From void into vision, from vision to mind, from mind into speech, from speech to the tribe, from the tribe into din.

Friday, December 25, 2020

Zero Net Energy - December 25, 2020

 "Second + Delaware is the largest Passive House building in the world, which means that it uses 80-90% less energy than conventional buildings”

Opening in October in Kansas City, Missouri

A blog about living in a self-designed shipping container tiny house which is completely self-sufficient in Australia

40 hectare “regenerative city” plan for Bergen, Norway

How Oslo plans to become a zero emissions city by 2030

Net Zero energy McDonald's

Snøhetta’s Powerhouse Telemark will use 70% less energy than a conventional building of similar size and will produce more energy than it will require over its entire lifespan, including the energy used in construction and even during its eventual demolition in decades to come

In January, 2019 this list included
Trondheim, Norway’s net energy positive building, Powerhouse Brattørkaia, "will generate more energy in its operational phase than it consumes through the production of buiding materials, construction, operation, and disposal of the building” or Snøhetta strikes again

Editorial Comment:  Snøhetta is the standard for zero net energy, net zero energy design and construction, at least in my opinion.

Plan for UK’s first carbon neutral “urban quarter”

The Green Gateway, a zero-emission, highly sustainable multimodal hub, is the winner for the 2020 Fentress Global Challenge (FGC), an annual global student design competition

Westwood Hills Nature Center in St. Louis Park, Minnesota with net-zero energy design

Net energy positive hotel for Bornholm Island, Denmark
Editorial Comment:  Bornholm Island was the test-bed for the EU’s Grid 2.0 project to determine how to mesh renewables with the existing grid and speed the renewable transition:
More on Bornholm and other near net zero island projects at

Redesigning Bellinzona, Switzerland through an “'eMergetic evaluation' concept that considers the entire building lifecycle to minimize the city’s carbon footprint. The proposal also includes planned energy policy objectives with zero-emission targets, renewable energy systems and environmental monitoring."

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Planning the Energy Transition

 Over the past couple of weeks I’ve run across what might be a few really useful reports on the energy transition.

The Lancet is doing an annual climate countdown report to monitor our progress.  Here is this year’s edition:

That should give us some idea of where we are and this particular finding jumped out

"Indicator 4.2.5: net value of fossil fuel subsidies and carbon prices—headline finding: 58 of the 75 countries reviewed were operating with a net negative carbon price in 2017.  The resulting net loss of revenue was, in many cases, equivalent to substantial proportions of the national health budget...

"This indicator calculates net, economy- wide average carbon prices and associated net carbon revenue to government. The calculations are based on the value of overall fossil fuel subsidies, the revenue from carbon pricing mechanisms, and the total CO2 emissions of the economy. Data on fossil fuel subsidies are calculated on the basis of analysis from the IEA and OECD.  Together, these sources cover 75 countries and account for around 92% of global CO2 emissions. Carbon prices and revenues are derived from data in the World Bank Carbon Pricing Dashboard ( [Corporate Carbon Accounting Market may also be useful here]

"Of the 75 countries, 61 (81%) countries in 2016 and 58 (77%) countries in 2017 had net negative carbon prices, and only 14 (19%) countries in 2016 and 17 (23%) countries in 2017 had a price higher than zero, a result of substantial subsidies for fossil fuel production and consumption (figure 25). The median net carbon revenue was negative, a pay-out of $0·66 billion (IQR –0·04 to –3·48), with some countries providing net fossil fuel subsidies in the tens of billions of dollars each year. In many cases, these subsidies were equivalent to substantial proportions of the national health budget—more than 100% in eight of the 75 countries in 2017.  Of the 38 countries that had formal carbon pricing mechanisms in place in 2017, 21 still had net negative carbon prices.”

An historical perspective is available with an interactive diagram of the Energy Transitions in U.S. History, 1800–2019 (, extremely fine work which maps the transitions from biomass to coal to oil to gas to nuclear to renewables.  The supporting paper is at

McKinsey has just released a report on How the EU Could Achieve Zero Emissions at Net Zero Cost ( and there are two new studies for the USA:

Net-Zero America:  Potential Pathways, Infrastructure, and Impacts

and two US renewable energy policy scenaria, administrative action alone doubling renewables by 2030 and 50% renewables by 2030, from Wood Mackenzie (

The Sierra Club also has a paper on how they are approaching "Climate Resilience, Carbon Dioxide Removal, and Geoengineering Policy”