A live feed of three numbers we believe everyone should be watching to see progress towards CO2-free energy systems.
Runs offline: partially
Last update: Android 04/11/2015 – iOS 21/09/2015
Website of the developer: Sandbag
Notes: article updated on 05/11/2015
Sandbag is a UK-based not-for-profit think tank expert in the carbon markets, being one of its main objectives the research and campaigning for environmentally effective climate policies. In the course of their business, recently they have launched a mobile app, Climate Tracker, that provides information about three climate numbers: the intensity of CO2 (g/kWhr) in the UK, the price of carbon in the European and UK markets and the concentration of CO2 in the world.
The first value displayed after starting the application is the average intensity of CO2, which changes color according to its rise or descend. Clicking on this tab, you access to a list of the different energy sources that make up the UK’s energy mix and its contribution to power generation at that time (the data comes from the National Grid) . The different colors (red, yellow and green) used to identify the different energetic origins relate to the carbon intensity of each source (fossil fuels such as coal – red -have a greater contribution that wind energy – green -). Each energy source also has a graph in which its hourly production in MW and forecast is displayed. To update this section almost continuously an internet connection is required.
The second tab is the price of the ton of carbon in the market or, in other words, the price of emitting greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. As stated in the application, “in 2008 the carbon price was almost €30 a tonne,” although the surplus of allowances have led to lower the price to the current values (on the Sandbag web, you can see the evolution on carbon prices in recent years).
The last section corresponds to the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere measured in parts per million (not in real time). Data are from the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii, which makes a daily reading. At short notice, the app will also include data of Mace Head Atmospheric Research Station in Ireland.
The application also has a help section that includes information on the different variables, as well as a brief on the methodology applied.
Images: Screenshots 19/10/2015. ©Sandbag
The CO2 is one of the main greenhouse gases together with water vapor, methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), fluorinated gases and ozone (O3). Although this phenomenon is necessary for the development of the life on Earth, the increase in greenhouse gas emissions resulting from human activity is causing a global warming that in the medium/long term will aid to climate change.
The Climate Tracker application provides interesting information on these variables, also offering an image about the weight of renewable energies in the energy production of UK. With these values you can also calculate the CO2 emissions of the Anglo-Saxon country (intensity * total generation = CO2 emissions). Perhaps it would be interesting to add a section with links to sources of information that are being used. Depending on which information is consulted some differences can be seen. It would be interesting that tools like Climate Tracker were an example so that other countries develop their own applications.