Welcome to another two weekly review of energy and
environmental events and developments from both here in New Zealand
and around the world. As always, we hope you find our collection of
stories to be of interest in what continues to be a rapidly evolving
Welcome to another two weekly review of energy and environmental events and developments from both here in New Zealand and around the world. As always, we hope you find our collection of stories to be of interest in what continues to be a rapidly evolving area.
We open this week with news that 97 out of 100 climate scientists agree that humans are responsible for the warming of the planet by peer reviewing 11,944 abstracts, giving the consensus that humans are, indeed, cooking the planet. Recent atmospheric temperatures have plateaued in recent years due to the deep oceans absorbing the head instead.
So how might this impact New Zealand? Amongst other impacts, one of the first creatures to face extinction from climate change might be the Tuatara. Sadly due to the gender of the offspring being determined by soil temperature, warming above a certain level will result in all young being born as males.
South Korea is the latest Asian economy to announce plans to introduce a greenhouse gas emission trading scheme. Covering emitters representing around 70% of all South Korea emissions and generating an abatement market of 200 Mt (double the size of the EU market).
Even the North Pole is involved, with suspicions that melting ice in Greenland is behind the shift of the pole at the rate of seven milliarcseconds (20 centimetres) per year.
Whilst on the subject of change, last week in South Dakota the temperature went from a decidedly cool 22F (-6C) on the Sunday, to a sweltering 92F (33C) on the Monday – a change of 70F (39C)! This however is weather and not climate. Weather tells you what items of clothing to wear on the day, whereas climate tells you which wardrobe to buy.
The next four stories look at developments in the automotive industry. After ten years electric car company Tesla are now starting to feature in vehicle satisfaction surveys, Consumer Reports gave the Tesla Model S Sedan a 99% satisfaction rating. Electric or fossil fuels; they are doing something right!
With the increasing costs of fossil fuels, efficiency ratings are a major consideration when purchasing a vehicle. Consumers are reliant on those ratings being accurate but how accurate are they? The following article is a good example of how people are affected by unachievable ratings.
Ford is being sued for being unable to achieve the fuel-efficiency level advertised for specific models. Both models in question fell 17% to 21% short of their promised miles per gallon.
In our last vehicle related story we look at a new development that could have savings of 25%in fuel consumption. Volvo has developed a flywheel KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery system) to boost fuel economy and it is already being used in Formula One racing.
We move on from what runs along roads to what flies in the sky. Wireless clouds have become common place but what is the cost?
Wireless Clouds are services accessed wirelessly, say checking your email or working on a document that is held in the cloud. Traditionally wireless technology has been concentrating on speed and reliability, not energy management. It is predicted that between 2012 and 2015 cloud energy use will grow up to 490%; that is the equivalent of 4.9 Million new cars on the road. Maybe it is time to pause and think, are all these new apps necessary?
Speaking of apps, here is one that will enable consumers to make easier choices. The app, Buycott, lets your scan a product and will show you if the product has links to unethical companies or pro-rights organisations such as research for child cancer.
New Research found that water is not correctly valued, with environmental and social costs of water to be $1.9 trillion dollars per year. Understanding the value of water is a growing trend in corporate natural capital valuation but the externalities are simply not being accounted for in most company’s bottom lines. Implications of natural capital to the environment and communities is in desperate need of an accounting system that can place real values on nature and be applied to modern day economics.
A new power station that will solely run on fat will be built in East London and is set to contribute just over 6% of the 1.3 terawatt-hours of electricity Thames Water uses each year. Thames Water will handle over 30 tonnes of fat, oil and grease which is enough to fill a six meter shipping each day and this should help the 80,000 blockages along the 109,000km network each year, a win for everyone.
This edition of Snippets has been amazing and thought provoking. Lumen Accipe et Imperti!
Thanks for taking the time to read this issue and look forward to catching up with you again. If you have any items of interest you would like to submit, then please feel free to forward them.