Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
Discover the ZEISS Digital Nature Hub

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

No coal burned

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread
Old Tuesday 9th June 2020, 05:45   #1
andyadcock
Registered User
 
andyadcock's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: UK and Occasionally St Petersburg, Russia
Posts: 18,780
No coal burned

In the UK for two months.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-52973089
__________________
Andy A
andyadcock is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 9th June 2020, 06:33   #2
Farnboro John
Registered User

 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Farnborough
Posts: 14,913
Hang on: 7,000,000 tonnes of wood pellets count as renewables? They may not be fossil fuels but they surely produce CO2 when you burn them, and for that matter how many heavy oil fuelled ships bring the things from the USA (and how are "wood pellets" produced in the first place?)

There's a distinct whiff of rat about this.

John
Farnboro John is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 9th June 2020, 08:49   #3
opisska
Jan Ebr
 
opisska's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Warszawa
Posts: 1,931
The difference is that the wood just cycles CO2 presemt in the atmosphere around (that's where the tree got the carbon in the first place) while burning fossil fuels releases carbon that would otherwise be safely stored underground. Unless the place where the trees in question is now an unhabitable desert, there are likely new trees there that are removing the same CO2 frok the atmosphere.
__________________
Birds: world 2170, WP 565, gWP 602, bird photos | Mammals: 259, mammal photos | Herps: 94, herp photos
opisska is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 9th June 2020, 09:43   #4
Chosun Juan
Given to Fly
 
Chosun Juan's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Central West NSW, Australia
Posts: 7,576
Exclamation

Agree with that. Though the problem is unintended consequences. Diverse primary forest and woodland (or now unviable crop/ grazing land which was former forest/woodland and will never be restored) will be torn down for eventual replacement by commercially viable sterile wood plantations. The immediate hit will be an increase in emissions and a massive hit to biodiversity. It will be the same debacle as biofuels.

If only there was a great big nuclear fusion reactor sitting in the sky constantly beaming free energy down upon us ........





Chosun
Chosun Juan is online now  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2016 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Tuesday 9th June 2020, 09:48   #5
DMW
Registered User
 
DMW's Avatar

 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Jersey
Posts: 2,047
Isn't large-scale use of wood pellets to generate electricity effectively a giant pyramid scheme? It takes what, about 30 years for a commercial plantation to grow to harvest. Carbon sequestration isn't linear - a 30 year old tree captures far more than a 1 year old or 10 year old, so clear-cutting a plantation and planting seedlings isn't a like-for-like replacement. It takes 30 years to achieve parity, and I don't think you get 30 years' worth of power generation from one harvest. As demand for "green" energy grows, the area of forest required to support the wood pellet industry is going to exceed the amount of forest available.

Of course, if the pellets were just made from waste by-products from sawmills, it would be a completely different matter, but I don't think this is the case.
DMW is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 9th June 2020, 10:58   #6
opisska
Jan Ebr
 
opisska's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Warszawa
Posts: 1,931
Sure, it's just still better than coal. Don't let perfect be the enemy of good, right? I can see Chosun's point, because she is from Australia - good luck making consistent solar power in the UK :) Yeah, you have wind, but there is still need for a "give power right now" source, which is basically "burn something" or nuclear at this point. In the future, there will be more power storage, but we are not yet there, in such a situation, biomass burning is actually the best solution (in the political climate that's not friendly to new nuclear sources, which are the cleanest obviously).
__________________
Birds: world 2170, WP 565, gWP 602, bird photos | Mammals: 259, mammal photos | Herps: 94, herp photos
opisska is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 9th June 2020, 11:24   #7
King Edward
Registered User

 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Herefordshire
Posts: 542
Quote:
Originally Posted by opisska View Post
Sure, it's just still better than coal. Don't let perfect be the enemy of good, right? I can see Chosun's point, because she is from Australia - good luck making consistent solar power in the UK :) Yeah, you have wind, but there is still need for a "give power right now" source, which is basically "burn something" or nuclear at this point. In the future, there will be more power storage, but we are not yet there, in such a situation, biomass burning is actually the best solution (in the political climate that's not friendly to new nuclear sources, which are the cleanest obviously).
'Better than coal' is a pretty low bar to clear, and in the short-term burning wood actually produces more CO2 than burning coal, not less.

There's a distinct lack of transparency about the source of the wood pellets being burned. The claim originally was that they were made from 'waste' wood, whereas the reality is mass clearfelling of native hardwood forests in the SE USA to supply the demand.
King Edward is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 9th June 2020, 14:07   #8
DMW
Registered User
 
DMW's Avatar

 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Jersey
Posts: 2,047
Quote:
Originally Posted by opisska View Post
Sure, it's just still better than coal. Don't let perfect be the enemy of good, right? I can see Chosun's point, because she is from Australia - good luck making consistent solar power in the UK :) Yeah, you have wind, but there is still need for a "give power right now" source, which is basically "burn something" or nuclear at this point. In the future, there will be more power storage, but we are not yet there, in such a situation, biomass burning is actually the best solution (in the political climate that's not friendly to new nuclear sources, which are the cleanest obviously).
I agree that there's no perfect solution and we need to look at all alternatives, but it's really annoying to see industries and governments greenwashing and promoting some of the most harmful sources of energy as being environmentally friendly. Palm oil biodiesel, for example.

My own view is that the only viable mid term option if we want to move away from a carbon based civilisation is nuclear.
DMW is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 9th June 2020, 14:24   #9
opisska
Jan Ebr
 
opisska's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Warszawa
Posts: 1,931
Quote:
Originally Posted by DMW View Post
I agree that there's no perfect solution and we need to look at all alternatives, but it's really annoying to see industries and governments greenwashing and promoting some of the most harmful sources of energy as being environmentally friendly. Palm oil biodiesel, for example.

My own view is that the only viable mid term option if we want to move away from a carbon based civilisation is nuclear.
Preaching to the choir! But sadly, the pushback is immense and it got worse because some people in Japan decided that building a nuclear plant on a seashore with inadequate tsunami protection and wrong placement of backup generators was a good idea ...
__________________
Birds: world 2170, WP 565, gWP 602, bird photos | Mammals: 259, mammal photos | Herps: 94, herp photos
opisska is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 9th June 2020, 15:28   #10
andyadcock
Registered User
 
andyadcock's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: UK and Occasionally St Petersburg, Russia
Posts: 18,780
Quote:
Originally Posted by DMW View Post
I agree that there's no perfect solution and we need to look at all alternatives, but it's really annoying to see industries and governments greenwashing and promoting some of the most harmful sources of energy as being environmentally friendly. Palm oil biodiesel, for example.

My own view is that the only viable mid term option if we want to move away from a carbon based civilisation is nuclear.
Completely agree but the cost of construction is ENORMOUS, especially after we've been screwed by the French and Chinese.

https://www.theguardian.com/news/201...ve-power-plant

'According to Gérard Magnin, a former EDF director, the French company sees Hinkley as “a way to make the British fund the renaissance of nuclear in France”. He added: “We cannot be sure that in 2060 or 2065, British pensioners, who are currently at school, will not still be paying for the advancement of the nuclear industry in France.”
__________________
Andy A

Last edited by andyadcock : Tuesday 9th June 2020 at 15:31.
andyadcock is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 9th June 2020, 15:39   #11
Chosun Juan
Given to Fly
 
Chosun Juan's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Central West NSW, Australia
Posts: 7,576
Arrow

Quote:
Originally Posted by opisska View Post
Preaching to the choir! But sadly, the pushback is immense and it got worse because some people in Japan decided that building a nuclear plant on a seashore with inadequate tsunami protection and wrong placement of backup generators was a good idea ...
Anything with a 'free' resource and centralized control is the go to choice for those oligarchical players that benefit, with the added enticement of publicizing costs while privatizing profits.

If we look at each of the main energy sources:-
Nuclear = free dumping of waste. It doesn't stack up once the true costs are added in. The US also has some wonderfully tsunami prone locations. The HLW created to this point in time is an intractable problem.
Wood pellets = free forest resource, even waste resources should be composted to return nutrients to the soil that were extracted, no sustainable operations otherwise.
Biofuels = even worse again.
Hydro = free destruction of downstream rivers and upstream riparian areas.
Shale Oil and Coal Seam Gas = free permanently 'fracked' landscapes.
Tar sands = free yuk.
Coal = free damage to aquifers and hydrological cycles - this in itself upsets the carbon cycle adding to the factors allowing huge bushfires.
Wind = 'free' bird carnage (though with the right locations, protocols, systems, would at least seem.more manageable than nuclear)
Solar thermal = bird risk, but manageable with the right sites - it's just that such 'desert' locations are far away from most traditional population centres which need water. Storage options are better than some other generation sources. Same goes for geothermal.

Solar PV. The only truly egalitarian distributed sustainable power generation source is solar PV. Every building humans build as shelter, certainly residentially and more or less commercially has enough surface area on the building envelope to power it with Solar PV if other building efficiency measures are employed. They can probably also run a fair chunk of related transport too. Even the UK etc with only half the per annum sunshine hours of places like Australia etc, are viable with the right design and paradigm shifts.

Some industrial sites will need additional energy input. The big issues for PV overall are:-
* Loss of control and profits for existing energy sector investors.
* Required investment in distribution network infrastructure and operational control and markets to allow multidirectional flows of excess energy.
* There is a recycling/ integral battery industry issue to be sorted out (again, much easier than nuclear)

Human's energy problems aren't technical (acknowledging that a heck of a lot of buildings have been built facing the wrong way) , they are investment, governance, and market related.

In this country, any wood pellet type proposals invariably want to use public forests in order to be commercially viable. It is unacceptable. I really think we have to rigorously scrutinize any 'greenwashing' that negatively impacts biodiversity - because that is what will see us out the back door minus a shirt ......






Chosun
Chosun Juan is online now  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2016 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Tuesday 9th June 2020, 15:54   #12
DMW
Registered User
 
DMW's Avatar

 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Jersey
Posts: 2,047
Quote:
Originally Posted by andyadcock View Post
Completely agree but the cost of construction is ENORMOUS, especially after we've been screwed by the French and Chinese.

https://www.theguardian.com/news/201...ve-power-plant

'According to Gérard Magnin, a former EDF director, the French company sees Hinkley as “a way to make the British fund the renaissance of nuclear in France”. He added: “We cannot be sure that in 2060 or 2065, British pensioners, who are currently at school, will not still be paying for the advancement of the nuclear industry in France.”
In Jersey, we buy pretty much all our electricity from France, so I appreciate you subsidising our electricity too
DMW is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 9th June 2020, 17:36   #13
rosbifs
Registered User

 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Luz St Sauveur, France
Posts: 4,191
We have been buying electricity from France and Holland for years. During the miners strike Maggy rather paid France for electricity than our miners. It's an old argument. The mining industry employs less than a 1000 people now.

Oil and Gas, mainly, from Norway

Woodpellets from America by the container full. Its renewable but its not a carbon free calculation. If the deforestation follows the Finnish model there will be little in the way of 'interesting' woods left. Just churned up clearings before reseeding and young pine woods with little by the way of undergrowth.

Agree coal is better left in the ground but I don't believe the 'aren't we green now' declaration by the BBC and others.

I don't have a problem with nuclear - just the waste.

All ways up there is a payoff or a payback.
rosbifs is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 9th June 2020, 19:15   #14
Pinewood
New York correspondent
 
Pinewood's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: New York, USA
Posts: 4,046
Hello,

Bituminous coal is very dirty.
Anthracite coal, still dirty.
Clean coal is a hoax.
Oil is less dirty.
Natural gas is the cleanest fossil fuel.

I have no idea about wood pellets.

Solar, in various forms, and wind are cleaner but some consideration has to be given to how much carbon is used in the construction of any energy producer.

What I found interesting in the BBC article, which I read, is that capital investment in renewables is very competitive with fossil fuel investment in plant but once solar, hydroelectric and wind are running, there running costs are far lower.

So in the short term, we may be looking at renewables with the use of natural gas turbines, which are very efficient for peak or backup power.

Stay safe,
Arthur
__________________
Bread is not enough. Give us circuses!
Pinewood is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 9th June 2020, 21:18   #15
elkcub
Registered User
BF Supporter 2020
 
elkcub's Avatar

 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Silicon Valley, Northern California
Posts: 4,684
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinewood View Post
Hello,

Bituminous coal is very dirty.
Anthracite coal, still dirty.
Clean coal is a hoax.
Oil is less dirty.
Natural gas is the cleanest fossil fuel.

I have no idea about wood pellets.

Solar, in various forms, and wind are cleaner but some consideration has to be given to how much carbon is used in the construction of any energy producer.

What I found interesting in the BBC article, which I read, is that capital investment in renewables is very competitive with fossil fuel investment in plant but once solar, hydroelectric and wind are running, there running costs are far lower.

So in the short term, we may be looking at renewables with the use of natural gas turbines, which are very efficient for peak or backup power.

Stay safe,
Arthur
Hi Arthur,

Here is an informative article about wood pellets.

All,

In this context it might be worthwhile viewing Planet of the Humans since it's quite relevant. Unfortunately, though, it's about 1.75 hrs long and has good stuff right up to the end.

Chosun,

I've been wanting to hear your insights about the film.

I'm inclined to say that "The road to hell is paved with good intentions."

Ed
__________________
Understanding optics is child's play compared to understanding child's play.
Nullius in verba
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself — and you are the easiest person to fool. Richard Feynman

Last edited by elkcub : Tuesday 9th June 2020 at 21:22.
elkcub is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Wednesday 10th June 2020, 08:58   #16
andyadcock
Registered User
 
andyadcock's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: UK and Occasionally St Petersburg, Russia
Posts: 18,780
Apparently, the Chinese are now threatening to pull out of the greement to build the power plant due to issues relating to Hong Kong.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-52989121
__________________
Andy A
andyadcock is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 10th June 2020, 09:24   #17
opisska
Jan Ebr
 
opisska's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Warszawa
Posts: 1,931
Quote:
Originally Posted by andyadcock View Post
Apparently, the Chinese are now threatening to pull out of the greement to build the power plant due to issues relating to Hong Kong.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-52989121
How can you even think about letting any company from China come even close to your nuclear power plants, let alone build them? How is there not a widespread outrage in the UK against that?
__________________
Birds: world 2170, WP 565, gWP 602, bird photos | Mammals: 259, mammal photos | Herps: 94, herp photos
opisska is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 10th June 2020, 09:36   #18
Chosun Juan
Given to Fly
 
Chosun Juan's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Central West NSW, Australia
Posts: 7,576
Exclamation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinewood View Post
.... Solar, in various forms, and wind are cleaner but some consideration has to be given to how much carbon is used in the construction of any energy producer.
Hi Arthur, All,

It is interesting that I never ever hear of the embodied energy of any other forms of energy production, other than solar .....
Bit of a DING DING do you think ?




Chosun
Chosun Juan is online now  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2016 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Wednesday 10th June 2020, 09:43   #19
Chosun Juan
Given to Fly
 
Chosun Juan's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Central West NSW, Australia
Posts: 7,576
Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by elkcub View Post
..... Chosun,

I've been wanting to hear your insights about the film.

I'm inclined to say that "The road to hell is paved with good intentions."

Ed
Hi Ed, - yes it's on the 'to do' list ..... the last couple of months have been .... well, less than ideal. Here's hoping for a brand new day tomorrow :)

I was very disappointed that I couldn't go to the rallies on the weekend either ......





Chosun
Chosun Juan is online now  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2016 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Wednesday 10th June 2020, 10:08   #20
Farnboro John
Registered User

 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Farnborough
Posts: 14,913
Quote:
Originally Posted by opisska View Post
How can you even think about letting any company from China come even close to your nuclear power plants, let alone build them? How is there not a widespread outrage in the UK against that?
The UK public doesn't really do widespread outrage, they are much better at widespread apathy (until the footy isn't on TV). Most of the "widespread outrage" or for that matter "touching everybody's hearts" reported is media BS: but I agree with you.

John
Farnboro John is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 10th June 2020, 11:18   #21
jurek
Registered User
 
jurek's Avatar

 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Switzerland/Poland
Posts: 4,337
Quote:
Originally Posted by DMW View Post
Isn't large-scale use of wood pellets to generate electricity effectively a giant pyramid scheme? It takes what, about 30 years for a commercial plantation to grow to harvest. Carbon sequestration isn't linear - a 30 year old tree captures far more than a 1 year old or 10 year old, so clear-cutting a plantation and planting seedlings isn't a like-for-like replacement. It takes 30 years to achieve parity, and I don't think you get 30 years' worth of power generation from one harvest. As demand for "green" energy grows, the area of forest required to support the wood pellet industry is going to exceed the amount of forest available.
Yes, exactly on all fronts.

A sapling few years old captures 1000s times less carbon than a grown tree. The carbon released from burning wood will contribute to global warming for several decades before being captured back.

Forests and wood are a very limited resource. There is a fixed amount of land available to grow trees, and trees grow at a fixed, slow rate. The amount of coal possible to replace by burning wood is small part of the total.

Forests are already pressed by demand of wood for other purposes. Adding demand of 'green' industry destroys them.

Trees, rotting wood, shrubs and other wild biomass is a habitat for biodiversity. It should not be treated as a simple store of carbon like agricultural leftovers. From the point of conservation, it is better even to burn coal.

This is what happens in Poland, where everything is cut on enormous scale. Commercial forests, private forests, national parks, trees in city parks, trees on roadside verges, trees between fields. Carbon capture industry on top on existing timber industry is a death sentence to biodiversity.
jurek is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 10th June 2020, 11:46   #22
etudiant
Registered User
BF Supporter 2020

 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: New York
Posts: 4,813
Quote:
Originally Posted by opisska View Post
How can you even think about letting any company from China come even close to your nuclear power plants, let alone build them? How is there not a widespread outrage in the UK against that?
Probably because the only people still able to build them on a reasonably credible schedule are the Chinese and the Russians.
etudiant is online now  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Wednesday 10th June 2020, 11:51   #23
etudiant
Registered User
BF Supporter 2020

 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: New York
Posts: 4,813
Quote:
Originally Posted by jurek View Post
Yes, exactly on all fronts.

A sapling few years old captures 1000s times less carbon than a grown tree. The carbon released from burning wood will contribute to global warming for several decades before being captured back.

Forests and wood are a very limited resource. There is a fixed amount of land available to grow trees, and trees grow at a fixed, slow rate. The amount of coal possible to replace by burning wood is small part of the total.

Forests are already pressed by demand of wood for other purposes. Adding demand of 'green' industry destroys them.

Trees, rotting wood, shrubs and other wild biomass is a habitat for biodiversity. It should not be treated as a simple store of carbon like agricultural leftovers. From the point of conservation, it is better even to burn coal.

This is what happens in Poland, where everything is cut on enormous scale. Commercial forests, private forests, national parks, trees in city parks, trees on roadside verges, trees between fields. Carbon capture industry on top on existing timber industry is a death sentence to biodiversity.
How come there is no outrage in the environmental community as a result?
As with wind power and its decimation of raptors and bats, it seems that any sleazy taxpayer funded scheme gets complete absolution for its side effects as long as it can be brought under the 'carbon neutral' banner.
etudiant is online now  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Advertisement
Reply


Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
National Museum Brasil completely burned down Fred Ruhe Bird Paleontology 9 Tuesday 4th September 2018 02:45
Anybody else burned by Redfield Binoculars ? Sixkiller66 Binoculars 7 Sunday 19th July 2015 01:20
Golden Eagles 'burned Out' Of Grouse Areas Chris Monk Birds Of Prey 5 Friday 17th November 2006 18:17
why coal tit was named "coal" tit? naturegirl Tips For New Birders 18 Thursday 18th November 2004 20:08

{googleads}

Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.25021505 seconds with 37 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 17:17.