Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Victoria's Green Matters - 18th June 2014
Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury :Have you ever wondered how plants feed? A strange concept, perhaps, but plants produce their own food from carbon dioxide (CO⁰) and water in the atmosphere in the presence of sunlight. This is photosynthesis and is what each one of us relies on indirectly for food and the air that we breathe.
Leaders of the world’s fossil fuel industries always decry renewable energy technologies’ ability to keep the lights on but the use of varying different technologies used together is more than sufficient. Even in the northern European countries there is enough light for solar electricity production. In fact, the Scandinavian countries and Germany are the leaders in renewable technology. Iceland has its geothermal systems and Norway its hydroelectric generation; they are close to 100% in renewable electricity generation. In Sweden, over 90% of new homes have ground source heat pumps installed during the build. Methane gas from household waste is used to supplement natural gas for cooking and heating or to generate electricity.
What if the CO⁰ that is produced from the burning of fossil fuels could be captured and used to produce biofuels? Present research is racing towards finding a way to copy a leaf’s ability to photosynthesise. If this can be achieved, CO⁰ from carbon capture could be used to produce biomass which can be stored and used whenever and for whatever we need. We could use it to produce energy or plastics, drugs or paints. The list is endless.
What a fantastic and wonderful concept!
Victoria Nicholls. Transition Deal.