Joseph Mariathasan: Alternative energy

first_imgThe focus on alternative energy varies dramatically by country as well. The UK and Germany have seen the largest increases in the production of energy by alternative means, both tripling their totals during the period. In contrast, Scandinavian countries, traditionally thought of as being the most receptive, have not seen much increase, with Denmark seeing just a 60% increase in total production over the period, whilst Norway saw virtually none at all.Photovoltaics have captured headlines a lot, but it is wind power that has increased the most, going from just 3% in 2002 to more than 10% in 2013. The Netherlands may still be the land of windmills, but, when it comes to utilising wind power, the figures tell a different story. Whilst its production of energy from wind has gone up by a factor of six from 2002 to 2013, that pales into insignificance when compared with France, whose production of wind energy increased by a factor of 60 during the same period. France started in 2002 by producing just one-quarter of the amount of wind energy produced by the Netherlands, but it ended 2013 by producing almost three times as much.It does need a dramatic breakthrough in battery technology that would enable photovoltaics and wind to be able to supply power as and when needed, rather than only when the sun shines and the wind blows. Both power sources also suffer from a low value for energy density – you need to have a lot of land tied up in windfarms and solar cells to produce significant amounts of energy.There are other sources of energy that may be more practical that do not require the burning of fossil fuels – what has been getting bad press, of course, is nuclear. Yet, despite the headlines and even the well-publicised disasters, it may still represent the best compromise if global warming is to be averted. Oxford University’s professor Wade Allison argues in his recent book – Nuclear is for Life: A Cultural Revolution – that current radiation regulations are based not on science but on 70 years of social and political reaction to fear. By freeing nuclear power from such science-blind restrictions, it could provide the plentiful cheap power needed to mitigate the effects of carbon. Whether you agree with his argument or not, the existential threat potentially posed by global warming means it does deserve a hearing.Joseph Mariathasan is a contributing editor at IPE There may be exciting developments in alternative energy, but they are not enough without nuclear power, Joseph Mariathasan arguesDecember will see the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP 21 in Paris. The EU has set itself a long-term goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95%, compared with 1990 levels, by 2050, and they see the power sector as having the biggest potential for cutting emissions. Indeed, they believe it can almost totally eliminate CO2 emissions by 2050. The key to this is generating electricity through alternative energy sources, and electricity can also partially replace fossil fuels in transport and heating.Increasing the use of alternative energy is seen as a critical route to take, whilst nuclear energy is still beset by worries over safety. Much of the attention has been given to solar photovoltaics and wind energy. Certainly, the generation of energy by photovoltaic solar cells has seen a massive increase of a factor of almost 300 between 2002 and 2013, according to Eurostat numbers. Current figures will be much higher still, driven by a reduced cost of production and heavy – albeit falling – government subsidies.But a sense of reality may need to come into play now. The massive increase started off from a low base, when, in 2002, solar had almost a negligible amount of the total share of alternative energy production, whilst even in 2013 it still accounted for less than 4%. In fact, the majority of alternative energy in 2002 (55%) was produced by solid biofuels (excluding charcoal), and this percentage had only gone down to 46% by 2013, although total production of alternative energy virtually doubled.last_img read more

LA LIGA: Morata’s Debut Ends in Atletico’s First Defeat in…

first_imgMorata, signed from Chelsea on loan this month, had four efforts on goal.France World Cup winner Antoine Griezmann went close for the visitors with a second-half strike that came off the post.This was Atletico’s first loss in the league in 19 games and they remain six points behind Barcelona. Third-placed Real Madrid could close the gap to Diego Simeone’s side to two points if they defeat Alaves late last night.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Alvaro Morata’s debut for Atletico Madrid ended in defeat at Real Betis as his side missed the chance to make ground on leaders on Barcelona.La Liga’s second-placed club could have closed the gap to three points after Barcelona drew 2-2 with Valencia, but they struggled to break down Betis.The match was settled by Sergio Canales’ 65th-minute penalty after defender Filipe Luis had handled.last_img read more

Beach water quality up, thanks to dry weather

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! In L.A. County, 17 percent of the beaches tested received Fs for water quality, the worst of any county statewide. But 93 percent of beaches in the Santa Monica Bay – 63 of 67 – received As or Bs, compared to 76 percent last year. With all the talk of fires and drought because of record-low rainfall last winter, there is at least one silver lining – cleaner beaches. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, overall water quality at most California beaches was excellent this summer, although Los Angeles County’s remained the most polluted, according to a report released this morning by Heal the Bay, a nonprofit environmental group. The report mirrors similar conclusions released in August by the Natural Resources Defense Council that said the lack of rain last season meant less polluted urban runoff in storm drain systems. “The combination of record drought and (cleanup) projects led to the cleanest summer water quality in years,” said Mark Gold, president of Heal the Bay. last_img read more

NEW ICE ALERT ON ROADS – ANOTHER STORM ON THE WAY

first_imgMET Eireann has announced another severe weather warning, predicting more storms for this week – as sleet and ice brought renewed hazards to motorists tonight.And Donegal could be battered by the sort of gales which brought Scotland to a standstill last week.A low depression over the Atlantic is “bigger and badder” that the storm which skirted across Donegal last Thursday and which saw winds at Malin Head of an astonishing 160km/hr. Gardai have warned that slush on the Barnesmore Gap this evening is causing a hazard for motorists.There was also sleet and hail in many other parts of the county – with temperatures dropping rapidly below zero, this could cause more havoc on the roads overnight.“Motorists are advised to take extreme care on the roads tonight and tomorrow,” said a Garda spokesman.Met Eireann’s Weather Warning issued this evening includes more predictions for snow. It says: “The weather in the coming week will be very windy for a lot of the time with some stormy episodes expected. At the moment, later Tuesday or Wednesday and Thursday night/Friday look to be especially at risk.“Some falls of sleet or snow will occur at times also especially in the North and West.“There is also the risk of some flooding especially along the Atlantic sea board where there will be very high seas and swell coinciding with high tides.”© 2011 donegaldaily.com, all Rights ReservedThe copying, republication or redistribution of donegaldaily.com Content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited by law. Follow us on www.twitter.com/donegaldailyFollow us on www.facebook.com/donegaldailySell anything on www.donegaldailyclassifieds.comNEW ICE ALERT ON ROADS – ANOTHER STORM ON THE WAY was last modified: December 12th, 2011 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:donegal weatherdonegaldaily.comgalesicesnowweather warninglast_img read more