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SnippETS for 13 December 2018

December 13, 2018





Welcome to our last SnippETS newsletter for 2018.


In this issue of SnippETS we introduce disruptive change. Change can occur at many levels, but it is at its most profound when it is a groundswell of grass roots initiated and supported ideology and passion. So it is, when the largest New Zealand media outlet Stuff launches a series of articles on taking action on climate change and global protests by students demanding the same. Change is in the air.We also examine further proof that the demise of coal as a thermal fuel is well underway and that gas is not far behind, as the rise of renewables coupled with storage is rapidly replacing them as the generation of the time.



We start this week’s snippETS with some far reaching and emotive climate change coverage from Stuff’s Editor in Chief, Patrick Crewdson. While many of us are in agreement that a lot needs to be done to curb climate change, collectively we are remaining complacent. This series of articles by Stuff hopes to change this ‘she’ll be right’ attitude towards climate change action by looking at the facts surrounding the impact of climate change and spark healthy debate on how we should react.Read more.....




Whilst NZ is finally taking steps to realistically address climate change, they are still in their infancy and nowhere as ambitious as many of those who will live to experience the worst impacts of our changing climate, today’s youth, are demanding. In what is a global movement, children from Canada, to Sweden, to Australia are calling on their politicians to step up and take real action on climate change. They may be too young to vote but they certainly have a voice. .Read more.....





One volunteer at the Australian Youth Climate coalition (Aisheeya Huq) shares her story on why she feels an obligation to participate in and contribute to the strike for climate change policy.  Until Scott Morrison, Australia’s new Prime Minister, does something about this she promises that Australian students will continue to strike more passionately and more frequently.  As Aisheeya says “Climate change is an issue with a ticking clock and the fact that adults and politicians are NOT doing enough is, simply put, repulsive”. Read more.....




COP24: UN climate change conference, what’s at stake and what you need to know.  This article lists some achievements that the UN has been able to reach already and provides some good background information.  But it’s safe to say there is a lot riding on this conference (not just our survival but much more), and early news filtering through, about stumbling blocks in the form of the US, Russia and Saudi Arabia, suggests it is unfortunately not going to be easy to achieve the goals. Read more.....





The world is at a crossroad on climate action, when it really shouldn’t be.  As this next article discusses, the economic opportunities offered by a low carbon economy are huge. Bold climate action could yield $26 trillion in global economic benefits between now and 2030, compared with business as usual.  Already 500 plus companies with market values of $7.9 trillion have publically committed to taking action on climate change, as have 1,600 cities as part of the Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy.

Read more.....





The days of coal are numbered and gas will not be far behind.  Renewable energy is the gift that keeps on giving.  Now that it is being coupled with large scale battery storage, it is often cheaper than the cheapest, most efficient fossil fuel generation.  Already in the State of California, relatively new gas fired generation is being mothballed as they can’t compete with renewables coupled with battery storage.  It is not a Green conspiracy, it is just economics.

Read more.....





While Australia is experimenting with large battery storage systems, NZ has just jumped on the bandwagon, but with a twist.  Recently James Shaw announced the development of the largest virtual power station in the world… right here in NZ.  This distributed generation and storage network will provide 10 MW of peaking power and act as a bank for electricity, that can be drawn from in times of need.  The company behind the scheme – Solarcity aims to have 50,000 households on the virtual grid in 2019.

Read more.....





New ideas are being presented at the COP 24 Climate Summit, one of which is a combustible fuel, designed to replace oil and coal, that not only minimises the carbon emissions, but actually reduces them, and can be used by industry. An “elephant grass” briquette can be used instead of coal, with the grass growing rapidly and sequestering CO2 into its roots, and it also emits less CO2 when burnt than it needs to grow and produce, making it a negative carbon fuel. Nature has many surprises. Read more.....







Another big announcement this month, Maersk have pledged to get its emissions down to zero by 2050.  Considering they transport one in five shipping containers around the world, and shipping emits 3% of all emissions, this has the possibility to make a huge difference.  They are looking to the public and the world for help with achieving this goal and finding ways of doing this, with the company ready to put the funds needed into achieving it. Read More.....





Stella McCartney is to announce a United Nations fashion industry charter for climate action, which will be launched at this month’s climate talks in Poland.  The charter has been initiated by the UN climate change secretariat.  Waste, pollution, deforestation, toxicity in manufacture and carbon-fuelled supply chains combine to make fashion one of the most environmentally damaging industries, and reform is essential if the goals agreed in the Paris Climate Agreement are to be met.  It seems changes right throughout society and industries are underway.Read more.....






This week in Innovation, Chemistry researchers have discovered cheaper and more efficient materials for producing hydrogen for the storage of renewable energy that could replace current water-splitting catalysts. Read more.....













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