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    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 9th Jun 15, 7:25 AM
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    Martyn1981
    Green, ethical, energy issues in the news (last 2 weeks)
    • #1
    • 9th Jun 15, 7:25 AM
    Green, ethical, energy issues in the news (last 2 weeks) 9th Jun 15 at 7:25 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 10:41 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 220
    • ed110220
    • By ed110220 14th Jan 20, 8:12 PM
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    ed110220
    A Finnish company is making food from air in a process I think is very exciting. They use electricity to split water into oxygen and hydrogen and then feed the hydrogen to bacteria. The bacteria use hydrogen to fix carbon and nitrogen from the air to synthesise proteins, carbohydrates etc.

    Potentially this is a massive breakthrough as:-

    Photosynthesis is a very inefficient process, capturing less than 0.5% of sunlight as food. Using solar PV to produce electricity > hydrogen > food is claimed to be efficient enough to reduce the footprint of food production by 90%.

    Land of less nature conservation or agricultural value could be used, eg rooftops, arid areas etc.

    Together this could massively increase food supplies and reduce the impact of agriculture on the natural world.

    OK I spelled out the potential positives, New Scientist has a slightly more skeptical (in the true sense of the term ) article: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2229761-can-we-really-save-the-planet-by-making-food-from-air-without-farms/
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 15th Jan 20, 8:02 AM
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    Martyn1981
    I think this article is interesting as it looks at decisions today but their impact in the future, and the need to start changing processes to be more green. So do we open a new coal mine (for coking coal) or pressure steel making to start moving to greener processes?

    New Cumbria coalmine 'incompatible' with climate crisis goals

    Now a report by the independent thinktank the Green Alliance has found the colliery, along the coast from Whitehaven, will hold back the development of low-carbon steelmaking.

    The report, authored by two university professors who specialise in environmental issues, claims that opening a new coalmine would hinder this strategy by ensuring the continued availability of cheap coal.
    The UK has set a target to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, and has committed to switch to lower carbon steel production, announcing a clean steel fund in August 2019.
    Recommendations made in the report include using less steel, using recycled steel, improving the efficiency of steel production with conventional blast furnaces, and producing steel with new processes such as renewable energy.

    Dustin Benton, Green Alliance’s policy director, said: “Clean energy has already made coal obsolete in the power sector. Our previous work shows that UK demand for coking coal would halve if steel producers opted for cheaper, cleaner steel production using today’s technologies.

    “In addition, innovation in zero carbon steel production means this mine will likely become redundant in the near future, saddling Cumbria with an expensive stranded asset.”
    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 Jan 20, 8:26 AM
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    Martyn1981
    **Preachy warning**

    Being extremely naive, I've always been struck by how much pushback the negative nancies and deniers have shown over the last decade on here. I simply assumed that they would enjoy facts, and be glad to know the truth so they could revise their statements and claims going forward.

    Obviously I've now learnt that these fact denying, religious zealot types, aren't interested in learning, but simply in defending the 20+yr old decision they once made after perhaps ...... 20secs of consideration.

    So, I've always thought it sad that we would have to see extreme impacts and harm from climate change before they 'gave up'.

    But having watched the news and seen how much effort has gone into spreading lies that the Australian fires are a result of 'greeny arson' to drive the debate, I'm starting to give up hope for facts and education ever changing their opinions. I know they only represent a small proportion of my peers, but it's getting ever more embarrassing to be an old white man.

    Climate Deniers Would Rather See A Continent Burn Than Be Wrong

    “I used to believe that only catastrophes manifestly caused by climate change would break through the psychological walls of denial. But I was mistaken. It’s now clear that the deniers would sooner see the whole country destroyed than admit they have been wrong. Their houses could burn down, their families could be incinerated, and still, they would find a way of dismissing the scientific evidence.” — Clive Hamilton, A Letter From Canberra.

    He isn’t the only one writing. Michale Mann, a top climate scientist, penned an opinion piece with The Guardian that was inspired by his vacation to the Blue Mountains, a landscape that has changed from a lush rainforest to an ominous scene that could be a landscape from any apocalyptic movie. Mann writes that this area has “panoramic vistas that challenge any the world has to offer.”

    “It too is now threatened by climate change. I witnessed this firsthand.” — Michael Mann, The Guardian.
    Mart. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

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    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 15th Jan 20, 8:29 AM
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    Martyn1981
    Bit big!

    Siemens Gamesa 11MW giant rises in Denmark

    Work is well underway to install Siemens Gamesa's 11MW prototype offshore wind turbine at the Osterild test centre in Denmark.
    Mart. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

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    • NigeWick
    • By NigeWick 15th Jan 20, 9:25 AM
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    NigeWick
    APotentially this is a massive breakthrough
    Originally posted by ed110220
    What's wrong with real food? Permaculture systems would have the ability to feed 10-12 Billion and it's likely the human population will stabilise at about 10 Billion.
    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
    • NigeWick
    • By NigeWick 15th Jan 20, 9:27 AM
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    NigeWick
    I've always been struck by how much pushback the negative nancies and deniers have shown over the last decade on here.
    Originally posted by Martyn1981
    See the "signature" below my posts.
    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
    • Hexane
    • By Hexane 15th Jan 20, 10:05 AM
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    Hexane
    Michael Mann, a top climate scientist, penned an opinion piece with The Guardian that was inspired by his vacation to the Blue Mountains
    Originally posted by Martyn1981
    Michael Mann lives and works in north-east USA. I wonder how he travelled to south-eastern Australia for his vacation - a round trip of about twenty thousand miles.
    7.25 kWp PV system (4.1kW WSW & 3.15kW ENE), Solis inverter, myenergi eddi & harvi for energy diversion to immersion heater. myenergi hub for Virtual Power Plant demand-side response trial.
    • ed110220
    • By ed110220 15th Jan 20, 10:59 AM
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    ed110220
    What's wrong with real food? Permaculture systems would have the ability to feed 10-12 Billion and it's likely the human population will stabilise at about 10 Billion.
    Originally posted by NigeWick

    Photosynthesis is extremely inefficient at producing food from sunlight. Therefore large amounts of land are necessary for food production. Agriculture is the largest cause of habitat loss. Many crops will only grow satisfactorily in places that have high nature conservation and carbon storage value, e.g. oil palms requiring a climate with an average temp of about 27C and over 100mm of rain per month year round, which would naturally support tropical rainforests or peat swamp forests. Obviously air food is not the only solution, but it could be an important one.
    • NigeWick
    • By NigeWick 16th Jan 20, 8:16 AM
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    NigeWick
    Photosynthesis is extremely inefficient at producing food from sunlight.
    Originally posted by ed110220
    That's why we eat ruminants. If managed correctly, their pastures are regenerative and store more carbon than trees.
    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 16th Jan 20, 8:21 AM
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    Martyn1981
    A look at the possibly momentous decision by BlackRock to revise/review their investments in the FF industry. Note that this isn't necessarily about being green, just the growing financial concerns over investing in FF industries and their ultimate loss of value when asset values are written down.

    I don't think this is (yet) a turning point, but we are starting to see ever more investment firms and banks twitching at the wheel.

    BlackRock Has A New Attitude About Fossil Fuel Investing

    [I can't pick any extracts - it's all interlinked and important. M.]
    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 16th Jan 20, 9:14 AM
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    pile-o-stone
    That's why we eat ruminants. If managed correctly, their pastures are regenerative and store more carbon than trees.
    Originally posted by NigeWick
    Would there be enough pasture land in the world to house the amount of cattle that people eat, especially as more countries adopt the western diet? I appreciate we are making more land available for cattle in places like Brazil, but that's at the expense of cutting down rain forests.


    "Livestock takes up nearly 80% of global agricultural land, yet produces less than 20% of the world’s supply of calories"

    "We see that countries with low land requirements have very low levels of beef consumption—nearly all countries which fall below the 50 percent habitable land marker have per capita consumption levels well below 10 kilograms per year."

    https://ourworldindata.org/agricultural-land-by-global-diets
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    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 16th Jan 20, 4:54 PM
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    Martyn1981
    News from Germany as they move on to the next stage, and aim to remove coal.

    Germany to press renewables accelerator

    The German government is to accelerate renewables deployment in line with its 65% 2030 target, as it moves to phase out coal generation.

    In a bill launching this month, the country will commit to phasing out coal-fired power generation.
    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 16th Jan 20, 5:05 PM
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    Martyn1981
    Regarding Germany, here is a great link to see what they've done over the last 30yrs. They have reduced FF consumption, but there's also the counter argument that had they decided to run their existing nuclear fleet to their full life potentials, then they could have displaced even more coal and lignite, perhaps about 50% of last years generation ~75TWh.

    But it is what it is, and the chart trend lines make for very positive progress.

    Germany’s energy consumption and power mix in charts

    Mart. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

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    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 17th Jan 20, 8:37 AM
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    Martyn1981
    Bit of an American theme for today's lecture, just sit down, grab a giant burger and a 64oz slurpy, and we'll get started:

    Two articles covering the same basic issue of how much energy the US uses (always remember that these figures are gross based on the FF extracted, not the net energy that can be usefully consumed), and the shift to RE capacity as we move forward:

    How Much Energy Does The US Consume & Where Does It Come From? — Pew Research

    I'd risk suggesting that the second chart is terrifying, but again, remember gross energy from FF's v's RE leccy, that RE generation is now winning, BEV's are winning, and heat pumps are growing in popularity. The solutions are better than what exists today, so a natural shift is inevitable ..... just need to ramp up that shift.


    Wind & Solar Power Will Dominate 2020 In US, Despite Trump

    Note that these are capacity figures not generation, but also remember that some of the net gas capacity increase will be displacing coal generation .......


    ....... speaking of coal closures, we have this article:

    Tri-State G&T To Boost Renewable Energy Goal To 50% By 2024

    Tri-State Generation & Transmission serves the needs of 43 electric cooperatives in 4 states. In all, it provides electricity for 1,000,000 customers located across 2,000 square miles of America. Last August, Tri -State’s new CEO, Duane Highley, announced his intention to move the company toward renewable energy and away from coal as soon as possible.
    On January 15, Highley’s emphasis on renewable energy became official policy for the Colorado-based company. According to the Denver Post, Tri-State intends to increase the amount of electricity it generates from renewable sources to 50% by 2024. Not so long ago, utility companies were talking about 50% renewables by 2050. But the stark price advantage renewables now have (after all, once a wind or solar farm is constructed, there are no fuel costs to pay), has upset the apple cart in the industry. 2024 is less than 4 years away. Things are starting to move quickly.
    Part of the plan is to build 8 new wind and solar installations that will provide enough electricity to power 850,000 homes. In addition, the company plans to add electric car chargers throughout its service area.

    It will also close the Escalante coal generating station in northwest New Mexico by the end of this year and shut down other coal plants in Craig and at the Colowyo Mine in northwest Colorado by 2030. One unit of the Craig facility was scheduled to continue operating until 2038 and another until 2044. The Escalante plant could have continued in operation until 2045. In addition, the company has dropped plans to build a new coal-powered facility in Holcomb, Kansas. “We’re committed to not adding any new coal generation in the Tri-State cooperative,” Highley said. It has not ruled out building new natural gas generating facilities to offset closure of several coal plants, however.
    Mark Dyson of the Rocky Mountain Institute said Tri-State’s new plan is consistent with a study his organization did in 2018 that mapped out how the utility could save $600 million through 2030 if it replaced coal facilities with wind and solar energy. “Overall, I’d say that what they announced today is consistent with our own analysis with how they can move forward with a lower-cost, clean-energy future,” Dyson said.
    In the end, the dramatic decline in the cost of renewables is upending traditional thinking in the utility industry — and not a moment too soon. Notice these changes are being driven by cost alone. Reducing emissions of greenhouse gases has little if anything to do with. What better argument for a comprehensive carbon fee could there be?
    [My bold. M.]
    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 17th Jan 20, 8:58 AM
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    Martyn1981
    Some numbers and breakdowns for RE deployments in 2019:

    Global clean power investment 'hits £282bn'

    Global investment in renewable energy capacity hit $282bn last year boosted by a string of offshore wind deals, according to BloombergNEF.

    The figure was up 1% from $280.2bn in 2018, thanks to a second busier half of the year.
    Falling capital costs in wind and solar meant that the two combined are likely to have seen around 180GW added last year, up some 20GW on 2018, BNEF found.
    The UK invested $5.3bn, down 40% and its lowest since 2007. Germany was down 30% at $4.4 bn, its lowest since 2004. The Netherlands was up 25% at $5.5bn, France was 3% higher at $4.4bn, and Ukraine 56% up at $3.4bn.
    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.
    • NigeWick
    • By NigeWick 17th Jan 20, 9:05 AM
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    NigeWick
    Would there be enough pasture land in the world to house the amount of cattle that people eat, especially as more countries adopt the western diet?
    Originally posted by pile-o-stone
    Besides the fact that the western diet is killing us, the short answer is yes. If, Permaculture systems are used. Don't forget, that calories are not the be all and end all. We need fat & protein. Animals and fish are the most protein, fat & nutrient dense. Further, the systems of agriculture dominant at present are degenerative, hence the "fertile crescent" now being mainly desert. Permaculture systems can make that land productive again.

    Perhaps we'd better put this conversation in anther thread?
    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
    • ed110220
    • By ed110220 17th Jan 20, 8:31 PM
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    ed110220
    Besides the fact that the western diet is killing us, the short answer is yes. If, Permaculture systems are used. Don't forget, that calories are not the be all and end all. We need fat & protein. Animals and fish are the most protein, fat & nutrient dense. Further, the systems of agriculture dominant at present are degenerative, hence the "fertile crescent" now being mainly desert. Permaculture systems can make that land productive again.

    Perhaps we'd better put this conversation in anther thread?
    Originally posted by NigeWick
    The trouble is animals don't produce protein, they obtain it from plants, either directly or indirectly. Further, this is an inefficient process - most of the protein in the plant material that the animal eats is lost rather than converted into animal protein.

    Now I'm not saying all agriculture is bad and should/will end, but using electricity to produce food from water and air has the potential to relieve a lot of the pressure on the natural world.
    • GreatApe
    • By GreatApe 17th Jan 20, 8:50 PM
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    GreatApe
    The trouble is animals don't produce protein, they obtain it from plants, either directly or indirectly. Further, this is an inefficient process - most of the protein in the plant material that the animal eats is lost rather than converted into animal protein.

    Now I'm not saying all agriculture is bad and should/will end, but using electricity to produce food from water and air has the potential to relieve a lot of the pressure on the natural world.
    Originally posted by ed110220

    It's definitely a fascinating prospect

    However economically mathematically easy to prove why it won't happen

    Food eg rice wheat corn = 30p /kg retail (eg flour in Tesco)
    So probably closer to 15p/kg wholesale
    Do the math and it's only about 3.2p/KWh

    Electricity costs much more than that
    Plus any electricity to hydrogen to bacteria to bigger food chains is going to have losses in every step and costs in every step

    So your starting point is off
    You're not going to be able to use 10p a unit electricity to make 3.2p a unit food

    However it might be more interesting in space where electricity could be as much as 10x cheaper or on Mars where traditional crops may be harder to do
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 18th Jan 20, 8:31 AM
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    Martyn1981
    News from Germany as they move on to the next stage, and aim to remove coal.

    Germany to press renewables accelerator
    Originally posted by Martyn1981
    We now have a 'price' for the removal of coal/lignite and it's a biggy at $45bn, though that starts to look cheap compared to the ~£50bn in subsidies that HPC alone will be getting!

    Germany Will Pay $45 Billion To Rid Itself Of The Scourge Of Coal

    Germany has long depended on coal to generate electricity. Unlike the United States, which has turned its back on the commitments it made to the world community in Paris in 2015, Germany takes its promise to reduce carbon emissions seriously. This week, it hammered out an agreement that will see most coal generating stations within the country closed no later than 2038. The agreement calls for Germany to pay nearly $45 billion in compensation to various stakeholders over the next 18 years.
    CoalFreeDave is concerned that after 8 lignite facilities are closed by 2022, little further progress will be made until eleven lignite units are decommissioned between 2034 and 2038. There was 21 GW of lignite power in Germany in 2019. That will be reduced to 15 GW by the end of 2022. According to the agreement, lignite capacity will be cut to 8.8 GW between 2025 and 2029. Then no further cuts are planned until the last 11 lignite facilities are shuttered between 2034 and 2038.

    There is a review process built into the agreement that could move the end date forward by 3 years to 2035. The only hope for coal opponents is that the cost of renewables will continue to fall and drive lignite operators out of business before the new government mandates kick in.
    Mart. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

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    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 18th Jan 20, 8:38 AM
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    Martyn1981
    Strange one this, 'da yuff' lost the case, but the ruling confirmed that they have standing, it's just that the court simply can't demand and enforce the scale of change necessary - Too big to not fail?

    Youth activists lose appeal in landmark lawsuit against US over climate crisis

    Court confirms government’s contribution to the issue, but judges find they lack power to enforce climate policy decisions
    Nevertheless, the court found that the record “conclusively establishes that the federal government has long understood the risks of fossil fuel use and increasing carbon dioxide emissions” and “that the government’s contribution to climate change is not simply a result of inaction”.

    The court also found that the youth met the requirements for standing in the case and that some of the plaintiffs met the requirements for actual injury.
    Two of the three judges balked at the scope of change required to reverse climate breakdown, finding that halting certain programs would not halt the growth of carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere or injuries to the plaintiffs.

    “Indeed, the plaintiffs’ experts make plain that reducing the global consequences of climate change demands much more than cessation of the government’s promotion of fossil fuels. Rather, these experts opine that such a result calls for no less than a fundamental transformation of this country’s energy system, if not that of the industrialized world … given the complexity and long-lasting nature of global climate change, the court would be required to supervise the government’s compliance with any suggested plan for many decades.”
    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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