climate change portfolio

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Strategy Sector Description 1 wedge could come from… Cost Challenges

1. Efficiency –

Increase automobile fuel

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(2 billion cars projected in

… doubling the efficiency of all
world’s cars from 30 to 60 mpg

Car size & power

2. Conservation
– Transport

Reduce miles traveled by pas-
senger and/or freight vehicles

… cutting miles traveled by all
passenger vehicles in half

Increased public
transport, urban


3. Efficiency –

Increase insulation, furnace

and lighting efficiency

… using best available technol-
ogy in all new and existing


House size, con-
sumer demand for


4. Efficiency –

Increase efficiency of power

… raising plant efficiency from
40% to 60%

Increased plant


5. CCS

90% of CO2 from fossil fuel
power plants captured, then

stored underground
(800 large coal plants or 1600

natural gas plants)

… injecting a volume of CO2
every year equal to the volume

of oil extracted

Possibility of CO2

6. CCS

Hydrogen fuel from fossil
sources with CCS displaces

hydrocarbon fuels

… producing hydrogen at 10
times the current rate

New infrastructure
needed, hydrogen

safety issues

7. CCS Synfuels
Capture and store CO2 emitted

during synfuels production
from coal

… using CCS at 180 large
synfuels plants

Emissions still only
break even with


8. Fuel
Switching –

Replacing coal-burning electric
plants with natural gas plants

(1400 1 GW coal plants)

… using an amount of natural
gas equal to that used for all

purposes today


Natural gas

9. Nuclear

Displace coal-burning electric
plants with nuclear plants

(Add double current capacity)

… ~3 times the effort France
put into expanding nuclear

power in the 1980’s, sustained
for 50 years

Weapons prolifera-
tion, nuclear waste,

local opposition

10. Wind

Wind displaces coal-based


(10 x current capacity)

… using area equal to ~3% of
U.S. land area for wind farms

Not In My Back Yard


11. Solar

Solar PV displaces coal-based

(100 x current capacity)

.. using the equivalent of a 100
x 200 km PV array

PV cell materials

12. Wind

Produce hydrogen with wind


… powering half the world’s
cars predicted for 2050 with


NIMBY, Hydrogen
infrastructure, safety

13. Biofuels

Biomass fuels from plantations
replace petroleum fuels

… scaling up world ethanol pro-
duction by a factor of 12

Biodiversity, compet-

ing land use

14. Forest

Carbon stored in new forests

… halting deforestation in 50


Biodiversity, compet-
ing land use

15. Soil

Farming techniques increase
carbon retention or storage in


… practicing carbon manage-
ment on all the world’s agricul-

tural soils


Reversed if land is
deep-plowed later

= Electricity Production, =Heating and Direct Fuel Use, =Transportation, = Biostorage

Stabilization Wedges – 15 Ways to Cut Carbon

For more information, visit our website at


E = ___ (6 max)
T = ___ (5 max)
H = ___ (5 max)
B = ___

Wedge Worksheet




Manufacturers Industrialized





(E,T,H or B)













1. Record your strategies to reduce total fossil fuel emissions by 8 wedges by 2060.
(1 “wedge” = 1 billion tons carbon per year)

• You may use a strategy more than once
• Use only whole numbers of wedges
• You may use a maximum of

– 6 electricity wedges (E)
– 5 transportation wedges(T)
– 5 heat or direct fuel use wedges (H)

2. Guess the score each stakeholder group would give your team’s triangle on a scale of 1 to 5 (5 = best).

Evelyn Alvarez

Assignment #3 Prompt

The goal of Assignment #3 is to understand how a combination of different existing strategies can tackle the problem of climate change. The creator of this activity believes that we already have a lot of promising strategies in existence and we don’t have to think outside the box when it comes to solutions to combat climate change, we have to think inside the box and work with what we have. For this assignment, you represent an environmental consulting company, and your task is to develop a Climate Change Portfolio (by filling out the worksheet after you’ve examined the strategies listed on Pg.


 of the Assignment #3 Worksheet).

A Climate Change Portfolio is simply your proposed package of solutions to combat climate change. These strategies are represented by 8 wedges, which will reduce total fossil fuel emissions significantly by 2060. You have to decide how many wedges of each sector will make up your portfolio. You must also list the challenges to implementation but they may not be challenges listed on Pg. 1 – you must conduct additional research to list 2 challenges per wedge category. For Assignment #3, you will need to complete Pg. 2 of the Assignment #3 Worksheet . I’ve included optional background slides under Week 9 that help you visualize each type of strategy sector with examples of corresponding technologies.  There are 4 different sectors:

· Electricity

· Transportation

· Heat/direct fuel usage

· Biostorage

You must choose 8 strategies (they can be repeated, e.g., you can choose to have 4 transportation strategies, as long as you don’t exceed 6 of Electricity, 5 of transportation, and 5 of heat/direct fuel usage.  Pg. 2 of the worksheet lists these limitations. There are no limits for biostorage). You must list the challenges of each strategy in the far right column.  No need for full sentences, but you must include more challenges than those listed on Pg. 1, which means you will have to do additional research.  For the Challenges column, you can choose a small font size to type in as much as you can or handwrite.  Be sure to add up your strategies at the end by cost and type. Adding the amount of dollar signs is fine. For the bottom table, pretend you’re each of those stakeholders and give your portfolio a score based on their perspectives (they can’t all be the same score).

In addition to the worksheet, you will also submit a 1 pg proposal (double spaced, not more than 1 pg) in the character role of your consulting company (must create a name) and defend your portfolio, including discussing why your combination of wedges should be chosen by the U.S. government to combat climate change.
(Con’d on next page)

You can use text boxes to add text to each response line item, or you can download, print and fill out in pen, take a photo of it or scan, and submit that way.  This is due Wednesday 4/27 by 11:59PM.

Once completed, please PDF together Pg. 2 of the worksheet plus your proposal and submit to the submission thread under Week 9.


Assignment #3: Climate Change

Atmospheric carbon stabilization

Energy Efficiency
& Conservation


Renewables &

15 Wedge Strategies in 4 Categories

Nuclear Power
2010 2060


Fossil Fuel-Based

E, T, H / $

↑ transport efficiency
↑ transport conservation
Double the fuel efficiency of the
world’s cars or halve miles traveled

↑ building efficiency
Use best efficiency practices in all
residential and commercial buildings

Replacing all the world’s
incandescent bulbs with CFL’s
would provide 1/4 of one wedge


There are about 600 million cars today,
with 2 billion projected for 2055

Photos courtesy of Ford Motor Co., DOE, EPA

Sector s affected:
• E = Electricity
• T =Transport
• H = Heat
Cost based on scale
of $ to $$

↑ electricity efficiency
Produce today’s electric capacity
with double today’s efficiency

Average coal plant efficiency
is 32% today

Implement CCS at

• 800 GW coal electric
plants or

• 1600 GW natural gas
electric plants or

• 180 coal synfuels plants or
• 10 times today’s capacity

of hydrogen plants
Graphic courtesy of Alberta Geological Survey

Carbon Capture &

There are currently three storage projects that each inject 1
million tons of CO2 per year – by 2055 need 3500.E, T, H / $

Replace 1400 coal-fired facilities
with an equal number of natural
gas electric plants

A wedge requires an amount of natural gas
equal to that used for all purposes today

Fuel Switching

Photo by J.C. Willett (U.S. Geological Survey).

E, H / $

Triple the world’s nuclear
electricity capacity by 2055


Graphic courtesy of NRC

The rate of installation required for a wedge
from electricity is equal to the global rate of
nuclear expansion from 1975-1990.E/ $

Wind Electricity & Wind Hydrogen

Install 1 million 2 MW windmills to
replace coal-based electricity,


Use 2 million windmills to produce
hydrogen fuel

Photo courtesy of DOE

A wedge worth of wind electricity
will require increasing current
capacity by a factor of 10E, T, H / $-$

Solar Electricity

Photos courtesy of DOE Photovoltaics Program

Install 20,000 square kilometers
for dedicated use by 2060

A wedge of solar electricity would mean
increasing current capacity 100 times

E / $$


Photo courtesy of NREL

Using current practices, one wedge requires planting
an area the size of India with biofuels crops

Scale up current global ethanol
production by ~12 times

T, H / $

Natural Sinks (Forests & Soils)

Photos courtesy of NREL, SUNY Stonybrook, United Nations FAO

Eliminate tropical deforestation


Plant new forests over an area
the size of the continental U.S.


Use conservation tillage on all
cropland (1600 Mha)

B / $

Conservation tillage is currently practiced
on less than 10% of global cropland

Take Home Messages
• In order to avoid a doubling of atmospheric CO2, we need to

rapidly deploy low-carbon energy technologies and/or
enhance natural sinks

• We already have an adequate portfolio of technologies to
make large cuts in emissions

• No one technology can do the whole job – a variety of
strategies will need to be used to stay on a path that avoids a
CO2 doubling

• Every “wedge” has associated impacts and costs

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