Green, ethical, energy issues in the news

edited 12 July 2021 at 11:38AM in Green & Ethical MoneySaving
6.9K replies 445.6K views
1636637639641642693

Replies

  • Martyn1981Martyn1981 Forumite
    13.1K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    Forumite
    Bit of a digression, so apologies, but I thought it might be worth posting this news item as it deals with the issue of protein crop production v's meat farming (so this is from the AGW side, rather than direct green energy).

    I found it interesting as the source is a actually a nuisance, so removed (harvested?) already:

    Protein from gorse bushes could feed millions of people, says expert

    The gorse bushes that have invaded many Scottish landscapes could produce enough protein to feed millions of people, according to the leader of a Scottish government research programme.

    The surprising suggestion by Prof Wendy Russell, at the University of Aberdeen, comes from research on the protein content of invasive plants that have to be doused with herbicides or burned back to keep them under control.

    Gorse contains 17% protein and broom has 21% protein, she said, adding: “Gorse and broom were fed to cattle at times when crops failed in the past, so we think protein from these types of plants could be used as animal food. If protein isolates are produced in the correct way, so to be safe, they could be considered as human food in the future.”

    “The whole point about gorse is it is actively being removed from marginal lands – it’s something we can gain protein from at no extra cost,” she said. “We have a huge amount of gorse all over Scotland and when we did the calculations, just by active removal from marginal land, there’s enough gorse protein to easily feed [Scotland’s] population.”

    Scotland has little arable land, which is why Russell examined invasive plants on marginal land. “When you make a protein isolate from gorse, 57% of the total leaf protein can be recovered at up to 95% purity,” she said. “We’re using about 4.5 to 6kg of CO2 to produce [a kilogram of] isolate, compared to an average for meat of 102kg of CO2.”



    And as a 'twofer', I read this para:

    Fifteen Scottish farmers also planted hemp this year for the first time, Russell said. “They’re really concerned about the climate and want to do their best. They really are optimistic about the commercial viability of the crop and its climate credentials.”
    and as I've been interested in hemp for quite a long time, since it can produce so many products, bio-degrable materials, grows at an astonishing speed (up to 2 harvests pa), and can be used to produce bio-fuels, or even just pellet based biomass, I found a recent article looking at it:

    The UK countryside is ablaze with hemp farms. But how do they help the climate?

    Despite the lack of state support, more and more farmers in the UK are turning to hemp production for its economic and environmental benefits. It's legal for them to sell a variety of hemp-made products, like milk and seed powers, to supermarkets and other businesses.

    In the right conditions, hemp absorbs more CO2 than it takes to cultivate - sequestering nine to 15 tonnes of CO2 per hectare. That’s almost twice as much as a forest of the same size, according to a Cambridge University researcher. Could it be the next big carbon sucker?

    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.
  • NigeWickNigeWick Forumite
    2.7K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Debt-free and Proud!
    Forumite

    It looks as though lab grown meat will be the protein of the future. I honestly can't see gorse "feeding millions of people."

    Hemp:- I think growing and using hemp is a good idea. Clothing, cordage, ropes and building materials for starters.
    The mind of the bigot is like the pupil of the eye; the more light you pour upon it, the more it will contract.
    Oliver Wendell Holmes
  • michaelsmichaels Forumite
    26.3K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Photogenic Name Dropper
    Forumite
    Undersea pumped storage co-located with wind farms
    Will this ‘ocean battery’ buried in the seabed be an offshore wind game changer? (electrek.co)

    Which made me want to look up the round trip efficiencies of different storage technologies and I found this link, not sure how accurate the values are:
    Fact Sheet | Energy Storage (2019) | White Papers | EESI

     

    Max Power
    Rating (MW)

    Discharge time

    Max cycles or lifetime

    Energy density
    (watt-hour per liter)

    Efficiency

    Pumped hydro

    3,000

    4h – 16h

    30 – 60 years

    0.2 – 2

    70 – 85%

    Compressed air

    1,000

    2h – 30h

    20 – 40 years

    2 – 6

    40 – 70%

    Molten salt (thermal)

    150

    hours

    30 years

    70 – 210

    80 – 90%

    Li-ion battery

    100

    1 min – 8h

    1,000 – 10,000

    200 – 400

    85 – 95%

    Lead-acid battery

    100

    1 min – 8h

    6 – 40 years

    50 – 80

    80 – 90%

    Flow battery

    100

    hours

    12,000 – 14,000

    20 – 70

    60 – 85%

    Hydrogen

    100

    mins – week

    5 – 30 years

    600 (at 200bar)

    25 – 45%

    Flywheel

    20

    secs - mins

    20,000 – 100,000

    20 – 80

    70 – 95%

    Characteristics of selected energy storage systems (source: The World Energy Council)

    I think....
  • Martyn1981Martyn1981 Forumite
    13.1K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    Forumite
    Chers, that's a great list. The biggest takeaway for me is how it seems to support all of the negativity I keep reading in articles and comments about hydrogen as a form of large scale leccy storage.

    I've generally been quite bullish about H2, accepting the low efficiency, on the grounds that vast amounts can be stored relatively easily. But with my very limited knowledge on the technicalities and issues, it seems to me that H2 storage requires similar technologies, techniques, and even locations as CAES. So if CAES is more efficient* then does this leave room for H2, given that more stages are involved in H2 storage?

    *CAES was the only figure that jumped out at me on that list, as 70% seemed too high, but the paper explains that this is with thermal storage of heat too. I believe LAES can be around 50-80% efficient, but again requires waste heat or cold for the higher figures, and can't be stored as simply as CAES and H2. I think LAES sits somewhere between intraday and longer term storage.


    I'm rambling now, but another potential source of storage for the UK (and other countries in Europe) could be PHS in Norway. Currently they have little PHS, they don't need it since they have vast hydro storage. At present, if UK leccy is in excess and cheap enough then Norway may buy it and 'store' it in the form of dialing down their own hydro generation. But I believe there have been studies that around 20GW of storage/supply could be opened up in Norway by the addition of pumped hydro and catchment lagoons at existing hydro sites. This is a project and level of investment that Europe, rather than just Norway, might want to consider. I think this may have been mentioned a decade or so back as part of the Desertec idea, where Norway's main role/contribution would be hydro generation and being a large European battery.
    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.
  • michaelsmichaels Forumite
    26.3K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Photogenic Name Dropper
    Forumite
    Chers, that's a great list. The biggest takeaway for me is how it seems to support all of the negativity I keep reading in articles and comments about hydrogen as a form of large scale leccy storage.

    I've generally been quite bullish about H2, accepting the low efficiency, on the grounds that vast amounts can be stored relatively easily. But with my very limited knowledge on the technicalities and issues, it seems to me that H2 storage requires similar technologies, techniques, and even locations as CAES. So if CAES is more efficient* then does this leave room for H2, given that more stages are involved in H2 storage?

    *CAES was the only figure that jumped out at me on that list, as 70% seemed too high, but the paper explains that this is with thermal storage of heat too. I believe LAES can be around 50-80% efficient, but again requires waste heat or cold for the higher figures, and can't be stored as simply as CAES and H2. I think LAES sits somewhere between intraday and longer term storage.


    I'm rambling now, but another potential source of storage for the UK (and other countries in Europe) could be PHS in Norway. Currently they have little PHS, they don't need it since they have vast hydro storage. At present, if UK leccy is in excess and cheap enough then Norway may buy it and 'store' it in the form of dialing down their own hydro generation. But I believe there have been studies that around 20GW of storage/supply could be opened up in Norway by the addition of pumped hydro and catchment lagoons at existing hydro sites. This is a project and level of investment that Europe, rather than just Norway, might want to consider. I think this may have been mentioned a decade or so back as part of the Desertec idea, where Norway's main role/contribution would be hydro generation and being a large European battery.
    I guess li-ion and h2 have the advantage that they can be used to transport stored energy and used in a mobile context.

    Also h2 may be somewhat compatible with the existing natural gas infrastructure and of use in some high temperature industrial processes.

    However in terms of a simple stationary storage solution I would have to agree with you.
    I think....
  • CoastalwatchCoastalwatch Forumite
    2.4K Posts
    1,000 Posts Fourth Anniversary Name Dropper
    Forumite
    Has anyone else signed up to Co Charger, either as a Host or Chargee which enables those with no off road parking, to charge up safely/regularly and within walking distance of their home. If so, how has it worked for you?


    East coast, lat 51.97. 8.26kw SSE, 23° pitch + 0.59kw WSW vertical. Nissan Leaf plus Zappi charger and 2 x ASHP's. Three Givenergy 8.2 kWh batts & 3.0 kW ac inverter. Still waiting for V2H. CoCharger Host, Interest in Ripple Energy & Abundance.
  • VerdigrisVerdigris Forumite
    1.7K Posts
    1,000 Posts Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    No, but it is something I'm intending to investigate, because I'll have a lot of solar surplus in the summer, if my plans go as intended.
  • QrizBQrizB Forumite
    7.3K Posts
    1,000 Posts First Anniversary Photogenic Name Dropper
    Forumite
    Thanks for sharing the CfD article, I've been following the Levy Dashboard at https://www.lowcarboncontracts.uk/dashboards/cfd/levy-dashboards for a few months now.
    It's fascinating to see how high wholesale FF prices mean the CfD-funded renewables are currently not "expensive" and may act as a (small) stabilising factor on energy bills.

    N. Hampshire, he/him. Octopus Go elec & Tracker gas / Voda BB / Virgin mobi.
    2.72kWp PV facing SSW installed Jan 2012. 11 x 247w panels, 2.5kw inverter. 27MWh generated, long-term average 2.6 Os.
    Ofgem caps explained - October 2021 and April 2022
Sign In or Register to comment.
Latest News and Guides