UK Green Campaigners Furious!!! Outraged!!!

No shortage of phrases that are supposed to elicit anger at the government … but they just make me grin. Solar panels are subsidized by the poor.

The Government is closing an energy payment scheme which will mean homes with solar panels could be giving their excess power to the grid for free, provoking outrage among campaigners.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Department (Beis) has announced the closure of the ‘export tariff’ scheme.

It pays householders for excess power that is fed back into the grid, to new solar generators from next April.

The closure of the scheme has prompted fury among green campaigners with Dr Doug Parr, chief scientist for Greenpeace UK, describing it as ‘simply perverse‘.

The Business Department (Beis) has announced the closure of the 'export tariff' scheme, which pays householders for excess power that is fed back into the grid
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Does replacing coal with wood lower CO2 emissions? Nope.

Burning wood makes more CO2 than coal.

The conclusions high points:

  • biomass used to displace fossil fuels injects CO2 into the atmosphere at the point of combustion and during harvest, processing and transport.
  • the first impact of displacing coal with wood is an increase in atmospheric CO2relative to continued coal use
  •  before breakeven, atmospheric CO2 is higher than it would have been without the use of bioenergy, increasing radiative forcing and global average temperatures, worsening climate change, including potentially irreversible impacts that may arise before the long-run benefits are realized.
  • biofuels are only beneficial in the long run if the harvested land is allowed to regrow to its pre-harvest biomass and maintained there.
  • The carbon debt incurred when wood displaces coal may never be repaid if development, unplanned logging, erosion or increases in extreme temperatures, fire, and disease (all worsened by global warming) limit regrowth or accelerate the flux of carbon from soils to the atmosphere.
  • harvesting existing forests and replanting with fast-growing species in managed plantations can worsen the climate impact of wood biofuel.
  • growth in wood harvest for bioenergy causes a steady increase in atmospheric CO2 because the initial carbon debt incurred each year exceeds what is repaid.
  • using wood in electricity generation worsens climate change for decades or more even though many of our assumptions favor wood

Image result for wood pellets

 

Electric Cars – 40,000 Children Working in the Mines From Hell

Electric cars aren’t so clean.

Picking through a mountain of huge rocks with his tiny bare hands, the exhausted little boy makes a pitiful sight.

His name is Dorsen and he is one of an army of children, some just four years old, working in the vast polluted mines of the Democratic Republic of Congo, where toxic red dust burns their eyes, and they run the risk of skin disease and a deadly lung condition. Here, for a wage of just 8p a day, the children are made to check the rocks for the tell-tale chocolate-brown streaks of cobalt – the prized ingredient essential for the batteries that power electric cars.

And it’s feared that thousands more children could be about to be dragged into this hellish daily existence – after the historic pledge made by Britain to ban the sale of petrol and diesel cars from 2040 and switch to electric vehicles.

Dorsen and 11-year-old Richard are pictured. With his mother dead, Dorsen lives with his father in the bush and the two have to work daily in the cobalt mine to earn money for food.

 

 

50,000 Excess Winter Deaths In UK 2017/2018 – Climate Change Kills Alright

Cold Kills

“New figures from the Office of National Statistics today show that the number of excess winter deaths exceeded 50,000 the highest on record since the winter of 1975/76. Over 15,000 of these deaths will be relatable directly to a cold home. The vast majority will have multiple hospital and GP visits behind them. The figures also worryingly show a doubling in the number of male deaths under 65.

Adam Scorer, Chief Executive of NEA commented:

“Today’s excess winter death figures should be a huge shock to the system. The cost in human suffering and lost lives is a tragedy. The cost to the NHS is significant and largely avoidable.

Predictable, preventable and shameful. We seem to have accepted excess winter deaths to be as much a part of winter as darker evenings.

On top of these preventable deaths we know that many millions more people will have suffered the preventable health impacts of living in a cold and damp home, as well as resorting to harmful coping strategies.

New evidence provided by frontline workers to NEA, has revealed the top 10 unsafe fuel poverty coping strategies being used to survive winter. The regular use of older, dangerous or un-serviced heating appliances is common place, despite being potentially fatal or leading to heightened risks for nearby neighbours as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning or in extreme situations, fires and explosions. The charity says many more people are going to bed early to keep warm and using candles to save on electricity. People struggling to heat their homes are also spending their days in heated spaces such as libraries, cafes or even A&E to avoid the cold.”

 

Some previous blog posts on the same subject.

 

You can’t be a climate leader and burn trees for electricity

It appears the UK has realized that biomass (imported wood pellets) produces more CO2 than coal.

“Recently, the UK government tightened its carbon intensity requirement for any biomass-burning power plants seeking future support from its Contracts for Difference subsidy program. This was a crucial first step, as my colleague and I described in detail here.

The new emission limit is now set at 29 kg of CO2 equivalent per MWh. This effectively rules out the use of imported wood pellets for electricity production for new UK biomass plants. In justifying the change, the UK government says that “continuing to apply the existing GHG [greenhouse gas] threshold would lead to GHG emissions [for biomass electricity] significantly above the projected UK grid average.”

Translation: burning wood pellets for electricity is bad for the climate and is not part of a credible solution to decarbonizing electricity grids. Coming from the world’s largest importer of biomass, and a country that spent over $1 billion last year alone subsidizing this industry, this is a big deal.

Unfortunately this is not retroactive and DRAX keeps burning massive amountsof imported wood pellets.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a big fan of wind/solar. I just think it is a giant con to think wood pellets are “carbon neutral”.

Phrase of the Day: Fractured Basement

A phrase I hadn’t heard before: Fractured Basement

From inside a ship, sloshing around the 65-foot waves off the coast of the Scottish isles, he plans to poke a diamond-tipped drill-bit into the sea bed. He’ll take it past layers of once-oil-soaked sandstone rocks straight into a strata of solid granite — what geologists call the basement. Then the drill will turn sideways and hopefully intersect a bunch of naturally formed cracks. If his science is correct, there will be enough oil pooled in those cracks to make him a very rich man.

Hurricane’s first wells suggested oil was present, but investors needed to see if it could flow. In 2014, right as the price of crude was plummeting off a cliff, Trice drilled a kilometer-long horizontal appraisal well into the Lancaster prospect.

Almost 10,000 barrels a day spouted out of the well. That’s not spectacular, but it was encouraging enough to move forward.

“I basically saw this as a missing opportunity,” said Trice in a phone call in September. “The very simple philosophy is that if fractured basement works around the world why couldn’t it work in the U.K.?”

 

 

And from a different article:

In most reservoirs, oil is held in pores in sedimentary rock such as sandstone. Basement rocks, which are usually found beneath, are different because they have been buried at great depth in the Earth earlier in their history, making them denser, so oil can’t move through them. The industry never believed that it would be commercially viable to extract oil from this kind of tightly-packed rock, so it was forgotten about in the search for more conventional reservoirs, often in untouched areas.

As the core was taken from rock which was more than half a kilometre from the nearest sedimentary layer, we realised that the sand must have been washed in from above during the Cretaceous period along a network of deep fractures that also channelled oil in from rocks west of the Rona Ridge.

So, wherever you find fractures in the Rona Ridge basement which are filled with minerals and sand, you always find oil. Fractures alone are not enough – it is the minerals and porous sand that hold open the fractures for tens of millions of years.