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Ray - everything we do has an impact on the environment, for instance Wind Turbines kill birds and have an impact on peat moorlands due to the concrete foundations. If the authorities at Albi can power 10,000 homes from a single water turbine with minimal impacts then I see no reason why our own large rivers can not be harnessed in the same manner. It has been done in Guildford off the Wey Navigation with virtually no impact at all. I lived by the Thames for a year and the lowest flow rate I observed (as recorded by the upstream flow meter at Reading Bridge) was 28 cubic metres per second (Q). This equates to a potential 400KW at Caversham Lock. At 100Q, which I observed on many an occasion throughout the year, the potential is 1.4MW. 400KW would power approximately 100 homes or a hospital or a school. Every kw that is not generated from hydrocarbon and that can be sustainably produced should be. It is not beyond the realms of engineering to prevent wildlife (and rubbish) going through the turbine and many existing impediments to fish migration have already been overcome so not exactly difficult to avoid that problem. Even if we just looked at harnessing the volume of heat energy disappearing down our rivers it could make a dramatic difference to the UK energy balance/budget.
These people are refusing to see that Hydrogen could be developed into the fuel of the future. Modified Oxy-Hydrogen for instance for arcraft. On board the EV On demand Hydrogen production linked to the needs of the engine will be the future. The present directions of BEVs and H2 Fuel Cells are far more difficult, especially with monumental high costs, for increased battery production and increased Generating capacity/battery storage, to get to scale to meet CO2 emissions targets. There has to be a serious look into Hydrogen combustion, since manufacturing Hydrogen engines for EVs does not need any significant increase in the Engine Manufacturing Industry. Given some quotes of $ trillions for Battery Plants and new power stations and Grid, to be able to maintain present production costs must be a massive pointer to look at new innovation which is being stifled by tentacles of the Fossil Fuels Industry. One particular H2 innovation, promises to be the Game changer. Hydrogen at 99.999% production unit able to be fitted for use on board a car and other vehicles.(Needs to be compact for restrictions in size) The development of a unit which produces 99.999% hydrogen has been aimed at Fuel Cells and was effective in stationary tests. There have been difficulties encountered with the Fuel Cell EV moving during road/track testing. It should be noted that Fuel Cell manufacture faces similar difficulties as Batteries when it comes to scaling up to produce multi millions of EVs to meet targets. Not only costs of raw materials but mass production has just reached 40,000 units per year from a new China Factory and 100,000 per year from what has been called the "Cambridge Method". Whilst these factories cost $ Millions 100,000 units may meet early demand however to produce any significant number of FCEVs there will need to be many such factories. 1,000,000 units per year = 10 factories and to meet targets by 2050 there will need to hundreds of such factories. The reality is that existing Global Engine Manufacturing Industry already has the capacity which allowed 60 million new vehicle sales in 2016. Developing a Hydrogen combustion engine would without doubt allow the "massive scale-up" required whilst avoiding the monumental costs of BEVs and FCEVs A Hydrogen combustion engine-generator EV with "On board On demand fuel production" would maintain existing prices for new cars and other vehicles. This factor alone would allow mass roll out of Zero emissions EVs. The fact that hydrogen on demand systems would allow onsite Off-grid generation will also be the way to decarbonise housing. Hydrogen is the Future, it is just not the present view of the best use of Hydrogen. Like Betamax v VHS the Fuel Cell is most efficient use of hydrogen however a H2 Combustion engine powered EV will be afforded by the masses.
It is not only businesses which can suffer severe consequences should the Grid supply fail. Family households, even without special needs, can be at a crisis, depending upon circumstances at the time. All this is brought about by the increasing introduction of intermittent renewable generators, unable to respond to demand, triggering the need for ever more complex control networks. And should a hacker get into this network......... The recent admission that forecasts of the degree of global warming have been overestimated by all climate models, should sound an alarum bell. Is official anxiety guided by the science, or by renewable business interests? Richard Phillips
Not the case in the UK. There are often droughts, rivers are at low flows and levels than ever before since privatisation of UK water companies bought by foreign investors, because of over abstraction by water companies to supply commercial businesses, car washes, golf courses and other water wasters. It is a fact that UK Rivers and Streams, boreholes and water tables are drying up after being sucked dry. The hydro- electric turbines placed in UK rivers kill fish, wildfowl and wildlife and stop or deter natural fish migration, plus they produce minimal electricity that only benefits the private individual that placed it there to profiteer.
We need to ramp up the production of suitable fuel derived from waste plastics. It''s no good using more virgin resources when we are struggling to cope with the amount of packaging waste we discard.
While all these attempts are welcomed, a real change to the aviation''s effect on the environment will only come from re-thinking the current aircraft design. the majority of fuel consumption is attributed to overcoming drag forces, eliminating, and/or reducing these forces would bring about real change. see this concept of such design re-thinking. http://airplane.greentransport.tech
Hi Nicola. Great article. Unfortunately batteries are too heavy and have too low an energy density per kg to be be viable for electric aircraft. Fuels cells are the answer as is currentpy being demonstrated with long range drones.
The statement that "more efficient engines" is seriously question by the "On Road Testing" of two old cars. (BBC Program) An old Golf petrol versus a 10 yo Skoda diesel son and dads cars just as an idea to test the cars which turned into a program. The outcome must cause great concern, because when the data on these two cars was compared with the data collected from newer cars/engines the newer engines latest models were not as good as these two engines even though they had completed many thousands of miles. The concern is that the latest engines are promoted by Politicians and the Companies as being cleaner. It is clearly time that politicians distance themselves from these companies and the companies who carry out the original test producing figure which are a fiction. Sorry I keep saying this, there is only one way forward and that is Zero emissions EVs and I do not mean EVs which plug into a grid which is about 50% Fossil Fuel and likely to get worse with millions of EVs. (Hence fracking) Nor do I mean H2 Fuel Cells at over 50,000 it is clear why they are supported by the likes of Shell. Fuel Cells mean Oil will continue for decades. BEVs also have a number of hurdles facing mass take up and the costs can be seen as monumental. BEVs are not going to meet the target of 2050 because it will take at least 10 years to build out the infrastructure which will need Trillions of $ There is a need to develop a Hydrogen engine-generator, lowest cost option to have multi millions of Zero Emissions EVs on the road at affordable prices. In conjunction they need to develop Hydrogen On Board the EV or buy a licence from the team in the US who have a prototype Unit for Fuel Cells
However, please note that "1MWh" Batwind is not going "to mitigate intermittency, lower costs and optimise the energy output from the wind park to the grid" in this context but rather it is a grossly inadequate capacity of energy storage for any 30MW wind farm. My recommendation is for energy storage of 5 hours times the generation capacity - so 5 hours x 30MW = 150MWh. It doesn''t have to be exactly "150MWh". The configuration rows in my calculator http://scottish.scienceontheweb.net/Wind%20power%20storage%20back-up%20calculator.htm?wind=30#wind range from 144MWh to 160MWh. But just to be clear. That''s someone in Statoil who thinks "1MWh" is appropriate and whilst I am a big fan of the Hywind Scotland floating wind farm project, I in no way whatsoever endorse, agree with, or would accept the ridiculous suggestion that a "1MWh" battery is going to be any use whatsoever. "1MWh" energy storage is a token, a gimmick, an unscientific suggestion that someone maybe came up with at a meeting, saying something like "Hey, maybe we should tack on some storage!". You know, without having done any calculations as to what is actually required. Then maybe someone else piped up "Yeah, that''s a great idea - let''s tack on some storage". And that''s it. There''s nothing else and there''s no excuse for it other than - "They simply didn''t know what they were doing".
Talking about storing energy from wind farms, did you know that only 90 miles to the west of Peterhead, near Inverness there is a site that could be developed to build a truly colossal pumped-storage hydro scheme? STRATHDEARN PUMPED-STORAGE HYDRO SCHEME (up to 180 GW / 6,800 GWh) World''s biggest-ever pumped-storage hydro-scheme, for Scotland? I have published a map which shows how and where the biggest-ever pumped-storage hydro-scheme could be built - Strathdearn in the Scottish Highlands. Energy storage capacity The scheme requires a massive dam about 300 metres high and 2,000 metres long to impound about 4.4 billion metres-cubed of water in the upper glen of the River Findhorn. The surface elevation of the reservoir so impounded would be as much as 650 metres when full and the surface area would be as much as 40 square-kilometres. The maximum potential energy which could be stored by such a scheme is colossal about 6800 Gigawatt-hours or 283 Gigawatt-days enough capacity to balance and back-up the intermittent renewable energy generators such as wind and solar power now in use for the whole of Europe! Scottish Scientist Independent Scientific Adviser for Scotland https://scottishscientist.wordpress.com/ * Wind, storage and back-up system designer * Double Tidal Lagoon Baseload Scheme * Off-Shore Electricity from Wind, Solar and Hydrogen Power * World s biggest-ever pumped-storage hydro-scheme, for Scotland? * Modelling of wind and pumped-storage power * Scotland Electricity Generation my plan for 2020 * South America GREAT for Renewable Energy
Thank you and good luck to all involved with the Scotland Hywind floating wind farm project. I have suggestions for integrating wind farms into the electricity grid so as to provide power on demand whatever the weather. Wind, storage and back-up system designer Peak demand, wind and back-up power / energy usage and storage capacity calculator For the specification and design of renewable energy electricity generation systems which successfully smooth intermittent wind generation to serve customer demand, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 52 weeks a year. Offshore wind farms can use onshore energy storage facilities such as pumped-storage hydro but there are also possibilities to use offshore energy storage technologies such as power-to-gas, making hydrogen from water and storing it either in high pressure tanks on the surface or there is another possibility too, which I will mention now. Deep Sea Hydrogen Storage I''ve published a diagram which shows how hydrogen gas can be used to store energy from renewable-energy platforms floating at sea by sending any surplus wind and solar electrical power down a sub-sea cable to power underwater high-pressure electrolysis to make compressed hydrogen to store in underwater inflatable gas-bags. It''s potentially very cheap because no super-strong pressure containment vessels are required - the ambient hydrostatic pressure which is proportional to depth serves to compress the hydrogen gas to containable densities.
Paul, the bottles are recyclable through the usual plastics recycling infrastructure. P&G confirmed the following: "The bottles are recyclable in a real-world setting due to the color and clarity being targeted (clear/translucent). Sorting and recycling facilities will test the material after it is made, but the bottle will be identified as PET, kicked into the PET pile at MRF, and recovered for reprocessing."
I completely agree with Michael Mann below. I live in a ''B'' listed early 18th Century property in Scotland. Over the past couple of years, I have worked hard to improve my homes energy efficiency and have installed fantastic British sourced sheep wool insulation, and insulating plasterboard / wooden cladding. I have also invested in a biomass boiler. The property looks much as it did when it was built in 1729, however, it is now comfortably warm and as damp free as an old building can be. More importantly, I have taken the property from an EPC energy efficiency rating of ''G'' to a far more respectful high ''D'' rating. If I invested in solar thermal / solar PV, I would be able to achieve the governments 2028 band ''C'' target for all rented accommodation. I feel I have future-proofed my home without compromising its historical beauty. There are a lot of old stone homes where I live, and they are in general cold, damp, and with a lot of rot. However, tackling the issues has made me absolutely aware of how my home was put together and what the best options for my home were.
I am really glad that the Grantham Research Institute has highlighted this important issue. I have thought for a long time that listed building status and conservation zones are impeding energy efficiency. They are a problem for disabled access measures too. I think museums are for visiting, not for living in!
Since when is any bio fuel in quantity going to be sustainable from a production perspective and burning it in internal combustion engines of any type is still going to contribute to CO, nitrides and particulates. Electric flight is still many decades off - Jet engines produce in excess of 30MW each so battery power 3000 Tesla battery packs per engine per hour - not going to happen. Electric flight will be slow! It would be much better if the airlines and airfield operators got together to reduce stacking as that is unproductive flight and focussed on electrifying / de-fossilising airport operations - no more diesel generators for starting and leaving a gas turbine running to provide air-con. Using electric airside vehicles etc. There are lots of small wins to start the ball rolling.
Really exciting to hear this progress and promise in the airline industry. Do you think similar game changes Are coming in the Cruise-liner industry which is in rapid growth?
Really informative article. Thankyou. Let s hope the pace of change keeps building so that we see real positive impact for the long term.
Windows do not save a lot... The real issues here are the floors, walls, and roofs. The government should undertake trials and promote solutions that allow and enable retrofits that do not destroy the character but make these buildings comfortable and healthy, as well as energy efficient. There are multiple issues here - radon, damp, and rot, as well as conservation officers who think their job means ''do/allow nothing contemporary''. We should accept that our world needs to modernise and that we cannot leave many hundreds of thousands of buildings to stagnate and decline whilst the world moves on (for the better). Character and appearance need not be sacrificed for lower carbon.
A bit like breakdown insurance on my boiler, in fact. Richard Phillips
Excuse the stupid question, but is this new Fairy bottle recyclable in local Council/Borough kerbside schemes? Or does the enhanced recycled content make it more difficult to recycle?
The Clean Energy Plan includes new nuclear power which is not low carbon, not safe and hugely expensive. Greg Clarke must rule out any new nuclear build and enforce a zero emissions policy on all decommissioning and waste contracts to comply with the 2012 Health and Social Care Act requirement to protect the public from exposure to nuclear radiation.
Keiron - Yes, tidal streams need no walls, but the geographically suitable areas for them are very limited. The Pentland Firth is almost ideal, but, like all tidal streams has its maxima and minima, zero. Standards of living have risen in keeping with energy availability at an economic price, I see no reason to place artificial caps on this trend. Fast reactors offer a very long term electricity generation system, using the 238 at present of little value. Long term let is hope that ITER or laser systems offer permanent solutions. Agree on the significance of the CO2 scenario. I like H.L.Mencken "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed and hence clamorous to be led to safety by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary." Sums it up, I think. Richard
Richard - one of the pluses of tidal stream turbines is there is no need to build a wall across an estuary so no sedimentation issue, which I agree is a major issue for any hydro scheme that relies on a dam (such as the Swansea Bay Barrage). Biggest issue really is to get everyone to accept we are all energy hogs. Our modern life relies on reliable, instantaneous energy and our demand for that energy has only increased. Up to now we have been relying on hydrocarbons of one form or another as they have been relatively easy to exploit. Trying to change the fuel source for our continuing energy demand is always going to be difficult as we have become accustomed to power being there all the time. CO2 is a convenient scapegoat as it can be measured and taxed. Energy or more accurately Heat is the problem. 7 billion people produce a lot of waste in the form of heat which thanks to the blanket of gases surrounding the planet can not escape so builds up. CO2 levels have been significantly higher throughout geological history (and significantly lower too). It is very "egocentric" to think the last 200 years represent the norm for Earth climate. In the last 425,000 years global temperature has been as much as 4 C higher than present and 8 C colder. In fact if you were to draw the average line across the last 425,000 years the global average temperature would be around 5 C colder than humans currently think is the norm. I agree and have little confidence in the politicians
Kieron - The heat input to any generating plant has be controlled, not just throttling of the turbines. This was how the system an up and down, the coal input was varied to match the turbine demand, no other way. Old stations ran at a low level (they were the most expensive), and called into play for peak demand. The power output from a modern reactor, PWR, is much more flexible that the older UK graphite moderated reactors which inevitably had a large heat capacity. The erstwhile PWR at Dounreay could be shut down by simply turning everything off, thermo syphon then cooled it down. It was regarded as a real pussycat. The locations around our coast for tidal or other marine power is very limited. River estuary schemes are subject to serious sedimentation, little mentioned. The Aswan dam is bedevilled by this problem, the drop of about a metre in the fields is because the rich fertile replacement soil is in Lake Nasser!!! Moving water has power, but it has to above a minimum. There is very little suitable geography left in the UK for hydro schemes. I have no great faith in so-called energy storage schemes, the energy density is just not in them. Try finding a way to store the energy of the combustion of a piece of coal in the same volume as the coal!! Yes, I have LPG. Air source heat pumps should be a lot cheaper, but too many in one place, a city for instance, could be an overcooling problem. Why is there such a hoo-ha over CO2, its effect is largely logarithmic. I have the feeling that it is driven as much as anything by the he amounts of money to be made by terrifying the population, who cannot answer back in scientific terms. I am sure we could agree on much, certainly on no confidence in political answers!!!! Richard