2nd May – Electric Cars

On the 2nd May, we welcomed Trevor Larkum from Fuel Included. Trevor brought his fully electric car for us to look at and kindly did a Q & A session for us.

As you might expect we covered all aspects of owning an electric car, including range, recharging points, costs, carbon footprint from manufacture to recycling and all the other essentials.

Perhaps more interesting for me was the move into home battery storage for night time power supply. The systems are now available to store unused daytime PV electricity instead of feeding it into the grid. With the reduction of Feed-In Tariffs (they will go all together on new installations) this goes a long way to improving the payback time especially when this is coupled with the reduction in solar panel costs! Use of a ‘Green Energy’ electricity supplier is as always, a key part of reducing the carbon footprint of any system.  Of course, nothing beats using less energy so improving insulation to in the home is a top choice.

 

Study reveals your nitrogen footprint – and who it is impacting (Guardian)

You’ve heard of managing your carbon footprint. But how about your nitrogen footprint? Emissions of reactive nitrogen into the environment have increased more than 10-fold over the past 150 years, contribute to deaths from air pollution and water pollution, and have countless other impacts including acid rain and degradation of ecosystems such as the Great Barrier Reef.

Now, for the first time, researchers have calculated the average nitrogen footprint of people from 188 countries, as well as where exactly they cause that pollution, helping pave the way to policy that could help the world reduce its emissions of reactive nitrogen.

Almost 80% of the atmosphere is made of nitrogen in the form of N2. But in that form it hardly interacts with other chemicals – so it is not useful for humans or plants, and it is not harmful either. And for most of Earth’s history, pretty much the only way N2 could be turned into a reactive form like ammonia or nitrous oxide (also known as laughing gas) was either by bacteria, lightning and legumes.