the next five years. 

In fact, the world’s fleet of coal plants actually grew last year, according to a second report released Wednesday by Global Energy Monitor, which tracks energy projects around the world. That report found that coal capacity grew by 19.5 gigawatts in 2022—enough to power roughly 15 million homes—mostly because of new plants built by China and India. While the United States retired a record 13.5 gigawatts of coal power last year, China added 26.8 gigawatts and India added 3.5 gigawatts, with both countries planning to build more new plants this year.

China alone has approved nearly 100 gigawatts of additional coal power plants, an astonishing number in light of the most recent climate report by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which warned that the next seven years may be humanity’s last chance to rapidly wind down fossil fuel use in order to stave off runaway global warming. Each gigawatt is the equivalent of installing more than 3 million solar panels or over 330 utility-scale wind turbines, says the U.S. Department of Energy

Click here to access the entire article as originally posted on the Inside Climate News website.

Earth Could Warm 3 Degrees if Nations Keep Building Coal Plants, New Research Warns by Kristoffer Tigue, Today's Climate, Inside Climate News, Apr 7, 2023

Links posted on Facebook

Sun, Apr 2, 2023

Mon, Apr 3, 2023

Tue, Apr 4, 2023

Wed, Apr 5, 2023

Thu, Apr 6, 2023

Fri, Apr 7, 2023

Sat, Apr 8, 2023

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Comments 1 to 1:

  1. This article from describes how the North East Power system (PJM) is making gas power plants repay funds that were given to them to provide "reliable power".  In December 2022 Winter storm Elliott took out up to 23% of "always on" gas generators.  Meanwhile, wind generators provided over two times their promised electricity. 

    Rules put in place after a similar storm in 2014, when gas generators also failed to work, fine producers who do not produce as they promised and reward generators who provide excess power (not to mention recent Texas gas fiascos blamed on renewable energy).

    Perhaps we will be able to avoid these consistent power shortages in bad weather when we have an all renewable energy system.

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