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To use the illustration of the diesel car in the photograph is a travesty of journalistic practice. Such a car is clearly totally outside the law on a public road. The particulate emission level set by the MOT test is quite invisible to the unaided eye. It should be noted that Sadiq Khan is a Law graduate, and Michael Gove has a degree in English. Neither hold a qualification in the physical sciences, necessary for any comprehensive understanding. Neither, as I understand it, is there any direct scientific advice directly available to the edie newsoom. In the matter of the report from Oxford and Bath, it did not "conclude" that there were 40,000 premature deaths attributable to atmospheric pollution. It quoted misinformation relating to "equivalent lives". 40,000 people do not die in the UK every year as a result of air pollution. Yet that figure, as respiratory physician Professor Tony Frew explained, is zombie statistic - however many times you try to kill it, it comes back. And it's simply not true. So what is the truth? The Royal Colleges of Physicians and of Paediatrics and Child Health, quoted by Mr Khan, actually says "40,000 EQUIVALENT LIVES" are lost each year as a result of all outdoor air pollution - which is actually only a few hours or days, for each person, over a population of 65 million. Only a tiny fraction of this is down to diesel cars, or indeed to any cars. The misinformation in this sector of news is truly horrendous. Richard Phillips
Why should this come as a surprise? UK Gov rightly, in my view, reduced the massive subsidies (amounting to 10x market value in some cases) for this technology. In the UK, solar PV only has a load factor of around 10% and that output, such as it is, is a poor fit with demand. Until 2025 we have 10GW of geriatric coal-fired power station capacity that can be switched on and off to compensate for the peaks and troughs in renewables. It is anyone''s guess where the investment is coming from for electricity generation "when the sun don''t shine and the wind don''t blow" in the next decade once our ageing coal and nuclear plants close ... or simply pack up
What do THEY mean by compostable, hopefully straws made from organic materials and not plastic derivatives that turn to plastic dust in time.
Nice initiative !
Whilst I applaud the initiative and the well meaning of Government and Industry to seek a low carbon ,renewable ,pollution free vehicle future who is undertaking the Life Cycle Analysis to show that electricity is the best use of energy for the purpose? By definition electricity to drive a vehicle is twice the energy required to drive a hydrocarbon equivalent . Where is all the powder coming from by 2030 ?Billions of tax payers money has been squandered by Government of CCS which will never be economical or deployed and this could be the same .RJL June 2018
"enable more than one billion people to live better lives," inspirational quote came from Joanna Yarrow, Head of Sustainable and Healthier Living, who grew up in Wilderness Wood, Sussex, England, where over 30 years, 1 million people enjoyed a better visit to the countryside.
I find that " An emissions reduction target is defined as 'science-based' if it is developed in line with the scale of reductions required to keep global warming below 2C from pre-industrial levels". As a retired research scientist I tried to find out where "science" comes in. Answer; it doesn''t. Its all words. Richard Phillips
My name is Samuel K. Guzha. I am a Zimbabwean residing in Zimbabwe. With the present government mantra of "Zimbabwe is open for business". Have you considered in investing in Zimbabwe, where the weather is conducive for going green and generating power from the sun using solar panels. There is so much shortage of power in Africa as a whole and in Zimbabwe the grids used for power generation is not meeting the demand, hence the government is looking to embark on hydo generation in the Batonga gorge. With your project of going green vast land will be availed to you if you are interested. Waiting to hear from you if you are interested want me to do something for you from this side.
Ecology Building Society have been supporting energy efficient homes since the 1980s and continue to fund such projects. It''s about time the big banks recognised the importance of supporting such projects.
What if I wish to breath clean air WITHOUT entering this store?
Quoting Jonathan the "race to squeeze the last dregs of profit out of an inherently unsustainable and inequitable model of capitalism." However, this race to squeeze the dregs is built into the very fabric of the sustainable development goals - SDG number 8 "Goal 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all" Here is the obvious, well-worn point; continual economic growth on a finite planet is not sustainable, especially when that economic growth serves a legal obligation to return profit to shareholders that is built into the DNA of the corporate structure? Alternative economic vision without the motivation for continual economic growth needs discussion and new business models such as B corporations, co-operatives and CIC''s should be considered, though even their transparency is only as good as the mechanisms created to oversee their activities and the processes the members / employees are willing to honestly adhere to. REF: https://www.un.org/development/desa/disabilities/envision2030-goal8.html
How refreshing to hear such a realistic appraisal of the step change that is needed if our societies are to become truly sustainable. Please everyone-stop thinking incrementally, think exponentially! The trouble is that those that have positions of authority within companies feel that they have too much at stake to adopt new business models and practices. Added to which our culture of having to hold onto a competitive advantage to win work means we fear true collaboration. And yet we have to hope that somehow we manage a better way of doing business- for the sake of current and future generations. Thanks again for your honest and passionate blog post Jonathon.
Fantastic! Great to see such a strong commitment to sustainability. Great post, thank you.
I am still not sure what your issue with the article is, we know that renewables such as wind and solar are intermittent, but we also know that over reliance on fossil fuels is causing climate change that will be disastrous, most likely for all life on Earth. A sustainability publication documenting that renewables met over half of a countries demand should not be a cause for lament. The cost of energy should not be the primary reason for selecting an energy source, if the cheapest energy causes problems on a global scale then it is not really the best option. There have been significant advances in energy storage over the past few years with enormous jumps in commercial availability of battery storage exceeding expectations. I am an Energy Manager and about 5 years ago I had written off battery storage as something to consider in 10-15 years time. I am now looking to install about 1MW of battery storage on my site - unsubsidised. These developments will dramatically increase the viability of renewables and also improve the effective utilisation of other generation such as nuclear which, although not my area of expertise, i understand does not respond well to fluctuations in demand. I encourage you to research your point about CO2 increases being good for food production. While there is a clear benefit to fertilizing plants with co2 to increase productivity, there are limiting factors to how much benefit is gained. There is only so much co2 a plant can take before it can take no more. Increasing atmospheric co2 on a global scale is not a positive way to encourage plant growth, fertilization can be dealt with on a local level as required. The most important factor to consider in this is that the increases in temperature that climate change is causing will nullify the net benefit of extra fertilization, as extreme temperatures/drought/flooding will kill food crops on an enormous scale. A lot of research has been completed on this topic and the balanced view is that humans causing climate change by using fossil fuels is not good for anyone
LUKE MITCHELL 13/06/2018 The whole point is that electricity is a source of power that is available only at the instant of its generation. If it is not "stored", and storage is both difficult, expensive and extremely limited, it is no longer of use, because it is no longer there. Fossil and nuclear generation provide power on demand, whenever and wherever it is required, renewable power is a "grab it when you can get it" provider. These properties mean that when renewables, as wind power has done for almost a fortnight, are not generating, fossil and nuclear step into the breach. Maintenance on fossil and nuclear stations is a planned operation, not a will''o''the wisp happening. The more the mix is biased towards renewables, the more variable (and expensive) it becomes, and the more back-up is required against the almost total failure of wind power. I was using a total figure of wind power installed, it was not intended to refer to Scotland alone. I accept your figure of 19GW, but it was still down to 0.02GW, metered at one time. (an additional about 0.01GW would have been connected as negative demand, not metered). You are quite correct in believing that many of our elected officials (Ministers), are not qualified in their respective appointed areas. OK in 1888, a not particularly technical era compared with our own, but a disaster in 2018. I would not care to be responsible for expertise outside my own area. I would be much happier if I knew that the Sec of State for Energy understood the physics and engineering behind the industry, none have as yet. I worked in this area as scientist at the erstwhile Atomic Energy Research Establishment at Harwell, I am now retired. You may know already that satellite data shows that in the last 30-35 years the Earth had become some 13% greener. If CO2 were to reduced, crops would yield less, but we have an ever increasing population. You might like to look at "equilibrium climate sensitivity", its value dominates all. Thanks for the comments, Luke. Richard Phillips
Great example by a corporate and hope we can see more similar investments in products like passivpod and windfarms
RICHARD PHILLIPS I am not sure what your issue is with this news. The article reports that 68% of electricity came from renewables, this indicates that 32% of electricity was not from renewables, why does the non-renewables part need to be drilled into in a daily newsletter article that highlights achievements in renewable generation? Would you also like them to report on which fossil fuel or nuclear power stations are currently down for maintenance? Even if there are times that renewables have to be substituted with other generation forms, it is better that the mix is heavily biased towards renewables. Out of curiosity where does your claim of scotland having 18GW of wind capacity come from? I had a quick look on the internet and could only find reference to about 10GW of capacity in 2017. Or are you referring to the UK total? Which i believe stands at over 19GW. Also, many elected officials do not have specialist qualification in their respective appointments. Whilst I certainly agree that this is highly desirable, it is difficult to see how this would practically be achieved. So why point out their lack of academic qualification in technical/science fields when their job is really about politics. Surely it is better to consider results as indicator of success, rather than what they studied at University/apprenticed in. AND ANOTHER THING! :) why do we need to remember that CO2 is the basis of all life including our food? Are you concerned that if we reduce co2 emissions too much we will run out of food?
Interesting. Good to see a company looking at an integrated sustainable energy solution to power a store. Could this be the way ahead for all retail and commercial properties given the vast acreage of roof space generally unused and the energy demand that retail and commercial properties have. There is still the question of how effective solar panels are in winter when there is less daylight hours and the quality of light is dramatically reduced due to cloud cover, especially in the northern half of the country but every watt that can be generated without burning something is a good thing.
Hi Maria, Thanks for the comment. The 51% figure comes from European Environment Agency (EEA) Data, which can be found in the UK and EU comparisons tables here: http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2018/06/6601/downloads Kind regards, Sarah
Oh dear, another example of quoting the bulk output of renewable generation, GWhrs, disregarding completely the times at which output was tiny and demand substantial. From the end of May to the present 13 June, wind generation has been negligible, the whole 18 GW was reduced to as low as 0.02 GW at one time, and barely rose above 1 GW. It is noteworthy that neither Roseanna Cunningham or Claire Mack have professional qualifications in the physical sciences or electrical engineering, vital to the understanding of energy matters, but in politics and economics. And remember CO2 is the staff of life, the basis of ALL our food. Richard Phillips
Hi! In the article you say that Sweden achieved emissions reductions of 51% since 1990. Where does that figure come from? The official Swedish figures, from the National Environmental Protection Agency, shows a reduction of about 26 % since 1990. Best regards, Maria
Energy Efficiency, or more importantly Not Wasting Energy, should be the goal of all of us from the individual to the massive multinational. From turning off lights to complex monitoring and control systems every watt of energy we don''t waste is 1 we don''t need to generate which results in less emissions. Currently there seems to be little in the way of support for researching more efficient system, improving the efficiency of current systems or developing radically new energy efficient systems. Forget the FIT and RHI but a proper R&D support system. Of course one way large corporations can help is by turning the bloody lights off at night in their offices and getting their staff to turn off computers, printers, monitors etc when they go home. And do we really need civic building spotlit all night?
Trevor - after reading the article on the "sunken data centre" are we missing a possible source of heat energy for warming these liquid energy stores? Given the amount of cooling these data centres require to stop the computers melting and our massive appetite for data could combining these two very different industries actually "kill 2 birds with 1 stone". Just a thought