Co-generation

Forum for general discussion of Peak Oil / Oil depletion; also covering related subjects

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biffvernon
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Co-generation

Post by biffvernon »

Today's snapshot
Image
Oil seed rape, grown for bio-diesel, surrounds the wind turbines at Bambers Farm near Mablethorpe, Lincolnshire.
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Andy Hunt
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Post by Andy Hunt »

That's beautiful!

:D
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Silas
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Post by Silas »

Looks great.

There is a proposal near to us (well away from any houses) to put up some wind turbines and all of a sudden every gate and hedge is plastered in STOP THE WIND FARM posters, I feel like slapping the closed minded fools, they have no idea of peak oil and the hard times ahead perhaps if they did they would be asking the parish council if all the local villages could have one and some grants for solar panels too.

I realise that the windfarms are only a part of the raft of renewable energy that we will soon depend on but I also reaise that every little bit will help, the general public can be such blinkerd NIMBY's :roll:
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clv101
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Post by clv101 »

The "STOP THE WIND FARM" meetings would be a good place to raise UK energy security - talk about decommissioned nuclear and coal power stations along with depletion of North Sea gas. If people realised how critical our energy situation was they would care less about the anti-wind farm arguments.
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biffvernon
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Post by biffvernon »

I see those yellow flowers are gettingeverywhere.
Keepz
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Post by Keepz »

Andy Hunt wrote:That's beautiful!

:D
this is all getting a bit boring isn't it so perhaps I could lob a cat in amongst all you pigeons :wink: .

I don't think it's beautiful :twisted: . The field in front may be a spectacular splash of colour, but there's about as much biodiversity in it as in a car park and its impact on the local ecology won't be much better. As for the windfarm, well with a capacity of 11 MW that's about 1% of the capacity of a conventional plant and its expected annual output of 30.3 million kwh - 30.3 Gwh - has to be compared with the output of a conventional plant of maybe 4500 Gwh (conservatively - a nuclear plant would probably be much higher since they tend to run at higher load factors). So you'd need to multiply that farm - and the space it takes up - by at least 150 to deliver the same effect as if you put a nuclear plant in its place. What is its aesthetic superiority really worth? :?
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Andy Hunt
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Post by Andy Hunt »

I must admit I did read this on another forum:
Greedy for nutrients and notoriously dependent on nitrogen-rich fertilisers, oilseed rape is among the worst arable crops for leaching nitrates into waterways and polluting aquifers. It is one of the crops that led to the setting up of nitrate sensitive areas and nitrate vulnerable zones across the EU.

Oilseed rape is also plagued by a long list of pests and diseases - everything from cabbage stem flea beetle and peach potato aphid to black leg fungus and white stem rot - all of which require chemicals to keep them under control. A 2004 report from the Office of National Statistics states that oilseed rape crops receive on average three herbicides, two fungicides and two insecticides during the course of a growing season.

As a consequence of the intensive way in which they are grown on vast swathes of land, oilseed rape varieties are developing resistance to many of the pesticides routinely used. "For all these reasons, it is almost never grown or recommended as a crop on organic farms. It is a classic example of a crop designed for intensive agriculture," says Richard Sanders, policy and communications director at Elm Farm Research Centre, which develops and supports sustainable land use.
But it's renewable, as is wind. Fair enough if you can build a nuclear plant which is far more powerful and covers a fraction of the land area, but what if you can't get hold of fuel for it? And with all the problems associated with oilseed rape, at least it is replaceable, unlike mineral oil?

Again, we seem to be working on the assumption of 'business as usual'. What if we are not trying to meet current demand, but only a fraction of current demand?

There will always be problems associated with renewables. Unfortunately, there's no alternative in the long run. We will just have to cope as best we can.
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Eternal Sunshine wrote: I wouldn't want to worry you with the truth. :roll:
RevdTess
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Post by RevdTess »

I hate oilseed rape. I get vicious hayfever right through the period it goes into bloom. Thank god April is nearly over and I can go back to having a life again. I never used to get hayfever in the 70s and 80s when no one was growing the evil stuff, and then a farmer put it in his field next to where I was living and since then I've suffered every year.

Of course those making money from the bloody stuff wont accept that it's to blame for all the hayfever, but that's just the latest in a long line of corporate lies as far as I'm concerned. Down with monoculture! :evil:

http://environment.guardian.co.uk/food/ ... 37,00.html
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Billhook
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Post by Billhook »

Down with Monoculture !

Hear, Hear !

On top of which, Oil Seed Rape could equally well be called Soil Rape for what it does to our critically limited soil resources.

These soil resources can of course, with very heavy investment of time effort, fuel and materials be renewed,
but, given that you can easily recycle steel,
it seems plain that AK47s are considerably more renewable than the vast fields of this noxious plant.

BTW has anyone produced an Eroei calc of the fuel derived from such fields ?

Regards,

Bill
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Andy Hunt
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Post by Andy Hunt »

Aren't you using biodiesel Bill?

How's the methanol production coming along?

:D
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Billhook
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Post by Billhook »

Andy -

sadly I've yet to find a source of biodiesel that looks remotely sustainable at an affordable price -

we could of course buy in organic feedstock (at its premium price) and invest in the processing plant to make our own,
but,
given that we're getting less than 20% of the retail value of the lambs we sell,
(having borne all of the risks of climate, disease, parasites, accidents, cost-inflations, etc)
doing so looks like a quick way of crushing the farm's viability.

If anyone knows of a sustainably sourced competitively priced supply of agri-biofuels,
I'd be glad to hear of it.

With regard to the coppice-methanol production,
the Univ of Washington is developing a pick-up mounted plant for in-situ processing of forest-thinnings,
to which I'm hoping to wangle access here in Wales.

Not this week I'm afraid.

Meanwhile our cordwood bank is growing steadily. . . .

Regards,

Bill
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Andy Hunt
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Post by Andy Hunt »

The pickup-mounted methanol still sounds good!

For sustainable biodiesel I was thinking of biodiesel from waste veg oil rather than from raw feedstock. I'm not sure what kind of oil the waste veg oil normally is - sunflower? Don't know . . .
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Billhook
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Post by Billhook »

There's a bit of news regarding the supply of waste veg oil on SC4 last night,
(a Welsh TV channel)
in that a wanna-be "green" power company has launched its effort to take a derelict army base by Milford Haven
with a view to building a "What else is there we can burn" power station.

Waste cooking oil was there lead proposal, followed by agri-biofuels, animal parts, etc.

The locals are concerned about the smell (burning pig fat is pretty rank) but the suits deny there will be any smell at all.

Given the premium they'll be able to charge for the power they sell, I expect they'll be able to mop up at least most of Wales supplies of waste cooking oil.

Regards,

Bill
stumuz
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Post by stumuz »

Billhook quote;
Given the premium they'll be able to charge for the power they sell, I expect they'll be able to mop up at least most of Wales supplies of waste cooking oil.

As energy or diesel gets more expensive, where will they get all this veg oil? I was in the pub the other night and anybody whose anybody seems to be illegally running their tattered old land rover on chip/veg/central heating oil?
It seems that the proposal for this plant suffers from the same lack of thought, as does the wood industry. Two years ago a 44 tonne lorry used to drive from Anglesey to North west England full to the brim with wood that has been sorted at a waste transfer station, to be processed into wood chips for boilers.
When I and some chums got into the woodstove thing, we organised for it to be driven up the road and dumped in one of my fields, thus saving the transfer station approx 230 miles haulage, where said chums and I would divide it 5 ways. This has happen 8 times so far which accounts for approx 300 cubic tonne not going to the wood chip plant.
So when everyone and their aunty are using the waste oil, then what?
I have a feeling that vested interests are at work here. YUK!
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Silas
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Post by Silas »

So to sum up

Stuff wind farms..pointless

Thumbs up for nuclear yey :lol: :roll:

Forget growing Oilseedrape... smelly... irratant... and rapes the soil and ecology :?

No point bothering with chip oil it will only get exploited :roll:

Stuff it all and make AK47s.

Sorry but honestly I here enough of this attitude from none peak oil aware, head in the sand types. We will need every last little bit of green energy we can muster a mixed bag of everything available, many things will change, eventually due to the cost of and failure to supply cheap energy there will be one hell of an econimic collapse and business as usual is then a dead duck, no chioce there :oops:
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