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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 111
    • NigeWick
    • By NigeWick 14th Jun 19, 9:15 AM
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    NigeWick
    The main drivers to control birth rate,
    Originally posted by Martyn1981
    Children surviving. Once they all survive, couples generally only have an average of two.
    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
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 14th Jun 19, 1:02 PM
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    Martyn1981
    Exactly that...as soon as the circumstances that caused the migration subside... famine, war, climate etc, the homeland will 'backfill' until it reaches saturation point again.
    Originally posted by 1961Nick
    The main driver, and back to the thread and board, will be AGW, so no backfill. But the issue you are trying to spin around is that of global population, and migration doesn't change that, it simply moves the total about.

    You have lately tried to challenge the costs of addressing AGW, and also bring up migration, well, that's going to be a biggy in the cost column.


    As distasteful as it may be to you, you can't exclude a rising human population from any discussion about AGW.
    Originally posted by 1961Nick
    Yes and no. The rising population is baked in, it is about 7bn, and it will get to about 11bn. Nothing we can do can stop that rise now, and the reason I explained about peak child, was to point out that the birthrate issue is already (largely) resolved.

    So, in effect, population has no bearing on our policies going forward as it is a fixed issue - what will be, will be - so acknowledging the problem is fine, but it is nothing more than a distraction regarding all the action we need to take as regards CO2 emissions. We need zero CO2 per capita.

    If you want a global solution, you have to address global issues.
    Originally posted by 1961Nick
    Give a solution that will change the population projection, or move on to solutions we can actually do something about now?
    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 14th Jun 19, 1:09 PM
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    Martyn1981
    Children surviving. Once they all survive, couples generally only have an average of two.
    Originally posted by NigeWick
    Exactly. And whilst we had a long time to adjust from high birth rates as medicine and health standards slowly rose, other nations got the benefits far faster (but later) and have had to adjust rapidly.

    Bangladesh is a great example, where thanks to education, especially trained women visiting rural communities, they've managed to reduce their birth rate from over 6 to close to 2 per woman in just 50yrs or so.

    For anyone interested in the big picture I watched a great Ted talk some years ago, which goes into great detail:

    DON'T PANIC — Hans Rosling showing the facts about population
    Last edited by Martyn1981; 14-06-2019 at 1:13 PM.
    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.
    • Piddles
    • By Piddles 14th Jun 19, 2:58 PM
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    Piddles
    For anyone interested in the big picture I watched a great Ted talk some years ago, which goes into great detail:

    DON'T PANIC — Hans Rosling showing the facts about population
    Originally posted by Martyn1981
    I just watched this.

    Fascinating.

    I considered myself educated and well informed. But not so much right now.

    If you haven't seen it, take an hour out to watch it. It may be the most valuable hour you've spent in a while.
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 15th Jun 19, 6:10 AM
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    Martyn1981
    I just watched this.

    Fascinating.

    I considered myself educated and well informed. But not so much right now.

    If you haven't seen it, take an hour out to watch it. It may be the most valuable hour you've spent in a while.
    Originally posted by Piddles
    Many thanks, and just to re-cap on some of my recent posts, we can no longer look for excuses to act, or for others to do it for us.

    We have a responsibility to act on emissions as the science is solid and decided, questioning it, is a waste of everyone's time now. Hiding behind denials such as CO2 benefits for plants, or pretending the UK's (or any other country) part is smaller than it is, is just an excuse to avoid action. And hiding behind population growth is pointless*, the main issue - birthrate - is relatively solved now, so we have to accept the baked in growth from longer life.

    This thread (and board) I believe is one to discuss solutions, not deny (nor hide from) problems. And personally I think the news is great, we just need to speed up deployment and integration.

    * @Zeupater - no offence is meant against you, the way I initially read your post, and still do on on re-checking it, is that you are acknowledging population growth as a driver of increased demand, but pointing out that the problem is too many children per family. Points I agree on entirely.

    Hi

    But even that isn't the main problem .... moving backwards towards the root cause we have a level where governments spend tomorrow's earnings up front and then encourage population growth & inflation to balance their position, then there's the root cause .... population size & growth ...

    If the future of humanity (not the planet as it will eventually recover!) is doomed then it's down to whoever replaces their own existence on more than a one-for-one basis ...

    HTH
    Z
    Originally posted by zeupater
    It was the use of your post, and the implication that the issue is not being addressed, that I object too.
    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 15th Jun 19, 4:01 PM
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    Martyn1981
    Praise be to cheese's.

    Cracking cheese, Gromit! Wensleydale waste to heat 4,000 homes

    The Wensleydale Creamery has struck a deal to supply the waste whey from its cheese factory to a local bioenergy plant that produces enough renewable biogas to heat 4,000 homes. The Leeming biogas plant, which currently runs on ice-cream residue, will use a process called anaerobic digestion to turn the dairy-based waste into renewable biogas.
    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.
    • pile-o-stone
    • By pile-o-stone 15th Jun 19, 6:12 PM
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    pile-o-stone
    They must have run out of young men taking whey in the false belief that they need all that protein to get big when doing weights. In reality they are just overloading their kidneys and liver as their bodies try desperately to get rid of it all. Eventually they may end up suffering from osteoporosis, renal disease or cancer.

    Alternatively they use these byproducts to feed livestock - an unhealthy dose of rubbish that provides little or no nutritional value and means the meat they provide is also lacking in nutrition.
    5.18 kWp PV systems (3.68 E/W & 1.5 E).
    Solar iBoost+ to two immersion heaters on 300L thermal store.
    Vegan household with 100% composted food waste
    Mini orchard planted and vegetable allotment created.
    • silverwhistle
    • By silverwhistle 16th Jun 19, 10:03 AM
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    silverwhistle
    Alternatively they use these byproducts to feed livestock - an unhealthy dose of rubbish that provides little or no nutritional value and means the meat they provide is also lacking in nutrition.
    Originally posted by pile-o-stone

    Hmm, there's no coincidence that parma ham and parmesan come from the same area.


    I used to live in a different area of Italy with a strong cheese making tradition and 10ish years ago the Chinese were mopping up all the surplus whey they could get. No idea what _they_ were doing with it!
    • Piddles
    • By Piddles 19th Jun 19, 8:25 PM
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    Piddles
    For anyone interested in the big picture I watched a great Ted talk some years ago, which goes into great detail:

    DON'T PANIC Hans Rosling showing the facts about population
    Originally posted by Martyn1981
    I've been mulling this over...

    The assertion is that raising education, health and living standards around the world has meant the we have already reached "peak child" and that it's now longer life expectancy that is going to take the planet's population from 7 to 11 billion at which point population growth is expected to stop. That's still a 60% rise in just a few decades, but it seems conceivable that with new technology the planet ought to feed and water such a number (but no doubt to the detriment of all the other species).

    However, that TED talk doesn't really factor in the environmental impact of those rising living standards. They referenced Mozambique quite a lot, where the per capita carbon footprint was 0.1 tonne in 2010. In the US it was 18.1 tonnes per person. source

    Using China as an illustration, the massive economic growth has, for example, seen a not unreasonable equivalent massive demand for meat. It takes 20 to 30 buckets of plant calories to grow one bucket of beef calories.

    Now if all this extra economic activity translates in the doubling of the world average carbon footprint from 4.6 to 9.2 tonnes, that means that we're not really talking about 11 billion people but the equivalent of 22 billion.

    Now add a load of climate disruption from rising temperatures and even if the other G7 countries mirrored the UK's carbon neutral target by 2050, it starts to look like the predictions of world order breaking down around 2050 has credibility.
    • mmmmikey
    • By mmmmikey 20th Jun 19, 12:32 AM
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    mmmmikey
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-48698532


    To my way of thinking, investment in green public transport has to be the way to go. An EV may not be emitting much CO2 as you drive it along the motorway, but using energy to move a 1000kg of metal and 100kg of driver has to be wasteful......
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 20th Jun 19, 6:06 AM
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    Martyn1981
    I've been mulling this over...

    The assertion is that raising education, health and living standards around the world has meant the we have already reached "peak child" and that it's now longer life expectancy that is going to take the planet's population from 7 to 11 billion at which point population growth is expected to stop. That's still a 60% rise in just a few decades, but it seems conceivable that with new technology the planet ought to feed and water such a number (but no doubt to the detriment of all the other species).

    However, that TED talk doesn't really factor in the environmental impact of those rising living standards. They referenced Mozambique quite a lot, where the per capita carbon footprint was 0.1 tonne in 2010. In the US it was 18.1 tonnes per person. source

    Using China as an illustration, the massive economic growth has, for example, seen a not unreasonable equivalent massive demand for meat. It takes 20 to 30 buckets of plant calories to grow one bucket of beef calories.

    Now if all this extra economic activity translates in the doubling of the world average carbon footprint from 4.6 to 9.2 tonnes, that means that we're not really talking about 11 billion people but the equivalent of 22 billion.

    Now add a load of climate disruption from rising temperatures and even if the other G7 countries mirrored the UK's carbon neutral target by 2050, it starts to look like the predictions of world order breaking down around 2050 has credibility.
    Originally posted by Piddles
    Yes - it's slightly terrifying, but there's good news.

    Start from the top down, and look at 'fully' developed countries like the UK. We are reducing our carbon emissions and aiming for net zero by 2050. That means that zero carbon per capita is possible, and for a developed country.

    From there, apply that out to all countries, why can't they all achieve this, and for developing countries, India is a great example I think, they can avoid the high CO2 per capita that we, the EU, US etc have by leapfrogging straight to low/zero carbon technologies.

    I've always argued that the UK's investment in RE will be repaid less from our own CO2 reductions, and more from avoided CO2 emissions by developing countries as they go down the RE route instead. Back to India, at the start of this decade they had a massive coal buildout planned to meet their needs, but as wind and PV costs fell (due to early, and high cost investment by us, and other wealthier nations) they changed direction and started to rollout 10's of GW's of RE instead of some (not all) FF expansion.

    So ....... and here comes the biggy ........ whilst energy demand is going to rise massively, I believe it can be met by non FF means.

    And I don't think I'm dreaming, RE deployment does not have any scaling issues, purely as an example meeting all energy demand in 2030 can be done with little land (or sea) use, as shown in this old article:

    TOTAL SURFACE AREA REQUIRED TO FUEL THE WORLD WITH SOLAR (or off-shore wind)

    [Edit - since this article was written, PV efficiencies have risen and off-shore wind WT's gotten bigger. With silicon/perovskite PV we could be seeing 35% efficiencies v's the 20% used, and WT's already pushing twice the size given, and efficiencies approaching 50% v's the 40% used. M.]

    Also worth noting that the technology needed to switch space heating, transport, storage etc, already exists, and costs whilst high(ish) are already OK, and falling.

    Obviously, I'm not saying everything will be fine, and the work needed is massive, and the investment even greater, but I do believe that it is entirely doable already and affordable, and we have kinda, sorta started, though Trump has decided to go in the opposite direction, but even he and his efforts will pass eventually.

    Edit - Couldn't leave it on a negative - the pushback by states against Trump's actions have been impressive, and despite his best efforts, coal is still slowly dying in the US.
    Last edited by Martyn1981; 20-06-2019 at 6:17 AM. Reason: Added an edit
    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.
    • buglawton
    • By buglawton 20th Jun 19, 6:43 AM
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    buglawton
    The sad fact is that with insatiable demand for lithium to power the electric revolution, every local environment where lithium is sourced is being destroyed.
    https://www.wired.co.uk/article/lithium-batteries-environment-impact
    The rich consumer countries as usual are paying no heed of the impact on poor and indigenously poplated environments.

    The massive water consumption is the main issue.
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 20th Jun 19, 6:45 AM
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    Martyn1981
    Things are getting real!

    Seawalls to protect US against rising oceans could cost $416bn by 2040

    Youre looking at close to half a trillion spent over the next 20 years and no one has thought about that. So the question is, whos going to pay for that? Is it really going to be taxpayers? The current position of climate polluters is that they should pay nothing, and thats just not tenable.
    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 20th Jun 19, 6:47 AM
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    Martyn1981
    The sad fact is that with insatiable demand for lithium to power the electric revolution, every local environment where lithium is sourced is being destroyed.
    https://www.wired.co.uk/article/lithium-batteries-environment-impact
    The rich consumer countries as usual are paying no heed of the impact on poor and indigenously poplated environments.

    The massive water consumption is the main issue.
    Originally posted by buglawton
    Keeping it positive (pun intended), for stationary storage, flow batts are looking good, and energy (not power) can be increased quite cheaply by simply increasing the storage capacity.
    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.
    • Piddles
    • By Piddles 20th Jun 19, 11:54 AM
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    Piddles
    Hydrogen Fuel Cell technologies have had a lot of investment over the years. It always seems so tempting, but it never seems to make the grade.

    The "right" way to produce the hydrogen would be via electrolysis from renewable electricity sources, however in the real world converting the electricity to hydrogen is only around 10% efficient, so is wasteful and uneconomic and hence why the hydrogen comes from fossil fuel processes. Kinda negating much of its reason for being. Plus it's only 30% efficient in converting stored energy into forward motion. Plus its made from precious metals making it horribly expensive, and it wears out and has to be replaced as part of a maintenance schedule.

    With batteries the 10% goes to 100% (as there's no conversion), the 30% goes to 80%, but take off 7% for transmission losses = 25 times more efficient. We just need 3 or 4 years worth of energy density development of the batteries and ethically sourced lithium.

    https://medium.com/predict/electric-or-hydrogen-the-future-of-personal-transportation-4e2a15fbe719 (as with too many "green" related links, beware of the vested interest)
    Last edited by Piddles; 20-06-2019 at 12:31 PM. Reason: Added link
    • zeupater
    • By zeupater 20th Jun 19, 1:07 PM
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    zeupater
    Hydrogen Fuel Cell technologies have had a lot of investment over the years. It always seems so tempting, but it never seems to make the grade.

    The "right" way to produce the hydrogen would be via electrolysis from renewable electricity sources, however in the real world converting the electricity to hydrogen is only around 10% efficient, so is wasteful and uneconomic and hence why the hydrogen comes from fossil fuel processes. Kinda negating much of its reason for being. Plus it's only 30% efficient in converting stored energy into forward motion. Plus its made from precious metals making it horribly expensive, and it wears out and has to be replaced as part of a maintenance schedule.

    With batteries the 10% goes to 100% (as there's no conversion), the 30% goes to 80%, but take off 7% for transmission losses = 25 times more efficient. We just need 3 or 4 years worth of energy density development of the batteries and ethically sourced lithium.

    https://medium.com/predict/electric-or-hydrogen-the-future-of-personal-transportation-4e2a15fbe719 (as with too many "green" related links, beware of the vested interest)
    Originally posted by Piddles
    Hi

    From previous research I thought that hydrogen electrolysis ranged up to around ~80% efficient (in terms of electricity used to create hydrogen embodied energy) and that there are now a number of fuel cells based on relatively inexpensive stainless steel plate stacks which have an electrical energy to heat production efficiency of around ~50%:~50% ...

    The big problem with hydrogen is the application ... if it's to produce motive power you need to lug around plenty of mass, that's not the mass of the hydrogen itself, but the high pressure vessels that it's contained in because it's essentially boiled to become a gas at our atmospheric temperatures & pressures, which effectively reduces motive efficiency on the ground and really kills the economics for gas based propulsion in commercial heavier than air aircraft.

    The case can be made for short cycle hydrocarbon fuels that are stable as a liquid at pressures & temperatures that they would be required to be stored & used at as this removes the requirement for cumbersome pressure or temperature managed storage, particularly so if they could be extracted & refined directly from the atmosphere at commercial costs & volumes ...

    HTH
    Z
    Last edited by zeupater; 20-06-2019 at 1:10 PM.
    "We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act, but a habit. " ...... Aristotle
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 20th Jun 19, 1:13 PM
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    Martyn1981
    Hi

    From previous research I thought that hydrogen electrolysis ranged up to around ~80% efficient (in terms of electricity used to create hydrogen embodied energy) and that there are now a number of fuel cells based on relatively inexpensive stainless steel plate stacks which have an electrical energy to heat production efficiency of around ~50%:~50% ...

    HTH
    Z
    Originally posted by zeupater
    Hiya. There's also the losses (energy consumption) from compression or liquefying, but as has been said (by you I think?) if the leccy input comes from low value marginal generation, then what the hell, let's full our boots.

    Edit - sorry I misunderstood your final paragraph - so you are looking at low pressure use on site ...... cool, that helps, and I think there's an American guy who built such a system at his house, but he is ex-NASA or something like that.

    I'm in a very positive mood lately, no idea why.
    Last edited by Martyn1981; 20-06-2019 at 1:15 PM. Reason: Made a boo boo
    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.
    • zeupater
    • By zeupater 20th Jun 19, 1:29 PM
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    zeupater
    Hiya. There's also the losses (energy consumption) from compression or liquefying, but as has been said (by you I think?) if the leccy input comes from low value marginal generation, then what the hell, let's full our boots.

    Edit - sorry I misunderstood your final paragraph - so you are looking at low pressure use on site ...... cool, that helps, and I think there's an American guy who built such a system at his house, but he is ex-NASA or something like that.

    I'm in a very positive mood lately, no idea why.
    Originally posted by Martyn1981
    Hi

    Accepted ... but 1kg of hydrogen contains ~33kWh of energy whereas compressing 1kg of hydrogen to 10kpsi consumes around 1.5kWh, so around 96% overall energy efficient as a process ... 96% of 'up to 80%' makes little more than a general rounding difference when comparing to the ~10% production efficiency being highlighted/questioned ....

    HTH
    Z
    "We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act, but a habit. " ...... Aristotle
    • Piddles
    • By Piddles 20th Jun 19, 1:56 PM
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    Piddles
    if the leccy input comes from low value marginal generation, then what the hell, let's full our boots.
    Originally posted by Martyn1981
    I guess you're saying renewable electricity for which there is no demand at the time of production. One half of the renewable energy conundrum. Isn't the environmental need that this is addressed with storage solutions (batteries) to eliminate fossil fuels rather than be wasted in an unreliable supply (and having to be topped up with non marginal generation) supporting inefficient processes?
    • Piddles
    • By Piddles 20th Jun 19, 2:55 PM
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    Piddles
    From previous research I thought that hydrogen electrolysis ranged up to around ~80% efficient
    Originally posted by zeupater
    From that Medium article:
    In reality that process would be too wasteful, as hydrolysis is rarely more than 10% efficient and at best under lab conditions 50% efficient.
    Note my caveat about vested interests against that link! I'd love to see where he got that 10% from. It seems current technology is nearer 70% according to Wikipedia with an expectation of low eighties in ten years. It seems fossil fuel derived hydrogen is still generally cheaper though, so with the other factors (including the compression overhead, the lower energy density and thick heavy steel tanks...) it doesn't yet change the balance of the argument.
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