DEFRA and ADAS (the UK agricultural agency) are now circulating a study comparing net GHG impacts of different bio-feedstocks which concludes that the net CO2 (equivalent) saving from short-rotation willow coppice (SRC) is ZERO because of the direct and indirect GHG emission from the fertilisers used, whereas there is near 100% CO2 (equiv) saving from Miscanthus (“elephant grass”) because it doesn’t need fertilisers. Some of the wood wastes show up to 600% CO2-equivalent net saving because of the methane emissions in the “base case” where they are put to landfill (I presume this applies to most natural forest-floor debris and dead trees). …….Chris HodrienRead More
Year 2008 may well be recognised as a turning point in the journey away from fossil fuels and this has major implications for the waste management industry. The increase in oil price to $140/bbl is the market signaling that, to use the words of Shell CEO van der Veer, ‘easy oil’ is running out. The large oil fields that have supplied the world with oil are starting to decline and new resources, such as oil sands in Canada, have much higher levels of CO2 emissions associated with their extraction.
At the same time, countries like Nigeria are capturing and liquefying the natural gas (to make LNG) that is a by product of oil production. Nigeria is forecasting LNG production of around 60 million tones per annum by 2012, bringing in around $60 billion of income – not a bad return for what was flared off as a waste product until 1999. High natural gas prices in the US are also bringing forward huge resources of ‘tight’ natural gas that are now economic to produce. Such gas needs more wells than normal gas and so requires the higher gas prices we have now – historically low natural gas prices in the US have acted to leave the ‘tight gas’ in the ground but it is now economic to bring it to market.Read More
Dr Derek Taylor, Altechnica and OU Open University Energy & Environment Research Unit
The Altechnica study on Renewable Energy potential in Uttlesford (commissioned by Uttlesford Futures) study shows that it would be potentially possible to ultimately obtain all of the household electricity, space & water heating needs and power personal cars from 100% renewable energy from within Uttlesford.
Uttlesford is the East of England District located in the North West corner of Essex that borders Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire and includes Saffron Walden, Great Dunmow and Stansted Airport within its boundaries. – Prior to Uttlesford Futures commissioning the study, Uttlesford District had been reported as emitting the most CO2 per household in England.
This study showed that domestic heat provision, electricity and potentiallRead More
Those that have been forwarded in text format have been published as News Articles. Those in PowerPoint or PDF format have been uploaded to the website, and can be downloaded for reading at:Read More
The world is running short of fresh water. With agriculture accounting for some 70% of all water
used, the water shortage is closely linked to food production and economic development. The
provision of clean water is a pre-condition to life, health and economic development and the lack
of water in many parts of the world is the root cause of much suffering and poverty. Present
methods of supplying water in arid regions include: over-abstraction from ground reserves,
diverting water from other regions and energy-intensive desalination. None of these methods are
sustainable in the long term and inequitable distribution leads to conflict. To make matters
worse, global warming is tending to make dry areas drier and wet areas wetter. Since the 1980’s,
rainfall has increased in several large regions of the world, including eastern North and South
America and northern Europe, while drying has been observed in the Sahel, the Mediterranean,
southern Africa, Australia and parts of Asia.Read More
A Caterpillar bio-gas engine was as fitted to Long Reach Sewage Works, operated by Thames Water Utilities. This is a V16 engine running at 1500 rpm, on biogas which is typically 60 % methane. Output about 1150 kWe electrical, 1.4 MW heat which heats the digesters. Electrical efficiency is about 38% LHV, thermal efficiency. Life cycle maintenance costs about 0.9 /kWh. Caterpillar makes about 50 units per day of this basic engine in either gas or diesel (1.8MW) format at its US factory in Lafayette Indiana equivalent to some 23 GWe of capacity per annum. Further infoRead More
Desert Rose – Fresh Water & Forest Cover
By Dr Richard Lawson
2008 Conference Paper Synopsis: Desert Rose is a conceptual approach to using two resources – sunlight and seawater – that coastal tropical areas have in abundance to supply two resources that are in short supply and dwindling – fresh water and forest cover. It suggests that once past a critical point, the growth in forest and water tend to become a self-propagating system. Energy costings relating to developing this concept are addressed.Read More