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Green, ethical, energy issues in the news (last 2 weeks)

edited 9 October 2018 at 10:41AM in Green & Ethical MoneySaving
5.3K replies 416.5K views
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  • Martyn1981Martyn1981 Forumite
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    Always good to see some promising news from the US, even if it has an uphill battle:

    Tax Credits for Renewables Get Another Shot in Congress
    Democrats in the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday unveiled draft legislation in the latest attempt to extend tax credits for renewable technologies.

    The Growing Renewable Energy and Efficiency Now, or GREEN, Act would extend the federal Investment Tax Credit for solar and offshore wind for five years and keep a 60 percent Production Tax Credit for onshore wind — set to expire this year — in place for five years. The discussion draft also includes incentives for energy storage, electric vehicles and environmental justice programs at colleges and universities.

    and


    New Jersey More Than Doubles Offshore Wind Target to 7.5GW
    New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy on Tuesday signed an executive order backing a goal of 7.5 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2035, more than doubling the state's existing 3.5-gigawatt target for 2030.

    By the mid-2030s, offshore wind could provide New Jersey with half of its electricity, Murphy said in a speech alongside former Vice President Al Gore. “No other renewable energy resource provides us either the electric generation or economic growth potential of offshore wind,” Murphy said.

    New Jersey is heavily reliant on natural gas and nuclear power for its electricity, though it also gets nearly 5 percent from solar, among the highest penetrations in the country. Last year the state offered up subsidies to keep its dwindling fleet of nuclear reactors operating, joining a handful of other states including New York in doing so.
    Mart. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

    For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
  • Martyn1981Martyn1981 Forumite
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    Another mis-post perhaps, but I think this story on too much solar in Australia bodes well for the rest of us as they roll out storage solutions that we can piggyback onto, probably for off-shore wind:

    This solar farm has to switch off every second day due to negative prices

    The Sth Australia CO2e intensity graph is staggering showing a 50% reduction in 5yrs.

    Also interesting to see how methods for coping with excess coal generation at night, such as water heating, will move to daytime to cope with solar.
    Mart. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

    For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
  • Martyn1981Martyn1981 Forumite
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    Good and bad.

    It seems the move to refer to global warming or climate change as 'climate crisis' or 'climate emergency' is working, at the very least it means that when people chat about it, they are more likely to understand it's quite important.

    Oxford Dictionaries declares 'climate emergency' the word of 2019
    Oxford Dictionaries has declared “climate emergency” the word of the year for 2019, following a hundred-fold increase in usage that it says demonstrated a “greater immediacy” in the way we talk about the climate.

    Defined as “a situation in which urgent action is required to reduce or halt climate change and avoid potentially irreversible environmental damage resulting from it”, Oxford said the words soared from “relative obscurity” to “one of the most prominent – and prominently debated – terms of 2019.”

    According to the dictionary’s data, usage of “climate emergency” soared 10,796%.

    Oxford said the choice was reflective, not just of the rise in climate awareness, but the focus specifically on the language we use to discuss it. The rise of “climate emergency” reflected a conscious push towards language of immediacy and urgency, the dictionary said.

    In 2019, “climate” became the most common word associated with “emergency”, three times more than “health emergency” in second.

    In May, the Guardian updated its style guide to clarify that “climate emergency” or “global heating” would be favoured over “climate change” or “global warming” (although the original terms are not banned) – to better reflect the scientific consensus that this was “a catastrophe for humanity”.


    Awareness is great, but it seems we are no where near reducing FF consumption enough, in fact we've not even stopped it increasing yet:

    Fossil fuel production on track for double the safe climate limit
    ‘We’re in a deep hole over the climate crisis and we need to stop digging,’ warn experts

    The world’s nations are on track to produce more than twice as much coal, oil and gas as can be burned in 2030 while restricting rise in the global temperature to 1.5C, analysis shows.

    The report is the first to compare countries’ stated plans for fossil fuel extraction with the goals of the Paris climate agreement, which is to keep global heating well below 2C above pre-industrial levels, and to aim for 1.5C. It exposes a huge gap, with fossil fuel production in 2030 heading for 50% more than is consistent with 2C, and 120% more than that for 1.5C.

    Scientists have warned that even the difference between 1.5C and 2C of heating will expose hundreds of millions of people to significantly higher risks of extreme heatwaves, drought, floods and poverty.

    The report was produced by the UN Environment Programme and a coalition of research organisations. It complements an earlier UN analysis showing the current Paris agreement pledges to cut emissions would still lead to a catastrophic 3-4C rise.
    Mart. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

    For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
  • EricMearsEricMears Forumite
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    I don't think mathematics can be a strong point for the OED staff !
    Oxford Dictionaries has declared “climate emergency” the word of the year
    I can see two distinct words there !
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  • silverwhistlesilverwhistle Forumite
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    If they'd called it collocation of the year I'd have been OK with it, or even if they'd hyphenated it. But language does matter..
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  • Martyn1981Martyn1981 Forumite
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    Just a repeat, sort of, of what I've been saying lately, but once again it seems that the climate / climate crisis is being taken far more seriously than previously, which even if for greenwashing purposes, is still a positive move.

    Climate crisis topping UK election agenda is 'unprecedented' change
    The climate emergency has risen to the top of the UK’s election agenda in a way that would have been “unthinkable” even five years ago, leading environmentalists have said, predicting that it augurs a permanent change in British politics.
    Mart. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

    For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
  • Martyn1981Martyn1981 Forumite
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    Article on transport emissions. I found the graph of rising emissions interesting as it more than doubles over the last 50yrs, but almost all of the increase is road transport.

    'We're gonna need a bigger BEV!'

    Are We Doing Enough To Tackle Global Transport Emissions?
    Mart. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

    For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
  • Martyn1981Martyn1981 Forumite
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    Even in the US, the 'shale dream' is starting to struggle. And a quick warning to any fossil fools, this article is both green AND ethical.

    US Shale Oil Boom May Be Winding Down. What Does That Mean For America & The World?
    The justification is that it gives America energy security, but we all know that is a bogus claim. America can have energy security in perpetuity if it simply takes advantage of all the free sunshine and wind resources it squanders every day. The only way someone can support fracking is to totally ignore the harm that all oil and gas does to the environment when it gets burned to make electricity or power cars, trucks, planes, and ships.
    The industry grew by 20% in 2018 and employment was up 11%. This year has seen no growth in the industry. Halliburton, one of the largest companies in the shale gas business, has laid off 3,000 workers. More than 3 dozen shale oil drilling companies have filed for bankruptcy.

    All this gloomy news has investors who used to fund the industry holding onto their wallets instead. “I think now you’ve seen a lot of pressure of, ‘We want you to be a real business. Your cost structure’s too high, you have too much debt, I’m not funding your drilling anymore with external capital. You have to live within your own means,’ ” Deckelbaum says.
    What people like Ron Fountain fail to realize is that fracking is one of the dumbest endeavors humans have ever thought of. Shale oil producers routinely release the methane that is released with the oil directly into the atmosphere or burn it at the wellhead. So shale production has a double whammy on the environment. It front-loads the atmosphere with methane or carbon dioxide emissions in the production phase then adds even more carbon dioxide when it is burned later. The effect is like injecting a huge spike of heroin directly into the veins of an addict. The last thing the Earth needs now is more methane and carbon dioxide emissions.

    And what does America get out of this? Tens of thousands of old wells that no one will pay to clean up because the industry has never been required to pay for the harm it does. Only someone with the limited brain power of President Quid Pro Quo would think that makes America anything but a third world country run by people who get offended when they are asked to clean up their mess. The only sensible course of action for the US is to eliminate oil, gas, and coal extraction altogether so the Earth can begin to heal itself from the wounds inflicted by the fossil fuel industry.
    Mart. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

    For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
  • Martyn1981Martyn1981 Forumite
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    So, Labour is suggesting that they will build the Swansea lagoon, and re-open discussions / investigations into nuclear.

    But, and this is just my opinion, but based on the latest off-shore wind contracts, and the continuing falling cost in RE and storage in general, I struggle to see how nuclear makes any economic sense at all now.

    AND, in a bit of a U-turn for me, I'm now struggling with the idea of the tidal lagoons, a technology I have been very supportive of. Swansea will be very expensive, but that's OK, it's relatively small and is really just a technology test for much bigger and cheaper deployments, but as with my concerns over nuclear, what if wind/PV + storage can beat the benefits that tidal brings - benefits such as predictability, an element of storage, an extra RE tool in the toolbox - on price, then in all fairness I have to apply the same concerns to tidal as i do to nuclear.

    Tidal does have some additional 'bonuses' such as aesthetics, tourism, coastal/flood defence etc., so I guess we'll have to see how it all stacks up.

    Labour commits to lagoon and nuclear plant in manifesto
    Mart. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

    For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
  • joefizzjoefizz Forumite
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    Martyn1981 wrote: »
    I struggle to see how nuclear makes any economic sense at all now.


    Its not about economic sense Martyn, more about grid security and permanence.
    People give off about China building coal fired stations but they were supposedly building them to fill the gap before all the nuclear ones come online... pity they are restarting some of the stopped developments.
    The problem with the UK (and most other places) is that every future energy discussion seems to come to an impasse around nuclear to some degree. Well its either that or behaviour modification (which would solve a lot of the emissions problems!)



    As Ive posted on here many times the shale oil 'ponzi' was always just that, borrowed money in to get a non permanent resource out, lower the price of oil for the US and marginalise Saudi. Cheap borrowed money and increasing deficit to keep the plates spinning.
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