The latest comments

Electric vehicles and heat pumps set for exponential growth on road to net-zero

I think it s important to clear up some significant areas of confusion here. The scenarios referred to come from the National Grid. They were introduced in their current form in the summer of 2020. They refer to the electricity system for Great Britain, not the UK. The electricity system in Northern Ireland is part of the Irish system . UK Power Networks appear to have used the National Grid s Future Energy Scenarios documents and scaled down the numbers to apply to their area of operation which is roughly speaking East Anglia and the South East. The numbers in the tables in their report refer to their area of operation and not to the whole of the UK (or GB). The author of the edie news item implies that the numbers all refer to the whole of the UK. For example, the first sentence begins More than 4.5 million electric vehicles (EVs) could be on UK roads whereas the figure for the whole of GB would be up to about 11 million.

Why Joe Biden's inauguration provides a timely injection for climate optimism - Matt Mace's blog

Joe Biden can be good for climate change issues but need to continue Trump''s policy of not going into wars. https://real-politique.blogspot.com/2021/01/will-bidens-america-start-new-wars.html

Major gas grid companies team up to outline hydrogen deployment plans

How much if the trial isGov funded? I am afraid the the Gov 10 point plan is badly flawed with the dependence given to CCS and the roll out of the hydrogen economy . Both facets are practically and economically undeliverable at scale especially at a time when our economy is effectively bust The gas companies like the oil companies just want to sell more gas and if that experiment is paid fir by taxpayer - happy days

Major gas grid companies team up to outline hydrogen deployment plans

So let s see if I ve got this right. Hydrogen has a third the calorific value and therefore the 20% hydrogen will only be able to replace 7% of the methane that would ve been burned. Therefore more gas will have to be burnt deliver the same heat output. Wonder if that is why they are not conducting the test through a winter period of November to February?

Government unveils 'radical' energy efficiency standards for homes and offices

While this is great news it doesn''t go far enough. Why didn''t the Government insist on all new build homes to be PassivHaus standard? Unless the bar is set high builders will only go as far as the regulations state, they will never exceed them voluntarily. And who is going to ensure new builds are actually built to these new standards? We all know the "Friday 4pm" situation where something is just covered up with a "sod it no one will ever know" attitude. I myself have a large "hole" in the roof insulation in my home that I can not do anything to rectify without taking the entire roof off. It also worries me that Heat Pumps are being pushed as the only option for home/office heating. While they do work when installed in a properly designed building (the Finns use them a lot but they have super insulated homes) they simply do not work effectively in older housing stock and can end up costing the owner 4 or more times more to heat their homes. Or in one case I know unable to actually heat their home after they were swapped from oil boiler to ASHP.

Trade Bill: UK Government votes to allow food imports with lower environmental standards

Great article, is there a way readers can take action on this? Frustrating to read and further steps would allow an outlet for that.

EU lawmakers raise concerns about UK 'regression' on pesticides

Back in August 20 Peter Watson of British Sugar stated " This year has been a difficult year for growers, primarily because of the spring weather, he said. Although everyone talks about virus yellows, the yield drop-off like any other spring crop is mostly due to the seed bed, but also the May drought. For the crop in the ground, we predict we will be 15pc down on yield two thirds of that is weather-related and one third is virus-related. And yet the Government justification talks about "danger" and states an emergency : "Sugar beet yields were significantly reduced in the 2020 season due to the incidence of virus, and similar conditions in 2021 would be likely to present similar dangers." To me this looks to be entirely a commercial decision only 8 days out of the EU! For consumer choice purposes I think Silver spoon would be the recipient of this Beet in the UK, although I may be incorrect.

Government to limit UK business exposure to Xinjiang human rights issues

These change are long overdue. All companies should ensure that they do not buy products or trade with companies (or any organisation) that oppresses people or indulges in any forms of slavery or violence.

McKinsey: Global fossil fuel demand will peak in 2027

We need it to end by 2027.

McKinsey: Global fossil fuel demand will peak in 2027

Fossil Fuel demand may well peak and decline from 2027 but that does not mean global OIL & GAS demand will. Oil and Gas are vital raw materials for billions of products we all use and want everyday. From electrical insulation to medical equipment, from fertilizers to anti corrosion paints, from the interior of electric vehicles to the blades of wind turbines. Even things like solar panels, battery packs, laptops, smart phones, wifi routers all use petrochemicals in some form. I happen to agree that we can no longer afford to waste these valuable resources by burning them. We have to husband them and use them wisely. And as more sustainable options arrive (such as plant based polymers) then we can use even less petrochemicals and make them last even longer. However that does not mean the Oil & Gas Industry is doomed nor that it should be divested from. We all need petrochemicals and will do so for the remainder of this century probably longer. IT''S NOT JUST FUEL!

Bruichladdich distillery explores hydrogen heating

You''re on the right track Zak. . Swap CO2 heat pumps in for the electric boilers, which can produce high temperature heat at lower temperatures, and a thermal storage large enough to iron out the intermittency of renewables. . and you''re pretty much there.

Taking place next week: edie's free webinar exploring onsite net-zero technologies

Good afternoon, your link does not allow me to register for the webinar. Can you send a live link. Many thanks. Regards, Terry

Bruichladdich distillery explores hydrogen heating

"with the distillery aiming to decarbonise production-based emissions by 2025" As 99% of all hydrogen currently produced is black hydrogen from fossil fuels it seems strange they''re looking at this as an option for decarbonisation, especially given the logistical challenges of hydrogen and the island''s remote location. Surely solar PV and wind with electric boilers, or even biomass would be a lower carbon alternative? Seems disappointing that UK Government aren''t exploring these options with as much focus as hydrogen is.

UK's coal power spikes amid cold snap, despite 'greenest year on record' for electricity in 2020

@ Lawrence - we are on the same page, I agree we can not keep burning things to generate electricity (and I personally include biomass in that, particularly where it burns virgin wood not wood waste). At the end of the day every watt that can be generated without burning something is a good thing be that wind, solar, tidal, river or some new technology we haven''t determined yet. And there is room for all other sources to be scaled up if only the subsidies were available the same as Wind had. Nuclear is not a competitor to anything, none of them compete with each other really. Nuclear''s strength is the consistency of supply, its weakness is cost. Gas'' strength is speed of ignition, weakness is of course emissions (same for Coal), Wind is "clean" but unreliable, Solar doesn''t work at night or when it is heavy overcast or foggy. There''s pros and cons to every generation system. One big thing we can all do though is to stop wasting energy. I think electricity is actually too cheap right now, so cheap it doesn''t encourage people to think about how they are wasting it. Think if we all tried to reduce our electricity demand by 10% we could avoid having to build another Hinkley C power station (3.2GW). The big problem is going to come when we all have Electric Cars, all public transport is electric and all our heating has to be electric (even Heat Pumps have to use electricity). Then demand is going to skyrocket!

UK's coal power spikes amid cold snap, despite 'greenest year on record' for electricity in 2020

We need total supply that ranges from about 25GW to about 65GW (more or less). The total supply to grid at present for all marine sources is only about 15MW. The total to the grid for hydro is currently about 1.3GW. The National Grid are keen to plug the gap, and if you can suggest ways to plug either the base load (constant) gap or the variable gap, I think they''d be keen to hear them! I also don''t see wind farms and solar as a good solution. The problem is that they can provide a solution some of the time, whereas nobody can come up with one that provides a "net zero" solution that provides electricity all of the time. They re trying to do it with interconnectors and storage, of course. Anyway, this discussion has now drifted from the original subject, which is that nuclear is not a competitor to coal+gas. They each supply a different component of demand. At present we need all of them, but one can t replace the other. We need to get rid of coal and gas. I would also like to have electricity all of the time. I''m just another very awkward customer, I suppose.

UK's coal power spikes amid cold snap, despite 'greenest year on record' for electricity in 2020

Bruichladdich distillery explores hydrogen heating

Why not take a much simpler zero route by looking at BioLNG or BioLPG both of which will be far more cost-effective. The key points with this feasibility is where is the renewable hydrogen made and what is the energy efficiency of baking hydrogen and then burning it to produce heat when hydrogen has one third the calorific value of Methane? The distillery could even make its own Biomethane from waste organic streams!!

UK's coal power spikes amid cold snap, despite 'greenest year on record' for electricity in 2020

@ Lawrence The probable reason the proposed sources are only included to a limited extent is because there is next to zero support for them. Atlantis Resources have a field of tidal turbines in the Pentland Firth providing multiple megawatts (the total escapes me right now) and O2 are developing their tidal turbine which can provide 2MW per turbine and could be installed wherever there is a suitable tidal stream (such as the Corran Narrows near where I live which runs at 6kts). Hydro does not need mountains. It just needs flow. There is a power station on the River Tay that has a 15m hydrostatic head but produces 15MW+ from the immense flow of the Tay at that point. It has been producing reliable base load power for decades. There are many other suitable locations along all the major rivers in UK that could produce similar amounts and soon adds up to GW. During the Middle Ages every river in Britain has harnessed every half mile to power everything from grain mills to blast furnace, all powered by running water. We either diversify our power generation options into all forms available to us or we continue to build wind turbines and solar farms that don''t provide a single Watt when it is calm or dark. I don''t know about you but I''d rather not have to go back to using candles when the wind don''t blow and it is foggy or nightime.

UK's coal power spikes amid cold snap, despite 'greenest year on record' for electricity in 2020

What I wrote is certainly not obvious to everybody. It''s worth noting that the National Grid''s plans to 2050 only include your proposed sources to a limited extent. Can you provide any quantified justification for any of them to work in GB to a significant level? Hydro fails on the shortage of mountains, etc.

UK's coal power spikes amid cold snap, despite 'greenest year on record' for electricity in 2020

And the award for "Stating the Bleedin Obvious" goes to ............... Many of us have been saying just this, that "renewables" (especially wind and solar) can not provide reliable enough generation capability to ensure continuous supply to demand. We HAVE to have backup or reliable sources. More investment into Hydro, Pumped Storage, Tidal Stream and even Fluvial is required. Oh and you do know that many wind turbine farms have diesel generators on site to provide backup? How "Green" is that?

UK's coal power spikes amid cold snap, despite 'greenest year on record' for electricity in 2020

Unfortunately this article betrays a sad lack of understanding of how different energy sources work together to provide electricity in GB. Nuclear provides a significant contribution to our "base load" requirement, which is currently around 25GW throughout the year. It is true that the plans currently indicate a reduction in nuclear for the reasons stated, so we have that problem. There is a strong argument that we need to maintain or even increase nuclear capacity to help to supply our base load . The plan is to also use CCS biomass to supply base load in the longer term, replacing the current contribution from non-CCS biomass. The rest of our load (above base) varies up to about a further 30GW or so, depending on the time of year and the time of the week. We use primarily gas and to a lesser extent coal to make up the deficit, together with some other sources, including interconnectors, storage, hydro, etc.. Wind and solar cannot actually solve this reliably as they are intermittent. When wind and/or solar are available they can make a contribution, and often do. When they aren''t adequate (and they have never been adequate even for 1 minute in GB), we use those controllable sources to achieve the required supply. These need to be controllable so that we can always meet the required demand without relying on the whims of the weather. In the longer term the plan is to solve intermittency using more storage and increased capacity from the international interconnector network. In the meantime, an attempt to say that this is a balancing act of some kind between nuclear and gas+coal just shows that the author needs to find out more about the basic of electricity supply in GB. Having more nuclear capacity won t solve the intermittency issue, which is what we need to do to eliminate coal and (later) gas.

Prince Charles launches 'earth charter' for businesses tackling nature and climate crises

Survey: Circular economy businesses outperform those that take, make and dispose

Interesting Numbers! Where can we find more information about the Kearney survey? Thank you! /Jan Agri, Tricircular AB.

Survey: Circular economy businesses outperform those that take, make and dispose

Interesting Numbers! Where can we find more information about the Kearney survey? Thank you! /Jan Agri, Tricircular AB.

Two weeks to register for edie's free webinar exploring onsite net-zero technologies

"Low carbon heat" with no representation from the heat pump sector !! I would suggest Bean Beanland - Heat Pump Federation.



View older comments