SnippETS for 29 November 2018
Welcome to our latest SnippETS newsletter.
This week we look at some strategies against climate change including closing the ozone hole, injecting sulphate particles into the atmosphere to block the sun and using hydrogen as a fuel.
We then look at some innovative building ideas, and finish with articles on “shared” bikes and edible bale wrap.
The Montreal Protocol, a 30 year old international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer, is considered by many to be one of the most successful multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) in history. A recent assessment, released earlier this month, finds that the Kigali Amendment to this, if fully implemented, can avoid up to 0.4°C of global warming this century and help keep the global temperature rise to below the 2°C required limit. Read more.....
New research suggests that putting sulphate particles into the stratosphere will reduce global temperature increase. Cooling the Earth by injecting sun-blocking particles into the stratosphere could be “remarkably inexpensive”, according to the most detailed engineering analysis to date. The researchers still suggest that emission cuts, adaptation and carbon removal should be at the forefront of climate action, but this solution could be our saving grace if warming gets out of hand. Read more.....
Or could Hydrogen be the thing that stops the world overheating? We now explore what is happening in this space in NZ and around the world.
Firstly, The UK have been advised they will need hydrogen power in their mix to achieve their 2050 emission targets, but this will not be easy or cheap ,as replacing gas with Hydrogen will involve changing all the equipment or appliances used. Hydrogen as a fuel is mostly currently produced using a process involving gas too, so more renewable generation options would be preferred in the long run.
In NZ this week a $1billion clean hydrogen power plant is being planned for Taranaki. The plant would be built around the world's highest-efficiency hydrogen production process, which uses natural gas and produces no carbon dioxide greenhouse gas emissions. The development would also bring fertiliser production on shore, replacing imported supply and creating an export industry. What’s not to like?
Many of the worlds inhabited small islands and other isolated communities, that are currently using diesel as their power generation fuel, may soon be able to use hydrogen and renewable power instead. Currently projects exploring these options are underway in 4 regions. This is likely to be enthusiastically welcomed in areas that a threatened by sea level rise and other climate change extremes.
Changing focus now, our next article discusses the use of flexible textiles in building and energy, and is quite wide in its scope. There are examples of textiles being used to provide energy and create shade in order to save energy; as well as being a source of illumination. Other examples given actually use the textiles to create flexible living spaces, where walls can be placed or removed with ease.
Bamboo is an amazing material, and a young materials engineer in the Philippines has used it to address the chronic shortage of suitable housing. The use of bamboo has many major benefits, including that it is rapidly renewing, releases more oxygen than trees and is an extremely inexpensive local resource. Maybe we need to start growing commercial bamboo crops in NZ to address our own housing issues!
“Dockless” transport modes are making waves in New Zealand with the introduction of electric scooters and bicycles in many major centres, but is it a good thing? We take a look at a potential “green revolution”, getting more people out of their cars to use these ‘green’ transport modes, or are they a “public parasite”, dumped in random places, used inappropriately and cluttering up sidewalks? Read more.....
We finish up this SnippETS with a look at edible bale wrap. Imagine if farmers didn’t end up with piles of plastic bale wrap that no one wanted for recycling (as is happening in NZ), but instead were able to feed the wrap to livestock as a feed supplement! We hope this endeavour gets the attention and results in deserves.
This week in Innovation, Energy Vault wants to make a crane stacking heavy concrete blocks the new face of long-duration energy storage.
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