Library filed under Pollution from UK

Or is it all just a load of hot air...?

Government's own figure for saving of the UK's CO2 emission by renewable power generation, mainly wind, is just 9.2 million tonnes per year by 2010. This is less than the emission from a medium sized coal fired power station and more to the point is less than four ten-thousandths (0.0004) of global total CO2 emission and stands no chance of altering atmospheric CO2 concentration, still less deflecting climate change.
10 Jan 2007

Plan for 'Bovine Methane Credits'

Cow flatulence last night became the latest battleground in the fight for the green vote with farmers fearing they could be hit by a new levy.Politicians hit out at the levels of bovine emissions - which now account for about one million tonnes of methane a year in the UK. Whitehall officials are now preparing to get bids to analyse the financial benefits of a scheme which would see farms buying and selling "credits" for the amount of gas their herds produce.
4 Jan 2007

Airlines withdraw from UK emissions plan after passenger duty increase

LONDON (AFX) - British Airways PLC, Virgin Atlantic and easyJet PLC have pulled out of the UK government's carbon emission reduction scheme after Chancellor Gordon Brown doubled air passenger duty, The Independent on Sunday newspaper reported. The rise in the duty -- from 5 stg to 10 stg for standard class passengers on European flights, from 10 stg to 20 stg for business or premium classes in Europe, and from 40 stg to 80 stg for passengers flying to other destinations -- was announced by Brown in his pre-budget report last week.
10 Dec 2006

Professor James Lovelock Speech November 2006

Green ideology is an understandable response to adverse change but it is wrong to make science and technology the scapegoats for its anger. Not surprisingly any alternative energy scheme that seems natural and not based on science or technology is embraced by environmentalists. Some of these alternatives, such as biofuels are positively dangerous and if exploited on a large scale would hasten disaster. Others such as wind energy are inefficient and expensive. In the now rapidly changing world the green concepts of sustainable development and renewable energy that inspired the Kyoto meeting are far too late to have any value. What we need now is a well planned and sustainable retreat from the polluted and degraded world of today. The only way, I think, to do this is to welcome science and technology and make maximum use of environmentally friendly nuclear fission energy. We are an urban civilization and to survive the severe climate change soon due we need secure supplies of food water and electricity. We cannot expect to go on burning fossil fuel nor establish a non polluting way to do it in time. Therefore, except where electricity is powered by abundant water flow or geophysical heat, there is no safe alternative to nuclear energy.
28 Nov 2006

Scientific concerns over Stern report

I have seen Al Gore's film, An Inconvenient Truth, read the book, and read the Stern report. As a scientist, I am appalled. Both authors present myriad dangers as truth – no doubts, a 100 per cent consensus. Yet a glance at the professional literature on glaciers, hurricanes etc. confirm that this consensus is a myth. Besides, consensus is the stuff of politics, not of science.
2 Nov 2006

Power plant lowers carbon levels

power plant labelled one of the worst in the UK for pollution is to supply energy generated from wood shavings. The Didcot A station will now provide electricity for 100,000 homes created with the use of carbon-neutral fuels, as well as coal-fired power production. A new facility will use bio-mass fuels which absorb as much carbon dioxide when growing as they create when burnt.
13 Oct 2006

Wind farms and mass release of carbon dioxide (1)

If Professor Curran is correct, it is the utmost lunacy wilfully to rip up and expose the peat of the Lewis moorland, when it is one of the world’s largest expanses of blanket bog and acts as a sink that stores carbon. Disturb the peatlands substantially and you release all that stored carbon back into the atmosphere as CO2. If this is “greenness” and “saving the planet” and “tackling climate change” in the eyes of developers and politicians, Lord help us.
12 Oct 2006

Wind farms and mass release of carbon dioxide (2)

So why does his company not focus its efforts to those countries – as he is obviously driven solely by concern for the environment? Surely it is nothing to do with the outrageous public-money subsidies being thrown recklessly at this “industry” by our ever-squandering government – so neatly highlighted in the same letters page by Nick Dekker?
12 Oct 2006

Energy firm rapped over carbon offset claims

Scottish & Southern Energy Group has become the first energy company to be hauled over the coals by the Advertising Standards Authority for failing to be able to back up claims that its green tariff offset its customers’ carbon emissions.....But while SSE was able to furnish the agency with figures showing the average CO2 emissions from waste and gas heating, it was unable to provide concrete evidence to show that the number of trees planted would meet or exceed this level. The ASA ruled that the advert breached guidelines on truthfulness and substantiation and told SSE not to use it again and not to make the claim in the future unless it was amended.
11 Oct 2006

A guide to calculating the carbon dioxide debt and payback time for wind farms

Hall-co2payback_thumb It is broadly accepted that wind turbines do not emit CO2 at the point of generation. However, in common with all types of power station, it is emitted during their construction and, through damage directly inflicted on the construction site, over a much longer period. The total debt will vary from site to site but will comprise some or all of the following; • Emissions arising from fabrication (steel smelting, forging of turbine columns, the manufacture of blades and the electrical and mechanical components); • Emissions arising from construction (transportation of components, quarrying, building foundations, access tracks and hard standings, commissioning); • The indirect loss of CO2 uptake (fixation) by plants originally on the surface of the site but obliterated by construction activity including the destruction of active bog plants on wet sites and deforestation; • Emissions due to the indirect, long-term liberation of CO2 from carbon stored in peat due to drying and oxidation processes caused by construction of the site. It is important to recognise that peat is a major store of carbon accumulated from dead plant remains over many millennia. It is held in perpetuity because the bog’s wetness and acid conditions prevent the access of oxygen and inhibit the growth of bacteria which would otherwise rot the vegetation. Draining peat for construction reverses both these long-term processes: the soil is exposed to the air, the carbon is converted to CO2 and released slowly to the atmosphere. Several papers from the wind industry in Denmark and the UK have addressed the first two points with estimates of payback time ranging from about six to 30 months. However, the industry rarely, if ever, considers the last two. This is a fundamental omission as their contribution to the overall CO2 debt, in particular the last, can be far greater than all the others put together. This paper outlines a procedure for quantifying it. The guide has been prepared to enable anyone with access to the Environmental Statement (ES) that forms part of a Planning Application (PA) for a wind farm to estimate its CO2 debt. (If some of the requisite information proves to be unavailable, this ought to provide grounds for postponing consideration of the application and the commissioning of further assessment.) The results of the calculations described should be submitted to planning authorities or Public Inquiries as part of the arguments used in assessing the merits and demerits of an application.
1 Aug 2006

Off with all their heads

In reality, nobody has a fog what will happen. This is Virtualia, not the UK. During the last year, global warming has been predicted to lead to wetter winters, drier winters, another ice age, blazing-hot Mediterranean summers killing thousands, greater biodiversity and less biodiversity
2 Dec 2005

Reduction in Carbon Dioxide Emissions: Estimating the Potential Contribution from Wind Power

Renewable_energy_foundation_thumb In the UK, the parallel objective is to generate 10% of the UK’s electricity from renewable sources by 2010. Renewable electricity has become synonymous with CO2 reduction. However, the relationship between renewables and CO2 reduction in the power generation sector does not appear to have been examined in detail, and the likelihood, scale, and cost of emissions abatement from renewables is very poorly understood. The purpose of this report is to analyse a wide range of technical literature that questions whether the renewables policy can achieve its goals of emissions reduction and power generation. To some, renewable energy has the simple and unanalysed virtue of being “green”. However, the reality of this quality is dependent on practical issues relating to electricity supply. ......In conclusion, it seems reasonable to ask why wind-power is the beneficiary of such extensive support if it not only fails to achieve the CO2 reductions required, but also causes cost increases in back-up, maintenance and transmission, while at the same time discouraging investment in clean, firm generation.
1 Dec 2004
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