Every home in the UK could get their electricity from wind-power within this decade

In a speech Tuesday (Oct 6th), Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged that the United Kingdom would generate enough electricity from offshore wind to power every UK home within a decade.

The UK government also unveiled a new target for floating offshore wind to deliver 1 Gigawatt of energy by 2030. That’s more than 15 times as much power as floating offshore wind currently generates worldwide, it said. The government promised £160 million ($207 million) to upgrade ports and infrastructure…

Britain must “build back greener” from the coronavirus pandemic in order to accelerate progress towards a legally binding target to reach net zero emissions by 2050, Johnson said…

While I’m not convinced Boris Johnson and his Tories are best capable of leading this task, he’s got the science and technology right for a change. Unlike his peers here in the GOUSA. At least the Left and Right in Great Britain appear capable of uniting on a plan to make the switch to renewables for generating electricity…and leave “stupid and spooky” behind.

China Switches On World’s Largest Floating Solar Farm — On A Lake Over A Closed Coal Mine


Click to enlarge

❝ Last week, workers switched on a solar energy plant capable of producing 40 megawatts of power, which floats on a manmade lake in China’s Anhui province near the city of Huainan…The array is the largest floating solar project in the world, though at the brisk pace China is building new renewable projects it’s unlikely to hold that title very long.

❝ Built by the company Sungrow Power Supply, the power plant will produce enough energy to power 15,000 homes…While the company has not revealed the exact size of the operation, it produces twice as much energy as the previous holder of the largest-floating-solar-plant title, which is located in the same area and was launched by the company Xinyi Solar in 2016.

❝ Anhui province is a coal-rich region, and the Sungrow plant is located on a lake that was once the site of intensive mining. Heavy rains filled the area with water…

So why build solar plants on top of lakes and reservoirs?…Building on bodies of water, especially manmade lakes that are not ecologically sensitive, helps protect agricultural land and terrestrial ecosystems from being developed for energy use. The water also cools the electronics in the solar panels, helping them to work more efficiently…

❝ While the floating solar plant is the largest in the world, it pales in comparison to some of China’s non-floating solar projects. The Longyangxia Dam Solar Park on the Tibetan plateau hosts 4 million solar panels that produce 850 megawatts of energy. Even that will soon be eclipsed by a project in the Ningxia Autonomous Region, which will have 6 million solar panels and produce 2 gigawatts of power.

If Trump’s chumps continue to keep the Republican Party in power, say, until 2024 — we may yet see coal become the cheapest source of mediocre construction stone in the United States. Keeping fewer people employed than Arby’s just to maintain welfare checks flowing into certain corporate bank accounts is an important part of the 18th Century lifestyle so beloved of today’s conservative politicians.

Burning house floats away in millennium-class flood


Video in the article

West Virginia’s deadly deluge just took a turn for the apocalyptic. A burning building was swept down a creek after significant flooding in the small town of White Sulphur Springs…

A storm dumped up to nine inches of rain on parts of West Virginia…during a 24-hour period leading up to Thursday night, which set the stage for this alarming vision. The floods prompted a state of emergency in several counties around the state and caused at least four deaths…

You can update that to at least 44 counties and 23 dead.

From Paris to Houston, we’ve witnessed more than the world’s fair share of formidable floods in recent months, from the devastating to the truly surreal…Though it’s hard to pin the blame for any one extreme weather event on climate change, a shifting climate means heavier deluges in some areas and longer dry spells in others. Looks like West Virginia is getting a whole lot of the former.

Kyocera begins work on world’s largest floating solar farm


Click to enlarge – one of Kyocera’s smaller projects

The Japanese electronics multinational Kyocera has begun work on what it says will be the world’s biggest floating solar farm.

The power plant is being built on a reservoir in Japan’s Chiba prefecture and is anticipated to supply enough electricity for nearly 5,000 households when it is completed in early 2018.

Space-starved Japan has already seen several floating solar farms built as part of the country’s drive to exploit more renewable energy in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima disaster. The shutdown of nuclear plants has seen Japan increasingly reliant on fossil fuel imports that have hit its emissions-cutting ambitions.

The Yamakura dam power plant will see more than 50,000 solar photovoltaic panels cover a 180,000 m sq area, but compared to other land-based plants it is relatively small. At 13.7MW when finished, it would not make the top 100 of the world’s largest solar photovoltaic farms…

Kyocera has already built three floating solar farms, which are much smaller than the new one…

Context is everything. Space constraints have made Japan a world leader in many space efficiencies. Americans are just discovering tiny house living. It’s a way of life for millions in Japan. The same is true for reuse, repurposing technology. It’s already not unusual to find large battery packs designed for electric cars or plug-in hybrids being reused as backups and storage for home solar panel arrays. They’re already used beyond flexible storage requirements for mobile use – and perfectly fine for such a repurposing.

Floating rocks in South Pacific cover area larger than Belgium

Pumice, the lightweight stone used to smooth skin, is usually found in beauty salons, but on Thursday sailors from New Zealand’s Royal Navy found nearly 10,000 square miles of the lava rock bobbing on the surface of the South Pacific Ocean…

Described by one sailor who witnessed it as “the weirdest thing I’ve seen in 18 years at sea,” the sea of white rock was initially spotted by air and then relayed to a ship for further investigation, according to a statement released by the New Zealand Royal Navy.

“The lookout reported a shadow on the ocean ahead of us, so I ordered the ship’s spotlight to be trained on the area … as far ahead as I could observe was a raft of pumice moving up and down with the swell,” Lt. Tim Oscar said…

“As we moved through the raft of pumice we used the spotlights to try and find the edge — but it extended as far as we could see,” Oscar said after the encounter…

“The rock looked to be sitting two feet above the surface of the waves, and lit up a brilliant white color in the spotlight. It looked exactly like the edge of an ice shelf,” Oscar said, according to the statement…

Volcanologist Helen Bostock told New Zealand Royal Navy officials the rock came from an underwater volcanic eruption, and now scientists will work to determine which volcano was responsible.

They could have scooped up enough to sell for landscaping back home – to pay for their travels.

The other side of our valley has working pumice mines that go back to the time of the Spanish colonial invaders – in the 17th Century. Trucks loaded with pumice for landscapes and gardens as far away as Florida leave the mines every day.

Prototype floating wind turbine affirms offshore wind potential


Windfloat prototype anchored off the coast of Agucadoura, Portugal

Floating wind farms could soon be powering thousands of European homes after a prototype seaborne turbine sailed through technological trials off the coast of Agucadoura, Portugal.

The 54-meter tall renewable structure sits atop a semi-submersible platform known as a WindFloat situated five kilometers from shore…It has been manufactured by WindPlus, a consortium of energy and clean-tech companies including Principle Power, Energias de Portugal and Vestas.

The group hopes their primary success will help secure European Union funding to add another five turbines alongside the existing model, engendering greater electrical production…

Unlike existing offshore wind farms and underwater tidal turbines, floating structures do not have to be permanently fixed to the ocean floor…Instead they are kept in place by a drag embedment anchor, much like the devices used to moor oil rigs in deep ocean environments.

This means WindFloat structures could theoretically be transported to any ocean location where there is a strong wind resource, says Alla Weinstein…

Weinstein highlights lower construction costs — the WindPlus turbine cost €20 million to build and install — as a major advantage the technology has over existing offshore wind farms.

The fact that turbines and their platforms can be assembled on land…means “the cost and risk profile … is significantly reduced,” she says.

But while bullish about the technology’s potential, Weinstein admits there remains a way to go before floating turbines become profitable enterprises.

The initial structure off the coast of Portugal is merely a pilot installation to prove the device works and is viable…

One of my favorite future means of producing electricity. Offshore is a great location – especially utilizing equipment like this which merely needs to be towed into position 12-18 miles at sea. Far enough to counter that whining sound that accompanies resistance from NIMBYs worldwide.

There ain’t about to be any shortage of offshore wind. Maintenance and durability are the only significant design questions. Given appropriate materials and corrosion-resistant coatings, production should extend well beyond payback time.

Debris from Japan tsunami floating towards US west coast

Cars, tractors, boats and the occasional entire house have been spotted floating on the surface of the Pacific Ocean in the aftermath of the March 11 Japanese tsunami triggered by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake.

The largest “island” of debris stretches 60 nautical miles (69 miles) in length and covers an expanse of more than 2.2 million square feet, according to the US Navy’s 7th Fleet, which is closely monitoring the floating rubbish.

It is very large and it’s a maritime hazard,” Lieutenant Anthony Falvo, deputy public affairs officer for the US Navy’s 7th Fleet, told the Daily Telegraph. “The damage it can cause is anything from piercing the hull of a ship to leaving dents or getting wrapped up in propulsion systems.”

Experts have reportedly estimated that it could take up to two years for the floating tsunami debris to hit Hawaii and three years for the West Coast.

The US navy is currently working with civilian construction companies from Japan on attempts to start removing the floating debris from the ocean.

We look forward to American media coverage of the landing of the debris from this disaster on our shores. Sensationalism never misses a chance at the ghastly. Fox News probably has someone already stationed on the coast watching for bodies.

Tsunami dog, Ban, returned to her family

A dog rescued off the Japanese coast floating on top of a house is on her way back to her owner Monday.

The dog wagged its tail and jumped up to a woman described by local media as a relative of the owner as she collected her to deliver back to her family for what promises to be a warm reunion.

It turns out the lucky dog’s name is “Ban,” and she was originally living in Kessenuma before being separated from her master after the March 11 earthquake, tsunami and subsequent fire that swept through the coastal village…

An employee at the Miyagi Animal Care Center told CNN by phone that the owner had been staying in a temporary relocation center in Sendai since being evacuated from Kessenuma.

The 50-year-old man reportedly recognized Ban after footage of the brown and black dog was shown being hugged by Japanese rescue workers while being unloaded from a boat in Shiogama Port this past Friday.

Japanese Coast Guard teams had spotted Ban during a helicopter patrol over debris fields nearly two kilometers off shore. When a patrol boat got the hungry and shivering dog, they found no identification on her other than a brown collar.

Best news I’ve read, today.

Regular readers of this blog know how I feel about the importance, positive effects of humans and their companion relationship with other animals. Fortunately – for our species – I think most people feel that way.

Dog rescued from floating house 3 weeks after tsunami

A dog that survived in a house swept away to sea three weeks ago by the devastating Japan tsunami was saved on Friday by a coast guard rescue team flying over an island of debris.

Local television showed an aerial view of a brown medium-sized dog trotting around the roof of the house — the only part of it floating above water — before disappearing inside through a broken section of the roof.

The coast guard rescuers, thinking there might also be people alive inside the house, lowered one of their team onto the roof. He tried to coax the dog out, but then went in after tearing a wider opening. He came out with the dog in his arms and they were transported back to safety by boat.

Domestic media said no people were found inside the house.

Sad and happy at the same time. Too bad the dog’s people weren’t found with him.