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The Rajon Blog » Blog Archive » UK should go for renewables and not coal

UK should go for renewables and not coal

I have said it before and I will say it again. To go the coal way is to ignore the global warming that is currently taking place. To build new coal fired power stations in UK would not only be senseless but stupid and irresponsible as well. Money should be spent on future development of green energy power supply and there are loads of options for UK.

Nuclear power supply being taken over by EDF is also a bit of a worry as they always go for nuclear power plants and then you have the problem of getting rid of the waste as if there is not enough of that already.

EDF do have the capacity to go for renewable energy so in a way it will be interesting to see wether the French are thinking about the future or sticking to the past scenarios which shortly would become a problem.

Time for change UK and make some decisions about UK’s future.

Iceland is a good example of renewable energy and so is New Zealand with its hydro energy plants as well as thermal energy plants.

Either country can show one or two great options.

7 Responses to “UK should go for renewables and not coal”

  1. moryah4 Says:

    Meanwhile Australia’s Prime Minister Mr Kevin Rudd ,whose Labor party came to power on a environmental platform are touting carbon capture technology ,”Clean Coal” usage etc. in Washington and in any other country of influence in the world that will listen.
    Rudd will have done 20 separate overseas trips by the end of the year.considering this is only Labor’s first year in office the general public are scratching their heads as he has spent 5 moths of the year overseas .
    Australia’s business sector and our economy make a ton of $$$ out of coal exports each year,billions actually.
    In 2006 China bought $491 million worth of Aussie coal and I think more than this last year and so this figure increase especially when you throw in other importers competing with China increase.
    Greenpeace say carbon capture is not a proven technology and we are running out of time so we should be spending $$$ developing greener technologies not ‘F-ing around’ .

    This report from:

    “The Australian newspaper”

    Lenore Taylor, National correspondent
    September 19, 2008

    KEVIN Rudd has summoned mining and industry chief executives, environmentalists and union leaders to Canberra this morning to unveil a $100 million clean coal research institute aimed at making Australia the world hub for the climate-change-fighting technology.

    The launch is the start of a major diplomatic effort to win international support and funding for the plan, aimed at realising the goal set by the G8 at its recent meeting in Hokkaido of having 20 carbon-sequestering coal-fired power plants up and running by 2020.

    The Australian understands the Prime Minister will make the project the centrepiece of his efforts next week when he attends the UN General Assembly meeting in New York.

    Senior executives from BHP, Rio Tinto, Santos, Shell, Xstrata, Anglocoal, ExxonMobil, Woodside and other mining companies, senior industry lobbyists, conservationists and union leaders received invitations in recent days inviting them to Parliament House this morning to hear a “major announcement” by the Prime Minister on carbon capture

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24368848-601,00.html

    I mean why do we have the hole increasing in the ozone southern hemisphere over Australia by an extra 8% this year, hmmm???

  2. moryah4 Says:

    Renewable energy in Iceland

    Renewable energy in Iceland has supplied over 70% of Iceland’s primary energy needs since 1999 — proportionally more than any other country. The remainder of its energy needs are produced from imported oil and coal. Iceland is at the forefront of renewable energy research and plans to become the world’s first hydrogen economy, with all of their private automobiles, fishing boats, and public transportation running on hydrogen fuel. This would make Iceland the first completely energy-independent country in the world, using 100% renewable energy sources.

    Of the 99.9% of Iceland’s electricity that is currently generated from renewable sources, 81% is generated from hydroelectric power; virtually all the remainder from geothermal power. Geothermal sources are also used to heat 89% of the buildings in Iceland, with the remaining being heated with electricity.

    The nation is ranked 53rd in the list of countries by carbon dioxide emissions per capita (2003), emitting 62% less than the United States per capita despite using more primary energy per capita

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renewable_energy_in_Iceland

  3. moryah4 Says:

    (From :Wheels The Nuts and Bolts of Whatever Moves You)

    Iceland’s Future Could Be Electric

    By Jim Motavalli
    (September 19, 2008)

    “We see Iceland as the world’s laboratory for a decarbonized future,” Ingibjörg Sólrún Gisladóttir, Iceland’s foreign minister, said last year. Of course, she was talking about the country’s plan, announced in 1998, to become to the world’s first hydrogen-based energy economy. Iceland wants to be free of fossil fuels by 2050.

    Iceland has only 304,000 people and enormous excess energy reserves from the geothermal energy that heats 85 percent of Icelandic homes and the many hydroelectric dams on the country’s free-flowing rivers. As much as 72 percent of Iceland’s primary energy is renewable, the highest percentage in the developed world. So the idea of switching the country’s transportation fleet (including the fishing boats that are the country’s mainstay) to very clean hydrogen caught on quickly. A Shell station in Reykjavik opened a commercial hydrogen pumping station in 2003.

    Unfortunately, Iceland has had a hard time getting its hands on hydrogen-powered vehicles. Three Daimler-Benz Citaro buses with Ballard fuel cells operated in Iceland for a test period, but have been withdrawn. General Motors Equinox fuel-cell vehicles have visited Iceland, but none have been stationed there.

    Iceland’s most recent gambit was importing 10 Toyota Priuses modified by Quantum Technologies to burn hydrogen. (Three of them can be rented through the local Hertz outlet for $300 a day.)

    Could the hydrogen dream be dying? At a Reykjavik conference this week, “Driving Sustainability ’08,” Iceland announced plans to team up with Mitsubishi Motors to supply the country with a fleet of tiny i-MiEV electric cars (which have a range per charge of about 100 miles with lithium-ion batteries). Iceland is likely to be the first European country to have i-MiEVs, which are scheduled to go on sale in Japan in the summer of 2009.

    Electric cars with strategically located charging stations make a lot of sense for Iceland, where 75 percent of the country’s residents live within 37 miles of the capital city.

    Read more…

    http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/09/19/icelands-future-could-be-electric/

  4. moryah4 Says:

    DesignTrek: Social Work & Permaculture Design

    Iceland uses existing renewable power sources to create a hydrogen economy

    The Iceland New Energy (INE) consortium is working with Daimler-Chrysler, Norsk Hydro and Shell to start running busses on hydrogen, before using the technology to move cars and, finally, Iceland’s fishing fleet. The plan is to move Iceland completely over to hydrogen power in 40 years and, hopefully, supply the hydrogen necessary for other countries’ power needs.

    Via NewsTargets.com

    In the 1970’s Iceland converted their power system to run on the abundant geothermal energy found in its volcanic landscape. Now, Iceland is using its geothermal energy supply to create a new, hydrogen-powered economy and several companies are using Iceland as a test bed for their own hydrogen technologies.

    Original news summary: (http://www.fuelcelltoday.com/FuelCellToday/IndustryInformation/IndustryInformationExternal/NewsDisplayArticle/0,1602,5770,00.html)

    Nearly 30 years ago, Iceland was looking for ways to reduce its reliance on imported fossil fuels and replace them with local, renewable sources-geothermal and hydroelectric power.
    From his study of Iceland’s hot-water reserves, Arnason realized that the country was planning to tap only a small fraction of the energy resources that lay hidden beneath its volcanic surface.
    That convinced him that Iceland could become the first nation in the world to power its economy entirely with what is now widely seen as the energy of the future: hydrogen.

    Read more…

    http://www.designtrek.net/hydrogeniceland

  5. moryah4 Says:

    MEANWHILE ACROSS THE GLOBE…”Canada’s ‘dirty oil’ challenge”

    By Sarah Shenker
    BBC News, Fort McMurray, Alberta

    In April this year, about 500 migrating ducks on their way north landed in what looked like a large lake in western Canada.
    It was not a lake, but a tailings pond - a store for toxic waste from the oil sands extraction process, made up of water, clay, sand, residual bitumen and heavy metals.
    Most of the ducks died, killed by the slick of oil on the water’s surface.
    “It was horrifying,” says Ruth Kleinbub, a field naturalist in nearby Fort McMurray, the city at the heart of the industry in the province of Alberta.
    “In the spring, the open water would be such an invitation for the ducks, and the second they hit, they would have just drowned.”
    A government investigation of the incident has been handed over to Alberta’s Department of Justice, which will decide whether or not to prosecute or fine the company involved, Syncrude.
    The incident was an embarrassment for Syncrude, which says its usual bird deterrent system was turned off because of the unseasonably cold weather.
    It was a public relations nightmare for the Alberta government, which has been trying to convince national and international public opinion that its oil sands industry is environmentally responsible.

    Environmental laggard?

    It is an argument that environmentalists say the government has lost.
    “When we are looking at the tar sands, we are looking at a project that is the largest capital investment project on the face of the planet, the largest industrial project on the planet, and the ecological implications are just as great,” says Mike Hudema, an Edmonton-based climate and energy campaigner with Greenpeace Canada.
    Oil sands production, which requires large amounts of energy and water to extract the bitumen from the sand, is said to produce on average at least three times the greenhouse gas emissions of conventional oil extraction.
    The industry is already Canada’s largest single greenhouse gas emitter, which has led opponents to call oil from the oil sands “dirty oil”. Output is expected to triple by 2020.
    The oil sands are single-handedly preventing Canada from meeting any of its Kyoto obligations, Mr Hudema says.
    Under the UN climate agreement, Canada was to have reduced its emissions to 20% below 2006 levels by 2020. The federal government has said it will not even attempt to meet those targets.

    READ MORE…

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7763365.stm

  6. moryah4 Says:

    SOME CLIMATE CHANGES HAPPENING FASTER THAN ANTICIPATED

    30 December,2008

    A report released today at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union provides new insights on the potential for abrupt climate change and the effects it could have on the United States, identifying key concerns that include faster-than-expected loss of sea ice, rising sea levels and a possibly permanent state of drought in the American Southwest.

    The analysis is one of 21 of its type developed by a number of academic and government agency researchers for the U.S. Climate Change Science Program. The work incorporates the latest scientific data more than any previous reports, experts say, including the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

    While concluding that some projections of the impact of climate change have actually been too conservative - as in the case of glacier and ice sheets that are moving and decaying faster than predicted - others may not pose as immediate a threat as some scenarios had projected, such as the rapid releases of methane or dramatic shifts in the ocean current patterns that help keep Europe warm.

    “We simulate the future changes with our climate models, but those models have not always incorporated some of our latest data and observations,” said Peter Clark, a professor of geosciences at Oregon State University and a lead author on the report. “We now have data on glaciers moving faster, ice shelves collapsing and other climate trends emerging that allow us to improve the accuracy of some of our future projections.”

    Some of the changes that now appear both more immediate and more certain, the report concludes, are rapid changes at the edges of the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets, loss of sea ice that exceeds projections by earlier models, and hydroclimatic changes over North America and the global subtropics that will likely intensify and persist due to future greenhouse warming.

    “Our report finds that drying is likely to extend poleward into the American West, increasing the likelihood of severe and persistent drought there in the future,” Clark said. “If the models are accurate, it appears this has already begun. The possibility that the Southwest may be entering a permanent drought state is not yet widely appreciated.”

    Climate change, experts say, has happened repeatedly in Earth’s history and is generally believed to be very slow and take place over hundreds or thousands of years. However, at times in the past, climate has also changed surprisingly quickly, on the order of decades.
    “Abrupt climate change presents potential risks for society that are poorly understood,” researchers wrote in the report.

    This study, in particular, looked at four mechanisms for abrupt climate change that have taken place prehistorically, and evaluated the level of risks they pose today. These mechanisms are rapid changes in glaciers, ice sheets and sea level; widespread changes to the hydrologic cycle; abrupt changes in the “Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation,” or AMOC, an ocean current pattern; and rapid release to the atmosphere of methane trapped in permafrost or on continental margins.

    Considering those mechanisms, the report concluded:

    Recent rapid changes at the edges of the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets show acceleration of flow and thinning, with the speed of some glaciers more than doubling. These “changes in ice dynamics can occur far more rapidly than previously suspected,” the report said, and are not reflected in current climate models.
    Inclusion of these changes in models will cause sea level rises that “substantially exceed” levels now projected for the end of this century, which are about two feet - but data are still inadequate to specify an exact level of rise.
    Subtropical areas around the world, including the American West, are likely to become more arid in the future due to global warming, with an increasing likelihood of severe and persistent drought. These are “among the greatest natural hazards facing the United States and the globe today,” the report stated, and if models are correct, this has already begun.
    The strength of “AMOC” ocean circulation patterns that help give Europe a much warmer climate than it would otherwise have may weaken by about 25-30 percent during this century due to greenhouse gas increases, but will probably not collapse altogether - although that possibility cannot be entirely excluded.
    Climate change will accelerate the emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, from both hydrate sources and wetlands, and they quite likely will double within a century - but a dramatic, potentially catastrophic release is very unlikely.

    (Hmm..That’s what they think!)

    http://www.geologytimes.com/Research/Some_climate_impacts_happening_faster_than_anticipated.asp

  7. moryah4 Says:

    OCEAN CIRCULATION AND CLIMATE

    If the ocean currents that transport warmth up from the Gulf Stream were ever to slow down or to shut down completely, the climate in Britain would be considerably colder - similar in fact to that of Moscow, which is on the same latitude. This event is known as Rapid Climate Change.

    “The ocean plays a major role in transporting heat polewards, thus moderating the Earth’s climate.”

    [World Ocean Circulation Experiment]

    Scientists believe that Rapid Climate Change has happened before, about 13,000 years ago. A period of warming caused a massive ice sheet across the top of North America to melt which flushed huge quantities of fresh water into the North Atlantic Ocean. This flow of fresh water upset the process of thermohaline circulation and the Gulf Stream current shut down. Within 10 to 20 years of this happening, ocean temperatures around Britain had dropped by an average of 10°C. Sea ice reached as far south as 45°N - which is well beyond the UK’s south coast. This mini-ice age lasted for 1200 years and is called the Younger Dryas Cooling.

    It is impossible to say whether our present period of warming could cause the same thing to happen again. There isn’t a North American ice sheet to melt any more, but climate change is causing ice caps to melt at both poles. The action of the fresh water from these ice caps entering the North Atlantic sea from Greenland and Russia could slow down the circulation of the ocean currents. This is something Britain and Norway are taking very seriously and carrying out a great deal of research into.

    Surface and deep currents in the ocean combine to form what is known as the thermohaline circulation, more simply the ‘great conveyor belt’, which helps transport heat from the equator towards the poles.

    The sea between Greenland, Iceland and Northern Norway is the main northern hemisphere region where surface water sinks into the deep, completing the three dimensional loop of ocean currents. The sinking is a result of relatively small changes in the density of seawater, its salinity and its temperature. Any changes to this delicate balance, for example an increase of warmer ‘fresher’ water provided by river and ice melt, could have the potential of changing the rate of flow and direction of the Great Conveyor Belt.

    http://www.capefarewell.com/climate-science/facts/ocean-circulation.html

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