Carbon capture and storage: an upcycled solution to climate change?
With the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) now concluding that the Paris Climate Change Agreement stretch target — to limit the rise of global average temperatures in 2050, from pre-industrial levels to 1.5oC — must be achieved to avoid significant and irreversible harm to the planet (Ref. 1), the challenge of reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions is becoming more and more pressing.
Blown away – the end of Chapelcross cooling towers
At 9am on Sunday 21st May 2007, the quiet of the Solway Firth was awakened by the sound of approximately 15,000 explosive charges detonating in staggered phases. In just ten seconds, the four 90 metre high cooling towers, which had dominated the skyline for almost 50 years, were levelled, leaving an estimated 28,000 tonnes of rubble. As well as marking the end of the Chapelcross power station [see Table1], this graphic demolition belied a wealth of necessary technical assessment.
The brownfield revolution
In 2007 the UK Government agreed to an overall European Union target of generating 20% of EU's energy supply from renewable sources by 2020. As industry tries to turn this promise into power, it's finding that one of the most substantial obstacles to the proliferation of wind power in the UK is obtaining land for which planning consent is likely to be granted to erect wind turbines.
De-risking offshore wind energy
Europe has seen exponential growth in offshore wind energy over the last decade with the UK at the forefront. New licences recently awarded by the UK government, for example, will see offshore generating capacity increase from about 2 GW to around 33 GW by 2020 [Ref. 1], which is equivalent to the output of about 30 modern nuclear reactors.