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Key to Reducing cost of UK Climate Action lies in Scotland’s ‘clusters’

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IMG_1573 by httpunderclassrising.net via Flickr

A new study of “clusters” of industrial facilities in Scotland supports recent advice to the UK Government that a focus on delivering shared transport and storage infrastructure can greatly reduce the cost of achieving deep cuts in the UK’s carbon emissions.

 

The analysis published by Scottish Carbon Capture & Storage (SCCS) shows how re-using existing natural gas pipelines, which pass close to centres of industrial activity, can reduce the cost of transporting captured carbon dioxide (CO2) to geological storage sites already identified offshore.

The UK’s Committee on Climate Change (CCC) recently set out a refreshed approach to delivering carbon capture and storage (CCS) in the UK, recommending an initial focus on one or two clusters of industry and the need to deal separately with investment in transport and storage infrastructure if a CCS network is to be established.

The SCCS study, which looked at CO2 capture quantities, capture project costs and transport connection costs to storage for 13 industry and power facilities in Central Scotland, suggests that:

  • Scotland’s legacy of gas pipelines offers a way to reduce the capital cost of CO2 transport from clusters of large-point sources, such as power plants, refineries and chemicals and cement manufacturers.
  • Specifically, the Feeder 10 gas pipeline could collect and transport between 3.5 million tonnes per year (Mt/yr) of CO2, its basic capacity, and 10 Mt/yr per annum of CO2, its maximum capacity, captured from different Scottish industrial clusters.
  • The Grangemouth industrial complex has the greatest concentration of emissions and short connection routes to Feeder 10. Annually, it could capture and deliver around 2 million tonnes (Mt) of CO2, with scope to increase that volume by 3.8 Mt/yr if Summit Power goes ahead with the proposed Caledonia Clean Energy Project.
  • A second collection network covering Fife and the upper Forth area could collect 1.7 Mt of CO2 annually.
  • Around 80% of Scotland’s large-point sources of CO2 emissions are within 40km of the Feeder 10 pipeline. Re-use of this pipeline would roughly halve the capital cost of transporting these CO2 volumes from Central Scotland to St Fergus in the north east for connection to offshore storage facilities.

The Scottish case study has a wider significance for the UK and Europe. The scenarios presented could provide around half of the CO2 capture considered necessary by the CCC for a scaled roll-out of a developing UK CCS industry by 2035, which would deliver key learning and help to reduce costs further.

The Central North Sea has the largest and best understood CO2 storage capacity in Europe; this has been shown to be ready for commercial development by recent projects [3][4]. Developing capture clusters along the eastern seaboard of the UK and reusing existing onshore and offshore pipelines can help commercialise this storage resource rapidly, with benefits for the environment and the economy from a new offshore CO2 storage industry.

Dr Peter Brownsort, lead author of the study and SCCS Scientific Research Officer, said: “The UK has a pressing need to clarify its pathway to decarbonisation under the terms of our 2008 Climate Change Act and, more recently, from our commitment to the Paris Agreement on climate action. The findings of our work support recommendations made recently by the Committee on Climate Change, which is calling on the UK Government to develop a new strategy for CCS in the UK immediately.

“Our study shows that it is possible to capture and transport significant amounts of CO2 from industrial clusters in Scotland right now, with known technology and by converting existing infrastructure.

The presence of existing pipelines, both on and offshore, available for reuse can bring direct savings to CCS projects.

This unique advantage, combined with the huge CO2 storage potential in the Central North Sea, makes a strong case for initiating a CO2 capture cluster and transport network in Scotland, which could lead to commercialisation of a new offshore CO2 storage industry serving the UK and Europe.”

Economy

A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon

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energy efficient homes

Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.

There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.

1. The Rise Of Smart Windows

When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.

If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.

2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs

If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.

Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.

3. Low-E Windows Taking Over

It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.

They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.

4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges

Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.

The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.

5. Improving Our Current LEDs

Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.

That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.

Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too

Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.

ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244

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Economy

IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”

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IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.

Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.

Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.

Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:

“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.

We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.

There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.

We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”

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