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  • FIRST POST
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 9th Jun 15, 6:25 AM
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    Martyn1981
    Green, ethical, energy issues in the news (last 2 weeks)
    • #1
    • 9th Jun 15, 6:25 AM
    Green, ethical, energy issues in the news (last 2 weeks) 9th Jun 15 at 6:25 AM
    MSE Insert:

    We've seen some debate on this thread about the relevance of some posts to the topic.

    To ensure the thread remains on topic for forumites wanting to discuss the latest news we're asking that all posts contain a link to the news you're discussing.

    For the purposes of this thread the "news" needs to be within the last two weeks.

    Back to Martyn1981's original post.

    ---

    I thought it might be a good idea to have a thread for posting general news items that may be of interest.

    PV and the 'Solar in the news' thread attract a lot of interest, so here's a thread for all the other goings on.

    Mart.
    Last edited by Former MSE Andrea; 09-10-2018 at 9:41 AM.
    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.
Page 2
    • theboylard
    • By theboylard 19th Jun 15, 11:30 PM
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    theboylard
    Funnily enough they don't seem to be extending the same privilege to communities impacted by fracking, but that's only pollution and minor earthquakes, so not as important as visual issues..
    Originally posted by silverwhistle
    Sources please? Actual, real, proven cases of "pollution and minor earthquakes".

    I'm ambivalent regarding fracking, but only because I've not seen any actual proven UNBIASED data.
    4kWp, SSE, 16 x 250w EcoFuture BoB with retro-fitted SolarEdge P300 optimisers & SE3500 Inverter, in occasionally sunny Corby, Northants.
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 20th Jun 15, 6:58 AM
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    Martyn1981
    Sources please? Actual, real, proven cases of "pollution and minor earthquakes".

    I'm ambivalent regarding fracking, but only because I've not seen any actual proven UNBIASED data.
    Originally posted by theboylard
    Hi. Minor quakes from fracking lubricating the ground seem quite common, though not necessarily that serious.

    New Scientist article - How fracking caused earthquakes in the UK

    When and where did the earthquakes happen?
    A magnitude-2.3 earthquake occurred on 1 April, followed by a magnitude-1.5 quake on 27 May. Both occurred close to the Preese Hall drilling site, where Cuadrilla Resources was using fracking to extract gas from a shale bed.

    Initial studies by the British Geological Survey (BGS) suggested that the quakes were linked to Cuadrilla's fracking activities. The epicentre of the second quake was within 500 metres of the drilling site, at a depth of 2 kilometres. Less information was available on the first quake, but it seems to have been similar.

    The link with fracking has now been confirmed by an independent report commissioned by Cuadrilla, Geomechanical Study of Bowland Shale Seismicity, which states: "Most likely, the repeated seismicity was induced by direct injection of fluid into the fault zone."
    Are these earthquakes dangerous?
    Not particularly. Magnitude-2.3 earthquakes can shake the ground enough for people to notice, especially if they occur close to the surface, but damage is normally limited to objects falling off shelves.
    Pollution is a trickier issue. Videos of tap water (from local wells) containing methane gas may be due to fracking, but this does happen anyway sometimes.

    Also pollution of drinking water aquifers from the chemicals released at depth are controversial, as drilling may be far deeper than those aquifers. However, poor standards in the US mean that the drill casings are often below standard, and when they crack, the pumped chemicals can pollute areas not from the deep fracking, but simply from shallower leaks.

    Pollution in the US is hard to prove as the companies don't have to reveal what cocktail of chemicals they use. But in the UK they will have to, so if pollution occurs (or is suspected) then it should be possible to see if there is a link.

    So why frack? - If most of Europe bans fracking. Polish attempts at fracking have failed (one of the most promising areas in Europe). And vast quantities of 'normal' methane are available from Europe and LNG from the middle east and N. America, then British frack gas will have little to no affect on the European gas price, and will probably save us nothing.

    There is one positive. Buying gas from ourselves will at least improve our balance of trade.

    Probably not of the same scale, but one way to store excess renewable electricity generation is P2G (power to gas). This is currently of low efficiency, but manufactures methane for storage, which can then be used for leccy generation or heating.

    Mart.
    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.
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 22nd Jun 15, 3:32 PM
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    Martyn1981
    Britain leading the way in off-shore wind
    UK hits 5GW offshore

    The UK’s offshore wind capacity has surpassed 5GW, according to RenewableUK.

    The threshold was crossed when Gwynt y Mor wind farm, off the coast of North Wales, was officially inaugurated last week, with a total of 5.054GW now installed in UK waters.

    R-UK deputy chief executive Maf Smith said: “This is an important landmark, which no other country is anywhere close to equalling, as we have more offshore wind installed than the rest of the world put together.

    It’s further evidence of how much the UK has achieved in developing the offshore wind industry in a short space of time - and there’s a healthy pipeline of projects still to come, as long as government policy remains supportive.”
    Mart.
    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.
    • lstar337
    • By lstar337 24th Jun 15, 10:09 AM
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    lstar337
    EU climate chief criticises UK wind farm policy
    The UK's decision to stop subsidising new onshore wind farms will make it harder to meet renewable energy targets, the EU's climate chief says.

    They said onshore wind was by far the cheapest way to hit the target of 15% of all energy from renewables from 2020.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-33254059
    • silverwhistle
    • By silverwhistle 24th Jun 15, 12:03 PM
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    silverwhistle
    I'm ambivalent regarding fracking, but only because I've not seen any actual proven UNBIASED data.
    Originally posted by theboylard
    In which case the precautionary principle applies.
    Plenty of evidence for pollution in the US - one I saw yesterday: http://www.bioscienceresource.org/2014/12/health-and-environmental-harm-from-fracking/
    • lstar337
    • By lstar337 24th Jun 15, 2:18 PM
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    lstar337
    In which case the precautionary principle applies.
    Plenty of evidence for pollution in the US - one I saw yesterday: http://www.bioscienceresource.org/2014/12/health-and-environmental-harm-from-fracking/
    Originally posted by silverwhistle
    But that is the US, and we already know they have cut corners for the fast buck!
    • zeupater
    • By zeupater 24th Jun 15, 6:00 PM
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    zeupater
    In which case the precautionary principle applies.
    Plenty of evidence for pollution in the US - one I saw yesterday: http://www.bioscienceresource.org/2014/12/health-and-environmental-harm-from-fracking/
    Originally posted by silverwhistle
    Hi

    There've been a few discussions on this, most of which at sometime reference biased science ... here's one from a while back ... http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?p=63333679#post63333679 ... have a read through - my own input was based on multiple discussions with a friend regularly involved in utility-scale borehole water extraction schemes along with unbiased research to verify claims when I was trying to form a view on what all the fuss was about ...

    HTH
    Z
    "We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act, but a habit. " ...... Aristotle
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 26th Jun 15, 10:12 AM
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    Martyn1981
    Living with a wind farm - Australia
    I thought this article/story was interesting, and quite funny. Given that the Aussie prime minister hates windpower (loves coal), some of the local's comments are interesting:

    Minimal sound and almost no fury: life in the shadow of Australia's windfarm 'hell'

    There is no objective measure for visual awfulness but it’s hard to find anyone in Merredin who thinks they’re ugly. People certainly think they are less ugly than Muja power station, the coal-fired generator that sits at the Collie end of the industrial power corridor, and preferable to fracking, the other energy source farmers have come to associate with their land.

    Once you get into the Davies family’s house, the noise of the heat pump takes over. Bryan, in his 80s and in remission from “a fair whack of cancer”, feels the cold, and it gets below 4C on Monday night.

    Eyes twinkling as his wife scolds him for calling the prime minister “Tony Rabbit”, Bryan says the fuss about the negative effects of windfarms is “crap”.

    “Any ill health effects?” he asked, cracking open a second can of bitter before answering his own question. “Yes, it gives me more money so I can buy more beer.”

    Bryan says he can barely hear the modern turbines, which hum at a steady 14 revs per minute. Older turbines, like the single turbine on Rottnest Island that so appalled Tony Abbott, make much more noise.

    “All that stuff about the row is just crap,” he said. “The fridge makes more of a row [than the turbines]. The transformer, just out there [about 30 metres from the house] makes more row.”

    Bernice is more fascinated than most about the turbines, which she says are beautiful. She plied contractors with scones to get the inside track on the construction process and can tell you how much each component part weighs. Two tiny model wind turbines sit among a nest of picture frames on the sideboard that showcase their 15 great-grandchildren.
    Mart.
    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.
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 30th Jun 15, 10:40 AM
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    Martyn1981
    A news article discussing the European Commission's plans/thoughts following the conference on decarbonising road transport.

    On The Road: EU Goes For Efficient & Electric, Ponders Biofuels

    The European Commission’s strategy for decarbonising the road transport sector is finally taking shape: Brussels wants efficiency first, electrification second. But it doesn’t know what to do about biofuels. “There is no appetite for [new] targets”, says Commission Director Marie Donnelly. Sonja van Renssen takes us on the bumpy road to a climate-friendly European transport sector.
    Mart.
    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.
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 13th Jul 15, 6:25 AM
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    Martyn1981
    Benefits far outweigh costs of tackling climate change, says LSE study

    The economic benefits for a country from tackling climate change easily outweigh the costs, according to a study that seeks to highlight the incentives for individual nations to take urgent action to cut emissions.

    Countries stand to gain more than they would lose in economic terms from almost all of the actions needed to meet an agreed global warming limit of no more than 2C above pre-industrial levels, according to the paper published by two research institutes at the London School of Economics.

    It is the latest research to underscore the apparent economic gains from limiting emissions, which include new jobs and improved health, even before the benefits of preventing dangerous climate change are taken into account.
    Furthermore, investments in low-carbon energy are likely to be more than paid back by the falling cost of renewable sources, such as solar and wind, and by reduced spending on fossil fuels, Green predicts.
    “The findings of this research suggest that the traditional assumption that action on climate change is net-costly is false. Those who think there is an incentive for countries to ‘free-ride’ on the climate protection provided by others are very much mistaken,” says Green.
    So, even if you don't agree with AGW, the economics of tackling it are net beneficial.

    Mart.
    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.
    • EricMears
    • By EricMears 13th Jul 15, 7:45 AM
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    EricMears
    So, even if you don't agree with AGW, the economics of tackling it are net beneficial. Mart.
    Originally posted by Martyn1981
    Very much what I've always said.

    Using more renewables will mean that it will be even longer until our (great.... ) grandchildren exhaust the planet's resources. Who knows, we may even get reliable fusion generation and can make plastics from e.g. straw before all the fossil fuels run out.

    You don't have to believe in the AGW 'religion' to appreciate those benefits.
    NE Derbyshire.
    4kWp S Facing 17.5deg slope (dormer roof).
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 14th Jul 15, 2:50 PM
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    Martyn1981
    Contracts awarded for world's longest interconnector

    Plans to build a new interconnector between the UK and Norway that would provide the ability to import, export, and store clean power took a leap forward today with the award of €1.5bn of contracts relating to the ambitious project.
    The project, which is the latest in a series of interconnector investments National Grid is considering, will provide a major boost to the renewable energy sectors of both countries. It is designed to allow the UK and Norway to import and export renewable power based on respective supply and demand in each country and crucially would allow excess renewable power generated by UK wind and solar farms to be exported to Norway's pumped hydro-storage sites, effectively enabling the storage of intermittent clean power.

    [UK - Iceland interconnector would be even longer, if it gets built?]

    Mart.
    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.
    • michaels
    • By michaels 15th Jul 15, 12:13 PM
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    michaels
    This piece on UK system capacity doesn't mention renewables...but it is all about them!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-33527967
    Cool heads and compromise
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 16th Jul 15, 6:18 AM
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    Martyn1981
    Designers create the 'impossible' zero-carbon house

    Designers at Cardiff University say they have constructed the sort of house George Osborne once described as impossible.

    The chancellor scrapped a requirement for new homes to be zero carbon by 2016 because he said it would prove too expensive.

    But Cardiff University say they have built a house that exports more power to the grid than it uses.

    And crucially they say the cost fell within the normal budget for social housing.

    A government spokesman said house builders needed to be given more time to develop low energy homes.

    'Excess energy'

    The house took just 16 weeks to construct and cost £1,000 per sq m - that's within the range for social housing of £800 to £1,000 per sq m, the designers said.

    In future, they say its owners will make money from selling excess energy.

    The property, near Bridgend, has insulated render on the outside and air heating systems that rely on the sun.

    The designers say it will need to import energy in the winter, but the imports will be trumped by energy exports during summer months.
    Mart.
    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.
    • Pulpdiction
    • By Pulpdiction 16th Jul 15, 10:17 AM
    • 153 Posts
    • 288 Thanks
    Pulpdiction
    Interestingly it has a 6.9kw li-ion battery system, supplied by this company, but no details on their web site that I can see: http://www.ecolek.co.uk/index.html
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 7th Aug 15, 9:28 AM
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    Martyn1981
    Thought I'd bump this thread with a nice little story from New Zealand:

    Sun sets on coal power in New Zealand

    Energy company Genesis Energy said yesterday it will close New Zealand's two remaining coal-fired electricity generation units by 2018, effectively ending the country's use of coal to generate electricity.

    The remaining two generators are both located at the Huntly Power Station in Waikato on New Zealand's North Island. The plant's two other generators, which are gas-fired, will continue to operate.

    Albert Brantley, chief executive of Genesis Energy, said the falling cost of renewable technology was a major factor in the decision to retire the generators.

    "The development of lower cost renewable generation, principally wind and geothermal, investment in the HVDC link, and relatively flat growth in consumer and industrial demand for electricity have combined to reinforce the decision to retire the remaining Rankine units, which will deliver further operational efficiencies to Genesis Energy," he said in a statement.
    Mart.
    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.
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 25th Aug 15, 9:08 PM
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    Martyn1981
    Renewables cover almost 100% of German demand ..... briefly.

    On Sunday midday, close to 100% of the electricity demand in Germany was covered by renewable sources. A lot of sun and wind made this possible.
    Mart.
    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.
    • ed110220
    • By ed110220 26th Aug 15, 6:23 PM
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    • 649 Thanks
    ed110220
    Given that the UK is a net electricity importer from France and France in turn is now a net importer from Germany, it seems logical to say we probably benefitted from Germany's bumper production too!

    Ed
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 31st Aug 15, 11:01 AM
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    Martyn1981
    Economics - the new friend of clean energy.
    Citi report: slowing global warming would save tens of trillions of dollars

    Citi Global Perspectives & Solutions (GPS), a division within Citbank (America’s third-largest bank), recently published a report looking at the economic costs and benefits of a low-carbon future. The report considered two scenarios: “Inaction,” which involves continuing on a business-as-usual path, and Action scenario which involves transitioning to a low-carbon energy mix.

    One of the most interesting findings in the report is that the investment costs for the two scenarios are almost identical. In fact, because of savings due to reduced fuel costs and increased energy efficiency, the Action scenario is actually a bit cheaper than the Inaction scenario.
    This conclusion soundly refutes the main argument against climate action – that it’s too expensive, with some contrarians even having gone so far as to claim that cutting carbon pollution will create an economic catastrophe. To the contrary, the Citi report finds that these investments will save money, before even accounting for the tremendous savings from avoiding climate damage costs.
    Mart.
    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.
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 4th Sep 15, 9:56 AM
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    Martyn1981
    Possible good news for UK renewables.

    The costs of the French based nuclear reactor in Normandy are still escalating. This is the design to be used for 2 reactors at Hinkley C.

    The original 5 year and €3.3bn cost has already become 11 years and €10.5bn.

    Whilst it's unlikely to put the UK off continuing with the Hinkley project, which may start generating in 2025, I'm guessing that the falling cost of renewables even with large scale storage, might be a match for nuclear by that date.

    It would be a great shame if we began the new 35yr subsidy for nuclear at a point in time when a cheaper and cleaner alternative may be available. Worse still if domestic generation with storage is by then viable without support.

    However, large scale storage is still a major hurdle, so only time will tell.

    Bloomberg - EDF's Latest Reactor Delay Adds to Pressure on U.K. Nuclear Plan

    BBC - Hinkley Point nuclear plant delayed, says EDF

    Mart.
    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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