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2013-10-09 Electricity from Wind and Storage

Electricity from Wind and Storage
This presentation was given to a meeting of the South Essex Area of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in Chelmsford on 9th October 2013.
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2003-01-19 Energy Solutions for 60% Carbon Reduction

A study prompted by the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution Report No. 22, "Energy - the Changing Climate", and by the U.K. Government Cabinet Office Performance and Innovation Unit Energy Review.
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2010-05-03 The CRI Renewable Methanol Process and Potential

The Icelandic company Carbon Recycling International has developed a process for synthesising methanol from renewable sources. The feedstocks are hydrogen produced by the electrolysis of water with geothermal and hydro electricity and carbon dioxide captured from geothermal hot water boreholes.
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2011-08-15 Measuring the Heat Losses and Solar Gains of Buildings

Before the Solar World Congress 2011 in Kassel, Germany, I submitted the Abstract of a paper: 'Measuring the Heat Losses and Solar Gains of Buildings via a Novel Analysis of the Data'.
This was accepted for oral presentation.
To complete the paper, I had to process three years' data and subject it to my novel analysis. However, this went well and I was very pleased with the results.

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2013-07-22 Carbon Budgets and Switching to Renewables

This paper assembles a chain of evidence from the global Carbon Budget for permissible climate change to the choice of components of the solution based on their Energy Return on (Energy) Invested (EROI). It shows that for an 80% chance of limiting global warming to 2 C, only 565 GtCO2 can be emitted (up to 2050).
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2013-11-01 Nuclear Power's Fatal Flaws

I had produced a 73-page study 'The Real Lessons of Fukushima', dated 2012-04-11, based on the evidence from over 230 references. This showed the crucial importance of 'decay heat' – an inherent characteristic of nuclear fission – in the event of a 'Loss of Cooling Accident' (LOCA). It also showed that the probability of a LOCA was unknowable, as the chains of events number billions, each requiring data on reliability, and failures could lead to catastrophic radioactive releases to air, land and sea. So nuclear disasters are inevitable, as the record shows.
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Quantifying the Narrowing Net-energy Pathways to a Global Energy Transition

 - click for full size image
'Planning the appropriate renewable energy (RE) installation rate should balance two partially contradictory objectives: substituting fossil fuels fast enough to stave-off the worst consequences of climate change while maintaining a sufficient net energy flow to support the world’s economy. The upfront energy invested in constructing a RE infrastructure subtracts from the net energy available for societal energy needs, a fact typically neglected in energy projections. Modeling feasible energy transition pathways to provide different net energy levels we find that they are critically dependent on the fossil fuel emissions cap and phase-out profile and on the characteristic energy return on energy invested of the RE technologies. The easiest pathway requires installation of RE plants to accelerate from 0.12 TW p yr –1 in 2013 to peak between 7.3 and 11.6 TW p yr –1 in the late 2030s, for an early or a late fossil-fuel phase-out respectively, in order for emissions to stay within the recommended CO 2 budget’.

So the early fossil-fuel phase-out requires the installation of RE plants to accelerate by 7.3/0.12 = 61-fold and the late phase-out by 11.6/0.12 = 97-fold. Further delay would mean that there is no solution.

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2013-06-07 The Consequences of Major Nuclear Releases

The consequences of the Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear releases are horrendous. Yet the 'worst-case' nuclear releases are 100 times greater, with far worse consequences.
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Time to listen to the ice scientists about the Arctic death spiral

A photograph of the Arctic ice, Patrick Kelley, http://www.flickr.com/photos/usgeologicalsurvey/4370267907/in/set-72157623467470824CC by 2.0
Ice scientists are mostly cheerful and pragmatic. Like many other researchers coolly observing the rapid warming of the world, they share a gallows humour and are cautious about entering the political fray. Not Peter Wadhams. The former director of the Scott Polar Research Institute and professor of ocean physics at Cambridge has spent his scientific life researching the ice world, or the cryosphere, and in just 30 years has seen unimaginable change. When in 1970 he joined the first of what would be more than 50 polar expeditions, the Arctic sea ice covered around 8m sq km at its September minimum. Today, it hovers at around 3.4m, and is declining by 13% a decade. In 30 years Wadhams has seen the Arctic ice thin by 40%, the world change colour at its top and bottom and the ice disappear in front of his eyes.
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2008-10-10 Renewable Synthetic Fuels for Transport

Gordon Taylor & Richard Pearson

I met Dr Richard Pearson when I attended a talk he gave on biofuels and synthetic liquid fuels for road transport. In this he mentioned with approval the paper 'The Future of the Hydrogen Economy: Bright or Bleak?'. I therefore proposed that we collaborate - to which he agreed.

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