The Anonymous Widower

Europe Blocks 250,000 AstraZeneca Vaccine Doses Bound For Australia

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Australian newspaper The Age.

This is the introductory paragraph.

Officials in Europe have blocked the shipment of 250,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to Australia in a ploy set to trigger a major diplomatic dispute.

It is a surprisingly calm article.

Although it does say this.

More than 150 international deliveries were authorised without a hitch over recent weeks, but Italy has now opposed the delivery to Australia. Rome’s objection was endorsed by the European Commission.

It looks to me that Australia has been singled out. Could it be because to EU officials, it is seen as a British colony?

Or is it because the EU believes that the French-born CEO of AstraZeneca; Pascal Soriot, is a traitor for taking up Australian citizenship?

Aussie comedians will have a field day.

I also suspect, that when Australia starts delivering its own locally-made AstraZeneca vaccine towards the end of the month, some will be exported to the EU to solve their self-inflicted vaccine shortage.

March 5, 2021 Posted by | Health | , , , , | Leave a comment

Some Bad Vaccine News From Italy

This reassuring article in The Times with a reassuring title of Single Covid Vaccine Reduces Risk Of Going To Hospital By 90%.

But it does contain one piece of bad news.

An Italian study has suggested that the Pfizer vaccine is less effective in overweight people.

March 1, 2021 Posted by | Health | , , , | 1 Comment

Italy’s Hardest-Hit Covid-19 Region To Become ‘Hydrogen Valley’

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

This is the first paragraphs.

Lombardy, Italy’s hardest-hit Covid-19 region, will soon become home to the ‘country’s first hydrogen valley’.

Enel Green Power has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Italian transport group FNM, to purchase new hydrogen-powered trains, replace the current diesel-powered trains and build hydrogen production facilities powered by renewable energy.

These facilities will be constructed to support the journeys of hydrogen trains.

It sounds like good thinking.

February 7, 2021 Posted by | Energy, Health, Hydrogen, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Snam, ITM Power To Develop Green Hydrogen Projects

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

Points from the article.

  • Snam will pump £30 million into ITM Power.
  • Snam are planning up to 100 MW of green hydrogen projects.

In Joint Venture With Linde AG And £38M Strategic Investment, I asked “How Much Hydrogen Would A 5 MW Electrolyser Create In A Day?”

  • I gave the answer as 2.182 tonnes of hydrogen, so multiplying up by twenty gives 43.6 tonnes of hydrogen.
  • In a Wikipedia entry called Renewable Energy in Italy, it is stated that Italy produced 51.5 GW of renewable energy in 2015.
  • The UK produced 30 GW of renewable energy in 2015, but our capacity is growing fast.

I suspect Italy will have plenty enough renewable electricity to supply 100 MW for hydrogen.

As iTM Power are building a factory to manufacture one GW of electrolysers per year, I suspect they can provide their part of the hasrdware for the Italian job.

December 28, 2020 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , | Leave a comment

Risk of COVID-19 In Celiac Disease Patients

The title of this post, is the same as that of this paper on the US National Library of Medicine, which is from the University of Padua in Italy.

This is an extract from the paper.

Among the 171 patients included in our registry and on gluten free diet from at least six months, we contacted 138 CeD subjects (80.7%), aged 41.3 years old (SD 14.9), 73.9% were females on a gluten-free diet from a mean of 6.6 years (SD 6.0). Two patients had a diagnosis of refractory celiac disease type one and one of refractory celiac disease type 2. Among them, none reported to have been diagnosed with COVID-19, whereas 19 CeD patients experienced flu-like symptoms with 1 of them having undergone a negative naso-pharyngeal swab.

This is another sentence, summing up the study.

In this analysis we report a real life “snapshot” of a cohort of CeD patients during the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak in Italy, all followed in one tertiary centre in a red area of Northern Italy. Our data show, in accordance with Emmi et al., the absolute absence of COVID-19 diagnosis in our population, although 18 subjects experienced flu-like symptoms with only one having undergone naso-pharyngeal swab.

That is very firm and the report finishes with this sentence.

We only evaluated patients on a gluten free diet, so far no data on the risk at the time of diagnosis can be extrapolated from this study. Long-term clinical and epidemiological studies in celiac disease will be of great utility in the field but these preliminary data seem to suggest that CeD patients are not at higher risk of COVID-19.

Note.

  1. SARS-CoV-2 causes Covid-19.
  2. All their patients were suffering from coeliac disease and were on a gluten-free diet for more than six months.

I’m no medic, but I’m a seventy-three-year-old man with coeliac disease on a gluten-free diet.

I shall be sticking to my diet, in addition to social distancing.

December 20, 2020 Posted by | Health | , , , , | 1 Comment

Financing For 135 Hybrid Trainsets Agreed

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

The European Investment Bank agreed a €450m financing package on July 23 which will support Trenitalia’s plans to order 135 electric-diesel-battery hybrid regional multiple-units at total cost of €960m.

The trains are from Hitachi’s Caravaggio family and will be built in their Italian plant at Pistoia. Their operation is described in this sentence.

They will use conventional overhead electrification where available, with ‘cutting-edge’ engines for operation onto non-electrified routes as well as batteries to eliminate emissions for the ‘last mile’ and in urban areas.

That sounds extremely sophisticated to me.

Is The Powertrain Technology Transferrable To The UK?

I have republished this post with a link to the original article, as it occurs to me, that Avanti West Coast, East Midlands Railway, Great Western Railway. LNER and other train operating companies could be in need of a train with a sophisticated Diesel/Electric/Battery Hybrid powertrain.

So will Hitachi be using a powertrain like this in the UK?

 

July 27, 2020 Posted by | Finance, Transport | , , , | 2 Comments

Alstom And Snam To Develop Hydrogen Trains In Italy

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on H2 View.

This paragraph sums up the agreement.

As part of the agreement, Alstom will manufacture and maintain newly built or converted hydrogen trains, while Snam will develop the infrastructures for production, transport and refuelling.

It does appear that Alstom is setting up similar deals across Europe, with now Germany, the Netherlands, the UK and Austria being prepared for hydrogen trains, manufactured or converted by Alstom.

The only recent reference, that I can find to the Alstom Breeze for the UK, is this article in Electric And Hybrid Vehicle Technology International, which is entitled Is Post-Covid The Perfect Time To Start A Hydrogen Transportation Revolution?

There is just a new visualisation pf the train to illustrate an article.

June 5, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Short-Notice Spaghetti Trains Organised To get Pasta Across The Alps

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

DB Schenker has organised the transport of several hundred tonnes of pasta by rail from Italy to Germany, enabling 650 Aldi supermarkets to replenish supplies which had been depleted by customers stocking up during the coronavirus pandemic.

I can’t help feeling that this story pays homage to Richard Dimbleby‘s classic April Fool story about the spaghetti harvest in Switzerland.

April 6, 2020 Posted by | Food, Transport | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

50 Secret Islands In Europe

The title of this post, is the same as an article in Travel section of The Times for May 4th 2019.

These are the islands.

Italy

  • San Nicola, Termiti Islands, Puglia
  • Ponza, Pontine Islands, Lazio
  • Favignana, Egadi Islands, Sicily
  • Capraia, Tuscany
  • Salina, Aeolian Islands – My favourite island!
  • Pellestrina, Venice
  • Panarea, Aeolian Islands – Been there!
  • Palmaria, Liguria
  • Budelli, Maddalena Archipelago, Sardinia

France

  • Ile de Batz, Brittany
  • Ushant, Brittany
  • Ile d’Arz, Brittany
  • Iles Chausey, Normandy
  • Ile de Behuard, Western Loire
  • Ile d’Yeu Vendee
  • Ile d’Aix, Charante-Maritime
  • Ile de Vassiviere, Limousin
  • Port-Cros, Provence
  • Ile Saint-Honorat, Provence

Croatia

  • Lastovo, Dubrovnik-Neretva
  • Vrnik, Korcula
  • Dugi Otok, Zadar
  • Prvic, Sibernik
  • Susak, Kvarner Islands
  • Palagruza

Spain

  • Illa da Taxa, Galicia
  • Illes Cies, Galicia
  • Tabarca, Valencia
  • La Graciosa, Canary Islands
  • Espalmador, Balearic Islands
  • Isla del Burguillo, Avila
  • Isla de Lobos, Canary Islands
  • Isla del Baron, Murcia

Greece

  • Anafi, Cyclades
  • Monissos, Cyclades
  • Folegandros, Cyclades
  • Fourni, Eastern Aegean
  • Ios, Cyclades
  • Kea, Cyclades
  • Kimolos, Cyclades
  • Kythira, Ionian
  • Tinos, Cyclades
  • Tilos, Dodecanese

Best Of The Rest

  • Helgoland, Germany
  • Sejero, Denmark
  • Ameland, Netherlands
  • Great Blasket, Ireland
  • Cape Clear, Ireland
  • Muhu, Estonia
  • Ada Bojana, Montenegro

I shall keep the pages, as some of these islands are worth visiting.

May 12, 2019 Posted by | World | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Where Are The New Trains For The Aosta Valley?

One of the reasons I went to Northern Italy this week was to get a glimpse and a possible ride in the new Stadler Flirt trains for the Aosta Valley.

This article in the Railway Gazette is entitled Electro-Diesel Flirt Unveiled.

This is the first two paragraphs.

The first electro-diesel version of the Flirt multiple-unit family was unveiled at Stadler’s Bussnang plant in Switzerland on June 15, two years after the Valle d’Aosta region awarded a €43m contract for the supply of five units and the provision of five years of maintenance.

The Flirt3 units are scheduled to enter service on the Aosta – Torino route in May 2018. Bimode operation will remove the need for passengers to change trains at Ivrea to reach Torino Porta Susa station, where diesel operation is not permitted.

I didn’t see any sign of the trains, as I rode between Turin, Ivrea, Novara and Aosta, which were supposed to start services last month!

Perhaps, the trains have software problems?

 

June 1, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , | 2 Comments