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carbon 12:46 - Mar 4 with 1651 viewslowhouseblue

this is fascinating* - uk co2 emissions at lowest level since 1888. the pattern of energy consumption is unrecognisable since 130 years ago, plus population growth, so it seems incredible that co2 emissions are at a similar level. per capita emissions are at the level of 1858. can these figures be right?

https://www.carbonbrief.org/analysis-uks-co2-emissions-fell-for-record-sixth-con

* fascinating but still disastrous for global warming since we need to reach carbon net zero.

And so as the loose-bowelled pigeon of time swoops low over the unsuspecting tourist of destiny, and the flatulent skunk of fate wanders into the air-conditioning system of eternity, I notice it's the end of the show

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carbon on 12:57 - Mar 4 with 1612 viewsClapham_Junction

We've managed to cut our emissions by more than any other major country largely because we've outsourced most of our carbon-intensive industries.

Having said that, there's been a huge change in electricity-related CO2 over the past 10-15 years - the carbon intensity of electricity dropped by nearly half between 2005 and 2016, largely as a result of closing coal power stations and the surge in renewables. If we'd had a government that actively supported renewables for the past 10 years, then we could be even further ahead.

However, unless the government does something to address domestic retrofit (ie insulating solid-walled houses), the reductions aren't going to be maintained. There was a good scheme in place to do this, but they messed it up under pressure from the big energy companies. Similarly, they rowed back on new build standards after objections from developers. Thankfully some local authorities have a bit more mettle, and I understand that Kirklees Council are planning to require all new builds to be Passivhaus standard, which means they require virtually no heating.
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carbon on 13:00 - Mar 4 with 1590 viewsStokieBlue

carbon on 12:57 - Mar 4 by Clapham_Junction

We've managed to cut our emissions by more than any other major country largely because we've outsourced most of our carbon-intensive industries.

Having said that, there's been a huge change in electricity-related CO2 over the past 10-15 years - the carbon intensity of electricity dropped by nearly half between 2005 and 2016, largely as a result of closing coal power stations and the surge in renewables. If we'd had a government that actively supported renewables for the past 10 years, then we could be even further ahead.

However, unless the government does something to address domestic retrofit (ie insulating solid-walled houses), the reductions aren't going to be maintained. There was a good scheme in place to do this, but they messed it up under pressure from the big energy companies. Similarly, they rowed back on new build standards after objections from developers. Thankfully some local authorities have a bit more mettle, and I understand that Kirklees Council are planning to require all new builds to be Passivhaus standard, which means they require virtually no heating.


That would be excellent, they also need to ensure the new builds also cool themselves passively as that was a big issue during the heatwave. Most new builds (especially flats) are pretty good a keeping heat but rubbish at expelling it when required.

They don't conform to the standard you mentioned though which does seem to take both into account.

SB
[Post edited 4 Mar 2019 13:01]

“You may not feel outstandingly robust, but if you are an average-sized adult you will contain within your modest frame no less than 7 X 10^18 joules of potential energy—enough to explode with the force of thirty very large hydrogen bombs, assuming you knew how to liberate it and really wished to make a point."

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carbon on 13:04 - Mar 4 with 1566 viewschicoazul

carbon on 12:57 - Mar 4 by Clapham_Junction

We've managed to cut our emissions by more than any other major country largely because we've outsourced most of our carbon-intensive industries.

Having said that, there's been a huge change in electricity-related CO2 over the past 10-15 years - the carbon intensity of electricity dropped by nearly half between 2005 and 2016, largely as a result of closing coal power stations and the surge in renewables. If we'd had a government that actively supported renewables for the past 10 years, then we could be even further ahead.

However, unless the government does something to address domestic retrofit (ie insulating solid-walled houses), the reductions aren't going to be maintained. There was a good scheme in place to do this, but they messed it up under pressure from the big energy companies. Similarly, they rowed back on new build standards after objections from developers. Thankfully some local authorities have a bit more mettle, and I understand that Kirklees Council are planning to require all new builds to be Passivhaus standard, which means they require virtually no heating.


You'll take my gas hob out of my cold dead hands, commie.

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carbon on 13:12 - Mar 4 with 1539 viewsSteve_M

The decline of coal as a fuel source in the UK, as a response to UK and EU environmental legislation is a big part of that. Some of that has been replaced by gas generation, which although still a fossil fuel emits far less carbon per MWh of electricity, and some by renewables. Don't forget either that domestic coal consumption accounted for a lot of that carbon emitted in the 1950s.

As pointed out elsewhere in this thread a lot of heavy manufacturing has moved offshore, Brexit should finish much of the rest of that off so any environmental benefit there will be offset by economic costs concentrated in certain areas.

Which leads onto the dilemma for politicians, energy supply needs to be a balance of three factors: security of supply, environmental impact and cost. Concentrating solely on one aspect, has a negative impact on others. That's one reason why I'm sympathetic to the idea of building nuclear power stations despite the cost, they work well on the other two areas.

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carbon on 13:15 - Mar 4 with 1524 viewsClapham_Junction

carbon on 13:04 - Mar 4 by chicoazul

You'll take my gas hob out of my cold dead hands, commie.


Better not go and live in the Netherlands then. They've already banned gas in new builds, and the next step is for local councils to put together plans to turn off the gas grids in their towns district by district.
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carbon on 13:18 - Mar 4 with 1509 viewsClapham_Junction

carbon on 13:00 - Mar 4 by StokieBlue

That would be excellent, they also need to ensure the new builds also cool themselves passively as that was a big issue during the heatwave. Most new builds (especially flats) are pretty good a keeping heat but rubbish at expelling it when required.

They don't conform to the standard you mentioned though which does seem to take both into account.

SB
[Post edited 4 Mar 2019 13:01]


One of the biggest issues with new build flats in that respect is that many are single aspect and you can't get a through breeze.
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carbon on 13:20 - Mar 4 with 1503 viewsStokieBlue

carbon on 13:12 - Mar 4 by Steve_M

The decline of coal as a fuel source in the UK, as a response to UK and EU environmental legislation is a big part of that. Some of that has been replaced by gas generation, which although still a fossil fuel emits far less carbon per MWh of electricity, and some by renewables. Don't forget either that domestic coal consumption accounted for a lot of that carbon emitted in the 1950s.

As pointed out elsewhere in this thread a lot of heavy manufacturing has moved offshore, Brexit should finish much of the rest of that off so any environmental benefit there will be offset by economic costs concentrated in certain areas.

Which leads onto the dilemma for politicians, energy supply needs to be a balance of three factors: security of supply, environmental impact and cost. Concentrating solely on one aspect, has a negative impact on others. That's one reason why I'm sympathetic to the idea of building nuclear power stations despite the cost, they work well on the other two areas.


Coal is a shocker on all fronts.

For instance, fly-ash from a coal power plant puts up to 100 times more radiation into the local environment than properly managed nuclear waste for power plants generating the same amount of electricity.

Nuclear power stations along with renewables should be the mainstay of any developed countries power generation needs. The knee-jerk reaction after Fukishima was totally ridiculous. If they can get the final 3rd generation reactors working and then move onto the 4th then things would be even better. If they went further and did thorium based reactors then that would be ideal.

SB

“You may not feel outstandingly robust, but if you are an average-sized adult you will contain within your modest frame no less than 7 X 10^18 joules of potential energy—enough to explode with the force of thirty very large hydrogen bombs, assuming you knew how to liberate it and really wished to make a point."

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carbon on 13:22 - Mar 4 with 1496 viewsChampionship

Sorry if i'm being stupid, but why don't we just plant millions of trees? I doubt it would make a massive difference but it would make some difference wouldn't it?

I see Siberia is the latest place to face mass tree cutting. It just feels like pissing in the wind sometimes doesn't it?
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carbon on 13:26 - Mar 4 with 1486 viewsStokieBlue

carbon on 13:22 - Mar 4 by Championship

Sorry if i'm being stupid, but why don't we just plant millions of trees? I doubt it would make a massive difference but it would make some difference wouldn't it?

I see Siberia is the latest place to face mass tree cutting. It just feels like pissing in the wind sometimes doesn't it?


If global warming continues and accelerated the lack of trees is going to the least of your worries with regards to Siberia:

https://phys.org/news/2018-03-permafrost-methane.html

You are of course right though, as a species we shouldn't be cutting these trees down but when you can get far, far more money doing illegal logging in Russia and can provide for your family it's not surprising it happens.

SB

“You may not feel outstandingly robust, but if you are an average-sized adult you will contain within your modest frame no less than 7 X 10^18 joules of potential energy—enough to explode with the force of thirty very large hydrogen bombs, assuming you knew how to liberate it and really wished to make a point."

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carbon on 14:05 - Mar 4 with 1400 viewseireblue

carbon on 13:04 - Mar 4 by chicoazul

You'll take my gas hob out of my cold dead hands, commie.


Well, if it can’t even keep your hands warm,...
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carbon on 22:11 - Mar 4 with 1264 viewsbritbiker

carbon on 13:22 - Mar 4 by Championship

Sorry if i'm being stupid, but why don't we just plant millions of trees? I doubt it would make a massive difference but it would make some difference wouldn't it?

I see Siberia is the latest place to face mass tree cutting. It just feels like pissing in the wind sometimes doesn't it?


Always wondered why no one discusses human over population anymore. I know there are financial implications of an aging population but controlling the growth in the human population would surely help resolve some of the issues we face. I am away it is not as simple as that but we really have to get a grip on the way were populating this planet.
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carbon on 10:22 - Mar 5 with 1152 viewsCoachRob

carbon on 13:20 - Mar 4 by StokieBlue

Coal is a shocker on all fronts.

For instance, fly-ash from a coal power plant puts up to 100 times more radiation into the local environment than properly managed nuclear waste for power plants generating the same amount of electricity.

Nuclear power stations along with renewables should be the mainstay of any developed countries power generation needs. The knee-jerk reaction after Fukishima was totally ridiculous. If they can get the final 3rd generation reactors working and then move onto the 4th then things would be even better. If they went further and did thorium based reactors then that would be ideal.

SB


Totally agree with this point that nuclear is the only viable engineering solution to climate change for rich nations.
We need to look at energy consumption in totality and link it into our economy. Tim Garrett, a thermodynamicist, has begun looking at this very thing.

http://nephologue.blogspot.com/2018/05/a-power-theory-of-value.html
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