Environment & Climate Change

193 Items

A prototype Tesla Semi truck at Tesla HQ in California, April 22, 2019.

Flickr/Steve Jurveston

Paper - Environment and Natural Resources Program, Belfer Center

Environmental Implications and Policy Challenges for Bringing Long-Haul Electric Trucks into China: The Case of the Tesla Semi

    Author:
  • Jonathan M. Moch
| July 2019

The Tesla Semi is a battery powered electric long haul truck currently in the prototype phase. Since cost and technological barriers have prevented electric vehicles from making significant inroads into the market for long haul trucks, the announcement of the Tesla Semi marks one of the first major attempts to bring electrification to on-road long haul freight transport. China, as the world’s largest carbon emitter, is an important market for truck electrification. China has a bourgeoning passenger electric vehicle market but, like the rest of the world, is reliant on heavily polluting diesel trucks for on-road freight transport. 

This paper addresses two main questions:

  1. What are the potential impacts on carbon emissions of electric long haul trucks in China? 
  2. What are the barriers to the adoption of electric long haul trucks in China? 

Workers shovel waste from a wheat farm into a prototype for a biomass machine

AP/Andy Wong

Journal Article - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Gasification of Coal and Biomass: A Net Carbon-Negative Power Source for Environment-Friendly Electricity Generation in China

    Authors:
  • Xi Lu
  • Liang Cao
  • Haikun Wang
  • Jia Xing
  • Shuxiao Wang
  • Siyi Cai
  • Bo Shen
  • Qing Yang
  • Chris P. Nielsen
  • Michael B. McElroy
| 2019

Deploying coal-bioenergy gasification systems with carbon capture and storage (CBECCS) provides a promising opportunity for China to realize its carbon mitigation and air pollution abatement goals simultaneously. The authors conducted a comprehensive assessment of CBECCS technology for China, with a focus on plant and fuel configurations (e.g., biomass ratios) and economics, as well as CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions and cobenefits for air quality.

Saudi Arabia’s Moment in the Sun

AP/Donna Fenn Heintzen

Analysis & Opinions - Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Saudi Arabia’s Moment in the Sun

| May 07, 2019

As part of a high profile tour of China in February, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) has overseen a range of multi-billion dollar pledges and MOUs with Beijing. This partly reflects Riyadh’s desire to diversify sources for investments and technology following the mass withdrawal of major Western business leaders from the Future Investment Initiative in October 2018, after the murder of Saudi Journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Embassy in Istanbul. Yet cooperation with China on renewable energy, if successful, would realize a significant first step towards Saudi Arabia’s lofty ambitions for solar and wind power.

Stan Osserman, director of the Hawaii Center for Advanced Transportation Technologies, speaks in front of a new waste to energy facility at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.

AP/Audrey McAvoy

Journal Article - Journal of Cleaner Production

Stochastic Cost-benefit Analysis of Urban Waste-to-Energy Systems

Municipal solid waste generation is a rapidly increasing challenge that is leading to severe pollution and environmental degradation in many urban areas of developing countries. This study presents the Waste to Energy Recovery Assessment (WERA) framework, a new quantitative decision support model for initial evaluation and alternative comparisons of different thermochemical treatments of municipal wastes. The framework is used to study waste-to-energy (WtE) systems for Abu Dhabi, Riyadh, Tokyo, and New York. The results show that WtE systems can fulfill only 1.4–3.6% of 2014 electricity demand in the analyzed cases.

Windfall, by Meghan O'Sullivan

Simon & Schuster

Analysis & Opinions - LinkedIn

Energy Abundance and the Environment: An Interview with Meghan L. O’Sullivan, Part 2

    Author:
  • Scott Nyquist
| Apr. 03, 2019

The subtitle tells the story. In the early 2000s, many pundits and politicians talked up “peak oil”, “energy scarcity,” and all that. In a geological heartbeat later—about a decade—the world had entered an era of “energy abundance,” largely due to innovations that allowed producers to crack into shale formations to release massive new sources of oil and gas. The United States has gone furthest and fastest in fracking and is setting records for oil and gas production. For the US, says O’Sullivan, this has been an economic, strategic, and environmental game-changer. For the rest of the world, the effects are more differentiated but hardly less profound.

Windfall, by Meghan O'Sullivan

Simon & Schuster

Analysis & Opinions - LinkedIn

What energy abundance means for geopolitics: An interview with Meghan L. O’Sullivan, part 1 by Scott Nyquist

    Author:
  • Scott Nyquist
| Mar. 26, 2019

The subtitle tells the story. In the early 2000s, many pundits and politicians talked up “peak oil,” “energy scarcity,” and all that. In a geological heartbeat later—about a decade—the world had entered an era of “energy abundance,” largely due to innovations that allowed producers to crack into shale formations to release massive new sources of oil and gas. The United States has gone furthest and fastest in fracking and is setting records for oil and gas production. For the US, says O’Sullivan, this has been an economic, strategic, and environmental game-changer. For the rest of the world, the effects are more differentiated but hardly less profound.

Charging electric Vehicle

Flickr/Sino-German Urbanization Partnership

Journal Article - Elsevier Inc.

Electric Vehicle Recycling in China: Economic and Environmental Benefits

    Authors:
  • Fuquan Zhao
  • Zongwei Liu
  • Han Hao
| January 2019

With the rapid growth of electric vehicles in China, their benefits should be scientifically identified to support the industry development. Although the life cycle benefits of electric vehicles have been analyzed worldwide, the recycling phase has not been fully studied yet, especially in China. Therefore, this study focuses on the economic and environmental benefits of electric vehicle recycling in China. Based on the technology adopted by leading enterprises, the gross income and reduction of energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions are calculated to reveal the benefits.

Russia's Energy Foray into Asia: Implications for U.S. Interests

kees torn/Flickr

Paper - National Bureau of Asian Research

Russia's Energy Foray into Asia: Implications for U.S. Interests

This essay examines Russia’s growing role in Asia’s energy markets, assesses the implications for the U.S., and examines the claim that closer Sino-Russian energy ties are adding new incentives for a broader strategic alignment.

View of the crescent moon through the top of the earth's atmosphere. Photographed above 21.5°N, 113.3°E by International Space Station crew Expedition 13 over the South China Sea, just south of Macau (NASA image ID: ISS013-E-54329).

NASA

Discussion Paper

Governance of Highly Decentralized Nonstate Actors: the Case of Solar Geoengineering

| November 2018

We here introduce the idea of highly decentralized solar geoengineering, plausibly done in form of small high-altitude balloons. While solar geoengineering has the potential to greatly reduce climate change, it has generally been conceived as centralized and state deployed. Potential highly decentralized deployment moves the activity from the already contested arena of state action to that of environmentally motivated nongovernmental organizations and individuals, which could disrupt international relations and pose novel challenges for technology and environmental policy. We explore its feasibility, political implications, and governance.