Snippets for 26 March 2020

Thanks for reading our SnippETS newsletter this week. We have once again included a mixed selection of articles we hope you find interesting.


Well, Coronavirus (Covid 19) is on everyone’s minds. The virus, and day to day changes it brings with it, could actually teach us how to mitigate climate change! Surprisingly we already have the tools at hand to avoid catastrophic global warming. A combination of current technologies and processes all working together could achieve this. And in confirmation of the tools at hand, this is also the consensus of a 47 peer reviewed research papers from 13 independent groups with a total 91 authors. In every case the findings are ‘that the technology exists to achieve 100 per cent renewable power if the political will to achieve it can be mustered’.


And to ram the point home, South Korea has recently announced ambitions to reach net zero emissions by 2050. An industrial powerhouse making big plans, there seems to be this missing political will to achieve this regardless of which party is ruling the country.


Solar and wind are going to play important parts in the world's quest to reach 100% renewable, but what happens when these reach the end of service life. Can they be recycled or repurposed? Some serious thought and planning need to be done in this space. "Energy as a Service" is a new concept that will also assist, and in this particular case we look at how they can help in indoor agriculture operations.


Could plastic offsetting be the next big thing in cleaning up the world’s oceans, beach and water ways? Tom Peacock-Nazil, founder of Seven Clean Seas discusses the ins and outs.


And finally, a protective coating over different food types means they last longer on the shelf. 'Apeel' has developed a product that makes perishable foods last longer. Watch this space as developments ramp up.



COVID-19 while being a nasty pandemic, might also teach us a few lessons about how we can reduce GHG emissions. Many of the actions required to reduce GHGs are the same or similar to those needed to combat a pandemic. Working from home and flying less, are two good examples cited in the article, that is certainly worth a read. Read more.....








This is a very good article that discusses the fact that we actually have the technology to reduce GHG emissions and avoid the worst of climate change, but what we lack is the political will. The article discusses the reasons that humanity has not been taking the actions required, as well as the concept that there is no one silver bullet. While there is no silver bullet, there is a lot of silver buck shot available that can get us from A to B. Read more.....








Of course a major part of GHG drawdown is the ability to reduce the carbon intensity of our electricity supply. This article looks at a wide selection of research papers and tells us that by employing current renewable energy technologies, combined with increased efficiencies on the consumer side, we can indeed power the world with renewables by 2050. Read more.....


South Korea, the world’s seventh-largest carbon emitter, has announced its ambition for the nation to adopt a Green New Deal and deliver net zero carbon emissions by 2050. These set out policies geared towards shrinking the country’s vast climate impacts. They include a carbon tax, a phase-out of domestic and overseas coal project financing, and large-scale investment in renewable energy. If implemented, South Korea would be the first in East Asia to commit to climate action in line with recommendations by climate scientists. Read more.....







And part of any Green New Deal will have to be PV. Solar power systems generally last about 25 to 30 years. Although their power capacities may dip by about 20 per cent over the course of a quarter-century, there is still potential to deploy them in regions starved of electricity supply, where they can be used for another 10 to 20 years. This extension of their useful lives has implications for a world staring at a potential 78 million tonnes of solar panel waste by 2050. Read more.....







Also part of this brave new energy world is energy as a service. In partnership with Scale Microgrid Solutions, Schneider is offering its energy-as-a-service model to indoor agriculture companies. Under the arrangement, Scale finances, builds and maintains an onsite microgrid and sells the energy to the off taker — in this case, indoor farming start-ups. As energy typically accounts for 30 to 50 percent of the operational expenses at a plant factory, fixed prices give surety as part of their business model. A big deal. Read more.....



Although wind power helps to reduce emissions associated from electricity generation, wind turbines still have a limited working life. After about 25 years they need to be decommissioned, but instead of going to landfill they can be used for plastic pellets, glue, paint, concrete, fertilizer and can even be repurposed as a children’s playground! Reduce, reuse and recycle applies to renewable electricity as well. Read more.....

Most of our readers will be aware of GHG emission offsets to incentivize climate action, but there is a new type of offset aimed at reducing plastic waste and packaging. Singapore-based company Seven Clean Seas is offering plastic offsets for the plastic a company cannot (yet) eliminate by removing an equivalent amount of plastic trash from beaches and waterways around Southeast Asia. The idea is that the price of the plastic offset will incentivize companies to reduce their plastic use and mobilize corporate capital into cleaning the oceans. Read more.....






Global food waste is a $2.5 trillion dollar problem every year, according to the UN, and one of the world’s biggest carbon dioxide emitters. A key step towards reducing food waste is preventing fruits and vegetables from going off too quickly and now a US-based company ‘Apeel’ has technology that does exactly that - doubling or tripling the shelf life of perishable fruit and veg by reducing water loss and oxidation, and prices will be reduced. Their before and after images will shock you! Read more....








This week we have an article on a so called pest that may prove to be very useful in the fight against plastic

Read more....






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