Energy technologies are not enough to reduce carbon emissions: Expert

September 10th, 2010 - 6:23 pm ICT by ANI  

New York, Sept.10 (ANI): New York University physicist Martin Hoffert has, in an essay, warned that energy technologies are not enough to sufficiently reduce carbon emissions.

Publishing the essay for New York University (NYU), Hoffert said the present atmospheric level of carbon dioxide is approximately 385 ppm, some 100 ppm above the pre-industrial level of about 280 ppm, and it is expected to rise in the future.

“So far, efforts to curb emissions through regulation and international agreement haven’t worked. Emissions are rising faster than ever, and programs to scale up ‘carbon neutral’ energy sources are moving slowly at best,” he adds.

He pointed to a pair of factors that show why current energy technologies are not sufficient to reduce carbon emissions to a level advocated by scientists — One, alternative energy sources, such as solar and wind electricity, are not adequate to achieve “massive market penetration,” which requires utility-scale systems that can store intermittent supplies of power until they are needed; Two, reliance on carbon-emitting fuels is once again growing.

Hoffert offers an array of approaches that would bring about new technologies while at the same time reducing the world’s reliance on fossil fuels.

“Broad investment will be crucial to enabling basic research findings to develop into applied commercial technologies. Carbon taxes and ramped-up government research budgets could help spur investments, he said.

He also says that developing carbon-neutral technologies also requires, at the very least, reversing perverse incentives, such as existing global subsidies to fossil fuels that are estimated to be 12 times higher than those to renewable energy.” (ANI)

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