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Author Topic: UK commits to net zero emissions by 2050  (Read 1149 times)
GarethC
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« on: June 12, 2019, 08:59:45 AM »

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jun/11/theresa-may-commits-to-net-zero-uk-carbon-emissions-by-2050

First big nation to do so I believe?
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Pile-o-stone
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« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2019, 09:28:41 AM »

Easy to make these announcement, but much harder to deliver on them. A major step would be to electrify all of the train network, which is taking place but at a snails pace. It's much needed, especially at Victoria train station in Manchester where you can almost see the air when the diesel trains sit in the station for a while.
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azps
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« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2019, 09:35:42 AM »

Easy to make these announcement, but much harder to deliver on them. A major step would be to electrify all of the train network

Sadly, that would be a very minor step. Train emissions are pretty much lost in the rounding of UK greenhouse gas emissions.

Nevertheless, we do need to decarbonise trains. And we should be getting on with it right now.

It's conceivable that for minor lines, electrification might not be the best option. It's conceivable that hydrogen may have a role there. But all decently busy lines should be electric, and it's probably not worth waiting to see if hydrogen trains really establish, we may as well just electrify the lot.
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azps
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« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2019, 09:38:33 AM »


First G7 nation, yes.

Sweden's probably the industrialised nation that's most committed to net zero, and the most advanced in achieving it.
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GarethC
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« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2019, 09:43:17 AM »

When will results of current offshore wind auction be known? Really hoping for a favourable outcome there. If bids arrive in the low 50s per MWh (granted in 2012 prices) it would bode well for us to ramp up capacity at little subsidy cost, which would help politically.
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azps
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« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2019, 12:41:49 PM »

When will results of current offshore wind auction be known? Really hoping for a favourable outcome there. If bids arrive in the low 50s per MWh (granted in 2012 prices) it would bode well for us to ramp up capacity at little subsidy cost, which would help politically.

At a guess, based on previous years, around late September / early October. It rather depends on National Grid's capacity (unknown, but generally very professional IME) and BEIS's (ahh, umm, well, err, they're under a lot of pressure right now ...).

There are a few challenges. The tiny budget, and the very aggressive price cap on offshore wind, signal that some parts of the government had the intention of throttling off offshore wind development. The Brexit mess has devalued sterling, pushing up equipment prices, and added enormous uncertainty, for which investors will demand higher returns.
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brackwell
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« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2019, 02:55:59 PM »

In reality we are not "committed" as it can quickly be changed and as stated if in 5yrs time other countries are not pulling their weight.

Also please note that little word "NET"

I happen to think that NET zero is technically possible,financially possible,but will the people change, because we are talking about real big changes not just replacing a few light bulbs.  Every time i see another 2tonne SUV hurtling towards red traffic lights or thinking it is necassary to do Le Man starts  or....  then quite frankly i get depressed.
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brackwell
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« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2019, 04:39:33 PM »

Another controversy within the plans announced today is that the government will include international carbon credits in the calculation of the UKís GHG emissions, meaning that it will effectively buy negative emissions from renewables projects in developing countries to offset its own emissions. This means that the UK may still be emitting greenhouse gases by 2050.
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Allnightin
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« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2019, 04:43:13 PM »

  Every time i see another 2tonne SUV hurtling towards red traffic lights or thinking it is necassary to do Le Man starts  or....  then quite frankly i get depressed.

Along the same line, most car and fast food adverts on TV make me doubt that much is going to change in the near future
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M
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« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2019, 07:00:44 AM »

I happen to think that NET zero is technically possible,financially possible,but will the people change, because we are talking about real big changes not just replacing a few light bulbs.  Every time i see another 2tonne SUV hurtling towards red traffic lights or thinking it is necassary to do Le Man starts  or....  then quite frankly i get depressed.

I think that's the easiest bit, just a natural transition. Do people buy Mondeo's today, or Cortina's? Just like a switch to LED lamps, as they are better and cheaper (total cost of ownership), so will BEV's, giving more power, more performance, better road-holding and crucially cheaper running costs. ICE's have already lost the fight, now it's just a matter of time for BEV's to replace them as the majority annual car sale, certainly long before 2050, probably before 2030. I can't imagine there being many ICE's still on the road by 2050, other than as enthusiast cars.

Much of the shift to 2050 requires only policy changes and 'nudge' techniques. Though the longer we take to get on board, the harder it will be.

In the case of a BEV today, we shouldn't focus on the whole purchase cost, nor (for example) a £10k higher purchase price, but a £20k lower running cost. The same applies to RE generation rollout. We should focus on the additional marginal cost of deployment, and in the case of BEV's, that should turn out to be a saving (not a cost) which will actually drive and accelerate (pun intended) rollout.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2019, 07:04:58 AM by M » Logged

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stannn
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« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2019, 07:25:15 AM »

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jun/12/what-will-it-take-for-the-uk-to-reach-net-zero-emissions
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Stig
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« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2019, 07:54:23 AM »

As ever, we're discussing electricity generation and transport but what about domestic heating and agriculture?  How to persuade people to get their houses insulated properly and adopt a more planet-friendly diet?  I think those will be more of a struggle.
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azps
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« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2019, 09:06:36 AM »

As ever, we're discussing electricity generation and transport but what about domestic heating and agriculture?  How to persuade people to get their houses insulated properly and adopt a more planet-friendly diet?  I think those will be more of a struggle.

Domestic heating has been receiving a lot of interest recently, and is keeping me busy quite a lot of the time currently. We're one of several teams looking into one or other aspects of the question. We're looking at it from the system architecture angle: that is, how do the really big decisions about which technologies are best for which circumstances, play out, in terms of locking in pathway dependencies, infrastructure overhauls, policy and regulatory environments.

Currently, it looks like it might be a patchwork solution. Some areas might be suitable for widespread in-home heat pumps. Others for a carbon-neutral gas grid (renewable alkanes, hydrogen, or a blend of these). Others for resistance heating and storage heaters.

Deep insulation ... interesting challenge. David Adams' work on Energiesprong in the UK looks very exciting. Actual in-home works only take one day - all the fabrication is done off-site, then a new shell is fitted around the existing building, raising it to a very high insulation standard. And he's combining it with installing new communal heating systems, driven by a heat pump, plus storage, plus PV, and selling ancillary services to the grid.

The upfront capital costs are currently very high (£50-60k per dwelling). It's only a pilot right now, and we should certainly expect some economies of scale. It will take some time before it becomes clear what the whole-life costs might be, at scale.
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stannn
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« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2019, 09:26:41 AM »

Here is some of David Adamsí work.
https://www.cibsejournal.com/case-studies/a-forward-leap-how-dutch-housing-process-energiesprong-guarantees-performance/
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Pile-o-stone
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« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2019, 10:14:01 AM »

The elephant in the room is the massive negative impact agriculture has on our environment. Unless the government start taxing the meat industry into oblivion, we will just keep tinkering around at the edges with energy when the main issue is methane, excessive water use and pollution from animal feces.

Still, people need want to eat meat and so this will never happen.
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5.18 kWp PV systems (3.68 E/W & 1.5 E).
Solar iBoost+ to two immersion heaters on 300L thermal store.
Vegan household with 100% composted food waste
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