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If utilities spend billions on power plants it turns out they won’t need instead of investing in energy storage, their customers could pay more than they should to keep the lights on.
The post In US, utilities are investing in big batteries instead of building new power plants appeared first on RenewEconomy.
AEMO report highlights value of Tesla big battery in major network failure, but the response from coal and gas generators was poor and did nothing to prevent widespread outages.
The post How the Tesla big battery kept the lights on in South Australia appeared first on RenewEconomy.
Australia’s largest export customer for thermal coal is scrapping plans to build power plants
Major Japanese investors, including those most indebted to coal, are seeking to back large-scale renewables projects across Asia, marking a “monumental” shift that energy market analysts say is “the start of the end for thermal coal”.
At the same time, Japanese banks and trading houses are walking away from coal investments, selling out of Australian mines and scrapping plans to build coal-fired power.Continue reading...
As the government announces fund top-up, changes to rules point to problems with how emissions calculated
Scott Morrison recently announced the Coalition would inject another $2bn into the emissions reduction fund – the Tony Abbott-era “direct action” policy that pays farmers and businesses from the budget to reduce greenhouse gas – but serious questions have emerged about $1bn already allocated.
Amendments to the fund rules, released for public consultation, indicate there have been problems with how emissions cuts from projects that involve managed regrowth of native forests and vegetation have been calculated.Continue reading...
The latest study warning us to eat less meat has brought angry sceptics out in droves. But who should we believe?
Sometimes, particularly when looking at the weekend newspapers, it can seem that our obsession with food and health has reached a pitch of pure hysteria. “Eat!” screams one headline. “Diet!” shouts another. Cut out carbohydrates, suggests one report. Carbs are good for you, says a different one. Lower your fat intake. No, fat’s healthy, sugar’s the problem. Coffee raises the risk of heart disease. But it lowers the risk of diabetes. And so on, until you just want to ditch the papers and watch The Great British Bake Off or MasterChef.
Food, how to cook it, what it does to you and what growing or rearing it does to the planet are issues that crowd the media. And yet, as the clamour grows, clarity recedes. An estimated 820 million people went hungry last year, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation. A third of all people were vitamin-deficient. Two billion were classified as overweight and 600 million as obese. It’s also estimated that 1bn tonnes of food are wasted every year – a third of the total produced. A plethora of academic reports concerning food consumption and production have been published in recent years. The latest and arguably the most far-reaching is Food in the Anthropocene: the Eat-Lancet Commission on healthy diets from sustainable food systems, which was conducted over three years by 37 senior scientists from around the world and published earlier this year.Continue reading...
In the winter you can taste and smell the pollution,” says Kylie ap Garth, drinking coffee in a cafe in Hackney, east London. “My eldest is eight and he has asthma. Being outside, he would have a tight chest and cough. I just assumed it was the cold weather. I didn’t realise there was a link to the cars.”
She is not exaggerating. The main road from Bethnal Green tube station is clogged with traffic, the smell of diesel fumes mixing with smoke from barbecue grill restaurants and construction dust. Anyone trying to escape from the roadside to the canal towpath finds only that the fumes are swapped with coal smoke from the canal boats.Continue reading...
Meat production is central to the debate on climate change and ethical food. But how much is too much – for people and the planet?
The meat on Richard Vines’s Wild Beef stall at Borough Market in London is purple. Puce, really; a cartoonish shade that old men sometimes go when they are really angry. Meat that is an unexpected hue would typically raise an eyebrow, but for Wild Beef’s devoted customers it’s the reason they come here. “The colour comes from the protein that’s been in the ground, the deep-rooted grasses, it gives that flavour of sweetness and that bit of fat taste as well,” explains Vines, who has 40 acres of wild pasture in Devon, on which he keeps Devon cattle and Welsh Blacks. “Dartmoor is mineral-rich country, God-given for cattle farming. Washed by the Gulf Stream, grass grows most of the year and there’s a lot of freedom for the cattle once they are up on the moor.”
For the carnivore, the chilled cabinet at Wild Beef is the promised land. There are all the familiar cuts (steaks, ribs), alongside parts of the cow you don’t see so often (cheeks and a giant, lolling tongue that is practically black). And, if you get there early and ask nicely, Vines will slip you a bag of bones from under the counter. “One thing that’s changed: people don’t sit down for Sunday lunch any more,” he says. “Just doesn’t happen, we don’t sell many joints. But I’m working out ways of making steaks all the time. Last year we did flat iron steaks; I didn’t know what they were but they sell. And 20 years ago, we used to waste buckets of liver and such like, which nobody wanted. Now the offal all goes before the meat.”Continue reading...
Twenty-five states have attempted to introduce legislation to chill animal rights activism, and six have succeeded, as a string of ‘ag-gag’ laws are overturned in courts
A US governor has signed off legislation to prop up controversial “ag-gag” laws in Iowa, just months after a federal court declared them unconstitutional.
In retaliation, animal rights activists are calling on their supporters to boycott the state as a vacation destination.Continue reading...