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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
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  • Pile_o_stonePile_o_stone Forumite
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    I know it's been muted on here before but a couple of bodies are now also suggesting it and making it on to the BBC website.

    Adverts for large polluting cars 'should be banned'

    A new campaign called "Badvertising" is demanding an immediate end to adverts for large polluting cars.
    It says the government should clamp down on sports utility vehicle (SUV) car adverts in the way it curbed smoking ads.
    SUVs now make up more than 4-in-10 new cars sold in UK, while fully electric vehicles account for fewer than two in a hundred.
    The report from the green think tank The New Weather Institute and the climate charity Possible says the trend towards big cars is propelled by aggressive advertising.
    Never mind just banning the adverts, 'large polluting cars' themselves should be banned.
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  • CoastalwatchCoastalwatch Forumite
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    In the past I'm aware that Mart has mentioned a certain CCS project in the US, questioning it's viablility and it may well be the same site the article below reports upon! Additionally, reading the full report it's scary that projects carrying such critical AGW implications continue to be conducted without transparency, either in terms of efficiency or target fulfilment and neverminding ROI or indeed a regulatory body to answer to!
    Concerns are also raised about the likely costs and liabilities of modular nuclear reactors in four States where again transparency is sadly lacking.
    Leaving aside ethics, when it comes to investing and due diligence then perhaps the phrase containing " Touching and Covid-19 Bargepole" might apply.

    Morning Brief: Avoiding coal-fired carbon capture projects and the costs of small modular nuclear reactors

    Costs of small modular nuclear reactors concern Utahns: The nonprofit Utah Taxpayers Association will hold a virtual news conference this morning to urge the 34 municipalities in Utah, Idaho, New Mexico and California participating in the controversial Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems small modular nuclear project to “step back and open up the process to public scrutiny.” On September 14, 2020 ratepayers will be locked into more than $100 million in commitments by a September 14th deadline and billions of dollars of risks later on. The need for such openness is particularly important while the nuclear industry is currently facing major credibility problems with scandals in Ohio, Illinois and South Carolina.
    A research brief published today by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) concludes that the abrupt recent shutdown of the Petra Nova coal-fired carbon capture plant in Texas should be seen as a strong signal for investors to avoid such projects. The report describes how the project failed to perform as predicted after going online in January 2017 and how its recent mothballing by NRG Energy should warn investors off other coal-fired carbon capture projects. The 240-MW Petra Nova project, located at Unit 8 of the W.A. Parish Generating Station near Houston, was the only commercially operational coal-fired CCS project in the U.S. It has been cited frequently by carbon capture promoters as a shining model of success that could be replicated widely to keep coal-fired plants online and was advertised as a means to use carbon dioxide emissions to improve production in nearby oil wells.The IEEFA report concludes that Petra Nova failed to perform as advertised and that other planned coal-fired carbon capture projects face a similar fate. Such projects include one promoted heavily in New Mexico by Enchant Energy and another backed by Minnkota Power Cooperative in North Dakota. Full report: Petra Nova Mothballing Post-Mortem: Closure of Texas Carbon Capture Plant Is a Warning Sign Source: IEEFA
    https://pv-magazine-usa.com/2020/08/04/morning-brief-avoiding-coal-fired-carbon-capture-projects-and-the-costs-of-small-modular-nuclear-reactors/?utm_source=pv+magazine+USA&utm_campaign=531167bebf-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_80e0d17bb8-531167bebf-159341337
    East coast, lat 51.97. 8.26kw SSE, 23° pitch + 0.59kw WSW vertical. Nissan Leaf plus Zappi charger and 2 x ASHP's. Still waiting for V2H and home storage to become available at sensible cost.
  • edited 4 August at 9:23PM
    CoastalwatchCoastalwatch Forumite
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    edited 4 August at 9:23PM
    Came across this piece re Oil and Gas companies linking up with Renewables down under, perhaps some greenwashing others making a genuine committment going forward. But the article at the end re CCS caught my eye following on from the preceeding post above and especially so considering the problems it has been facing along the way. It appears to be far from out of the mire as yet!

    Chevron turns to renewables to power Australian operations

    Gorgon troubles

    While Chevron’s renewables plans in Australia are not clear yet, the latest announcement comes as safety fears continue to mount after hundreds of cracks were discovered in critical equipment during routine maintenance at its Gorgon liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Western Australia. The largest single-resource project in the country, and one of the world’s largest LNG terminals, is carrying out repair work on Train 2, which is expected to start operating again in September, months later than planned because of the cracks.

    Delays are nothing new for the Gorgon project, which was accountable for a huge increase in Australia’s CO2 emissions linked to the company’s failure to start operating its carbon capture and storage (CCS) project along with gas production in 2016. The CSS project finally began operating last year. As a result, Chevron could be forced to pay an AU$100 million-plus fine following the Western Australian government’s ruling it must account for emissions from the Gorgon project from 2016-21.

    East coast, lat 51.97. 8.26kw SSE, 23° pitch + 0.59kw WSW vertical. Nissan Leaf plus Zappi charger and 2 x ASHP's. Still waiting for V2H and home storage to become available at sensible cost.
  • edited 5 August at 10:28AM
    ASavvyBuyerASavvyBuyer Forumite
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    edited 5 August at 10:28AM
    Not sure if this has already been posted, but thought it was worth adding as recent news:
    "The amount of renewable energy capacity is rapidly growing around the globe. At the same time, their specific investment costs are falling. Surprisingly, the prices received in recent auctions for offshore wind have already fallen below what analysts were predicting for 2050, some 30 years early. This fuels the controversial question of when renewable energy will reach the status of being “subsidy-free”."

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  • Martyn1981Martyn1981 Forumite
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    Large growth in off-shore wind expected.

    China poised to power huge growth in global offshore wind energy

    The world’s offshore windfarm capacity could grow eightfold by the end of the decade powered by a clean energy surge led by China, according to the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC).

    A new industry report has revealed stronger than expected growth for the offshore wind industry, which could reach 234GW by 2030, from a global tally of just over 29GW at the end of last year.
    The UK held the top spot for the largest market for offshore wind at the end of last year with 9.7GW in operation, followed by Germany with 7.5GW and China with 6.8GW.

    But by the end of the decade China is expected to host more than a fifth of the world’s offshore wind turbines, equating to 52GW, while the UK tally climbs to 40.3GW.

    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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    I'm certainly interested with any reports on storage battery explosions so was keen to read the conclusions drawn from this one. Unfortunately, the last paragraph below didn't suggest to me that the manufacturers were taking their responsibility seriously, instead pointing the finger at Safety Standards for only outlining the risks.
    In my limited understanding of such matters I'd have thought that any manufacturer when having such risks outlined to them would do all in their power to negate, reduce or mitigate them. Not only from a safety point of view but also as a defence against any possible litigation arising.

    Like many of these issues, its not just one failure but a cascade of possibly unrelated failures which compound the problems.
    Ive mentioned before on here, but its worth mentioning again that if anyone here has a battery system put a notice prominent on the house that the fire service can see if any problems do occur. Mention the size and location and makeup of the batteries.

    Ive seen thermal runaway up close (in a controlled environment) and its scarily impressive but then you think of the carnage it could cause. Its why Ive posted before on setups where 'that'll do' may work most of the time but in times of failure would certainly add to a chain of failures.
    People will hide behind the data sheets and the standards but its often what they dont say, rather than what they do that is worth considering. Guilt by omission is rife...

  • edited 7 August at 1:42PM
    CoastalwatchCoastalwatch Forumite
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    edited 7 August at 1:42PM
    Not entirely sure this where this piece should sit but just thought, if you weren't aware, that Sizewell B has agreed to shut down one of it's two turbines until September due to insufficient demand apparently. It was on local radio this morning.
    Interesting that a "clean" source of energy has been asked to reduce capacity when we're supposed to be reducing CO2 emmisions from FF's and with the Grid showing Gas supplying 46% of the countries energy needs this lunchtime!
    East coast, lat 51.97. 8.26kw SSE, 23° pitch + 0.59kw WSW vertical. Nissan Leaf plus Zappi charger and 2 x ASHP's. Still waiting for V2H and home storage to become available at sensible cost.
  • ASavvyBuyerASavvyBuyer Forumite
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    3.6GW Dogger Bank Wind Farm

    The 3.6GW Dogger Bank Wind Farm, which is being delivered in the North Sea in three 1.2GW phases, will be the world’s largest offshore wind farm when complete and is a joint venture between SSE Renewables and Equinor. When complete, Dogger Bank will generate enough energy to power over 4.5 million homes every year – around 5% of the UK’s electricity needs.

    4kWp, W roof, 30° pitch, Solar Edge Inverter + Optimisers. South Wales Valleys, Installed Aug 2015. Octopus Go Faster Electric Tariff.
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  • CoastalwatchCoastalwatch Forumite
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    Great to see Battery Storage now being taken seriously by Europe with previous barriers to it participating in capacity auctions being removed.
    The UK have the largest capacity of all with lots more planned and in the pipeline although Germany with a multitude of home battery storage installations appear to be leading the field on that front.
    Picked out three paragraphs below outlining some of the facts but found the whole article informative, encouraging and well worth the read.

    The weekend read: Europe ramps up policy support for storage

    Policy support for battery energy storage is gaining momentum across Europe as national governments remove regulatory barriers and the EU pledges financial support for this emerging technology. In several countries, revised capacity markets now allow energy storage operators to compete for subsidy contracts on a more equal footing with power generators. Support from the European Battery Alliance and €1 billion in loans from the European Investment Bank in 2020 alone should help shore up investor confidence. Battery storage will be a key component to support the growth of solar PV – but the rollout of projects will have to accelerate faster to fulfill this potential.

    August 8, 2020 Andreas Walstad
    Grid-scale batteries are still a niche technology, and the rollout of projects will have to accelerate much faster to fulfill its potential. It is, therefore, a boost for the industry that more nations are removing regulatory barriers to allow a level playing field for storage to compete with power generators, for example in capacity auctions. Italy, the United Kingdom, Portugal, and Ireland have designed capacity markets whereby storage operators can bid for contracts in auctions. This provides storage operators with a fixed and predictable revenue stream in return for committing capacity in future years.
    In the United Kingdom, the size of the storage market is around 4 GW at present, but that is mostly pumped hydro. Battery storage is more recent, with an installed capacity of around 880 MW. That is the largest share in Europe, ahead of Germany, which has just 530 MW of capacity, according to European Commission data. In the United Kingdom, 13.5 GW worth of battery projects are waiting to be built, of which 3 GW have planning permission and grid connection, according to energy recruitment firm Taylor Hopkinson.
    East coast, lat 51.97. 8.26kw SSE, 23° pitch + 0.59kw WSW vertical. Nissan Leaf plus Zappi charger and 2 x ASHP's. Still waiting for V2H and home storage to become available at sensible cost.
  • Martyn1981Martyn1981 Forumite
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    Couple of interesting articles on bio-fuels and synthetic fuels, a great way to re-use CO2 emissions and thus reduce the amount of 'new' CO2 released from FF consumption.

    US DOE Clobbers Fossil Fuels With $$$ For Bioenergy & Solar Fuel R&D

    This one’s gotta hurt. The US fossil fuel industry is still reeling from the fall of its one and only large scale carbon capture project, and along comes the Department of Energy to twist the knife. They are putting up more than $97 million to extend federal support for bioenergy alternatives to fossil fuels, $68 million to improve bioenergy crop production with a focus on marginal lands, and another $100 million to re-up a solar fuel research hub. Wait — since when did solar fuel become not a unicorn?

    Argonne National Lab Breakthrough Turns Carbon Dioxide Into Ethanol

    According to a press release from ANL, researchers at the lab, working with partners at Northern Illinois University, have discovered a new electrocatalyst that converts carbon dioxide and water into ethanol with very high energy efficiency, high selectivity for the desired final product, and low cost. Ethanol is a particularly desirable commodity because it is an ingredient in nearly all US gasoline and is widely used as an intermediate product in the chemical, pharmaceutical, and cosmetics industries.

    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.
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