The Anonymous Widower

Can ‘Enhanced Rock Weathering’ Help Combat Climate Change?

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

This is the sub-heading.

In a quarry surrounded by the din of heavy machinery Jim Mann crouches down and picks up a handful of tiny black rocks.

These three sentences introduce Jim and his magic dust.

“This is my magic dust,” he says with a smile, gently rubbing them between his fingers.

He’s holding pieces of basalt. It’s a hard volcanic rock that is neither rare nor particularly remarkable.

But through a process known as ‘enhanced rock weathering’ it could help to cool our overheating planet.

This Google Map shows Orrock Quarry, where the basalt is mined.

The article then gives a simple explanation of enhanced rock weathering.

When one of the companies, I’d backed won a green design award it was presented by David Bellamy. I remember having a very radical conversation with him, about some of the projects, where he’d been an advisor.

Some might have dismissive views about Jim Mann’s work as being too good to be true, but when I see the chemistry, I suspect,I’ll find it to be sound.

It would be a very interesting process to mathematically model!

May 21, 2023 Posted by | World | , , , , , | Leave a comment

ULEZ: Impact Of Mayor’s Expansion Questioned

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

This is the sub-heading.

One in six cars registered in outer London did not meet Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) standards last year, according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders

These paragraphs outline the analysis.

The data was released following a Freedom of Information request by the BBC to Transport for London (TfL).

It comes amid a dispute over whether existing data used by City Hall and TfL is accurate.

However, London Mayor Sadiq Khan said the newly released data was unreliable.

From the end of August, all those driving vehicles within Greater London that do not meet ULEZ pollutant limits will face a £12.50 daily charge or a £180 fine.

I’m sure that any Professor of Statistics from London’s universities or an expert from the Royal Statistical Society, could give a definitive answer on the statistics.

But then Khan is a lawyer and will hide behind the law in this case, by claiming he is both judge and jury.

If Khan really cared about London’s air, he would have a hydrogen policy, which would enable London’s local cement, construction and refuse trucks to be replaced or converted to hydrogen, so that the city’s air improved.

It would also make it easier to introduce more hydrogen-powered buses.

Companies like Tesco and Marks & Spencer, who regularly run trucks into London, should be encouraged to convert their delivery trucks to zero-carbon, by adjustment of the ULEZ charges.

The ULEZ has been badly thought out and needs to be realigned with what is practical and reduces the pollution.

May 18, 2023 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

SSE Renewables Announces Construction Of Second Utility-Scale Battery Storage System

The title of this post, is the same as that of this news item from SSE Renewables.

These three paragraphs outline the project and its current status.

SSE Renewables has taken a Final Investment Decision to proceed with, and entered into contracts to deliver, its second battery energy storage system (BESS). The 150MW project is located at the site of SSE’s former Ferrybridge coal-fired power station in West Yorkshire, England.

The investment is part of SSE’s £12.5bn Net Zero Acceleration Programme and means construction will now commence later this month at the iconic site.

For decades the Ferrybridge coal-fired power station was a prominent feature of the West Yorkshire landscape, before being decommissioned by SSE in 2016. Now SSE Renewables’ plans to build a new 150MW battery storage project at Ferrybridge will provide flexible generation for Britain’s national grid and a new era for the site.

This Google Map shows the site.


  1. The A1(M) runs up the West side of the map, with the East Coast Main Line going up the East.
  2. The circular structures in the middle of the map appear to be the bases and remains of the eight cooling towers.
  3. There are a lot of labels saying Ferrybridge power station.
  4. One existing and one demolished sub-stations can be located.
  5. The last Ferrybridge power station; C had a capacity of just over 2 GW.

The Wikipedia entry for Ferrybridge C, is worth a read, as it details the struggles of various owners and their engineers to generate electricity efficiently and with regard to the regulations.

The site’s use since 2016 seems to have been varied with two multi-fuel power stations, that were designed to burn mixed fuel including biomass, general waste and waste wood, a carbon capture experiment for Chris Huhne and now the 150 MW battery, which other sources give as having a storage capacity of 300 MWh.

It looks to me that SSE still own the large site and I wonder what their plans envisage for the site.

  • A large electrolyser to produce hydrogen could be invaluable for decarbonising the heavy industry in the area.
  • According to Wikipedia, there was a plan to build the gas-fired Ferrybridge D and a gas pipeline to connect it to the gas transmission system, but neither were built.
  • So could the gas pipeline be built to distribute the hydrogen?
  • Or could a large hydrogen store and a small hydrogen-powered power-station be built at Ferrybridge to back up the renewables
  • Alternatively, more batteries could be added to the site.

The size of the site, gives lots of possibilities.



May 16, 2023 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , | Leave a comment

Have Your Say About Potential New Hydrogen Facility In Aldbrough

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

This is the first paragraph.

SSE Thermal is looking for input from the local community regarding its first-of-a-kind low-carbon hydrogen facility.

They are holding meetings in the Hull area as follows to discuss the project with anybody who is interested.

  • Tuesday, June 6, 2:30pm – 7pm: Hedon Town Hall, 36 St Augustine’s Gate, Hedon, HU12 8EX
  • Wednesday, June 7, 2:30pm – 7pm: East Village Meadows, Northfield Farm, Garton, HU11 4QB
  • Thursday, June 8, 2:30pm – 7pm: Aldbrough Village Hall, Garton Rd, Aldbrough, HU11 4QA

I shall be going on the Tuesday. There are buses from Hull station, which take about 35 minutes.

This section is copied from the HullLive article.

What is the Pathfinder Project?

The Aldbrough Hydrogen Pathfinder project is an important building block in the development of a thriving Humber hydrogen economy, underpinning the region’s decarbonisation and supporting economic growth locally and nationally.

The project is proposed to be developed within its existing site at Aldbrough Gas Storage, and all visible infrastructure will be within the site boundary.

The project intends to use one of the current storage caverns and repurpose it to develop a project in the Humber that would unite hydrogen production, storage and power generation in one.

As someone, who feels strongly about the benefits of hydrogen, I feel this is a very worthwhile project.

May 11, 2023 Posted by | Hydrogen | , , , | Leave a comment

SSE To Help Decarbonise 5000 Homes In Major London Retrofit Project

The title of this post, is the same as that of this news item on SSE.

These three paragraphs outline the work.

SSE Energy Solutions has agreed a deal with Berkeley Homes that will help to decarbonise a heat network for up to 5,000 homes in London, thought to be one of the largest retrofits of its kind in the country.

An Air Source Heat Pump (ASHP) system will be installed to supply the homes on an existing district heating network at the Woolwich Arsenal site after several options were considered, including the use of waste heat and ground and river source solutions. An ASHP was chosen as the best low carbon, low tariff option over the length of the supply contract.

The system will be installed in nearby Wellington Park where a new landscape will be created through a unique planting scheme that broadens the biodiversity of the area by responding to the microclimate. The ASHP will connect directly to the existing district heating network pipes, reducing the carbon content of the heat provided by the network.

It strikes me, that no new housing estates or blocks of flats, should be built without a district heating system.

In this example, SSE are able to decarbonise a large number of houses and flats, by just replacing a boiler with an air source heat pump.

Just imagine the hassle if five-thousand individual boilers had to be replaced.

April 18, 2023 Posted by | Energy | , , , , | Leave a comment

Siemens Completes Study To Decarbonise Major UK Industrial Estate By 2038

The title of this post, is the same as that of this news item on Siemens UK web site.

This is the sub-heading.

Siemens has proposed a road-map for decarbonising Trafford Park, one of Europe’s largest industrial estates, to support Trafford Council’s aims for the Greater Manchester borough to achieve net zero by 2038.

This three paragraphs outline the proposal.

The Low Carbon Trafford Park 2038 study, proposed by Siemens, aims to identify, cost and measure the impacts of low carbon technologies at the industrial estate. It covers a broad range of solutions, from waste to energy and heat recovery from energy intensive industrial players, to the potential for solar photovoltaics across the park to generate 147 GWh of clean energy.

The study acts as a blueprint for the council to consider as it works to eliminate the 714,000 tonnes of carbon emitted from Trafford Park each year. The estate is home to 1,330 businesses employing more than 35,000 people, with a dense population of industrial and commercial occupiers over an area of 4.6 sq miles.

The Council aims to use the roadmap to facilitate stakeholder engagement and collaboration across the industrial park, aligning business and environmental goals to different commercial segments across recommended technological and behavioural measures. It will then consider its broader recommendations as part of a long-term plan in partnership with occupiers.

This is decarbonisation on a grand scale!

  • Siemens expects the decarbonisation of Trafford Park to attract new business to the Park and maintain and enhance its standing as a commercial and industrial hub in the region.
  • The measures recommended would require £1.2 billion of private and public investment to achieve a 94% reduction in emissions.
  • The study provided Trafford Council with modelling of an extensive range of measures for conserving gas and electricity and for generating clean energy on-site.

This page on the Siemens web site is entitled Smart Infrastructure For A Sustainable Future, outlines some of the company’s solutions.


It will be interesting to see how Trafford Park decarbonises.

April 17, 2023 Posted by | Energy | , , , | Leave a comment

Could The Bombardier Voyagers Be Converted To Hydrogen Power?

Avanti West Coast, CrossCountry and East Midlands Trains all run versions of Bombardier Voyager trains.

  • There are 103 sets in service.
  • Lengths are four, five and seven cars.
  • They are 125 mph trains.
  • They are powered by one Cummins QSK19 diesel engine in each car.

Given Cummins’s enthusiasm for hydrogen could these diesel engines be converted to hydrogen power, so the trains could run long distance routes on zero-carbon power?

If there is no need for them in the UK, there are probably lots of places in the world that would like them!

April 8, 2023 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Mercedes-Benz, Amazon, Frankfurt Airport, Lidl & Kaufland, Vodafone – Giants In Germany Lining Up To Buy Offshore Wind Power

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

This is the sub-heading.

With the latest news about Lidl and Kaufland entering a long-term offshore wind power offtake contract, and Mercedes-Benz announcing the same shortly prior to that, the list of big names signing up to buy offshore wind-generated electricity in Germany keeps growing. What lies behind this are both the companies’ ambitious decarbonisation strategies and the country’s approach to tendering.

Rhe whole article can be read after signing up for a free trial.

April 7, 2023 Posted by | Business, Energy | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NI Green Hydrogen Projects Win Government Grants

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

This is the sub-heading.

Two green hydrogen projects in Northern Ireland have won government grants in the first round of the UK Net Zero Hydrogen Fund.

These three paragraphs outline the projects.

Green hydrogen is made by using renewable electricity to separate water into oxygen and hydrogen – a process called electrolysis.

The grants will be used to help fund the construction of electrolysers.

One will be at the Mannok cement plant in Fermanagh, the other at Wrightbus in Ballymena.

I talked about the Wrightbus project in Ballymena: Wrightbus To Develop Hydrogen Production Facility.


April 4, 2023 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

ZeroAvia To Bring Zero-Emissions Flight To Sweden

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

These three paragraphs outline the deal.

ZeroAvia has announced this week that it has struck a deal to bring zero-emissions flights to Sweden.

Such a deal has been struck to allow commercial routes from Skellefteå Airport using hydrogen-electric powertrains with Braathens Airlines.

Braathens Airlines operates a fleet of 14 ATR 72 aircraft, which will eventually have these powertrains utilized for flights across Sweden.

ZeroAvia are also targeting de Havilland Canada Dash 8 airliners for conversion to hydrogen.

April 3, 2023 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | Leave a comment