The Anonymous Widower

Nearly 1,000 Covid-19 Vaccine Doses Meant For Town’s Most Clinically Vulnerable Had To Be Thrown Away

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the Manchester Evening News.

It appears it was because of a refrigeration problem.

With the need to distribute this vaccine at -70°C, it was only a matter of time before something like this happened.

December 24, 2020 Posted by | Health | , | 4 Comments

EDF Determined To Play ‘Major Role’ In UK Flexibility As It Signs 50MW Battery Optimisation Deal

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on Energy Storage News.

This is the opening two paragraphs.

EDF is set to optimise Gresham House Energy Storage Fund’s 50MW Wickham Market lithium-ion battery site.

The French energy giant will use its Powershift platform to optimise the asset to deliver optimal value and minimise battery degradation at the site in Suffolk, England.

This is a paragraph from the article.

Recently, EDF has signed a number of agreements with battery storage owners, including to optimise SWGT‘s 30MW utility-scale battery earlier in December. The company is also working to build up its own battery portfolio, investing in cleantech startup PowerUp to support its 10GW of storage by 2035 ambition.


  1. I suspect in this section of the article, whoever wrote it, doesn’t know a MW from a MWh or a GW from a GWh. Storage or capacity should be measured in GWh not GW.
  2. SWGT would appear to be Still Waters Green Technology, who are building the 30 MW battery near Swindon.
  3. EDF purchased Pivot Power in June 2020.

It seems to me that EDF Energy are moving fast into both building and optimising energy storage.


Brexit seems to making little difference to EDF’s plans to invest in the UK.

But then we have the potential for the generation of Gigawatts of offshore wind, that is less of a resource for France.

December 24, 2020 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , | Leave a comment

OptiFuel Systems Announces Natural Gas Freight Locomotive

The title of this post is the same as that as this article on Railway Gazette International.

This is the introductory paragraph.

Rail, marine and generator product supplier OptiFuel Systems has announced that it is ready to manufacture freight locomotives of 1 200 to 2 400 hp fuelled by biomethane and natural gas.

Other points from the article.

  • They are modifying a rail-certified Cummins engine, which has already been used in 12,000 trucks.
  • They are using a modular design, so different power outputs can be provided.
  • It appears they will provide kits to convert existing locomotives.
  • They have a US government grant to build a 4,400 hp or 3.3 MW main line locomotive that can run on renewable natural gas.

This is a quote from OptiFuel President; Scott Myers.

We think that in the next two years there will be a 50-state Low Carbon Fuel Standard programme that includes rail and an extension of the existing federal Alternative Fuel Credit program to include rail. These programmes, just as in trucking and aviation, will provide renewable natural gas to the railroads at a near zero cost and providing them the financial incentive to decarbonise their fleets over the next 15 years.

President Trump was not available for comment.

Renewable Natural Gas

This sounded to me, like the ultimate in greenwashing, when I saw it in this article. The Wikipedia entry for renewable natural gas defines it like this.

Renewable Natural Gas (RNG), also known as Sustainable Natural Gas (SNG) or Biomethane, is a biogas which has been upgraded to a quality similar to fossil natural gas and having a methane concentration of 90% or greater.

Wikipedia also says this about the creation of renewable natural gas.

The UK National Grid believes that at least 15% of all gas consumed could be made from matter such as sewage, food waste such as food thrown away by supermarkets and restaurants and organic waste created by businesses such as breweries. In the United States, analysis conducted in 2011 by the Gas Technology Institute determined that renewable gas from waste biomass including agricultural waste has the potential to add up to 2.5 quadrillion Btu annually, being enough to meet the natural gas needs of 50% of American homes.

In combination with power-to-gas, whereby the carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide fraction of biogas are converted to methane using electrolyzed hydrogen, the renewable gas potential of raw biogas is approximately doubled.

Because of the carbon in the gas and its source, it would appear that it is net zero carbon, rather than the zero carbon of hydrogen. But it does appear, that it would be cheaper to produce than hydrogen.


The United States seems to be researching a route, that will allow them to decarbonise their rail-freight industry.

Application To The United Kingdom

Shown is a Class 66 locomotive.

They are a mainstay of freight in the UK, that are powered by a 3,300 hp diesel engine.

Unfortunately, they are not the most neighbourly of locomotives, which throw out quantities of various pollutants.

Could OptiFuel Systems supply a solution for these locomotives?

December 24, 2020 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | 2 Comments

How Cambridge University Test Students For The Covids

In Tom Whipple’s excellent article in The Times today, which is entitled In Search Of A Less Painful Route Through The Long Covid Winter, there is this paragraph.

They also point to a different, smaller-scale, test. In the summer, Cambridge University decided to go its own way on testing. Each “bubble” of students put their swabs to be tested together. If they contained a positive — validated through a far more effective laboratory test — they were each retested. At the start of the autumn term, the university experienced the usual run of cases. In the final week, when other universities were seeing mass outbreaks, all 10,000 students were tested. There were zero positives.

Could this simple method, speed up mass testing of residential areas, care homes and other universities?

December 24, 2020 Posted by | Health | , | 1 Comment

Octopus Energy Chief Greg Jackson Declares London World Leader Of Green Energy Tech As It Wins “Double Unicorn” $2bn Status

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the Standard.

This is the sub-title.

CEO declares Britain’s mixture free market and technology skills give green energy tech massive export potential.

These are some points from the article.

  • Octopus Energy started five years ago and is now worth $2 billion.
  • It supplier 1.7 million homes in the UK, with green energy.
  • It has customers in the US and Germany.
  • It has its own management software called Kraken.
  • Due to Kraken, their costs are 2.5 times lower than rivals.
  • Kraken is a fun-for-hire, that is now used by other energy supplier.

The CEO wants a 100 million customers in five years.

We need more companies with this attitude!

December 24, 2020 Posted by | Business, Energy | , | Leave a comment

Is The Pfizer Vaccine The New Betamax?

To me, the Pfizer vaccine may work well, but the precautions needed to deliver it safely are so onerous, I can’t see it being the most successful of vaccines.

If healthcare professionals and GP surgeries in the UK, are saying that the minus seventy delivery route is going to be difficult, then how difficult is it going to be to deliver it, in parts of India, Africa and South America.

I can’t see the current Pfizer vaccine lasting very long, before it is either overtaken by one of the many others vaccines under development or Pfizer reformulate it, so it has an easier method of delivery.

It truly is the new Betamax.

December 24, 2020 Posted by | Health | , , , | 7 Comments